Written By Namrata Sengupta
Updated on Apr 27, 2022
Min Reading 3 Min
Data wiping is the process of erasing the data from a storage device beyond recovery. The process involves overwriting the storage device – laptop, desktop, servers, loose drives, SSDs, bulk drives, or mobile devices in an illegible way. The procedure makes it impossible to recover data, even after using reliable data recovery software or in-laboratory services. So, if you are planning to sell or donate your storage device, wipe the device using a secure data sanitization software to avert data breaches.
Data wiping is not as easy as deleting or formatting a storage device (be it a hard drive, SSD, bulk drives, or mobile devices). Data deletion or drive formatting does create free space in your device, but that does not ensure destruction of the data. It simply hides the data files to give you free space for further storage. A freely available DIY data recovery software can get the data back after an episode of quick formatting or deletion.
Let’s understand the different types of data wiping methods.
Types of Data Wiping
Data wiping process involves overwriting the device with a stream of unintelligible characters, like 0s and 1s, at all user-addressable locations leading to permanent sanitization of the device beyond recovery. The technique is backed by global data overwriting algorithms. The most prevalent types of data wiping as defined by various International bodies, like NIST, DoD, includes:
Another algorithm developed by Peter Gutmann, in 1996, works by overwriting some random values with 35 passes. In this kind of data wiping, pseudo values are used for the first and last 4 passes followed by a complex pattern in each pass that lies between the range of 5 to 31.
To acquire an in-depth knowledge of Standards and Methods of Data Wiping, refer to our article that elaborates on the international standards for data erasure. You may also like to refer to our article on choosing the right erasure standard - https://www.bitraser.com/article/multiple-passes-necessary-data-erasure.php to strategize your data destruction plan.
Key Benefits of Data Wiping
Besides protecting confidential business data and preventing data leakage, data wiping through overwriting techniques enable the users to resale and recycle the storage device. There are numerous benefits of secure data erasure. Let’s take a gander at the most significant ones:
By sanitizing the storage device, the device becomes reusable and available for resale in the refurbished market. IT asset managers can resell the old device without having the fear of data breach once the device is sanitized using a secure data wiping software, like BitRaser. Likewise, they can avail the services of IT Asset disposition companies that help in sanitizing the media and provide audit trails.
Another vital reason for data wiping is the need to adhere to data destruction policies and meet regulatory compliance. Professional service providers give a certificate and audit trail that guarantees permanent data erasure.
In a nutshell, there are many benefits of capitalizing a reliable data erasure software. However, often users get distracted by the lucrative free or unreliable options available in the market. Despite self-proclaimed statements on using certified data erasure techniques, they leave a major gap in the probability of delivering failsafe certificates for data erasure and meeting compliance.
So, look for a steadfast, specialized forensic test, designed exclusively by a standardized lab. The NIST-led computer forensic tool testing of BitRaser Drive Eraser demonstrates and reaffirms the advantages of a reliable data erasure tool. It can wipe the hard drive or SSD as per NIST SP 800-88 standard.
In the present scenario of remote handling of IT assets post-pandemic (Covid-19), an exponential surge of unmanageable data is observed. Secure data wiping is a vital necessity for businesses to prevent data leakage and other possibilities like data fraud, identity theft, brand damage, and litigation.
As explained in this article, all storage devices transition through a discrete lifecycle before leaving its possession. So, it is the duty of data collectors and users to avert evident risks of leakage at all stages of IT assets management to lead the way for secure data usage!
Why Data Wiping is a Necessity?
Data wiping is a necessity for ITADs and refurbishing companies that deal with bulk erasure of storage devices. They need a scalable and automated data erasure solution like BitRaser to meet their end customer data sanitization needs, following the global laws and regulations like SOX, GLBA, GDPR, and HIPAA.
Likewise, large enterprises, government bodies, or small businesses need a robust data erasure solution to protect their customers’ data privacy when putting the IT device to rest. Data wiping needs are prevalent across industries, be it banking, automobile, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, etc. The enterprises in these industries accumulate a great volume of customer data over the years. So, they need a tailored solution to safely destruct the data stored in old devices.
Furthermore, independent smartphone and laptop users are keeping highly sensitive banking details saved online. It poses a significant threat to their privacy that may eventually cause unbearable financial losses. To prevent such probable complications, a secure data wiping solution is the need of the hour.
BitRaser is NIST Certified
|US Department of Defense, DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes)|
|US Department of Defense, DoD 5200.22-M (ECE) (7 passes)|
|US Department of Defense, DoD 5200.28-STD (7 passes)|
|Russian Standard – GOST-R-50739-95 (2 passes)|
|B.Schneier’s algorithm (7 passes)|
|German Standard VSITR (7 passes)|
|Peter Gutmann (35 passes)|
|US Army AR 380-19 (3 passes)|
|North Atlantic Treaty Organization-NATO Standard (7 passes)|
|US Air Force AFSSI 5020 (3 passes)|
|Pfitzner algorithm (33 passes)|
|Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II (4 passes)|
|British HMG IS5 (3 passes)|
|Pseudo-random & Zeroes (2 passes)|
|Random Random Zero (6 passes)|
|British HMG IS5 Baseline standard|
|NAVSO P-5239-26 (3 passes)|
|NCSG-TG-025 (3 passes)|
|5 Customized Algorithms & more|