Summary: Many IT asset managers find free data eraser software pocket friendly. However, they do not realize the grim consequences of unsafe data wiping, like financial penalties, legal action, customer loss, and brand reputation. This blog aims to highlight such risk implications by defining the pitfalls of free data erasure tools and the benefits of professional software.
Evidently, safe handling of data storage devices by the end-of-life is paramount. Application of illicit data wiping methods or using free data wiping software may open doors for data theft that can hamper the growth of any organization. Free data erasure software may not cost anything, but they certainly leave traces of sensitive information behind.Are you open to compromising your brand value to save some dollars by downloading free data erasure software? Is it wise to take the risk of IT asset recycling or reselling without any proof or record of data wiping? Certainly Not!
Here are some key distinctions between free and professional data erasure software to give you a clear picture of what is ideal for your organization:
Free Vs. Professional Data Erasure Software
|Parameter||Free Data Erasure Tool||Professional Data Erasure Tool (BitRaser)|
|Complete Data Erasure||Does not perform complete data erasure. Free tools like DBAN do not follow global data erasure standards or NIST guidelines for media sanitization. Possibility of leaving sensitive business information is high and can pose serious legal and financial losses.||Performs permanent data erasure, leaving no traces behind. Professional tool like BitRaser follow 24 international data erasure standards like DoD, NIST, etc. and is also tested for its wiping efficacy by NIST and other global bodies. Moreover, the tool helps organizations stay compliant to regulatory laws like EU-GDPR.|
|Effectiveness||Free versions of data erasure software are mostly ineffective because they cannot detect & erase hidden areas like HPA or DCO on the disks.||Professional tools are highly efficient in permanent wiping of the hidden areas and remapped sectors on hard drives and SSDs.|
|Detailed Eraser Report||There is no report or proof of erasure generated by free tools to confirm permanent wiping of the storage media.||Professional software generate a comprehensive report covering intricate details of the devices, technicians, tools, and much more. Users can customize such reports with their company logo and may access them once the task is accomplished.|
|Data Wiping Certification||Free tools do not offer any certificate of destruction but just a simple message confirming that erasure is done.||Professional software generate a tamper-proof certificate that can be downloaded in PDF format for audit trails.|
|Precision||Free tools lack precision and accuracy.||Professional tools take guarantee of irrecoverable data wiping.|
|Cost of Destruction||Free tools fulfill basic erasure requirements of the home users and demand additional cost for a selective upgraded features.||Professional tools are available with a pay per use option that is cost effective for bulk erasure with unlimited perks and benefits.|
|Functionality||Free tools do not have functionality to erase or dismantle RAID servers. They also do not support Hexviewer to verify data wiping on disk sectors. Further they lack functionality of diagnosing the health of the drives.||Professional software like BitRaser helps dismantle and wipe RAID Servers. It supports HexViewer to verify data wiping on disk sectors and also help perform hardware diagnostic tests that assess the health of the storage device.|
|Customer Support||There is no customer support desk or executive available to address your queries or doubts when using free tools like DBAN.||Trained customer support executives are available 24×5 to assist you with your needs when using BitRaser, a paid professional data erasure software.|
Risk Implications of Unsafe Wiping using FREE Tools
Apart from the points cited in the table above that speaks highly of why an organization must adopt a professional data eraser software, you may also take a look at the ramifications of unsafe free data erasure tools and risks associated with them:
Free data wiping tools, in the absence of documented evidence of wiping, are liable for triggering surplus amount of problems to the IT asset managers, technicians, and stakeholders. Without complete data erasure record, auditors can give sleepless night to all the members involved in handling IT assets and data management. Episodes of data breach can lead to lawsuits and penalties that can cause distress to organization, its IT asset managers and data controllers.
Free download of software is an open invitation to malicious attacks and data breach incidents. Such incidents demand lengthy investigation. Most companies suffer total shutdown of operations for an unforeseen duration till the investigation is on. The process takes days, weeks, sometimes months, depending on the severity of the data breach or cyberattack. It also causes a massive knock-on effect on the business revenue and market value of the company stocks.
To avert such troubles, use a professional data erasure software like BitRaser that guarantees permanent erasure of each device using global data erasure standards. It also keeps record of chain of custody, hardware model, unique ID, serial number, and so on in the reports and certificates generated by the software. The cloud repository helps dig old records any time as and when needed.
According to Gartner, the average cost of operational downtime is about $5,600 per minute that equates to almost $300,000 per hour. Obviously, revenue loss to an organization depends on its size and the industry. However, it is evident that free tools can cause massive disruption to organizational productivity and affects the organization for years.
By integrating a proactive yet realistic set of data destruction policies and adopting a seamless data eraser software that adheres to global data erasure standards and generates documented evidence of wiping process, organizations can prevent massive amounts of trouble. It both ensures data security for the organization against data breaches and assures customers of their data confidentiality.