Perform Secure Wiping on Smartphones and Prevent Data Breaches

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The growing used device industry, increase in smartphone circulation, and rising cases of data thefts make data security on smartphones an essential requirement. Read this blog to learn how secure erasure on mobile devices can prevent breaches, ensure regulatory compliance, protect data privacy, and maximize resale value.

With over 6.6 billion active smartphones in circulation, the opportunity to refurbish and resell used devices has grown significantly. Increasing prices of the latest flagship smartphones are attracting customers to second-hand devices. However, when used mobile devices are resold or recycled, the legacy data on these devices may still remain if not wiped securely. This would mean that they may still carry sensitive data such as social security numbers, personal details, photos, business-critical documents, passwords, and other financial information, which could be accessed by those who purchase the used mobile phone. Thus, business organizations, mobile processors, and resellers reselling the old mobile devices need to be wary about data protection and subsequent data leakages from these used devices in order to prevent legal hassles, loss of reputation, and penalties. Let us look at the possible vulnerabilities on a used mobile device.

Pertinent Vulnerabilities of Used Smartphones

Smartphones are issued to the employees by organizations to maintain seamless communication. These company-owned mobile devices contain sensitive corporate information that can be vulnerable to leakage. It is important for the company to ensure that each time the mobile device changes hands, it is wiped clean securely to ensure that no contacts, emails, or business-critical information are compromised. A smartphone handover without proper data sanitization from a departing employee to a newly joined member is a genuine threat to data breach and poses an unwanted security risk. Without complete sanitization, the new device owner remains exposed to sensitive business records and customer data. Furthermore, if the new owner knowingly or unknowingly shares the information, it may result in a data breach episode for the organization.

The potential risk of data leakage is higher when the smartphone is sold in the second-hand market outside the organization without proper data sanitization. Therefore, data security must be maintained by adopting secure data sanitization practices for mobile devices to prevent any future legal or financial implications.

Advantages of Performing Secure Wiping on Smartphones

It is now evident that organizations will greatly benefit from secure data erasure of mobile devices. Here are some of the primary benefits of performing secure data wiping:

Permanently Erase All Data on Mobile Devices

Secure mobile device erasure enables you to completely and permanently erase all sensitive data on the device, including financial information, sensitive passwords, contacts, messages, photos, videos, and any other data, stored in your android or iPhone. Certified data wiping solution like BitRaser securely erases data from iPhone & Android devices beyond the scope of recovery using global erasure standards to safeguard privacy when disposing of, exchanging, or selling used mobile device.

Protect Organization from Data Breach Episodes

Generally, it is observed that IT department or admin of an organization perform factory resetting on mobile devices when they change hands to ensure data is permanently deleted. However, factory resetting a phone is an unsafe low level formatting as data can be recovered through a DIY data recovery solution or forensic means and hence is not a full-proof method to erase data from mobile device permanently. Organizations may compromise their business-critical information by not adopting software-based data erasure before selling or reallocating the mobile device. A secure data erasure tool guarantees comprehensive data sanitization and is the safest approach when disposing of, reallocating, or reselling devices.

Maximize Resale Value

Permanent data erasure makes the used smartphone safe to reuse or resell. Performing mobile diagnostic tests along with secure data wiping gives an added advantage to the retailers by increasing the operational efficiency of the mobile device. A high-grade diagnosed and securely wiped mobile device with a certificate of erasure fetches premium resale value in the used device market. It also helps meet customers’ expectations and adds trust as they obtain a high-quality premium product.

Attain Regulatory Compliance with Audit Trails

A detailed report generated after secure erasure of the smartphone act as a verifiable and tamper-proof audit trail. It ensures that the smartphone was securely and appropriately wiped following global regulatory guidelines. Organizations, mobile retailers and processors can use it as a unique selling proposition (USP) to monetize the residual value of second-hand smartphones. Leverage a certified data eraser solution like BitRaser to reduce the impact of data security threats and achieve regulatory compliance, such as CCPA, SOX, GLBA, HIPAA, ISO27001, ISO 27040, EU-GDPR, PCI-DSS, and likes. 

Reduce E-Waste

Organizations can contribute in decreasing e-waste by advocating environment-friendly solutions that optimize the residual value of old smartphones by reusing and recycling them. An environment-friendly approach to erase & repurpose mobile devices at the end-of-lifecycle will also help organizations minimize vulnerabilities. 

Conclusion:

It is a general assumption that data security is achieved successfully by performing a ‘factory reset’, or a simple ‘delete’ command. However, using this function is like hiding a skeleton in a closet that eventually comes to the surface and creates troubles. The factory reset command does not warrant that the data remains irrecoverable. The only secure method to wipe mobile devices with legacy data is to perform secure erasure through software-based overwriting. The used device industry is poised to grow in the times to come; the reseller market will expand and become more competitive. With data breaches on the rise, providing secure, reliable, and permanent data erasure should be essential for both enterprises & reseller businesses. Secure and verified erasure with proof of sanitization prevents the scope of a breach and adds to customers’ trust. Therefore, it is advisable to use a permanent and secure smartphone erasure tool like BitRaser Mobile that not just wipes data securely but also performs device health checks and renders the device reusable.

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