The Difference Between Deletion and Data Wiping 15 Nov 2020
For any organisation, it is crucial that they can protect all of their data on the hard drives. Inevitably, when an IT device is no longer required or is redeployed to another department of the organisation, the importance transfers to the business’ ability to remove all of the data from the hard drives or solid-state-drives (SSDs).
In order to guarantee an organisation’s data remains secure after the retirement of hard drives, they must know the difference between deleting data and wiping data. Read the rest of this article to find out more.
Many believe the act of deleting data and wiping data are the same; however, there is one critical difference. This difference lies within the ability to trace and recover deleted data and files.
When data is deleted off a computer or laptop, it is sent to your ‘trash,’ which can be emptied supposedly by removing all of the files and their existence from the hard drive. This process is not the case. Instead, deletion of data still leaves it vulnerable to theft.
Deleting data does not completely erase all traces of your files, folders and data. Even carrying out a factory reset or reinstalling an operating device cannot guarantee the security of your organisation’s data. Through a few widely-available tools, it is possible to find your ‘deleted’ data and restore it.
Restoring ‘Deleted’ Data from a Hard Drive
When you press delete, the files and folders in question with no longer be visible on your device. However, unknown to many, the obscured data is retained on the computer from data remanence.
Data Remanence is the residual representation of your ‘deleted’ digital data. This data lurks within the hard drive of your computer, unbeknown to you. Despite deleting these files, information from this data is left behind from the nominal file deletion operation. Reformatting the data does not remove the data that was previously written, and physical properties of this remain in the depths of the hard drive. It is these properties which make it possible to recover the ‘deleted’ data.
Moreover, it is data remanence that makes the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information possible should a retired IT asset get into the wrong hands.
Secure Data Wiping
Wiping your data can provide your business with the surety it needs when retiring a device, without any additional worry that the hardware will be damaged. Wiping data off a hard drive or SSD, allows your organisation to reuse, recycle or even sell-on your computers with confidence.
Wiping your business’s data off an SSD, NVMe, Optane and Hybrid drives can be much more difficult than a standard hard drive, due to the SSD’s structure and the random way in which they store data. When deleting data, it is an SSD’s random nature which adds to the complication making them impossible to erase completely. Similar to hard drives, SSDs also contain many hidden areas that knowledgeable hackers could infiltrate, compromising the data. This being said, data wiping is the answer when your business no longer requires an asset which contains an SSD.
How Does Effective Data Wiping Work?
Data wiping is effective for deletion of data as it uses wipe patterns in order to deem the data completely unreadable and, consequently, unrecoverable.
When data is written into a physical drive, the metal platters inside the hard drive encode the data in binary form. This magnetic medium of data has good longevity and will not degrade very quickly; however, these positives quickly become negatives when trying to remove data.
Data wiping, therefore, takes a look at the binary 1s and 0s and obscures them. The wipe blanks them, sometimes multiple times over. In some instances, the numbers are replaced with 0s, and other times straight 1s. By building up layers of binary to disfigure the original binary code, the initial data is not only removed, but the record of the data that existed is permanently wiped.
Your Data Wiping Needs
The best way to ensure your organisation’s data is completely secure when retiring or redeploying a data-storing asset is to trust a reliable, expert company.
At Global EMEA, we offer data erasure services which can wipe your company’s data with 100% certainty. We have an EMEA partnership with WhiteCanyon, a leading provider of security software which uses permanent deletion technology to prevent data theft. Through this agreement, we are proud to distribute the world’s most certified data erasure software, WipeDrive.
WipeDrive ensures your data is completely erased and unrecoverable by using military-grade, wiping technology and provides certified reports which are important for GDPR compliance. By overwriting your data multiple times using the Department of Defence (DOD) approved wipe patterns, your data is completely unrecoverable. Find out more about the socially responsible way of retiring your IT assets here.
If you would like your business to benefit from our services, or to find out more about our data deletion services, you can get in touch with us today. Send us an enquiry on our website, or call us on 0345 340 3105 to speak directly with one of our specialists.