Data destruction services play an important role in helping to protect against sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. But unfortunately, it is not practiced by a large percentage of the population. This fact has recently been re-confirmed by a major global data study conducted by the Blancco Technology Group and Kroll Ontrack.
According to the study, 48% of the used drives purchased from major online resellers like Amazon, eBay, and Gazelle still contain residual data from their previous owners. Second-hand mobile devices included in the study also showed a high percentage (35%) of residual data contained on the devices, with two of the devices containing so much information that researchers were actually able to identify their previous users. In fact, researchers were able to pull thousands of personal emails, texts, instant messages, photos, and videos from the secondhand mobile devices.
The study, which was conducted from May 2015 to August 2015, involved the inspection of 122 pieces of secondhand equipment, ranging from hard disk drives and solid state drives to mobile devices. The study included used equipment purchased in the U.S., Germany, and the U.K.
During the investigation, researchers found that deletion attempts were made on 75% of the data-containing drives and 57% of the mobile devices that still had data on them. According to the news release announcing the study’s results, “Even more compelling was the discovery that those deletion attempts had been unsuccessful due to common, but unreliable, methods used, leaving sensitive information exposed and potentially accessible to cyber criminals.”
Most consumers and many commercial IT departments have a false understanding about the effectiveness of deleting data. Deleting a file from a computer or mobile device using the device’s standard delete function does not permanently remove the file from the device. This type of data destruction is ineffective, unreliable, and it doesn’t comply with regulatory standards.
One glaring example of this was recently discovered during an audit of state agencies. It was revealed that 12 U.S. state agencies used inadequate data destruction methods. The recoverable data included everything from tax information, driver’s licenses, information pertaining to programs for people with mental illnesses, and more.
All users of electronic devices need to understand that manually deleting data or logging out of an app on a mobile device does not permanently erase the data from that device. All of the actual data is still there and it can be easily recovered by anybody with the tools and ability to do so.
Data wiping is the only proven method for making data unrecoverable from a drive or device. This method uses advanced deletion software that completely overwrites the data, thus making it completely unrecoverable by any modern means. Once a drive is wiped, it retains its functionality so it can be safely re-used, sold, or donated without worry about residual data being recovered.
If you need professional data destruction services for your company, call Liquid Technology today at 800-797-5478. Or, you can reach us by email or by simply completing our quick form. In either case, a Liquid Technology Assessment Specialist will promptly respond to you. Liquid Technology provides state-of-the-art, fully-compliant data wiping services that meet or exceed all industry regulations including FACTA, HIPAA, GLB, SOX, CAL SB1386, and PCI DSS. We are here to help you protect your data so contact us today.