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Data wiping

Importance Data Wiping

Data wiping is the process by which digitally stored data on a device are made unaccessible. Any existing storage arrays are effectively erased by a wipe, rendering them unreadable and buried. Sequences of binary code coordinate digital information storage. These binary values are assigned to a matrix according to a particular arrangement that indicates the content’s nature.

It is crucial that the sequence is unique orientation – its start and finish points – is used to transmit data. There are many ways to retrieve or transcribe damaged data. For example, the deletion of a file usually only deletes a small portion of its start and end sectors.

Data cleansing is used to erase the entire sequence. A proper data wipe can take several passes. The binary array is edited with additional code and re-edited.

A “pass” is a method of replacing a memory element by another character (such a 1 or 0). Clears may have multiple passes depending on how extensive they are. Data sanitization is the complete process.

Why not toss the memory element (e.g. hard drive) and get new equipment? Data wiping is preferred by individuals and businesses for a variety of reasons:

Private Data

There are some opportunities that can be lost by destroying hard drives and other storage equipment. An adequately cleaned hard drive can be exchanged or traded aftermarket. It is important for many entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and small businesses to reduce the cost of computer system upgrade costs.

Data wiping allows users to not only resale units but also buy higher-end units that have been retired and refurbished. Even small-time businesses can save thousands of dollars on upgrades to hard drives by choosing the right parts.

Regulatory Guidance

Many industries have their own guidelines regarding how to dispose of, protect, or erase data after a storage device has been retired. These ordinances can be enforced at the federal level or merely part of a company’s quality management system.

HIPAA, for instance, requires that data be wiped at an explicit level in order to protect private medical information. A third-party data sanitization firm may be required depending on the industry to validate and verify compliance.

Material Conservation

The best practices in electronic equipment disposal prioritize parts recycling over waste production.

An 2020 study by Cambridge University found that over 22 million hard drives are taken from service every year in the United States data centers. Many of these drives are either destroyed or processed in a non sustainable way. These data storage units that were not used can be easily recycled, which is a huge cost to conservation.

Mods of Data wiping

There are many ways to wipe data. The specific application and the regulatory framework will determine which method is best. A single overwrite may be sufficient to clear low-impact data, such as a home-use hard disk. Higher order wipes will require more complex procedures.

The designation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology identifies four main categories of data sanitization.

  • Physical Destruction
    • It is easy to see why. The act of physically destroying a storage device is to directly and irreparably remove it. It is essential that all data storage devices are completely damaged. Commonly used techniques include crushing, disintegration and shredding. These techniques generate large amounts of electronic waste that must be transported to suitable disposal facilities before data destruction (a data security risk vector).
  • Clearing
    • Clearing refers both to single-pass and multi-pass overwrites that were mentioned previously. Clears can be used to target all storage locations within a memory device. Sometimes factory resets are considered a clearing procedure. Clearing devices that are damaged or have no clearly mapped/linear memory elements (e.g. SSDs).
  • Purging
    • Special command programs are used to perform purges. They can execute overwrites and block erasures as well as encryption destruction. Users will need to use a different data wiping method if a device isn’t compatible with purge commands.
  • Degaussing
    • Degauss wiping is the use of an external electromagnetic (EM)device – a “degausser”. Data is stored in magnetic memory on storage disks. The storage field is disrupted by a degausser, which emits an antagonistic EM magnetic field. This effectively destroys any data contained therein. An alternate method for wiping data from non-magnetic devices or devices that have a strong innate magnetic resonance will be required.

eCycle Florida – Our Services

It is essential to identify the best method of recycling data storage equipment in your business. This will ensure a cost-effective, compliant quality management system.

eCycle Florida specializes in IT asset disposition. Our strategies comply with HIPAA, SOX and ITAR. This will allow your business to breathe easier knowing that the asset chain of custody is secure from end to end. eCycle is an R2 Certified electronics recycling company in the state of Florida. Our processes and procedures are dedicated to the proper destruction and recycling of your electronics. eCycle Florida is your go-to when looking for an electronic recycling center in Florida. Check out the services in the multitude of industries that we offer: 

We are happy to service areas all throughout Florida including:

Contact eCycle Today to get more information on all your eCycle needs and check out our 5-star reviews!

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