At the end of every year, many companies upgrade some of their IT equipment (such as servers, laptops, disk drives, and desktop computers) and get rid of their used equipment. While some organizations may simply throw it in a landfill, others opt to donate, recycle, or sell that equipment.

In any case, before they get rid of or distribute that equipment, they should make sure that it doesn’t contain any data at all, because doing it the wrong way could expose not only your organization’s data but also that of your customers and business partners. That’s where data erasure tools can help.

The risks of doing the wrong thing

Failure to erase data could result in loss of intellectual property or, even worse, the theft of sensitive personal data. There are simply too many cybercriminals who love to steal data and sell it on the Dark Web for profit, and their methods of data theft are increasingly sophisticated. In addition, organizations could inadvertently expose themselves to compliance violations and fines (related to data privacy regulations such as HIPAA or GDPR). Last, but not least, data theft or loss can lead to litigation, damage to brand reputation, and loss of customer trust.

Ways to destroy or delete data

In the past, companies had only a couple of options to remove/destroy the data that resides on those servers and drives: either overwrite every sector of a hard drive using a destructive “write” command, or if that didn’t work, physically crush the drive to destroy the data on it. Obviously if one physically crushes equipment, it can’t be recycled, so it becomes part of the growing problem of “e-waste” in landfills across the globe, and the disposal of such equipment is often subject to local and state regulations. Furthermore, both options require time and labor, and for any organization, large or small, it can be an arduous and costly task. It can also be prone to human error, resulting in the potential loss of sensitive data.

Why use data erasure tools

Today, there are easy, accurate, secure, and cost-effective data erasure tools that virtually eliminate the risk of any data theft and save valuable time. When deciding which data removal technology solution to deploy, here are some essential attributes to look for:

    • Tamper proof
    • Automated
    • Searchable for audit purposes.
    • Enables ongoing, large volumes of erasures such as large IT Asset Disposition (ITAD)
    • Functions across multiple sites
    • Compatible with a variety of processing requirements
    • Offers custom reporting and data archiving
    • Integrates seamlessly with ERP or inventory management systems
    • Easy to install and manage, onsite or remotely
    • Highly customizable
    • Low total cost of ownership

The larger your organization is, the more technology equipment you have, and the greater the risk of data loss or theft when you recycle or donate it. When companies assess their data security risks, they should consider the potential costs if they improperly dispose of equipment that contains drives with data on them. Data erasure technology gives CISOs and IT more peace of mind, especially at the end of the year when companies often want to be generous by donating equipment to a needy organization, or frugal by reselling it to employees or another organization. Don’t let “the most wonderful time of the year” become the worst data security disaster.

Ziperase provides turnkey data erasure solutions for small businesses, Fortune 500 enterprises, data center service providers, and everyone in between.

Contact us today to schedule a demo and ask about a free trial.