Data Wiping and Sanitization

What is Data Wiping and Why Do You Need it?

Data wiping and sanitation is not an easy process and requires hardware that can handle it and a professional that knows what they’re doing. Data wiping is not as simple as just deleting everything and calling it a day. There is a proper methodology to sanitizing a drive, but to understand that you must understand how a drive is written. Let’s take a look at what exactly is data and what goes into truly removing it from a device.

When data is written onto a drive it’s done so in binary, so a code consisting of 1’s and 0’s. The code is written onto a magnetic medium that holds it for quite a bit of time. Because of these two steps, data leaves a trail which means it isn’t truly deleted. What ends up being deleted are the inputs where your data starts and ends, which allows you to write over it but still leaves something behind. In order to truly wipe and sanitize your data, you will have to go beyond a simple deletion.

The process of data wiping entails getting rid of even those traces of data, the ones not immediately accounted for when you first delete something. So how do you remove those traces exactly? More code! Well, kind of. To really wipe the data you’ll need to overwrite it. It is common for data to be overwritten with a single character, namely a 1 or a 0. This will obscure the previous traces of code and give you a blank slate to work with. To really wipe the data it may take several “passes” to ensure that all traces have been removed. This can involve a pass with only a 1, then a 0, then a random character and so on in order stamp out any trace of previous data. There’s also the case of SATA drives, but we’ll go into that one another time.

If you run a business or an IT department, proper data wiping and sanitization is essential. It is cost effective and ensures that your drives are still usable even after a clean wipe. JMR provides the best hardware and software for data wiping and sanitization, so give us a call today and securely delete everything you need to. Don’t waste a drive! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for an insight into even more JMR products