Blancco Technology Group, a provider of data erasure equipment and software, recently released survey results that revealed customer anxieties concerning potential mismanagement of their data on resell electronic devices. Blancco participated in a study looking for residual data on storage devices purchased on eBay. The effort found 15 percent of those devices still contained personally identifiable information, even after undergoing at least some form of data wiping. When entering into a data destruction service agreement, is it important to verify what is validating the vendor’s resale, recycling and destruction processes to make sure any certificates they provide are indeed official proof of destruction, ensuring complete chain of custody to build an audit trail.
According to the report recapping the study results, Blancco IT staff in the U.S., Germany, Finland and the U.K. bought 159 used drives – a mix of HDDs and SDDs – on eBay in September and October 2018. They were purchased randomly, except that none had been wiped using Blancco software.
The drivers were analyzed by project partner Ontrack, a data recovery and destruction business. Ontrack staff in France, Germany, Poland and the U.K. used the company’s data recovery tools to look for residual information. Staff also noted that data wiping methods had been previous used – in most cases, the drives had been formatted. Out of 159 drives analyzed, some sort of data was found on 66 of them. Of those 66, over 15 percent, contained personally identifiable information such as photos, birth certificates, names email addresses and more.
According to a press release, one notable example was a drive from a software developer with a high-level government security clearance. It contained scanned images of family passports and birth certificates, curriculum vitae, and financial records.
In other cases, drives contained five gigabytes of archived office email from a major travel company, three gigabytes of data from a cargo/freight company, 32,000 photos and other information from a music store as well as photos and grades from students.
When Blancco inquired about the mobile device data security concerns of the concerns participating in the survey, they found that more than one-quarter of respondents were so concerned that their data would end up in the wrong hands that they will not consider trading-in their phones.
HOBI International, Inc. prioritizes client’s information security in each of our service offerings. Our data security and erasure services provide fully traceable data destruction that prioritizes our client’s data security while processing equipment efficiently and securely for minimum downtime and maximum turnaround. Contact us to find out more about our data security and erasure services.