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  • Writer's pictureYe Prayas

Data Sanitization


You occasionally need to totally erase data from storage media as part of your data storage and retention activities, and you could even need to destroy the medium. The technique of completely and permanently eradicating data from a storage device is known as data sanitization. Data protection and online privacy have faced considerable challenges in the digital age. More information about our personal and professional lives is typically stored on our electronic devices than anywhere else, making secure digital data disposal a challenge when it comes to disposing of this equipment. When recycling or refurbishment of such equipment is taken into consideration, this issue receives much greater attention.

Magnetic discs, flash memory, CDs, and DVDs are among the media devices you may sterilise. Even the most sophisticated forensic techniques should be unable to recover any data from a device that has been thoroughly cleaned; there shouldn’t be any useful residual data. Techniques for sanitising data include specialised software, devices that connect to storage media and wipe data, and physical media destruction such that data cannot be recovered from the storage medium.

Data sanitization is the process of purposefully deleting or erasing data from a memory device in order to render it unrecoverable. A sanitised device has no useful leftover data, and it is impossible to recover the data even with the aid of cutting-edge forensic equipment. Data sanitization can be accomplished in three ways: physical annihilation, cryptographic erasure, and data erasure.

Hard drives, smartphones, printers, laptops, and other storage devices are physically destroyed by being crushed into tiny bits by degaussers or other huge mechanical shredders.

As part of physical destruction, HDDs are hammered and broken so that they cannot be inserted into HDD slots and, therefore, cannot be used any longer. However, this is not a completely effective method of erasing the data because the pieces that have been destroyed still contain the data in their entirety.

Crypto Erase is a colloquial term for cryptographic erasure. Cryptographic erasure is the process of encrypting the entire data storage device with encryption software (either built-in or applied) and destroying the decryption key. A minimum of 128 bits must be used in the encryption scheme. The data is practically rendered impossible to decode by destroying the original key, even though the storage device itself still contains the data. Data sanitization is accomplished as a result, and the data is rendered unrecoverable.

Data deletion The software-based approach of safely overwriting data from any data storage device onto all of the device’s sectors is known as a machine. Data sanitization is accomplished by overwriting the data on the storage device, rendering it unrecoverable.

Degaussing is the process of lowering or removing an undesired magnetic field (or data) recorded on tape and disc media, such as hard drives in computers and laptops, diskettes, reels, cassettes, and cartridge tapes. The magnetic information stored on a tape or hard drive is neutralised or wiped when subjected to the strong magnetic field of a degausser. Degaussing is the conventional procedure for data deletion since it provides a guaranteed way of hard disc erasure. You may be certain that your information can no longer be recovered by using the appropriate degausser.

Sanitization of data in backups is critically important sometimes. Depending on your organization’s data retention requirements, you must either archive or destroy backed-up data whenever you no longer need it or after its expiration date has passed. Depending on the storage medium, you may use several data sanitization procedures to completely erase any locally stored data. Get a certificate of destruction if you can so that the auditor can look over and confirm any proof of data deletion actions in the event of an IT company audit.

When you keep customer data in cloud backup storage or other off-site locations, your cloud vendor is required to delete that data on your behalf. The data must then be checked to make sure it has been completely deleted and cannot be restored. Discover the company’s data destruction procedure and how it ensures total data erasure before working with a cloud storage provider or other managed service provider. If an off-site data storage provider doesn’t confirm data deletion, the data may still be recoverable, especially if the storage provider is the target of a cyberattack that gives the attacker access to customer data.

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