It is common knowledge that the ability to remove data from hard drives (HDDs) or solid-state-drives (SSDs) is fundamental to ensuring that an organisation’s data is secure.

However, confusion often arises when it comes to the question of whether to delete or wipe data. The difference between wiping and deleting lies in the fact that deleting data does not completely erase all traces of it. Indeed, wiping is much safer in maintaining the integrity and security of a company. The following tips should provide some guidance on whether you should be deleting or wiping your systems.

Deleting and wiping files from an HDD

Deleting a file from an HDD does not mean that it is completely erased; it has simply lost the initial pathway leading to it and remains recoverable for someone with the relevant expertise. This is fine for files of little consequence without sensitive data on them, but what about data that needs to be completely erased?

Overwriting is one of the most common ways of completely getting rid of data on an HDD. The process basically involves replacing the old data with new data. It is important to note, however, that there can be hidden areas in HDDs where data can remain, making completely wiping data tricky.

Wiping data from an SSD

Wiping data from an SSD can be much more difficult than an HDD due to their structure and the way that they store data. Indeed, the random nature of the way in which an SSD stores data means that files can be almost impossible to find and completely erase. Like HDDs, they also contain hidden areas that knowledgeable hackers can infiltrate and compromise. In this way, the best thing to do with an SSD which contains sensitive data is to completely wipe it when it is no longer needed.

Attending to all of your data wiping needs

As explained in this post, data wiping is much more complicated than simply pressing ‘delete’ on a PC. Any business should attend to their data wiping issues as soon as possible. Sometimes, drive destruction can be the only way of completely erasing data, and this is something best left to the professionals.

Therefore, to ensure your business remains secure and compliant, you can benefit from our professional data wiping services. At Tier 1, we are able to undertake both off site and on site data sanitisation. This includes magnetic hard drives, solid state devices, network equipment, magnetic tapes, data bearing MFDs and mobile or hand-held devices. Blancco, our data erasure software, is one of the most secure options available, helping us to meet the most rigorous data privacy and destruction requirements.

In some cases, data cannot be completely erased from a hard drive. As a last resort, when a hard drive must be shredded, we use an ADISA approved physical destruction method.

Browse our website to find out more about our secure IT disposal services, and get in touch today to find out how we can help your business.

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