thumbnail image for blog post: What Is Data Wiping and Why Do You Need It?

The word “data” may be small, but its definition and the way data is used in our day-to-day lives is anything but. Data is, in essence, information that has been translated and stored into a computing device in a way that is efficient for processing purposes. It encompasses a wide range of facts and figures; everything from employee information to a company’s financials falls under the “data” category.

Needless to say, data is very important, and it needs to be protected throughout its entire lifespan. When you have made the decision to wipe your company’s data, it is crucial that you treat the process just as delicately as you treated the processes of creating, storing, and protecting your data.

What Is Data Wiping?

Data wiping makes data unreadable, but it does not remove the data; instead, data wiping is the process of overwriting the data on a particular hard drive to such an extent that the original data is unreadable. The benefit of data wiping, aside from protecting your company’s data and its cost-effectiveness, is that you can reuse the original hard drive. An easy way to think about data wiping is when a cook over-salts a dish. Instead of destroying the dish (your hard drive), the cook adds a certain amount of starch or liquid (overwriting your data) as a way to bury the bitter bite of too much salt (your old data). The end result is a dish that is pleasant to eat due to an indistinguishable amount of salt. The salt is still there, but it’s buried.

Types of Data Wiping

To make matters a bit more complicated, data wiping is not one-size-fits-all. There’s an array of types that your company can benefit from. The most frequently used types include, a single pass overwrite, a three pass overwrite, a seven pass overwrite, and a secure erase. Each type involves a different process that is, for the most part, self-explanatory. For example, a single pass overwrite is when the data is written over once. Sometimes, regulations like HIPAA will have data-wiping requirements in place for your industry.

In a nutshell, data wiping is a great, cost-effective solution to ridding your company of unneeded data without having to purchase additional hard drives. The money you have saved can then be allotted to other parts of your organization like new software, increased marketing efforts, or end-of-the-year bonuses.

Data wiping is not something to take lightly. If you want your data to be protected, make sure the company that you hire to wipe your data is ITAD (IT Asset Disposition) certified. This ensures that the company in question safely disposes of all IT assets in a way that guarantees that your data will not be disclosed to a third party. SEAM is the only certified ITAD provider in the Dakotas. Call SEAM today at 605-274-SEAM (7326) to learn more about our various data wiping services.