What Is Data Wiping and Why Do You Need It?

Sep 14, 2018

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 detailed financials.

Needless to say, data is very important, and it needs to be protected throughout its entire lifespan. When you need to delete your company’s data, it is crucial that you treat the wiping process just as delicately as you when you create, store, and protect 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, 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 some starch (overwriting your data) to hide the salty taste (your old data). The end result is a delicious dish with an indistinguishable amount of salt. The salt is still there, but it’s buried.

Types of Data Wiping

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 require certain data-wiping specifications for your industry, so make sure to check what is required for the type of data you are wiping.

Benefits of Data Wiping

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 you use an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) company who  follows NIST standards for their hard drive data wiping procedures and can provide a Certificate of Sanitization, backed by data security certifications like R2 or e-Stewards. 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.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.