GDPR has introduced a new right for individuals to have their personal data erased by companies storing their data, making secure erasure a pillar to guarantee compliance to the new regulation
A recent Ontrack security study shows people often fail to properly erase personal data in used drives, putting their own and others' identity and privacy at risk
The alliance aims at providingKingston customersbest in-class technology services to erasetheir data efficiently and cost-effectively, ensuring full compliance to GDPR
Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, is now partnering with Ontrack, a leading provider of data recovery and erasure services, to offer data erasure services at advantageous rates to Kingston Technology customers. Ontrack offers an award-winning software-suite and provides technology services to help legal, corporate and government customers as well as consumers erase data efficiently and cost-effectively. Through this powerful alliance between two security vendors, Ontrack supports Kingston customers solving complex data GDPR challenges through cutting-edge erasure solutions.
The lack of secure erasure, be it through human or technical error or faulty erasure procedures, can lead to drastic impacts on businesses and organisations, now more than ever before taking into account the stringent requirements of data protection demanded by the recently enforced GDPR. Permanently deleting data takes time and resources, and data that is not completely expunged before the media is disposed of is vulnerable to exposure. To increase the security of anyone's data, a secure, verified data destruction process is required.
A global security study carried out by Ontrack in 2017 shows that people too often fail to properly erase personal data in used drives, putting their own and others' identity and privacy at risk. In this study the data recovery company purchased 64 drives (37 HDDs and 27 SSDs) from various sources over eBay, and analysed whether the used drives had been successfully wiped clean or still contained any traces of data. Among the drives examined, traces of data were found on nearly half, meaning that new owners had critical access into the previous owners' identity. The data found included highly critical, sensitive, personal information, private documents, e-mails, contact details, address lists, online account names, passwords, critical business data, as well as critical transactional data (company names, salary statements, credit card numbers, bank account and investment info, tax returns). The study therefore shows that whenever data erasure is not performed accurately, selling personal digital devices can become a matter of identity protection.
The study differentiated between HDD and SSD drives, noting the growing trend toward flash devices (SSD). Though SSD drives were by no means immune to identity risk, they tended to facilitate more successful data wipes. The method previous owners used to erase the data on their drives before selling them demonstrated an all-too-common lackadaisical approach. Though erasure methodology could not be determined for every drive, at least eight had no attempt whatsoever directed at deleting its data. The general trend was evident: people are putting their identity and privacy far too easily at risk.
"The best method to delete data is to perform multiple overwrites, especially when data erasure needs to meet specific legal overwrite standards. Professional products distinguish themselves by the following features: independent certifications, using internationally standard algorithms, detailed reporting and traceability of executed deletions," says Phil Bridge, Senior Vice President, Data and Storage Technologies, Ontrack. "As the industry leader in data recovery and a global erasure services provider, Ontrack provides unparalleled expertise and recovery capabilities to accompany Kingston customers in their recovery and erasure need."
Erasing SSDs – the challenges
Kingston Technology, as manufacturer and expert in the field of SSDs, highlights that SSDs behave very differently from HDDs when saving data to or erasing data from them. "These technological differences present their own technical challenges when it comes to securely deleting data from flash storage media. SSDs have several functions that affect the state of the stored data, such as FTL (Flash Translation Layer function), which controls the mapping of files, as well as wear levelling, Trim, Garbage Collection and always-on encryption, all of which influence the recoverability of deleted or discarded data," says Robert Allen, EMEA Director of Marketing, Kingston Technology EMEA.
In those cases when data is too sensitive to leave their original location, or when the necessary conditions for secure erasure are missing, Ontrack is able to offer secure software erasure services when repurposing or disposing of end of life media, and the deletion reports provided for each erasure can be used for audit and compliance purposes.
An alliance for secure data destruction and GDPR compliance
Ontrack is able to provide high standard erasure solutions by resorting to their tools and techniques. The benefits of Kingston's partnership with Ontrack include:
10% discount on Ontrack's services;
erasure solutions carried out by experienced engineers for all types of
Kingston storage devices;
service in more than 40 offices in 19 countries;
secure data destruction on any media for reuse or disposal;
assistance in verifying companies' in-house erasure processes;
support in selecting and executing the best data destruction method according to needs;
Kingston Digital, Inc. ("KDI") is the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions. Established in 2008, KDI is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, USA.
Ontrack provides technology-enabled services and software to help law firms, corporations, government agencies and consumers solve complex data challenges. Part of the KLDiscovery brand, Ontrack provides market leading data recovery for any type of media - hard drives, SSD, server, RAID, virtual, cloud, mobile, tape, NAS/SAN/DAS, laptop, desktop computers and Apple devices. Additionally, through proprietary technologies and expert services around the globe, Ontrack helps clients with email extraction, tape management and data destruction.
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