Data Wiping vs Data Erasure

Home 9 Blog 9 Data Wiping vs Data Erasure

Ask most people on the street what the difference is between data wiping and data erasure, and you will most likely receive a blank stare or a shoulder roll. But in the world of data security, the differences can be legally significant.
Both data wiping and data erasure are methods that are commonly used to delete data from storage drives such as physical hard drives, solid-state drives, USB drives, and/or memory cards.

Data Wiping

Data wiping refers to the process of completely removing all the data within a storage device, thereby making all the data unrecoverable. This process involves overwriting the entire storage device with a ransom data string (usually zeros and ones) to ensure that no traces of the original data remain, then randomly reviewing a certain percentage of the disk to ensure the data is unreadable. The main concern with data wiping is that it normally occurs without any sort of verification that the data was successfully overwritten, and therefore it lacks any level of reporting or guarantee. For companies that are looking for approved methods of data sanitization, this is not a recommended course of action.

How important is that guarantee? Certain compliance standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Sarbanes Oxley (Sox) both can carry severe monetary penalties and criminal liability in certain cases where data breaches occur. This penalty came to a head when Ashley Madison agreed to pay $11.2 million to settle two dozen data breach lawsuits as a result of a 2015 incident, where customers paid for their personal data to be wiped, yet it still was made available following a data breach incident. With the WipeOS suite of products, customers are guaranteed that their data has been fully erased.


Data Erasure

Software-based method of securely overwriting data is commonly referred to as data erasure. The key difference is that with data erasure, the software will also write utilizing random 0s and 1s to overwrite the data on the storage media, but a report is generated; thereby certifying that all your data is unrecoverable and meets data sanitization standards. When you are looking for the highest level of data sanitization think of data erasure. Once you decide to utilize a data erasure methodology you will next have to determine what standard your company needs. Each standard applies to different stages of data erasing – with the most common being a one or three-wipe process.

With Wipe OS software, the user can determine what level of data erasure process your company requires.
The bottom line with any type of data wiping erase is to safeguard company and individual privacy and prevent any level of a data breach. Utilizing WipeOS your company can have a correct and proper data destruction process thereby saving money, time, and resource time.