There has been a recent trend of companies selling used hard drives for profit. On the surface, getting rid of old and unused hard drives for a profit seems like a good idea. However, sensitive information can actually be recovered from old hard drives, which is why companies should not sell their old hard drives if they have not been properly wiped of existing information. Not everyone is capable of properly destroying hard drives.
When files from hard drives are only deleted, there is actually residual data that stays on the hard drive that can be recovered. In a recent test conducted by Blancco Technology Group, they decided to purchase 200 hard drives randomly off of ebay that were being sold from various companies. They found that 67% of them still contained personal identification information and 11% of them held sensitive company data including CRM records, company emails, and even spreadsheets containing inventories and sales projections. In all these cases, the hard drives were not properly wiped before being sold. Simply deleting files and clearing out the recycle bin is not enough to leave residual data untraceable. The most secure way to ensure that old data will not be recovered is by physically destroying the data. However, if your company is still interested in selling old hard drives for a profit, there are steps that you can do to ensure the safety of company data.
One way to ensure data safety is by wiping the hard drive. There are various programs that you can download or purchase that will wipe the hard drive. Programs will often write over data for an innumerable amount of time until the old data becomes unreadable. Technically, while the old data is still there, it becomes virtually unreadable, which means the data is still secure. If your company is interested in re-selling old hard drives, be sure to make sure that the hard drives are properly wiped. However, the only way to be 100% sure that old data will still be secure is by physically destroying the hard drive.
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