Inadequate data destruction putting firms at risk

End-of-life equipment is leaving organisations at high risk of security and compliance breaches. According to a study conducted by Coleman Parks and Blancco, almost three-quarters of respondents agreed that the large volume of different devices at end-of-life leaves their company vulnerable.

This survey of 1,850 leaders from the world’s largest enterprises in APAC, Europe and North America reveals that more than one in three organisations take considerable risks with the way they sanitise data at end-of-life.

“Global enterprises are clearly concerned about data when devices reach end-of-life; however, despite knowing the risks involved, many still choose to use an inadequate approach to protect their organisation,” said vice-president of enterprise and cloud at Blancco, Fredrik Forslund.“This points to a huge and worrying knowledge gap within the sector and among senior leaders about the security and compliance implications of physical destruction and end-of-life equipment lying around.”

UK enterprises reported using a variety of data removal methods. A fifth use formatting, 15% use cryptographic erasure/encryption, 11% use physical destruction (both degaussing and shredding), 6% use overwriting using free software tools and 5% use overwriting using paid software-based tools without certification. And 9% have no method to wipe data. Some 85% have a stockpile of out-of-use equipment sitting in storage.

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