Given the importance of the data and the growing value that the businesses derive from it, its protection is a concern that has quickly moved up the corporate ladder. In the event of information breach, the credibility of an organization could hang in the middle. As the digital methods of hackers grow more advanced, the countermeasures need to rise to the challenge.
Data sanitization — a method of safely and thoroughly extracting data from IT hardware — is more relevant than ever in the era of corporate hacks and insider attacks.
Here’s our insight into how data sanitation plays a crucial role in maintaining information security across the increasingly dynamic world of enterprise computing.
Data Sanitization Process
Setting rules within the context of data governance is one thing: upholding and implementing them is another. However, the existence of consistent policies and procedures is crucial to maintaining information security for data sanitation.
This is where the process begins — a process centred on a governance structure that is commonly recognized around the enterprise and centrally owned businesses.
With the adoption of AI-driven solutions capable of automating policy management, handling storage media for data sanitation requires human supervision: exactly what drives to wipe out and how to treat the physical asset once it has been deployed.
Data Sanitization part comes into action at two different points:
- when the enterprise images systems to reuse them,
- when the device is permanently withdrawn.
Companies also image and sanitize devices as they are reassigned to new customers. Imaging will replace the main OS files, the MFT and the FAT; however, the old data is not completely removed. Instead, Windows can delete only those instances of files that users see and modify, and then label it for deletion. When Windows requires space, the file can be overwritten; only then, is it removed from the asset.
Considering the growing capability of storage devices, there can be several GBs worth of residual data on supposedly sanitized devices. Imagine the potential implications of a badly executed data scrubbing event, in which sensitive business data is unintentionally moved from the CEO or CIO on an hourly employee.
How to ensure efficient business data sanitization?
Consistency and efficacy evaluation are essential to a successful business sanitization practice. Whatever be the company’s sanitization strategy, it needs to examine the effectiveness of its data-scrubbing systems and processes regularly. In most instances, this would involve manually removing files, and then restoring to the default factory.
Finally, the sanitization policy needs to be extended to every single IT asset that contains storage media. These may include laptops, flash memory, mobile phones/smartphones, PDAs, cameras, photocopiers and network printers.