Data Security Is Vitally Important for Removable Media & Hard Drives

Removable Drive in a Laptop

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Data security and security breaches have made headlines in the past year with ransomware attacks, which have increased in severity and number. While ransomware is something you need to watch out for, old hard drives and removable media may cause data breaches without you even knowing it.

Take a look at why you need proper data security methods to wipe data from hard drives and removable media that’s outdated or no longer relevant to your business or organization.

Related Post: How To Keep Your Business’s And Customers’ Information Safe From Cybersecurity Threats 

Statistics About Data Security for Hard Drives & Removable Media 

First, some statistics.

Blannco, the company we use to erase data on hard drives en masse, released a study in April 2019. It found that of 159 hard drives purchased on eBay, 42% still had sensitive data on them, with a whopping 15% containing personally identifiable information (PII). The company purchased the hard drives themselves. One drive was from a software developer with government security clearance, yet the data on the drive included scanned images of passports, birth certificates, and financial records. Another had shipping details from a logistics company, while two of them had email addresses of university students associated with their student papers written for class.

For every 20 drives Blannco found, three of them had PII. That’s a horrible record, one that no one can afford to have.

Another study done in 2019 showed 59% of hard drives sold online contained data from previous owners. Comparitech bought 200 hard drives. 26% of them were formatted but the data was easily recovered, 17% had deleted data that was easily recovered, and 16% had no data eradiation whatsoever. Only one-fourth (26%) had data properly destroyed.

A total of 32 drives out of 200, or 16%, had personal information on them.

For removable media and USB drives, Venture Beat reported in January 2022 that 9% of hackers targeted removable media devices as the way to instigate a data breach. Even trusted USB devices can become infected with malware.  

Just eight months later, Honeywell released a report that stated more than half (52%) of cybersecurity threats that came from removable media were specifically engineered to target USB devices as opposed to threats designed to get in through networks. The idea is to circumvent remote access and security altogether.

How to Protect Your Hard Drive & Removable Media Data 

ASIS states that 79% of cyber threats found on USB media were capable of causing a major disruption to critical systems. 

How do you prevent this from happening? Before you get rid of your removable media or hard drives, create a robust cybersecurity plan for the detection of threats. When disposing your removable media and hard drives, data security is a prime concern because your data assets are no longer in your control.

Deleting files on your hard drive isn’t enough. You need your hard drives and memory storage media wiped completely to ensure none of your sensitive data gets out in the open.

That’s why you need a trusted partner in a certified data destruction company like I.T. Supply Solutions.

Related Post: Why We Use The Best Drive Erase Software On Earth To Ensure Data Security

Trust Your Data Erasure With I.T. Supply Solutions

I.T. Supply Solutions, based in the Cincinnati area, offers IT asset disposition and data erasure for your company or organization, whether you’ve got 100 units or 100,000. 

Call us at (859) 694-0602 or contact us for more information.

More To Explore

Electronics Recycling Day to benefit the Independence Police Department's K-9 Unit

Sponsored by the Independence Police Department & I.T. Supply Solutions

Items collected include desktops, laptops, phones (landlines or cellular), flat monitors, servers, loose hard drives, calculators, and cameras.

Please note: No old TVs, microwaves, or bulky monitors.

Donations can be dropped off or made by mail. Check or money order to be made payable to ‘City of Independence’ to:

Independence Police Department
Canine Unit Donation
5409 Madison Pike
Independence, Kentucky 41051
Dropbox available in parking lot

Send contributions via Venmo to Independence Canine using @Independence-Canine.