Let's get right to the point.
If you are an IT refurbisher or ITAD and you are not using the Validator– the world’s first and only independent data erasure process verification tool - as a sanitization quality control tool, you are probably selling hard drives that have not been properly wiped.
The Validator identifies anomalies and errors in the data erasure process that slip right past other methods of process verification. In the year since it began to be widely deployed, the Validator has successfully performed this task countless times and prevented numerous examples of improperly wiped drives being sold with customer data still intact.
Ironically, the fact that the Validator is performing its job very well accounts for an influx of incoming support calls asserting that the device was not working correctly. The common theme is: “It keeps failing drives that I know have been wiped.”
At this point, we need to pause and make a key distinction. The intent of the term “wiped” refers to the elimination of all data from a hard drive in accordance with a desired specification. However, a common interpretation is “having executed a process that is intended to eliminate all data from a hard drive.” These two interpretations are clearly not the same thing. The first points to a final result, and the second simply to the intent.
This brings us to one of the primary reasons we developed the Validator in the first place. When you verify a wiping process using the same software you used to perform the original process, the results may be inaccurate. When the data erasure software “passes” a hard drive, that’s just its way of telling you it did the job as best as possible and why would it say otherwise? That doesn't mean the data erasure software actually did it and more often than you think...it didn't. It's kind of like asking your teenager if they cleaned their room and they will give you an answer you want to hear, but of course it's not always the truth.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) made a key revision of Special Publication 800-88: Guidelines for Electronic Media Sanitization significantly expanding Section 4.7 and Section 4.8, which cover Verification Methods and Documentation. The new guidelines specifically recommend implementation of independent media sanitization verification procedures. The updated sections also advise deployment of a validation tool different from that used for the data wipe. Blindly trusting the results of data erasure software or using simple data recovery tools or sector viewers to sample wiped drives is not only grossly inadequate, it's not compliant with the latest NIST standards.
So, during the course of our support sessions, the Validator's built-in analysis tools quickly revealed – with virtually no exceptions to date - that the “fail” is not with the Validator, but with the wiping process. These utilities actually allow the user to identify the exact area of the drive where the wiping process broke down, how it broke down, and even take focused steps to correct the issue.
The Validator remains the world’s only independent data erasure process verification tool, and every week, it allows more and more users to correct breakdowns in their data wiping process by given them real visibility into the data wiping process.
Stop ignoring the vulnerabilities in your data wiping process; they're real, and they're unnecessary. Eliminate the data security gaps with the Validator.