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Many firms confused on proper data sanitization practices, adding to risk levels

Current data management misconceptions are prompting many decision makers to mistakenly choose inadequate data sanitization methods and put their organizations at risk, according to a new report from Blancco Technology Group, a provider of data erasure and mobile device diagnostics products.

The company commissioned research firm Coleman Parkes to survey 1,850 senior decision makers worldwide in August 2019, and found that organizations’ overconfidence is exposing them to the risk of data breach, at a time when proper data management should be at the forefront of everything they do.

About three quarters of the respondents (73 percent) agreed that the large volume of different devices at end-of-life leaves their company vulnerable to a data security breach, while 68 percent said they were very concerned about the risk of data breach related to end-of-life equipment.

More than one third of the organizations take considerable risks with the way they sanitize data at end-of-life. These risks include using inappropriate data removal methods, with 36 percent saying they use data wiping methods such as formatting, overwriting using free software tools or paid software-based tools without certification, or physical destruction with no audit trail.

These methods are not fully secure and can leave organizations open to potential security and compliance issues, the report said. Many enterprises are also keeping large stockpiles of out-of-use equipment and not dealing with them within a suitable time frame.

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