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Home » News & Press » Blancco Technology Group and Kroll Ontrack Study Finds Lingering Data After Used Electronics Ar…
57 Percent of Used Mobile Devices and 75 Percent of Used Drives Purchased from Amazon, eBay and Gazelle Have Unsuccessful Deletion Attempts Previously Made
Atlanta, GA & Minneapolis, MN, October 7, 2015 – A new global data security study from Blancco Technology Group and Kroll Ontrack found varying amounts and types of residual data on used mobile devices, hard disk drives and solid state drives purchased online from Amazon, eBay and Gazelle.com. Based on an examination of 122 pieces of second-hand equipment, 48 percent of the hard disk drives and solid state drives contained residual data, while thousands of leftover emails, call logs, texts/SMS/IMs, photos and videos were retrieved from 35 percent of the mobile devices.
Upon closer examination, it was discovered that a deletion attempt had been made on 57 percent of the mobile devices and 75 percent of the drives that contained residual data. Even more compelling was the discovery that those deletion attempts had been unsuccessful due to common, but unreliable methods used, leaving sensitive information exposed and potentially accessible to cyber criminals.
As Paul Henry, IT Security Consultant for Blancco Technology Group, explains, “Whether you’re an individual, a business or a government/state agency, failing to wipe information properly can have serious consequences. One of the more glaring discoveries from our study is that most people attempt in some way or another to delete their data from electronic equipment. But while those deletion methods are common and seem reliable, they aren’t always effective at removing data permanently and they don’t comply with regulatory standards. There’s no better example of this danger than the findings of a recent state audit, which found that 12 US state agencies responsible for handling taxes, programs for people with mental illness and driver’s licenses used inadequate methods to attempt to wipe information. The big lesson for both businesses and consumers is to understand which deletion methods are effective and comply with regulatory standards and, most importantly, to be cautious of blindly trusting that simply ‘deleting’ data will truly get rid of it for good.”
Another startling finding was that the residual data left on two of the second-hand mobile devices were significant enough to discern the original users’ identities. Whether it’s a person’s emails containing their contact information or media files involving a company’s intellectual property, lingering data can have serious consequences. Together, all of the study’s findings serve as a powerful warning about the importance of using effective data erasure methods and the need to mitigate security risks that may occur when done improperly or incompletely.
“Manually deleting data or simply logging out of a mobile device app does not erase data from the device,” explains Todd Johnson, vice president of Data Recovery Operations, Kroll Ontrack. “Deleting data simply hinders the ability for the mobile device to locate the data – the actual data still remains and can be recovered. In the case of hard drives and solid state drives, formatting to securely delete data can lead to varying results as each operating system performs the action differently. To successfully delete data to a state where it cannot be recovered, one must completely overwrite the data using reputable deletion software.”
Additional findings from the study include:
Blancco Technology Group is a leading, global provider of mobile device diagnostics and secure data erasure solutions. We help our clients’ customers test, diagnose, repair and repurpose IT devices with the most proven and certified software. Our clientele consists of equipment manufacturers, mobile network operators, retailers, financial institutions, healthcare providers and government organizations worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, United States, with a distributed workforce and customer base across the globe.
Blancco, a division of Blancco Technology Group, is the global de facto standard in certified data erasure. We provide thousands of organizations with an absolute line of defense against costly security breaches, as well as verification of regulatory compliance through a 100% tamper-proof audit trail.
SmartChk by Xcaliber Technologies, a division of Blancco Technology Group, is a global innovator in mobile asset diagnostics and business intelligence. We partner with our customers to improve their customers’ experience by providing seamless solutions to test, diagnose and repair mobile assets. SmartChk (or Xcaliber Technologies) provides world-class support, pre and post implementation, allowing our customers to derive measurable business results.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyze, produce and present data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery, consulting and document review. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: www.krollontrack.com or follow @KrollOntrack on Twitter.
CCgroup for Blancco Technology Group (UK)Abbie Godward / Josh CobbT: +44 (0) 20 3824 9214E: firstname.lastname@example.org
CCgroup for Blancco Technology Group (US)Lori ScribnerT: +1 619 798 0043E: email@example.com
Blancco Technology GroupLiz Adams, Global Marketing DirectorT: +44 (0) 7725 010 412E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kroll OntrackKristin Husom, Manager of Corporate CommunicationsT: (952) 516-3781E: email@example.com