We have some exciting news! We have been granted a US patent (Patent No. 9286231) for the unique, secure and verifiable method by which our Blancco Drive Eraser erases data from solid state drives. This new patent augments patents we’ve already been granted in the EU and Finland and provides organizations with a secure method to handle end-of-life storage devices – regardless of underlying technology – in a cost-effective, secure and eco-friendly manner.
To understand why this type of patent matters, there are several underlying factors that I want to put into context. First, the price of solid-state drives have dropped considerably over the last few years, with the average price being $0.24 per gigabyte in 2016, according to ComputerWorld. And those prices will continue to drop in the next year. As a result, many organizations are choosing to use solid state drives over hard disk drives as their preferred data storage device – often including sensitive corporate, customer and employee data.
Second, Gartner and financial services firm Stifel Nicolaus recently estimated that the compound annual growth rate for SSDs will be around 20 percent from 2015 to 2019, while it will only be 4 percent for hard disk drives. This has, of course, led to increased competition among SSD manufacturers. Just last week, Samsung began shipping its newest SSD called the PM1633a – already being called a ‘behemoth’ and ‘monster’ by many in the industry – boasting 512 of Samsung’s 256Gb V-NAND memory chips to achieve its massive storage capacity.
While these are all positive factors for the growth in adoption of SSDs, there is also one big problem – corporate maintenance and upkeep of these drives can be complicated and difficult. That’s where our patented SSD erasure method comes into the fold – it’s designed to specifically handle functionality differences across a myriad of SSD vendors and consists of the following:
- A multi-phase, proprietary SSD erasure approach that utilizes all available security protocols supported by SSDs
- Automated techniques to remove system BIOS freeze locks, enabling access to key internal security features of an SSD
- Procedures that root out those drives that give false positives about their internal erasure processes
- Third-party benchmark testing and validation, as our Blancco data erasure products have conducted more testing than any other vendor
- A comprehensive tamper-proof report to confirm erasure results and serve as an essential part of compliance and auditing requirements
Securing this patent was no easy task and took tremendous efforts and collaboration from our teams across product development, research and development and marketing, to name a few. We want to thank everyone who helped us in the process and highlight three of the key benefits it will bring to our enterprise clients.
#1: Reduce Cost
You can recoup the expenses of the underlying hardware, be it through reuse within your organization or through resale to another party. Since SSDs are still more expensive than standard spinning media, such as hard disk drives, this delivers an instant ROI on the cost of erasure. And if your organization plans to hold onto these storage devices until some day in the future when you decide what to do with them, you also get the added benefit of reducing processing costs by being resell them when you no longer have use for them. That’s an added revenue stream.
#2: Reduce Risk
Processes used to erase standard hard disk drives are not the same for SSDs. Despite the fact that SSDs are simpler than HDDs in that they don’t have moving mechanical parts, they apply complex data management schemes to distribute data across their internal memory chips. As a result, some data can remain hidden from the host. And so erasing data from SSDs can be particularly challenging and risky if not done properly. Using an enterprise-class data erasure solution specifically designed for SSD ensures that even such hidden data is erased and can never resurface.
#3: Eliminate Environmental Waste
Because of the operational burdens and difficulty involved in erasing SSDs, many organizations often resort to physical destruction, which generally means shredding, disintegrating, pulverizing or incinerating the device. And although SSDs are generally compliant with the EU RoHS directive and other similar hazardous material laws, physically destroying them can create toxic waste in the environment, especially if done in large volumes. By using our patented SSD erasure method, you not only get rid of data completely, but also do so in an environmentally friendly way that supports your organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.
As a helpful tool, we’ve created a fact sheet outlining the many features and benefits of our patented SSD erasure method.