How Data Erasure Applies to Today’s Technology Updates

Here at Blancco, we keep a close eye on today’s technology updates. From the latest smartphones to the evolution of SSDs, we’re always keeping track. Because we securely erase data from all IT assets, including mobile devices, HDDs, SSDs, servers, LUNs, removable media devices, and more, it’s important that we know about all evolutions in storage technology. Now we’re sharing that information with you. Here are some technology highlights for […]

Lauri Lalli is a Senior Researcher working for Blancco in the Research Department. In this role, Lauri is responsible for analyzing technology trends in order to understand the challenges and opportunities in the data erasure and information security fields. With significant experience in the data erasure/security industry and accompanying technology ecosystem, Lauri has developed leading expertise in his field.

Here at Blancco, we keep a close eye on today’s technology updates. From the latest smartphones to the evolution of SSDs, we’re always keeping track. Because we securely erase data from all IT assets, including mobile devices, HDDs, SSDs, servers, LUNs, removable media devices, and more, it’s important that we know about all evolutions in storage technology. Now we’re sharing that information with you. Here are some technology highlights for 2018 and how data erasure can address this ever-changing tech.

The Growing Mobile Market

The most recent Ericsson mobility report estimates that there are will be more than 9 billion active mobile subscriptions worldwide by 2022. Other numbers from the same report are also staggering. The number of smartphones in use will grow from 3.9 billion in 2016 to 6.8 billion in 2022, and 5 billion of those will use fast LTE subscriptions.

The growth in mobile phone use is greatest in India, China and Asia-Pacific regions. For example, in India, the number of mobile phone users grew by 43 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Simultaneously, mobile phone use increased in China by 24 million users and 21 million users in the APAC (excluding India and China) region. This totals about 100 million new mobile phone users in just three months.

As more people use mobile phones, all companies involved in mobile phone ecosystem have the chance to grow rapidly, including those in the second-hand mobile market.

Skyrocketing Second-Hand Mobile Market

According to Statista, global shipments of new smartphones will grow from about 1.5 billion units in 2016 to 1.7 billion in 2020; however, these new phones are getting increasingly expensive, leading many individuals to choose second-hand devices.

One IDC report estimates that the global refurbished smartphone market will grow from 81 million units annually in 2015 to over 220 million units by 2020.

This growth opens huge opportunities for everyone involved in the mobile industry. In addition to the major market leaders for used and refurbished smartphone–Canada and the US, Japan and China are forecasted to record the quickest expansion rate through 2025.

Blancco helps mobile retailers, manufacturers and warehouses securely erase mobile phone data for recycling or resale using Blancco Mobile Device Eraser. Additionally, our Mobile Diagnostics solution can perform up to 52 automated diagnostics tests on devices across iOS and Android operating systems to help customers self-diagnose issues and maximize the resale value of second-hand devices.

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IOT Presents Unique Data Security Issues

Over the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has begun to take over the tech scene. IoT consists of wirelessly connected smart items, such as home appliances, wearables, cars, security cameras and medical implants. The devices have some sensors and upload data to the cloud. Ericsson predicts that in 2018 the number of IoT devices will surpass the number of mobile phones in use. The same Ericsson analysis claims that 18 billion IoT devices will be in use by the year 2022.

IoT devices generate and contain a huge amount of data, some of which may be sensitive. If, for example, a smart fridge has been programmed to order more milk when it’s about to run out, it likely contains login details for a cloud service, which has its owner’s credit card information. When the house where the fridge resides is sold to a next owner, there needs to be a way to erase the sensitive information.

This generates new opportunities for the data erasure market; however, the IoT market is very fragmented, and developing erasure solutions would be challenging. Blancco will continue to follow IT trends and research developing erasure solutions to address popular devices. Currently, there are no known organizations providing IoT erasure software.

Evolution of SSDs and HDDs

SSD and HDD erasure, however, is certainly possible. And that’s good news. By 2021, Solid State Drive (SSD) shipments will surpass Hard Disk Drive (HDD) shipments, with Statista estimating 360 million SSDs and 330 million HDDs will be shipped globally at this time.

Backblaze company, which purchases tens of thousands of HDDs for its cloud data storage business, reports that the average HDD cost per GB of storage has dropped to 0.03 US dollars per GB. And while SSD cost per GB has also been declining, it’s generally 0.27 US dollars per GB or more. Due to this price difference, HDDs are here to stay—at least for a while.

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Data Erasure of SSDs

As new SSDs continue to hit the market (NVME drives, for example), it’s important that your organization has the right data sanitization tools in place to ensure data is erased completely. While traditional data wiping and physical destruction leave information behind on SSDs, secure data erasure completely removes data so that it’s unrecoverable. With new and evolving overwriting methods available, your organization can guarantee data sanitization.

Drones, Gaming Consoles & Wearables Grow in Popularity

New classes of devices with sensors and storage space are rapidly emerging, Statista estimates that by 2021, more than 67 million consumer drones will be shipped worldwide. These flying devices have cameras that allow them to record video and take pictures, and the professional- and semi-professional drones are expensive enough that they have a second-hand market and are at risk of exposing sensitive data.

Video game consoles are nothing new, but they are quite popular. Statista finds] that more than 85 million Xbox 360 consoles and more than 62 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold worldwide. These consoles contain users’ account information, which is stored on the cloud and allows games to be purchased via credit card. Used consoles are often sold to new owners, with little regard to risks involved. Anecdotal information leads one to believe that the consoles should be erased before re-sale, but currently, no software exists to perform such an action.

Finally, wearable technology continues to proliferate and impact our everyday lives. From fitness trackers, to smartwatches and even smart clothing, the worldwide wearables market reached a new all-time high as shipments reached 33.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16), growing 16.9% from 2016 to 2017. Like other technologies, wearables often contain a wealth of sensitive data. There is an opportunity for these devices to be wiped before resale. Currently, however, no data erasure technologies address this issue.

Blancco is keeping a keen eye on these and other emerging and popular technologies and the opportunity they represent for secure data erasure.

For more technology updates, stay tuned here.

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