Blancco Technology Group Racks Up US Patent for SSD Erasure Method

Mar 16, 2016 Blog Article

Corporate maintenance and upkeep of solid-state drives can be complicated and difficult, particularly when it’s time to decommission them. Our patented SSD erasure method handles functionality differences across a myriad of SSD vendors, alleviating end-of-life data management while reducing costs, risks, and environmental waste.

Russ Ernst, Blancco VP of Products & Technology

Russ Ernst As Blancco CTO, Russ drives product strategy and execution across our Blancco solutions suite. At IT and data security industry conferences, he addresses data lifecycle management, end-of-life IT management, and data sanitization best practices. He also covers how organizations can reach their sustainability goals and fuel the circular economy through secure disposal processes. In addition to the Blancco website, you'll find his insights in Recycling Today, Security Boulevard, Data Center Knowledge, Business Insider, and The Fast Mode, as well as in the upcoming book, Net Zeros and Ones: How Data Erasure Promotes Sustainability, Privacy, and Security.

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.

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:

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 able to 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 SSDs ensures that even 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 (PDF) — download it, then request a free trial for your enterprise or ITAD to see how it can work in your environment.