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SECURE
DATA ERASURE
Home Patented method of erasing data from SSDs (patent no 9286231)

Patented method of erasing data from SSDs (patent no 9286231)

Whether the data are stored on SSDs, or on traditional hard disks (HDD), each entity has to ensure data security, and if necessary, eraseall information once the carrier on which such data are stored becomes obsolete. Erasing data from SSDs is a real challenge.

SSDs have simpler structure than hard disks, because they do not have movable metal parts. Moreover, they are smaller, lighter and require less power than hard disks. However, erasing data from SSDs is more complicated. SSDs use complex data management schemes to distribute data in internal memory systems. They also contain a much larger reserve pool or “redundant” memory available only through SSD. Such techniques extend drive capacity and service life, but result in hiding certain data on SSD from the host.

SSDs use complex data management schemes and contain a large pool of free memory available only to the hardware.

Data erasure system and SSDs: 

  • Erase and format orders: Such orders are not effective, because some data can remain in the hardware and can be retrieved.
  • Demagnetisation: SSDs use integrated circuits to store data, and such circuits are electrically programmed. Demagnetisation does not effect the data stored in the SSD memory.
  • Physical destruction: Destruction of SSD makes it unreadable for third parties, however, in case of unskilfull disk destruction, a part or entirety of such data may be retrieved by a specialised entity. Moreover, the destruction of hardware reduces the return on investment, as such hardware could otherwise be used, recycled or resold.
  • Firmware Data erasure techniques based on software such as Secure Erase ATA are not applicable to SSDs, as their manufacturers did not adopt the standard approach to data erasure.
  • Cryptographic deletion: modifies the key used for data encrypting and decrypting. Data still remain in the hardware. Inappropriate implementation of cryptographic system may expose data to attacks.
  • Traditional overwriting: SSDs use complex data management schemes to distribute data in their internal memory systems. Overwriting techniques earmarked for hard disks do not cause permanent data erasure from SSDs. SSDs require specialised data erasure methods to correctly erase all data saved by users.

Major functions and advantages of the methods patented by Blancco

1. Hardware detection –  Ensures that all SSDs are securely erased regardless of make or model. 

  • Firmware Level Erasure – uses internal orders of data deletion hardware
  • Supports all SSD security protocols
  • Prevents any compression or deduplication mechanism being applied by SSD controller
  • Ensures that all steps are performed and completed in proper order
  • Fills the whole logical capacity of the drive with a random data stream
  • Process uses truly random / uncompressible data, not merely a repeating bit pattern

2. Data erasure – the same approach to SSD and HDD drives 

  • Enables access to key internal SSD security features which are necessary to ensuring total and immutable data erasure

3. Verification – the entire drive is checked for the presence of omitted data, if any

  • Detects any anomalies in erasure process
  • Eliminates false error information

4. Certification – reporting confirming secure erasure of data from SSDs

  • 100% secures reporting process through digitally signed certificates confirming completed successive phases of data erasure 

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