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The Importance of the DoD 5220.22-M Data Wipe Method

  • By: Garry Feldman
  • Date: January 17, 2018

In the digital age, securing your sensitive information is of the utmost importance. While you may have a strong cybersecurity strategy in place, it’s likely that there is one crucial area you’re overlooking: wiping your hard drive.

When you get rid of an old device, particularly a computer, it’s vital that you make sure the data has been completely wiped clean using the DoD 5220.22-M method. If your data is wiped improperly, it can be retrieved by hackers, putting you in a vulnerable position. Learn about the importance of the DoD 5220.22-M data wipe methods and find out how you can easily wipe your hard drives to protect your data.

Lessons from Uber

Before we discuss the importance of wiping your hard drive and why you should choose the DoD 5220.22-M data wipe method, it’s a good idea to take a look at what can happen when your data isn’t properly secured.

Within the last month, Uber revealed that the company’s data had been breached by hackers in 2016. Although credit card and Social Security numbers weren’t stolen, some user’s personal information, including names and addresses, were breached.

The company made the decision to pay the hackers $100,000 to delete the data was stolen. However, without proof, there’s no way to know if the hackers actually deleted the data or if they simply pocketed the money and kept the data for later use.

When you don’t secure your data, including wiping your old hard drives, you can experience the same type of data breach, and subsequent ransom, that Uber dealt with last year.

How the DoD 5220.22-M Data Wipe Method Works

The DoD 5220.22-M data wipe method is a comprehensive solution for overwriting the data from your hard drive. With this wiping solution, it makes it extremely difficult to retrieve overwritten data, particularly when using standard data recovery solutions.

First developed in 1995, the DoD 5220.22-M uses a pattern of ones and zeros to overwrite data on a hard drive. Three passes are used to ensure that data is overwritten completely and cannot be retrieved.

In the first pass, binary zeroes will be used to overwrite all addressable locations. During the second pass, the same addressable locations will be overwritten using binary ones. On the third and final, pass, a random bit pattern is used to overwrite addressable locations. Once all three passes have been completed, the final overwrite pass will be verified.

The benefit of wiping your hard drive using this method is that it prevents data recovery using both software and hardware-based solutions, securing your personal information from hackers with bad intentions.

As you can see, completely wiping your old hard drives is an important component of protecting your data, and the most effective solution for wiping your data is the DoD 5220.22-M wipe method. If you need to wipe a business or personal hard drive, your best solution is working with U.S. Computer Connection. We perform data wipes for $40 per computer, meaning you can wipe the data on your hard drives easily and affordably. Contact us today for more information.

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