This month’s Market Guide looks at options for managing assets at the end of the ITAM lifecycle. A vital part of Retire is ensuring that all data has been removed from assets prior to disposal. This is a wide-ranging area (for example, you may be surprised to hear that printers can store vast amounts of confidential data) but this guide looks at options for secure hard drive erasure.
Historically, many large organisations will have at best had a policy to destroy hard drives – either using a degausser or a hard drive shredder/disintegrator. Non-destructive methods may have been seen as non cost-effective or too time-consuming as wiping hard drives required manual processes – applying a wiping protocol to a large HDD takes many hours. I’d argue that two changes are now making destruction a less attractive option.
Firstly, there is a general movement towards considering the environmental impact of electronic waste. Whilst legislation such as WEEE has been around for many years we are beginning to see companies putting recycling at the heart of what they do – particularly around single-use plastics. Electronics are no different and contain scarce resources that need to be preserved, recovered, and re-used.
The second change is that personal computing hardware is reaching a level of maturity whereby even older PCs are worth reselling. A laptop may be out of warranty in two years, which may trigger a disposal for some organisations, but will have many years of life left in the secondary market. Some companies have schemes to donate such kit to employees or local charities, but legislation mandates that it is securely wiped before doing so. This is where Secure Hard Drive Erasure software comes to the fore.
The products in this guide are software-only solutions focused on larger enterprises. As such, they all include some or all of the following capabilities:
- Erasure audit trail
- Erasure status reporting
- Mass erasure techniques
- Remote, local, and network erasure
- Secure erasure of differing hardware types
Not included are solutions that include a hardware component (such as a hard drive erasure enclosure) or are provided via a managed service. Many organisations will engage a partner to handle their waste electronic equipment disposition, and those may be the subject of a future market guide.
As always with our market guides we have selected vendors across industry sectors, sizes, and geographies. If you are a vendor with a software-only Hard Drive erasure tool and haven’t been included, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to update the guide. Likewise, if you’re using a solution that’s not listed, please contact us. We also welcome your reviews of these tools via the ITAM Review Market Place.