Impossible to Erase? Why Solid State Data Destruction Is a Special Challenge

Solid state drives (SSD) are remarkable for their ability to deliver greater read/write performance with less power consumption for the same level of capacity as a hard disk drive (HDD). The cost per unit of storage of SDD has decreased and will continue to fall, leading to higher performing servers and lighter, more efficient consumer devices.
However, there is an important catch to the proliferation of SSD – traditional HDD sanitation techniques do not work on them. Security researchers have had to put extra effort into finding methods of solid state data destruction. Many SSD devices have gone out into the field and accumulated sensitive data that, it turns out, cannot always be fully wiped.
As SSD uses flash memory to store data rather than the magnetic platters found in HDD, it employs what is known as the flash translation layer (FTL) to map its physical pages to the logical addresses that are accessible via the storage interface. HDD wiping techniques erase data in place, but the logical mapping of SDD leaves digital remnants that are merely inaccessible to the interface but still exist in physical form.
SSD vendors provide built-in erase commands that theoretically return the device to a clean factory state. However, these commands have often been shown to be unable to completely wipe the devices. Furthermore, older devices are not guaranteed to have such sanitation features.
While SSD vendors and security researchers work on the problem of preventing SSD devices from becoming security liabilities through software techniques and hardware modification, we can count on one reliable method to ensure that SSD data remnants do not fall into the wrong hands. This method is complete physical destruction.
MediaVise SSD applies 20 tons of pressure to the drive with a diamond-lattice crushing plate. Within 30 seconds, the NAND chips of the SSD are rendered completely unreadable, allowing the remnants to be safely discarded.Contact us if you have a need to dispose of SSD data and seek the most secure, efficient, reliable method for making sure that this exciting new technology does not become a major liability for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *