Improper data removal & poor enforcement of data retention policies create the 'perfect storm' for data breaches.

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53 Percent of Global Organizations Use Two Common, But Unsuccessful Methods to Erase Active Files from Computers/ Laptops, External Drives & Servers

Data breaches, such as those that struck Sony Pictures in 2014 and Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2016, are a daily reality and wreak havoc on organizations. The use of improper data removal methods and the poor enforcement of data retention policies have created the 'perfect storm' for confidential, oftentimes sensitive data to be lost or stolen, according to the Delete vs. Erase: How Companies Wipe Active Files study released today by Blancco Technology Group.

The study, which surveyed over 400 IT professionals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, China and India, indicates just how challenging and complicated it can be to permanently erase data. When asked how they wipe files from company-owned laptops and desktop computers, 3 I percent reported dragging individual files to the Recycle Bin and 22 percent said they reformat the entire drive. Combined, that represents over half (53 percent) of global IT professionals who are using two common, but ineffective methods to erase data.

Richard Stiennon, a former Gartner analyst and Chief Strategy Officer of Blancco Technology Group, cautions organizations against making such mistakes. "Over the last several years, we've worked with businesses in the finance, healthcare and government sectors to help them understand the need to permanently and verifiably erase data from IT equipment and devices. But while organizations may see the value of data removal when their equipment reaches end of life, they often overlook and dismiss the importance of erasing active files from desktop computers, laptops, external drives and servers. In doing so, they leave large volumes of sensitive, confidential and potentially compromising data exposed and vulnerable to loss or theft."

Key findings from the study include:

* The fear of losing intellectual property and login credentials is very real. 14 percent of IT professionals are...

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