Thursday Aug 11, 2022

Data Recovery From Solid State Drives Without Security Risk

Data Recovery storage is a sensitive topic. Everyone relies on data stored in one way or another. You own an iPhone and a PC and well versed with the importance of a user’s data. But this data doesn’t just disappear. Solid state drives pose data security risk and this fact has been in the public domain for quite some time now.

According to a recent study, the latest solid-date drives (SSD), which are renowned for their speed and outstanding performance, are susceptible to a torrent if flaws. They have been found to lose data if left dormant for a long period where the temperature is not regulated. The most worrying concern is that the period of time can be anything from weeks, months, or in a worst case scenario, just a few days. 

According to a presentation by Seagate’s Alvin Cox, and that further proved that Solid state drives pose data security risk, the period of time some SSDs can retain data reduced by half with ever 9°F (or 5°C) rise where the drive in stored. What this translates to is if the solid-state drive is kept in a room where the temperature is about 77°F (25°C), it will take about two years for it to lose all Data Recovery stored on it.

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Solid state drives pose data security risk given that data removal techniques from the hard-drive might not work. Imagine a situation where a notebook recently stolen from a major company sporting a solid state drive, the employee responsible for the device is privy to the internal functioning of the company and at one time, he had stored sensitive data on the SSD. Could the culprits still access the information even though these files were erased and the location they were recorded on the SSD overwritten? 

According to the oft-cited study dubbed Reliably Erasing Data From Flash-Based Solid State Drives by a team from the University of California, San Diego’s Non-Volatile Systems laboratory (NVSL), this is entirely possible. The research paper stated that, although sanitizing disks and files are thoroughly understood in the case of hard drives, the flash-based SSDs features an entirely different internal architecture resulting in doubt over the effectiveness of the hard drive techniques on them and ultimately support that claim that Solid state drives pose Linkedin data security risk.

The confusion surrounding erasing data from the SSDs focuses more on one’s definition of data removal. The paper described data sanitization or removal as a process involving erasing all or a fraction of storage drive making recovery of the data hard or impossible. 

While hard drives rely on magnetic platters for data storage where overwriting is seamless, Solid state drives pose data security risk given the fact that they depend on flash memory which makes overwriting or modifying the storage location next to impossible. Each storage location must be erased. Although this may not seem a big deal, the added step results in a processing bottleneck. 

Katie Boyd

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