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Implementation of Data Erasure Standards to Australian Government Standards

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Many governments and companies have industry standards for software-based overwriting that removes data from storage devices. From Monday 3rd June, 2019 Markis has implemented Australian Government ICT Security Manual 2014 – Controls as set out by The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) within the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). The ISM helps organisations use their risk management framework to protect information and systems from cyber threats. The cyber security guidelines within the ISM are based on the experience of the ACSC within ASD.

This implementation complements our air-gapped production environment, where customer data and records are encrypted and securely stored without any external connections, minimising, and effectively eliminating any hacking and malicious cyber activities. Any customer data that is required to complete the work, proofing of variable data as an example, has all private and confidential information removed prior to bridging this gap.

Key points of this implementation;

  • According to the 2014 NIST Special Publication 800-88 Rev. 1, Section 2.4 (p. 7): “For storage devices containing magnetic media, a single overwrite pass with a fixed pattern such as binary zeros typically hinders recovery of data even if state of the art laboratory techniques are applied to attempt to retrieve the data.” It recommends cryptographic erase as a more general mechanism.
  • According to the University of California, San Diego Center for Magnetic Recording Research’s (now its Center for Memory and Recording Research) “Tutorial on Disk Drive Data Sanitization” (p. 8): “Secure erase does a single on-track erasure of the data on the disk drive. The U.S. National Security Agency published an Information Assurance Approval of single-pass overwrite, after technical testing at CMRR showed that multiple on-track overwrite passes gave no additional erasure.” “Secure erase” is a utility built into modern ATA hard drives that overwrites all data on a disk, including remapped (error) sectors

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Kind regards,

Mark Prosser.

0419 728 758

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