Survey results indicate that enterprises remain hesitant to move away from physical device destruction. | Silverscreen/Shutterstock

A survey found many IT professionals view physical device destruction as a safer option than data wiping. That opinion varies greatly by business sector.

Blancco, a company providing data erasure products, last summer commissioned a survey of 1,850 “senior decision makers” who determine how their companies’ end-of-life IT assets are managed. The survey covered numerous industries.

The results, gathered by independent research firm Coleman Parkes, were released this month in a report titled “Poor Sustainability Practices: Enterprises are Overlooking the E-waste Problem.

The report highlights that enterprises remain hesitant to move away from physical device destruction.

“Our latest research found that the world’s largest enterprises are using physical destruction and collectively destroying hundreds of thousands of assets each year,” the report states.

The study found that 52% of surveyed organizations are physically destroying rather than selling, reusing or donating their end-of-life IT equipment, because they believe it is “more secure than other data sanitization solutions.”

This percentage varies by business sector. For instance, 37% of respondents in the defense sector said physical destruction was more secure than other data-wiping methods, but 65% of respondents in the financial sector and 76% of those in health care felt this way.

Blancco’s study suggests the physical destruction preference comes down to a lack of education, lack of communication within companies on data destruction policies, and dearth of robust regulations covering data destruction.

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