CISSP Practice question #93

What are we dealing with when we do data disposal?
A: Data remanence.
B: How long we keep the data.
C: The data content.
D: The data in use.

CBK 2: Asset Security
Source: practice tests


A: When we dispose of our data media we are making sure there is no data remanence on our hard disks, tapes, etc.

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  1. A due to the fact there is always a footprint left after formatting data from a magnetic imprint. The issue is that it may be recoverable and this can lead to problems, if the data is of a sensitive nature.

  2. Answer: A: Data remanence

    Data remanence is the residual representation of digital data that remains even after attempts have been made to remove or erase the data. This residue may result from data being left intact by a nominal file deletion operation, by reformatting of storage media that does not remove data previously written to the media, or through physical properties of the storage media that allow previously written data to be recovered. Data remanence may make inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information possible should the storage media be released into an uncontrolled environment (e.g., thrown in the trash or lost).

    Various techniques have been developed to counter data remanence. These techniques are classified as clearing, purging/sanitizing, or destruction. Specific methods include overwriting, degaussing, encryption, and media destruction.

    Effective application of countermeasures can be complicated by several factors, including media that are inaccessible, media that cannot effectively be erased, advanced storage systems that maintain histories of data throughout the data’s life cycle, and persistence of data in memory that is typically considered volatile.

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