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Erasure-as-a-Service Offering Targets Expansion through Partners

Fujitsu and 13 other partners will provide the data Erasure-as-a-Service assistance to customers who need to wipe drives.

Blancco Technology Group, which for years has offered bulk data drive erasure services directly to customers, has announced a new partner program which will enable customers to obtain its Erasure-as-a-Service offerings through 14 managed service providers including Fujitsu and Techchef.

The new partner program aims to expand the use of its Blancco Data Eraser software, which helps businesses permanently erase hard drives and other storage devices of data to ensure the security of discarded drives and comply with data protection regulations.

Richard Stiennon, Blancco's chief strategy officer, told ITPro that the introduction of the partner program for drive erasure evolved out of the company's long-standing direct-to-customer business model, which sold licenses to customers to enable them to wipe their own drives clean of sensitive data. Their traditional customers have been computer and mobile phone recyclers, who had to wipe the storage on the devices before refurbishing and reselling them.

"They are required to completely sanitize the data on most devices before they can be resold," said Stiennon. That business has been going on for some 20 years but Blancco is now seeking to expand its customer reach by bringing in partners to help expand its services around the world.

"We started to realize there was a bigger opportunity in services than in just products," and at the same time Blancco realized it would be harder to grow solely as a software company, he said. That's when the decision was made to create a partner program with MSPs to take the services out to more customers.

Besides Fujitsu and Techchef, the other 12 partner companies declined to identify themselves and their participation in the partner program for competitive reasons, he explained.

"Erasure-as-a-Service is fairly new," said Stiennon. "We have had partners that were using our products for years and suddenly it occurred to us that this is a use case" that should be explored.

Blancco presently has about 2,000 data storage erasure customers around the world, including large banks that perform drive erasures themselves when replacing desktop and laptop computers and other equipment.

Corporate data centers also use Blancco's services as part of their efforts to comply with data retention policies that call for securely erasing data every seven to 20 years or so, he said.

Some 90 percent of desktop and laptop computer recyclers use the company's erasure software, according to Stiennon.

While the MSP partner program is starting with 14 partners, additional partners are expected to join the program in the future.

The MSP partners will provide complete data sanitization across all IT assets using a single platform, and will provide customers with a digitally signed, tamper-proof certificate to verify that sensitive data has been permanently erased and cannot be recovered on the drives that are processed. The procedures will provide a verifiable audit trail and comply with the growing number of data protection regulations and standards around the world, including PCI DSS, HIPAA, EU GDPR, ISO 27001, NIST 800-53 and others, according to Blancco.

"As new data protection regulations are introduced and a growing number of data breaches emerge daily, the demand for data erasure as a service will inevitably increase among IT service providers, whose business success relies on their ability to provide customers with the most innovative, efficient and secure solutions," Alan Bentley, Blancco's president of global sales, said in a statement. "These trends formed the impetus for our indirect sales strategy and the development of this new offering and partner program."

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