How to Wipe a Microsoft Azure Virtual Disk Securely?

Virtual Hard Disk

If you are using any Cloud storage for hosting your data, you will come to a situation where you need to securely remove the data from the cloud storage provider for various reasons.

Most cloud storage providers use a multi-tenant service, meaning multiple customer data are stored on the same physical hardware and segregated each customer’s data from the data of others. 

Segregation provides multi-tenant services’ scale and economic benefits while rigorously preventing customers from accessing one another’s data.

This article will discuss wiping a virtual drive from Microsoft Azure storage.

For Azure, it was straightforward when I had to delete a 2TB virtual disk with confidential data attached to a virtual machine. I was worried about not letting any trace of my data.

If you check the above image by default, data in the storage account is encrypted using Microsoft Managed Keys. The encryption keys are associated with your account, and you can only access the data. If you need to know more about azure encryption, please refer to this article Azure Data Encryption-at-Rest.

According to Azure, When customers delete data or leave Azure, Microsoft follows strict standards for overwriting storage resources before their reuse and the physical destruction of decommissioned hardware. Microsoft executes a complete deletion of data on customer requests and contract termination.

Conclusion:

So, as we have seen, performing a secure wipe of data is unnecessary when clearing it from Azure when you are planning to delete data or terminate your subscription. It’s Microsoft’s responsibility to keep your data safe and secure.

Microsoft is contractually required to perform this level of data destruction. If data is compromised because of a failure to do this, Microsoft is responsible for paying you for damages incurred. 

Azure does the data destruction automatically, and there is no control in the azure UI to do it. However, you can contact Microsoft support to ask for a secure data wipe.

Mohammed Nihal
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