When dealing with end of life data there are a number of methods to ensure that the data is securely and permanently destroyed. This includes erasing, degaussing, shredding and disintegration. For each of these there are different methods, standards and processes, and numerous reasons for determining which method to use.
Data Destruction done right.
Three Methods of Data Destruction
Method 1: Data Erasing, Baseline and Enhanced Removal
Erasure is performed using Department of Defense approved standards and procedures, and then shredding if not for re-use/return. Department of Defense protocol covers both baseline and enhanced overwriting of data.
Baseline: Our software overwrites every sector of the hard disk with one pass of randomly generated data.
Enhanced: Every sector is over-written three times: first with a 1, then every sector is over-written again with a 0, and then every sector is over-written a third time with randomly generated 1s and 0s. *If a hard disk is faulty and cannot be erased, then it is physically destroyed by using an industrial shredder.
Method 2: Degaussing Erasure
Degaussing may be accomplished in two ways: 1. AC erasure, the medium is degaussed by applying an alternating field that is reduced in amplitude over time from an initial high value (i.e., AC powered); 2. DC erasure, the medium is saturated by applying a unidirectional field (i.e., DC powered or by employing a permanent magnet).
Method 3: Shredding and Disintegration
The shredding/disintegration process utilizes a purpose built low speed, high torque, industrial disintegrator, which involves a process of cutting and grinding the medium into small particles that are finally reduced to pass through a screen (40mm – 6mm dependent on security requirements). At 6mm not even the world’s most capable IT professionals could piece the data together again.