What Is Data Destruction and What Method of Erasure Is Best?

What Is Data Destruction, And The Best Ways To Erase Your Data Securely

The end goal of any data destruction procedure is to make the information on a particular electronic device unreadable, but what is data destruction? And how comprehensive is the destruction process?

In this article, we look at the best data security measures that are used to secure your data, and keep from prying eyes…

What Is Data Destruction?

The data destruction process utilizes various data destruction methods (e.g. degaussing, shredding and data wiping) to completely erase the data on all electronic devices including tapes, smartphones, tablets, hard drives etc. so that it cannot fall into the wrong hands.

Why You Need Data Destruction

Proper data erasure is necessary because even the deleted files on your hard disk are not entirely wiped out. When you delete something on your device, the only thing that’s erased is the reference to the specific file – the actual file continues to exist. Even though the operational system is unable to find it, individuals who engage in data theft know how to restore deleted files.

Use These Data Destruction Methods To Effectively Secure Retired IT Assets

If you think overwriting or wiping/erasing your data is an efficient means of data deletion, think again. Here’s how the best ways to securely eradicate any trace of your data for good:

Degaussing

Degaussing electronic media means to decrease or completely wipe out the magnetic field (and the stored information) inside storage media like hard disks, cassettes, diskettes, tapes and reels. The degausser demagnetizes the media using a potent magnetic field, which completely eliminates any data stored on the device.

So how does it work?

Every electronic device possesses a magnetic property named coercivity – the amount of magnetic field it takes to get the level of magnetization of a specific device to 0. Coercivity is measured in Oersteds (Oe) and depending on the Oe value of an electronic media, a degausser with either a higher or a lower magnetic field rating should be used to properly wipe out any stored info on the device.

Degaussing offers many advantages over standard data erasure (a.k.a. data wiping or overwriting) processes, including:

  • It’s much safer – degaussing destroys every tiny bit of data.
  • It takes very little time – a degaussing machine can wipe out data in under 10 seconds.
  • It’s versatile – degaussing can eliminate information on any magnetic media.
  • The degaussed electronic device can be later recycled.

Even though degaussing eliminates everything on hard drives (including startup files), which makes them completely unusable, most tapes can be used again, with the only exception of those that carry boot-up files or a servo-track.

Physical Destruction/Media Shredding

As the name suggests, this data destruction process relies on physically destroying an electronic device and is undoubtedly the best way to make sure that data cannot be recovered and has been erased forever.

In fact, the NIST states that destroying media is the safest and most bulletproof method for eliminating data.

The most common forms of destroying a hard drive, tape or other magnetic media include:

Using any of these methods, there’s no way for anyone to retrieve any information stored on the device.

They main advantages of using this method over certified data wiping and degaussing are:

  • It offers the highest level of security of all data deletion methods.
  • It’s practically Impossible to recover any of the destroyed data.
  • It can destroy huge amounts of media at once.
  • It has the ability to wipe out various kinds of media at the same time.
  • It provides an ideal data wiping solution for businesses with large data centers.

Got a Truck Load of Hard Drives? Time To Use a Professional Media Shredding Service

What is data destruction? An integral part of any IT equipment’s life-cycle.

Our eco-friendly, secure data destruction services include off-site shredding options with specialized transport trucks that come to you. And we guarantee that your data is destroyed with a full chain of custody and Certificate of Destruction.

Request a pickup today!

 

Sources:

https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/specialpublications/nist.sp.800-88r1.pdf

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