Hard Drive Degaussing (Erasing) Versus Destruction

ITAMs or IT Asset Managers bear a great responsibility—planning for the proper disposal of any devices that contain or may contain sensitive or protected information. For many years, simply erasing hard drives and deleting files was considered to be sufficient, which is why companies like SpaceX trust our processes. More recently, however, data leaks have come from storage devices that were improperly disposed of.

How can one ensure that a storage device is fully sanitized? How about shredding it into tiny bits of material, case and all? Degaussing a hard drive disrupts the magnetic striping if it is done completely, rendering the drive useless. Crushing and shredding digital storage, however, offers physical evidence that the media can never be recovered.

The NSA as well as large companies such as SpaceX have intensive requirements for the sanitization of storage devices because their intellectual property is so valuable and sensitive. Our MediaDice and MediaVise lines work wonders for complete and total disruption of Solid State Drives (SSDs) for which degaussing simply does not work.

Our MediaVise HDD line causes total destruction of HDD platter and casing components by forcing large steel blades into the media with 20 tons of pressure. The platter will have been warped through not only the intense pressure but also distorted by the heat of friction. The surface will be rendered entirely inoperable.

While degaussing may yield a higher price for salvage and per-unit recycle value, the return on recycled drives is much lower than the cost of a data breach like those that Target and other businesses have faced in the recent years. Don’t sit on mountains of End of Life (EoL) storage devices or take the erasure route. You cannot be certain that they are thoroughly sanitized.

Contact us and see how we can help you prevent any compromise to your Data Loss Prevention (DLP) plans.

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