In a recent meeting with a Company that builds custom Data Servers, they had a dilemma. What to with the data holding hard drives when a customer returns a “failed” server for a factory repair?
Each of their servers can have anywhere from 2-8 drives in them. They had been using an outside destruction service to come and destroy the returned drives once they were finished with them. They didn’t feel that this was the most secure process and figured there had to be a more secure way. So their question to me was “What is the most responsible way to destroy their customers returned to factory hard drives?”
They wanted me to provide them some suggestions of different ways to destroy their media. In the Government, there are very specific guidelines on how to effectively eliminate data on virtually all forms of media….including Hard Drives. However, in the Commercial World, there are actually no specific guidelines. As such, here are a few suggestions for the Commercial Sector on ways to effectively eliminate data on failed Hard Disk Drives.
DEGUASSING a very effective method of erasing data on magnetic media
(Hard Drives and/or Data Tapes). If you are trying to erase unclassified (CUI)
or Sensitive data, a Commercial Deguasser like the SEM EMP-1000 is a great
way to do so. The SEM EMP-1000 is the most powerful commercially sold
degausser on the market today. With power at 16,000 gauss (1.6 Tesla),
it erases the highest coercivity magnetic media available today without the
use of any adapters.
If you have Drives that have Classified Data or just want the most secure solution possible then an NSA Listed Degausser is the way to go. The SEM EMP-1000HS has been evaluated by the NSA for “classified” erasure. When degaussing with this solution, you are ensured that all the data has been erased in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the National Security Agency.
PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION is another method of destroying Hard Drives. While
data is not erased, the drive itself is physically damaged making it inoperable.
The SEM 0101 Hard Drive Crusher is an entry level device that bends and
punches a hole into the drive. It can destroy standard HDDs and up to six Laptop
Drives in one 8 second cycle.
A level up from that for physical destruction would be an SEM HDD shredder
like the SEM Model 0300 HDD Shredder. This machine shreds the drive down
to a particle of 1.5 providing a higher level of security. These methods
physically destroy the media making them inoperable.