11:09 am Heidi White


What’s the ‘Din’ about DIN?

Under a Microscope: Dissecting the Implications of DIN 66399 The DIN 66399 P-7 standard for paper destruction is 0.8mm x 5mm, the same as the … Continue reading What’s the ‘Din’ about DIN?

NIST Guidelines vs. the NSA EPL on Hard Drive Destruction: Clearing Up Confusion

Over the 20 years I have been working for SEM, I have explained to customers and former military colleagues about the requirements for classified destruction. … Continue reading NIST Guidelines vs. the NSA EPL on Hard Drive Destruction: Clearing Up Confusion

The Criticality of FACTA-Compliant Data Disposal

Along with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), creditors, accountants, lawyers, financial institutions, and other organizations dealing with consumer credit information must follow the regulations … Continue reading The Criticality of FACTA-Compliant Data Disposal

What’s the Scoop on the New NSA DVD/Blu-ray Disc Standard?

This past December, the NSA released a complete new set of Evaluated Products Lists for secure document/media destruction devices, all dated 06 November 2018.  Such an … Continue reading What’s the Scoop on the New NSA DVD/Blu-ray Disc Standard?

How to Effectively Maintain HIPAA Compliance in the Cloud

In today’s digital age, the majority of data is stored electronically in internet-based cloud software. Whether for convenience or accessibility, or due to physical hardware … Continue reading How to Effectively Maintain HIPAA Compliance in the Cloud

Hard Drive Data Destruction and Sanitization: Understanding Your Options

In the age of sophisticated cyberattacks and data breaches, digital security continues to be a primary concern for government organizations and businesses of every industry. … Continue reading Hard Drive Data Destruction and Sanitization: Understanding Your Options

The Importance of the NIST 800-88 Standard for Media Sanitization in Secure Data Destruction

Trends in data storage are changing at an exponential rate. The past few years alone have seen the progression of data storage from large servers … Continue reading The Importance of the NIST 800-88 Standard for Media Sanitization in Secure Data Destruction

The Criticality of On-Site Data Destruction in Secure IT Asset Disposal

As the world marches inexorably towards a completely digital future, there is an ever-increasing demand for cloud-based data storage. To accommodate this digital sprawl, expansive … Continue reading The Criticality of On-Site Data Destruction in Secure IT Asset Disposal

Is Your Data Disposal Plan GDPR-Ready?

With GDPR just around the corner, data security has been enjoying some much-needed time in the limelight. Never before has there been such a hyper-focus … Continue reading Is Your Data Disposal Plan GDPR-Ready?

The Ticking Timebomb: Data Breach from Hardware End-Of-Life

As everyone in the industry knows, cybersecurity is a hot commodity these days. According to a definition by Techopedia, cybersecurity refers to preventative methods used … Continue reading The Ticking Timebomb: Data Breach from Hardware End-Of-Life

Data Security and Third Party IT Asset Disposition – a Paradox

Data security is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. In 2017 alone, 1,579 data breaches occurred in the United States with an … Continue reading Data Security and Third Party IT Asset Disposition – a Paradox

The Missing Link in Cloud Security

Definition of Cloud Security from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA): Cloud security refers to a broad set of policies, technologies, and controls deployed to protect … Continue reading The Missing Link in Cloud Security

10 Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Information Security — The protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, … Continue reading 10 Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Solid State Devices: Destruction Overkill?

Organizations frequently use paper shredders and computer media destroyers that are approved for the highest security materials they ever have, using that equipment for all … Continue reading Solid State Devices: Destruction Overkill?

An IT Destruction Audit Trail – How to Simplify the Process

If you deal with sensitive drives, the NSA/CSS requirements for destruction of classified and higher drives requires that they first be degaussed by an NSA … Continue reading An IT Destruction Audit Trail – How to Simplify the Process

Maintenance Matters

Yes, maintenance matters. The main purpose of maintenance is to ensure that all equipment required for production is operating at 100% efficiency always. Simply stated, it’s less to maintain … Continue reading Maintenance Matters

In-House Hard Drive Destruction: More Affordable Than You Think

Common types of hard drives on the market today. Can they be destroyed? The most commonly used hard drives in today’s computing world are the … Continue reading In-House Hard Drive Destruction: More Affordable Than You Think

What’s the best quality office shredder for CUI or PII?

The F-65 might sound like some next gen state of the art jet fighter, but what the F-65 lacks in maneuverability and take-off speed it … Continue reading What’s the best quality office shredder for CUI or PII?

How many shredders do you need? Some guidelines to help you decide

Paper shredders range in size from low volume desk-side office models to departmental shredders consisting of medium and heavy-duty shredders upwards to larger centralized industrial … Continue reading How many shredders do you need? Some guidelines to help you decide

NSA 1 Hour Durability Ratings: What They Mean, and Why You Should Care

In 2003, the National Security Agency (NSA) added durability testing to all shredders being considered for their Cross-cut Shredder Evaluated Products List (EPL). Before machines … Continue reading NSA 1 Hour Durability Ratings: What They Mean, and Why You Should Care

Is there a single machine I can get to destroy everything?

Look through a catalog or web site for high security information destruction devices and you’ll find so many types of machines: shredders, disintegrators, crushers, grinders, and more. Some machines handle one type of material, like just CDs and DVDs for example. Other machines destroy two or more kinds of media.

How to Ensure Information Security in Your Workplace

When running any commercial business, department or government organization today, the last thing that you likely want to impact your organization with is a data … Continue reading How to Ensure Information Security in Your Workplace

Information Destruction Guidelines for State and Local Governments

Unlike the Federal Government, where the NSA provides information destruction requirements for classified information, there are no specific guidelines for state governments. Although there are … Continue reading Information Destruction Guidelines for State and Local Governments

Information Destruction Guidelines for State and Local Governments

Unlike the Federal Government, where the NSA provides information destruction requirements for classified information, there are no specific guidelines for State Governments.

HDDs in Copiers: Security Concern?

Identity theft is always in the news, as well as corporate espionage and protection of personal information. Your personal information can also be compromised by the copy machine you use at work, home, or in a public location.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and End-of-Life (EOL) Destruction

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and
End-of-Life (EOL) Destruction:
What the European Union (EU) is Doing to Protect Personal Data

How Best Value Can Help You Buy Equipment in 2017

In December 2016 President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017. The Act places restrictions on how money can be spent in the 2017 appropriation bill. An important section of the Act acknowledges that the Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection process has been used inappropriately to award contracts in recent times and stipulates rules limiting its use in DoD going forward.

Shredder Training is the Key to Maximizing the Performance and Life of your Destruction Equipment

Shredders, Disintegrators, Briquettors, Optical Media Destroyers, HDD/SSD Shredders, HDD Crushers and Degaussers are critical components of your overall information security program. Keeping these systems in good working order is extremely important, and easy to do with proper user training.

The SEM EMP1000-HS and 0101 Hard Drive Crusher Bundle

An affordable Degauss & Destroy Bundle  There are many different options in the marketplace to destroy hard drives, everything from erasing software, to degaussing, to … Continue reading The SEM EMP1000-HS and 0101 Hard Drive Crusher Bundle

Benefits of Reducing Your Shredder’s Carbon Footprint

Benefits of Reducing Your Shredder’s Carbon Footprint

National Stock Number (NSN) Ordering for Paper Shredders

A fast, surefire method for the Army, Navy, and beyond.

Recon and Reman Disintegrators

Knife mill disintegrators are widely known as the “go to” machines for bulk classified document and media destruction. Multiple NSA approvals, very high throughputs, and … Continue reading Recon and Reman Disintegrators

The SEM EMP 1000 Degausser: Innovation Meets High-Tech Degaussing Future

          Are you the type of person that likes cool gadgets and the latest technology? I don’t know about you, but … Continue reading The SEM EMP 1000 Degausser: Innovation Meets High-Tech Degaussing Future

Dispatches from the Customer Care Front (Part 1)

We get lots of questions here in SEM’s Customer Care Department —some good,  some not so good, and some we get all the time. In this … Continue reading Dispatches from the Customer Care Front (Part 1)

Myth Buster – NRTL Standards, UL Standards, UL Certification

Is the need for UL approval a common misconception in the information destruction industry?

The Best Value in Hard Drive Destruction Just Got Better: Model 0101 with SSD Kit

When your hard drive reaches the end of its life cycle what do you do with it? Most people know that it needs to be destroyed but what does that mean?

Cyber Security: Protecting your Customers Information

Cyber security, also referred to as information technologysecurity, focuses on protecting computers, networks, programs, and data from unintended or unauthorized access, change, or destruction.

How Can I Destroy Sensitive 3-D Printed Items?

3-D printing or additive manufacturing is a hot topic these days. As this technology improves and comes down in price, its use is experiencing huge growth. No one should be surprised that the Federal government is right in the middle of this surge.

How Much Paper Can a Shredder Really Shred? No Fooling

One of the first things one might consider in specifying a paper shredder is its capacity- how many sheets can you feed at once? How quickly will it shred the paper? Together, those factors determine the overall throughput of the machine. The capacity can be stated in sheets, reams or pounds per hour.

The Proper Destruction of Media Can Have Political Consequences

One of the revelations to come out of the Hillary Clinton’s private server use during her time at the State Department is that her aides destroyed some of her electronic devices without really knowing how to properly secure the information stored on those devices.

Is there an all-in-one solution that can shred both my rotational and solid state hard drives?

We as sales consultants talk to people every day about technology and security. Everyone seems to be aware of the importance of destroying their standard rotational hard drives.

Shred Size? Shredder Security Level? How do I make a selection?

Five years ago I wrote a blog detailing the issues when you are buying a paper shredder and trying to decide on the shred size or security level. Technology has moved rapidly during that time and I wanted to bring the discussion up to date by encompassing storage media. So how do you make the choice?

Why Your SEM Disintegrator Needs Regular Service

You have made a large investment in your SEM Disintegrator. Like a fine automobile, our machines also need regular maintenance. Would you buy a Mercedes and then never change the oil? No way!

Are you getting the most out of your media destruction disintegrator?

After years of visiting customers and helping folks get the most out of their disintegrators, I’ve noticed a few things. I’ve found that there are a lot of people out there operating the equipment and putting up with a whole lot of issues. Rather than reach out to an expert, they just create operating procedures to work around them.

Sales Pitch or Briefing

Speaking about the history of shredding is important because it brings today’s information into focus by learning how and why we need to treat classified information so seriously.

Shred More, Spend Less

As the requirement for shredding CUI, PII, and FOUO information increases daily, we are encountered by a common concern in the shredder industry; how can I shred larger quantities of material without emptying my wallet on an industrial sized shredder?

SEM Goes Hollywood

SEM products including degaussers and disintegrators have been featured in numerous movies and news pieces.

NSA Approves HDD Shredders on Latest EPL

After many years of requests from the intelligence community, NSA has finally made it official-HDD shredders are approved for physical destruction of HDD media.

Higher Education Institutions: The Great Debate

Setting up an in-house hard drive destruction program vs. using an outside shred service.

Truth, Fiction, and In-Between On High Security Paper Shredders

At SEM we frequently hear from customers confused by high security shredder features, ratings, and claims. I’ll flesh out a few of the most common and confusing claims versus some real world facts.

Data Security Compliance – Which Laws are applicable to me?

Are you confused by the various laws that govern information security? Do you know how to comply with those regulations? If you are uncertain….please read on!

Data Security Risk, Compliance and Cost – A Balancing Act in Corporate America

Ever wonder how private industry balances the need to make profit with the escalating costs of managing data risk and privacy law compliance? Who has the power……the CFO who watches profitability, the CSO who controls security or the Risk Manager who looks at the potential liability?

Do you have a Shredder or Disintegrator approved by the NSA to destroy Blu-ray Disks?

As of this date, the National Security Agency has not established an acceptable shred size standard for Blu-ray disks and just when some thought this storage technology had run its course, it has found a niche that may keep it around for many years.

Don’t Overlook your Base Service Store or Center

Most of us use office supplies on a daily basis including pencils, pens, paper and printer ink at home and at work. When we run low we typically go to our local chain store such as Staples or Office Depot, to purchase a multitude of home office supplies.

Copy Machines – A Dream Come True for Identity Thieves

Did you know that copy machines store images onto an internal hard drive?

Shredding Security Levels – Which one is right for me?

In the US market, there are guidelines and laws that address end-of-life media disposal. However, many of them do not provide specific destruction particle sizes to insure the most effective solution.

Hard Drive Shredding 101

Many companies today are taking a look at the best and most economic ways to destroy their hard drives once they’ve reached the end of life. Hard drives today contain lots of sensitive data including personal information of customers, employees, important clients or R&D information.

Sustainability at SEM: Our Commitment Goes Beyond Just Words

SEM is the only data destruction company listed on the GSA Contract to be ISO 14001 registered.

Attention DEPT of DEFENSE Information Security Professionals

Are you in compliance with the DoD Manual for the Protection of Classified Information?

If not…..SEM has the answer!

What’s In A Number? The Importance of Serial Numbers.

Have you ever tried to call Dell to discuss a service issue? One of the first things they request is the serial number of the machine. At Security Engineered Machinery, the serial number is the key to providing our customers with accurate and timely support.

Data Server Builders – returned to factory hard drive’s

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?

Mileage May Vary – Your Paper Shredder’s Throughput and You

Some common questions we get asked in customer service is “how fast is this paper shredder?” or “how many sheets of paper can I shred at a time?” While this information is available on our website and in our catalog, it is a bit of a subjective question with a few possible answers.

Tips on Maintaining Your Hard-Drive Shredder

Many of you have invested substantial dollar amounts in the purchase of hard-drive (HDD) shredders in recent years. If you want that
investment to last, you need a good program to maintain it.
Hard drives are manufactured with different types of metal
components and magnets (and sometimes glass) sandwiched
between. Shredding them for long periods results in wear
and tear. That means HDD shredders require daily maintenance
by operators and periodic detailed maintenance by trained
technicians if you want to keep that wear manageable.
Let’s start with the daily maintenance.

Bulk classified and unclassified materials to get rid of? Consider going dual stream.

At SEM, we often hear from folks starting from scratch to plan central destruction programs. One question that comes up is whether to treat all the material the same – one collection program, one destruction device, what is sometimes called single stream destruction.

Is the Hard-drive Shredder You Offer NSA Approved?

Does the NSA evaluate hard drive shredders?

Is the hard drive shredder you offer NSA approved?

Everyone needed a Hard Drive Shredder but just couldn’t justify it

While recently attending an Information Security Conference at an OCONUS Military base, an SEM HARD DRIVE SHREDDER was on display. Everyone was in awe of the speed in which it just devoured complete hard drives, turning hard drives into shredded particles.

Need a solution to dispose of older forms of storage media like Optical LASER DISKS!

As an SEM employee, I come across a lot of media destruction applications. Recently I was contacted by a client looking for equipment to destroy optical media disks. Of course we have several pieces of equipment that can handle the destruction of optical disks like CDs and DVDs, but my customer explained these disks were the older style LASER DISKS (LDs).

Theoretical vs Practical – How to measure the performance of a shredder!

Last week, I was able to shred 50 sheets of paper at one time in a shredder designed to shred only 20 sheets per pass. Impossible you say!

5 Easy Steps to Start Building a Disintegrator System

If you are in need of a Central INFORMATION Destruction solution that can shred
high volumes of paper or mixed media, a DISINTEGRATOR may be the answer.

Here is Why You NEVER Want to Trust Your Data Security to an Outside Company

Don’t be the next “identity theft” victim! Unfortunately, these types of crimes are far too common and seem to be accelerating at an alarming rate all over the country. Instituting an in-house, complete control document control program to shred sensitive documents, CD/DVDs, magnetic or solid state media is the most effective way to ensure your company and customers information is secure and can’t be exploited like the victims in the story below.

I have Hard Drives that need to be destroyed. Where do I begin??

I recently had a meeting with a prospect to discuss Hard Drive Destruction. They had a backlog of drives and no idea what type of destruction process they wanted to put in place. They wanted me to provide them some suggestions of different ways to destroy their media. This is a common problem in both Government and Private Industry.

The NSA Approved Hard Drive Crusher – SEM Model 0101

Did you know that the National Security Agency has specific standards and guidelines for data destruction on all types of media? Most businesses don’t but that doesn’t make it untrue!

Prior military service matters when recommending an Information Destruction solution!

Providing information destruction solutions to the US Military can be a challenge….especially due to the security requirements to get onto a Base or Camp or Post.

Writing a purchase request for a shredder? Protect yourself with good specifications.

Over the decades, my fellow account managers and I have seen endless thousands of shredder quote requests. We’ve seen great ones and we’ve seen awful ones. Sometimes we are blown away by book length RFQs written for just a small office unit. Overkill, maybe.

How to Plan for a Disintegrator Installation

QUESTION : Do you have TONS of paper with Classified Data to destroy?

ANSWER: If so…….You Need a Disintegrator!

Good, Better, Best: Hard Drive Destruction Solutions for State and Local Governments

There are many different options in the market place to destroy hard drives. Everything from erase software, to degaussers, to many different forms of physical destruction. So the question becomes “What is the best solution for me”?

SEM High Security Disintegrators – Do They Ever Die?

An average car lasts for around 13 years. Microwave ovens, coffee pots, and many other electrical appliances last in the vicinity of 10 years. High security paper shredders, if one is very careful, may also last for 10 years and many other high security media destroyers are in about the same range. But what about an SEM disintegrator?

How to Avoid Jamming a Disintegrator

You’ve done it again! Your disintegrator has jammed leaving you with the task of chiseling paper and material from the cutting chamber resulting in down-time from shredding those classified documents.

New PCI (Payment Card Industry) DSS (Data Security Standards)

The latest protocols to protect Credit Card Data.

Are you concerned about your credit card data, account integrity or electronic personal profile? You should be! All you have to do is watch the News or pick up the newspaper to find out about the latest data breach of stolen credit card numbers that have been hacked. Surprisingly, many big name department stores, restaurants and financial institutions have been a victim–despite multifaceted security systems and many highly qualified security professionals attempting to thwart the “bad guys”.

Sustainability – Because it’s the right thing to do!

What is “Sustainability”?

While there are many definitions of Sustainability, the most widely accepted is the definition developed by the World Commission on Environment and Development which reads as follows: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” In short…what can we do today to conserve the natural resources and protect the environment for future generations.

Think Modular

Build Your Central Destruction System over Several Years
if You Can’t Get All of the Funding at Once.

As a Security Manager responsible for major classified holdings, you will likely face budget obstacles trying to get the Central Destruction System you “Need”. Here is a strategy to deal with those obstacles if funding is a long term problem.

3 Phase power and how it affects the performance of your Hard Drive Shredder

Hard Drive Shredders can produce a wide range of particle sizes and operate at high volumes. In general terms, the smaller the particle that is produced, the more HP (horsepower) is required to shred the drive.

Why Destruction of Information is important

Do you want to know why destruction of information is important? Two words: Information Security!

Getting the Disintegrator You Need

Anyone that has received any equipment or services procured by the Federal Government in recent years has likely suffered disappointment.

Some Effective IN-HOUSE Solutions for EOL End-of Life Hard Drives

Today, data centers are the backbone of of our digital information society. The question is ---do you have a solid plan in place to effectively … Continue reading Some Effective IN-HOUSE Solutions for EOL End-of Life Hard Drives

Thirty Four Years of Destruction

After 34 years in the information destruction industry, I am finally riding off into retirement or to use a famous golf analogy, “I am on … Continue reading Thirty Four Years of Destruction

OH the Places “we’ll go” !

At a recent High School Graduation, the valedictorian read the famous Dr Seuss poem “Oh the places you’ll go”. It made me think….where are the … Continue reading OH the Places “we’ll go” !

How to “EFFECTIVELY” Clean and Dispose of your legacy computer systems

The weather is finally getting better (at least in the DC area). The snow and cold is a horrible memory. We are all looking forward … Continue reading How to “EFFECTIVELY” Clean and Dispose of your legacy computer systems

Secure Credit Card Shredding with Disintegrators

In today’s high technology environment we are seeing firsthand the damage that can be done when a credit card or credit card number gets into … Continue reading Secure Credit Card Shredding with Disintegrators

SEM Likes Small Disadvantaged Business Set-asides and You Should Too!

In this era of Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) procurements, the task of obtaining a high end Shredder, Disintegrator, Degausser or Hard-Drive shredder has become much more difficult.

Only you can prevent forest fires…or is it security breaches?

Everyone will agree that it a lot easier to throw old documents into the “blue bin” and have someone else deal with the destruction. It is also a lot easier to just have that asset management company pickup your retired computers for recycling. No mess and no fuss, Right?

If You Don’t Shred It, You Might Regret It!

This kind of story has replayed thousands of time across our country,
and many people are rightly concerned about their on-line security.
However, many overlook securing their paperwork. Shredding is a simple, but vital step to safeguarding sensitive paperwork before it ends up in a dumpster.

What is an SEM Paper Shredder Bundle?

You hear it everywhere you look. Bundle this and bundle that. From phone companies to cable companies, even car insurance. Bundle your phone, internet and cable and you will save a ton of money. But the question is: “What is a paper shredder bundle?”


As most people know that are in business today, document destruction can be a tedious chore but is often considered a necessary evil especially those with high security applications. Conventional office & High Security paper shredders do a fine job of destroying day to day sensitive paper but there is a better way to destroy high volumes of waste using a time tested destruction method referred to as DISINTEGRATION

Asking the right questions when buying a shredder

How many times have you walked into a store looking for a particular item only to find too many varieties? For instance, you need a particular pencil for a certain project you are working on; you aren’t sure if a mechanical pencil or an old fashioned number 2 pencil will work. Or, If you decide to go into a car dealer to buy a new vehicle you may have several questions to ask the salesman. You will want to do your research to decide what type of vehicle to purchase and what questions to ask. Buying a shredder can be similar so you should know which questions to ask.

Have a Disintegrator? Add a Briquettor and recycle the waste!

One of the challenges that agencies or organizations are faced with is the growing need to recycle anything that should or can be recycled. Bottles, paper, cans, plastics, ink cartridges….you name it! The need to recycle is expanding within both government and commercial industry.

Sequestration and Information Security

The effects of the mandatory budget cuts due to Sequestration may still be unknown. The challenge for government officials today is to maintain the levels of service and security despite shrinking budgets. According to the DoD, one of the biggest threats to our national security is protecting our classified information and our intellectual property from foreign countries and organizations.

SEM Regional Sales Managers: Travel & Relationships with a Purpose!

In today’s world where the “personal touch” is long since a thing of the past, isn’t it refreshing to have someone personally assist you in making the right purchasing decision? As the largest US based supplier of mixed media destruction equipment to the US Federal Government, SEM not only provides ample, easy to access on-line product information, what really positions SEM apart from the competition is your Regional Sales Manager.

Management Techniques to Stretch the Life of Your NSA Listed Classified Shredders

Classified destruction has always been an expensive process. Here are a few thoughts on how to lower this cost if you depend on NSA listed office shredders to do the job.

Lubricate My Shredder with ECO Friendly Shredder Oil…

Do you think the Federal Government is serious about going GREEN? In 2007, the President of the United States had a high level meeting with Kermit the Frog. Kermit’s advice…… it may not be easy “being” Green, but it can be easy “going” Green.


What is a Disintegrator – For those of you that are unfamiliar with Disintegrators, these units were brought to market in the 1960’s by Security Engineered Machinery company as a environmentally friendly solution for destruction of high security Government or company sensitive paper documents and other media

Selling to the US Govt. – Past Performance = BEST VALUE!

When the US Government decides to issue a purchase order for information destructions systems, many factors come into play. Quality, Service, Support and Price are all considered. But what about “Past Performance”.

HYBRID HARD DRIVES – How to erase Classified Data !

The NSA has developed guidelines to delete Classified Data on “Rotational Magnetic” Hard Drives and guidelines on how erase data on “Solid State” Drives but what do I do with data on a “Hybrid” Drives ? To solve this issue, we need to first provide a brief understanding of Hard Drives and the current acceptable methods of data elimination.

Net Zero: SEM Can Help With Your Solid Waste Goals

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the US Army Net Zero Program, it is an environmentally friendly program that was designed in 2011 with an initial goal to strive for 25-Net Zero Installations by 2030. The term Net Zero refers to managing the existing Federal Energy, Water and Waste programs and turning them into sustainable practices for the future.

What type of Maintenance Makes Sense for my Disintegrator?

Knife mill disintegrators are an SEM specialty, the “go to” machine for high volume, high security destruction. They offer great throughput, small end particle size (commonly NSA approved size confetti), and can accept a wide variety of materials.

Sequestration and Information Security

The effects of the mandatory budget cuts due to Sequestration may still be unknown. The challenge for government officials today is to maintain the levels of service and security despite shrinking budgets. According to the DoD, one of the biggest threats to our national security is protecting our classified information and our intellectual property from foreign countries and organizations.

SEM Jackhammer Hard Drive Shredder Options: SEM Factory Tour and Observations Report:

Recently I toured the SEM Factory to gain knowledge of the SEM Jackhammer Series Hard Drive Shredders; I was impressed to find out all the custom options available with the ability to add several system enhancements. Security Engineered Machinery truly lives up to its’ name, many of the Jackhammer Series Hard Drive Shredders are custom engineered to meet specific security requirements, volume requirements and safety constituents.

Do I have enough power to buy a shredder?

Have you ever purchased a paper shredder before, only to take it out of its box, carefully plug it in, and then Zippo…find it doesn’t seem to work? You likely found yourself muttering, “Why won’t the paper feed? Why is my shredder running in reverse? …or simply concluding……This paper shredder just sucks!”

The Importance of Regular Hard Drive Crusher Service

Congratulations! You are the proud owner of an SEM Model 0101 Hard Drive Crusher. If you’re destroying classified drives, the Model 0101 is a great choice when considering how to comply with the “destroy” portion of the NSA’s “degauss and destroy” standards. If you are a recycler or commercial customer, the Model 0101 is an effective and efficient means of destroying CUI hard drives at a relatively low cost.

To Shred or Not to Shred…that is the question.

Billy Shakespeare…. first to recognize Information Security.

Most people don’t know this but in addition to writing a few Plays, Bill Shakespeare was also a trusted adviser to Queen Elizabeth I.

The Best Value in Hard Drive Destruction: SEM 0101 Crusher

When your hard drive reaches the end of its life cycle what do you do with it? Most people know that it needs to be destroyed but what does that mean?

State, Local and Municipal Government – Importance of Hard Drive Destruction

State and Local Governments all know the importance of shredding documents. But why destroy hard drives?

SEM Paper Shredders Awarded Prestigious Eco-Friendly “Blue Angel” Certification

Paper Shredders manufactured for Security Engineered Machinery (SEM) by German based Krug and Priester GmbH and CO ( K&P) have recently been awarded the prestigious “Blue Angel” Certification.

Business and Personal Identity Theft Protection

Identity Theft: where does this topic stand on your priority list? As a victim of identity theft in the past, I can say I am now MUCH more alert to the subject than I used to be. But that’s the way of the world, right? Instead of taking a proactive / preventative approach to life, we usually say, “It happens” and try to learn from it. Here are the problems with that “reactionary” approach.

When you apply for a job and get rejected or hired….what happens to the application?

Have you ever wondered what happened to that job application form that you recently filled out with XYZ Company. Whether you got the job or not, the industry standard is (3) years retention from the date you filled out the application or 3 years after termination of employment.

Shredded particles – what size is best for my business?

Are you confused over which shredded particle size is sufficient to meet your corporate security needs? Is anyone monitoring or providing guidance to help you determine this?

No Power? – No Problem!

Sitting here in the dark in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I am reminded how dependent we are on electronic devices. Years ago, many business activities – processing and shipping orders, for instance – could be done manually during power outages. Today, these processes have been automated so, when the lights go out, business grinds to a halt.

Disintegrators for Destroying Fabric Patches and Uniforms

From time to time I’ve been asked by customers for options to destroy uniforms or sensitive fabric uniform patches.

Fabric materials are challenging to destroy. Most shredders are not equipped to handle them. With shredders, material can bind up in the cutters and wrap around the shafts, creating a big mess. Destroying fabric requires a reliable cutting mechanism and ideally no small shafts for material to wrap around.

One tool that has proven effective for destroying fabric items is an SEM disintegrator

A New Level of Classified Shredding: The SEM Model 344

Are you a security professional or “Type A Personality” that likes to exceed standards or goals? If so, SEM has the most secure product solution for you. The SEM Model 344 is a High Security Paper Shredder, which exceeds the NSA/CSS 02-01 standards for classified document destruction. Why settle for a status quo Level 6 paper shredder when you can be on the cutting edge of data destruction?

Field Report & Equipment Test–Introducing the New SEM Model 0202 OMD

Security Engineered Machinery (SEM) has recently launched a new NSA Approved Optical Media Destroyer to their highly durable product line. The SEM Model 0202 OMD is a machine uniquely designed to destroy optical media (CDs, DVDs) and meets the NSA/CSS 04-02 requirements for classified media destruction.

Understanding High Security Shredding and the New “DIN” Levels

What are DIN Levels? The acronym DIN refers to the Deutsches Institut für Normung eV or German Institute for Standardization. It is a standard that helps qualify “Data Destruction” security levels used in Europe. Even though the data destruction of the highest level of security (Top Secret/Classified) in the USA is determined by those products that have been evaluated by the National Security Agency, the European DIN Classifications have found their way into the USA dialogue.

The Challenges of Fulfilling Orders in a Post 9-11 World

As we watched the events unfold before our eyes that fateful September day, more than one news anchor observed that, “The world will never be the same; everything will change.” Although we all nodded in agreement, no one could have imagined just how far-reaching the effects would be.

Data Security Risk, Compliance and Cost – a balancing act in Corporate America.

Ever wonder how Private Industry balances the need to make profit with
the escalating costs of managing data risk and compliance with privacy
laws? Who has the power……the CFO who watches profitability, CSO who
controls security or the Risk Manager who looks at the potential

Smash the Tablets

Ever since Moses came down from Mount Sinai and smashed the Ten Commandments, society has been looking to destroy information, regardless if it is a stone tablet or a computer hard drive. For the better part of millennia, the preferred method of destruction has been burning, that is if it isn’t a stone. Burning information, although very effective in destroying information, is in many cases not very practical. Remember King Leopold II of Belgium and the Congo? The skies over Brussels were black from burning of incriminating information weeks before Leopold was required to turn over information to the Belgium government on his rape and pillaging of the Congo. It became evident a new mechanical method was needed to destroy sensitive information.

Serving our Troops Overseas, a Simple guide to OCONUS Voltages

While most of us know that OCONUS stands for Outside the Continental United States, we sometimes do not consider that the electrical items which work in the United States do not work internationally. The most common question asked when ordering a Paper Shredder for an OCONUS base is, “can the paper shredder work overseas?” The simple answer is yes, but there are a couple of factors that must be considered to fully answer the question.

The SEM Model 0101 Sledgehammer Hard Drive Crusher

When your hard drives reach the end of their life cycle, a physical destruction methodology should be incorporated in any security protocol. In a non-classified environment, most security professionals utilize a secure erase type of procedure to overwrite the data on the hard drive. This is not completely secure and with the right methods data can still be recovered.

The Green Initiative

In today’s “Green” world, both Government and Commercial organizations are constantly looking for ways to execute a “Green Initiative”. Now you may be asking yourself, what is the Green Initiative? It is a way of teaching small and large corporations on how to conserve energy at the work place as well as the benefits of recycling.

Eco-Friendly “Hybrid” Shredders

Have you ever driven in a Hybrid vehicle? If you have, I am sure you noticed every time you come to a stop light the vehicle feels like it has turned off. This is a feature that allows the driver to save gas and it also decreases the emissions, making the vehicle more Environmentally Friendly.

Believe it or not this same concept is available in the Information Security market!

Disintegrator Maintenance

I have seen it before. As the DOD budget declined in the 1990’s, managers thought they could cut cost by eliminating regular Disintegrator knife maintenance. Before you know it, major systems (some costing hundreds of thousands of dollars) are sitting idle because they weren’t fit to run any longer. Many ended up in surplus yards auctioned at a small percentage of their original cost.

Get your Kicks on Route SEM 266

Back in the late 80’s the SEM Model 266 came on to the high security shredder scene and it quickly became the most popular high security industrial shredder in the world…. especially in the Defense community. Back then, NSA guidelines required a particle size of 1/32” x ½”. By today’s standards, this would be considered a level 5 shredder that is no longer used in the USA for High Security classified paper destruction. The current NSA Guidelines require an even smaller 1 mm x 5 mm particle, commonly referred to in the industry as a level 6 machine.

State and Local Government – The Importance of Destroying of License Plates

State and Local Governments all know the importance of personal “information” security. Items such as paper, computers and blackberry’s all have varying degrees of sensitive information that need to be destroyed. But what about license plates?

COMBO Paper and Optical Disk High Security Shredders – One Size DOESEN’T Fit all!

Are you considering a Combo Paper and Optical Media Shredder for shredding CLASSIFIED / TOP SECRET Information? If so, you may want to ask yourself a few questions before you pull the trigger.

Eco-Friendly Exhibiting

Environmental awareness is currently a hot topic for businesses. Many
companies have instituted a green initiative, but few have targeted
Trade Show Exhibiting as an area of focus. Unfortunately, there is a
huge amount of waste generated at trade shows. Following these simple
steps will help limit trade show waste, fulfill your commitment to the
environment, and help your company take steps toward sustainability.

HARD DRIVE SHREDDERS – Which is right for you?

Shred a Hard Drive just like a paper shredder… can that be? That’s right, when it comes time to dispose of old hard drives that contain millions of pages of data and information, they can be shredded into strip cut pieces just like a paper shredder. The question is which hard drive shredder best meets my needs?

ISO 14001 Registered ….It’s not easy being GREEN !

“Commitment to the Environment”… It sounds easy and many companies claim it but do they actually implement it. As our ISO 14001 Registration validates, SEM ( not only claims it but “lives it” everyday.

DARPA Impossible Shredder Challenge…Revisited

The San Francisco team that won $50,000 in the DARPA Impossible Shredder Challenge has offered some insight into how they solved Puzzle #4.

DARPA Impossible Shredder Challenge…Solved

In late October 2011, DARPA (Defense Advance Research Projects Agency) issued a challenge to computer scientists with a $50,000 reward if they could reconstruct shredded pages of paper.

Understanding LEED and how SEM can help you achieve higher certification levels.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third party certification program and the internationally accepted benchmark providing a framework for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of high performance green buildings. (

New Standards for Hard Drive Destruction?

DIN (German Institute of Standards*) standards for shredding documents have been available for years and have gained acceptance for unclassified applications. It has come to our attention that this German national organization is now preparing new standards for the secure destruction of hard-drives that will be released next year. Since German firms manufacture a large share of the paper shredders sold worldwide, these standards will be considered as equipment is purchased. So I thought it might be a good time to discuss how they might differ with Federal Government programs.

Shred Standards for State and Local Governments?

Unlike the Federal Government, where the NSA characterizes the level of documents and how they should be destroyed, there are no specific guidelines for State Governments. All states comply with Federal privacy laws such as HIPPA; however, each state dictates how they want documents to be destroyed. This can even be different from state agency to state agency.

The Importance of Education in the Intelligence Community

Jumbo shrimp, accurate estimate, active retirement, and military intelligence are all examples of an oxymoron. Of these four, only one is important enough to garner our attention and foster our curiosity. Military intelligence is many things, but I feel it doesn’t deserve to be used light heartedly. This is a small part of our military that exists purely for gathering knowledge and information to provide a clear and decisive victory for our war fighters. How do we do this?

Rectangles or Confetti, Shredder or Disintegrator Particles, What’s Best?

There are two main tools for securely destroying paper documents: paper shredders and document disintegrators. They serve the same purpose, but the end product sure does look different!

What options do agencies have to eliminate classified magnetic media, outsource vs. in-house?

When it comes to eliminating classified magnetic media, a government IT Security Manager must put a process in place that ensures the media is properly destroyed and disposed of. To some, the options may be limited in getting this done. As required by NSA, classified magnetic media must be degaussed using an NSA evaluated degausser and then it is highly recommended to physically destroy the device. Most agencies will choose to eliminate their classified magnetic media in one of two ways, “In house” or “Outsource”. These options are usually weighed based on cost and level of security.

One Large Step in the “Green” Direction

“We don’t want it; it’s tough to handle, it’s messy and there is little recyclable value.” I bet this is probably along the lines of what you’ve heard from Recycling Centers about taking your classified shred particles. I guess you can’t really blame them considering this confetti like particle can create a large mess with one drop of a shred bag.

What is the Difference Between a Security Company and an Office Dealer?

When making the decision on whom to purchase your security products and services from, more specifically information destruction equipment and services, the task can be daunting. The security/data destruction industry is very competitive and financially lucrative, thus there are vast quantities of vendors available. The Internet has also created an influx of what could be pigeonholed as ‘generic office dealers’, selling everything and anything they can get their hands on. The question when purchasing security equipment is: Would you trust an all purpose office dealer or would you trust a vendor like SEM, an industry leader that is solely focused on information security equipment and services? Can you afford not to? Consider the consequences of a data breach to your organization if you make an oversight, it could be cataclysmically crippling to your business.

Corporate Record Retention & Destruction

Now more than ever it is imperative that corporations develop and maintain a Records Retention Policy, or RRP. What is an RRP? An RRP is a policy that ensures corporate documents are managed in a manner that is not only lawful but effective and efficient. In addition, an RRP should have guidelines for destroying as well as retaining records.

What Level of Security Do You Need?

When government agencies or commercial companies are looking into shredding paper, they must know that there are different security levels for shredding paper. There are six different DIN Security levels for the secure destruction of paper. Now before I explain the certain security levels, you must be asking yourself, what does DIN stand for?

Paper Shredding – Shred Service or Do-it-yourself?

I recently had
an appointment with my accountant. As the managing partner of a firm with 25
employees, he relayed a real life story that is probably a commonplace event
for many companies that deal with sensitive data.

A couple of
weeks ago he was walking on Main Street. He happened to see a piece of paper on
the ground and noticed it had his letterhead on it. He reached down and to his
surprise it was a page from a very important client’s tax return.

College Applications – What happens to all that sensitive data?

If you’re like most parents with college bound graduates, your son or daughter probably applied to four or five schools. There’s the “Reach” school, the “Safe” School and there are the Colleges/Universities that they would most likely attend. During the process, they more than likely completed a long detailed application for each school. Each application undoubtedly required them to provide personal sensitive information such as social security numbers, date of birth, etc. and even more importantly, sensitive financial information related to their parents.

It Pays To Shop

One of the things that have always troubled me as a Federal Salesman is the modest effort that sometimes goes into researching equipment and in planning procurement. I’m not just talking about a couple office paper shredders here. I’m talking about equipment that sometimes cost several hundred thousand dollars. If you have a project in the immediate future, take a minute to consider the following.

Security First! But let’s discuss your options…

More and more we are seeing all sorts of efforts towards new developments and implementations of “Green Initiatives” both in the Government and in Industry.As the world shifts towards a more responsible dedication to the environment, we must, as growing markets consider the impact of our work on the globe.We will focus on the Information Security market in our discussion but the information provided and premise of environmental consciousness should be applied to our lives as a whole and not just in our work.

The Smarter, Safer Shredder

Once upon a time paper shredders were simple mechanical devices- a motor turning cranking a belt or chain to move a pair of rotating shafts with cutters/teeth.The controls consisted of on/off and forward and reverse for the cutters.Modern shredders have far more to them in terms of electronic features and controls, and for good reasons.

Paper Shredders & Productivity ( or lack thereof )

Most Companies today, especially in today’s economy, are looking for ways to get the most production from their already reduced staff of employees. Many employees are wearing more than one hat in order for their company to survive in today’s business environment.

Security and Recycling Don’t Have to be at Odds

When people think of information destruction they typically would not associate it with being environmentally responsible. However, this is completely untrue. In today’s society there are many alternative solutions to help become more environmentally friendly.

Understanding DUAL STAGE DESTRUCTION and why it might be Right for You

When it comes to Centralized Classified Destruction Systems, no one can offer more solutions to handle your HIGH VOLUME requirements than SEM.At SEM, we provide Security Solutions. We Engineer and design your system from the ground up; whether building a new facility or meeting your existing space requirements. NSA rated at up to 2800 lbs/hr, SEM DUAL STAGE Systems are the Highest Volume Classified Destruction systems available. Dual Stage Systems fit LEED accreditation by promoting space, energy, and labor saving environments when compared to single stage systems. And Best of All, SEM Dual Stage Disintegrators come with a Lifetime Warranty.

Power Source and Performance of Your Paper Shredder go Hand in Hand

Paper shredders come in all sizes, shapes and styles. The small house hold strip cut shredder will plug into any standard household 15 amp outlet/receptacle. However, paper shredders that are intended or designed to be used for higher throughput and smaller particle size such as micro cross cut or level 6 sometimes require large motors to accomplish this.

Paper Shredder Automatic Oilers

Most high performance Cross Cut ( Level 3 and 4 ) and High Security Cross Cut ( Level 6 ) Paper Shredders are manufactured with high precision. The majority of these systems are built in Germany where high quality tempered steel is used in the process. Keeping the cutting heads well lubricated increases the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the shredder. Well lubricated cutting heads help prevent paper jams, keep the cutting heads cool and increase the overall productivity of the system.

What kind of drives are acceptable to be destroyed in the SEM Jackhammer Series?

Hard Drives come in various shapes and sizes. The Hard Drive Suppliers and Computer Industry refer to them as1.8”, 2.5” or 3.5” Form Factor Drives. These “form factor descriptions” refer to the size of the “platters” that are housed within the drive casing itself and account for over 90 % of the drives in use today.

Hard Disk Drives – Types, Sizes and Future Technology

The most commonly used hard drives in today’s computing world are the 3.5”, 2.5” and 1.8” form factor drives based on PMR Technology. They represent over 95% of the drives currently being used in the marketplace.

Superstore Shredders

Superstore Shredders

I don’t like to speak ill of any competitor as I have a firm belief that everyone has their place and if nothing else to keep me on my game. Office Superstores, you know who I’m talking about, are great for pens and pencils and the occasional presentation copy job but they are not that good for providing quality, long lived equipment. I do love shopping there as they have a huge selection of products, but when I need quality, I just don’t feel they are able to do justice for me. A primary case on point is shredders. They seem to offer a sub-standard product with very limited staff knowledge of the product.

Understanding the “Degauss & Destroy” Requirements for Magnetic Media

The rules for destroying sensitive or classified magnetic computer media, like hard drives and tape cartridges, often confuses folks. The reality isn’t all that complicated, certainly not as complicated as the computer equipment itself.

Paper shredder waste sizes – What the numbers mean.

If you are contemplating the purchase of a paper shredder, one of the key choices you must make is the security level or shred size. So how do you make the choice? Here are a couple guidelines that have served us well over the years.

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