By GCN Staff

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Data destruction tools debut to toughen enterprise defense

When it comes to sensitive information, destroying data and computers is almost as important as keeping the information on them safe. And the need for reliable data destruction services is growing steadily with the rise of interest in information security and environmentally friendly recycling. 

Code42, recently announced new secure delete capabilities for its CrashPlan enterprise endpoint backup. The software now features triple-pass data sanitization and secure delete capabilities while complying with federal standards, including Department of Defense 5220.22M data sanitization provisions, the company said. This process makes it impossible for deleted archives to be recovered through forensics or file system utilities — and eliminates the need for a separate, third-party application for that purpose, according to a company statement.

Some federal agencies, such as the Air Force and the National Security Agency use the WipeDrive program from WhiteCanyon to do the job. That technology uses DOD-approved wipe patterns to overwrite data multiple times and make it impossible to recover.

Otherwise, there are a variety of methods and tools available for data destruction. The memory on a hard drive can be erased using a high-powered magnetic process called degaussing. Drives can be overwritten or wiped, and computer components can be crushed into recyclable glass without a trace of data left behind.

And then there’s always brute force: Editors at the British newspaper The Guardian are seen in newly released video footage destroying the hard drives used to store the top-secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden. They demolished the computers using angle-grinders and drills to destroy the internal components, as the British intelligence agency GCHQ closely watched. 

Most physical destruction of hard disks is performed by companies with specialized shredding equipment.

Posted by Mike Cipriano on Feb 04, 2014 at 11:44 AM

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Reader Comments

Thu, Mar 23, 2017 David Johnson

Data Destruction is rapidly gaining importance in this digital age. The cases of data breach are very common to visible nowadays. It is our prime responsibility to completely destroy our confidential data by any available method. Software based approach is best, in my choice because it don’t create any E-waste. Recently I erased my drive with one of such certified software. It’s a good tool to use

Fri, Apr 10, 2015 Andre Fouche London

I cannot understand why more companies do not use their own "In-house" NSA approved HDD destroyer. Simpler, safer and data destruction guaranteed in less than 10 seconds ! www.edreurope.com

Wed, Feb 5, 2014 Don Arizona

We used to do the seven-way overwrite but it takes longer and isn't any more effective than our new method: a Black & Decker with a 1/4" bit. Granted with a lot of work, time, and money spooks could scrape a little data off. But probably nothing they haven't already stolen somewhere else.

Tue, Feb 4, 2014 Gary Scott United States

The NSA requires a two step process for digital data destruction – degauss and physically destroy. When looking at companies specializing in hard drive destruction, research their certifications and insurance policies as well as their shredding equipment http://ewastesecurity.com/onsite-hard-drive-destruction-and-shredding/ DOT .

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