What are the types of data destruction?

Data destruction, regardless of how horrific it sounds, is the fundamental way of preserving the security of data.

Data can be backed up and therefore preserved, they can even be recovered if you have just deleted them in Windows, but data destruction needs to be permanent and unrecoverable. Therefore, data destruction can be be separated in three different categories:

  1. Degaussing

  2. Physical destruction

  3. Data Overwrite


Degaussing is uses high-powered magnet to disrupt the magnetic fields of the respective drive while destroying the data in the process. Although at first glance degaussing looks like a solid and permanent way of destroying data it has some significant disadvantages. First, the process of degaussing destroys the HDD making it completely inoperable. By degaussing the drive, you lose any future use of it which makes this process quite expensive (talk about killing a cow for a pound of flesh). The second problem with this data destruction method is that there is no verifiable way of checking whether the data is truly destroyed. There are advanced ways of detecting whether the data was destroyed, like using electronic microscope for example, but they ramp up the price of the data destruction process too high for it to be meaningful and cost-effective.

Physical Destruction

Physical destruction is a process of physically destroying the drive making its parts inoperable for further use. Degaussing is certainly one of the less intrusive ways of destroying the drive, but there are other ways such as shredding or even pulverizing using high-powered utility tools. After the physical destruction has taken place the drive, or its parts to be more exact, is being turned to scrap whose parts are later being forwarded to recycling. As with degaussing, physical destruction process has issues on its own. First of all, there is no verifiable way of knowing if the data was truly destroyed or were the parts saved by some sneaky technician, unless you did yourself. The other problem is, as with degaussing, that it makes the whole process more expensive since you will have to buy another HDD to replace the old one that got destroyed.

Overwriting Data

Overwriting data is the most secure and cost-efficient process of data destruction on the market, it does no damage to your drive (meaning that you can reuse it again and again) and it provides a variety of data sanitation standards that will ensure that the data you want to see destroyed is gone for good. Data overwrite is a process by which the data on your drive is being overwritten by the sets of ones and zeroes (depends on the data overwrite method) making the old data unrecoverable to any known data recovery process, including electronic microscope. Even professor Peter Gutmann who devised the legendary Gutmann method (x35 passes!) will tell you that for a secure data sanitation you do not need more than US DoD 5220.22-M which is just x3 passes.

Our Active@ KillDisk and KillDisk Industrial are software solutions that provide secure data destruction without harming your drive making it safe for future use.

If you are looking for a portable data destruction device our KillDisk Desktop can provide you with all the freedom you need, in terms of portability and customization. No matter the place, if you got electricity KillDisk Desktop can delete all the drives you need.

On the other hand if you need a device for a heavy use in Big Data centers, KillDisk Industrial System is the workstation you need.

For any additional questions fell free to contact our Sales Department at sales@lsoft.net

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