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Data Destruction Methods
SF Bay Area

Methods to Destroy Sensitive Data

When a device that contains sensitive data is disposed of or recycled, it is important that the data has been rendered unreadable so that the information does not fall into the wrong hands. There are different methods for data destruction depending on the type of media at hand. The three general categories include hard disks, CD's/DVD's, and USB drives. For this purpose, floppy disks and flash memory cards can be treated the same as USB drives.

While some companies make the mistake of picking the same data destruction method for all media types, others know that a one-size-fits-all approach is not always appropriate. This is especially true when some of the media will be either reused or resold (On the resale market, IT assets that have functional hard drives are worth more than those that don't). To get the best ROI along with maximum security, choosing the right method is crucial.

NCMSS has developed a three-phase approach to managing data to accounts for the many different forms of digital storage that exist.

  • Electronic Data Sanitization

    When you are hoping to remarket the assets, electronic data sanitization is often the best choice. In this process, the data on a hard drive gets overwritten with other, non-sensitive data so that the original data is completely removed. On modern hard drives, this task can be done in just one pass when using the proper process and certified software tools.
  • Degaussing System

    When electronic data removal is not an option, we can use a professional degaussing system. This system both removes 100% of the data on the drive, but also renders that drive inoperable. While some optical types of storage, such as CD's or DVD's, and solid state drives can be used again after degaussing, magnetic hard drives will not function after they have been properly degaussed.
  • Physical Destruction System

    If only physical destruction will do for your data destruction needs, our data secure process area uses an industrial shredder that has been designed to process hard drives.

What is really secure?

There are a number of variables that help determine the appropriate method for the erasure and destruction of data. The sensitivity of the information and the perceived threats to that data are two considerations. Generally, the more secure methods are more costly, in both time and expense. Additionally, they require more expertise to perform properly. For advice on the right method for your needs, contact our security department using the contact form, or via phone call.

The best method that offers complete security is a combination of 3 from the above: electronic data sanitization + professional degaussing with total physical destruction at the end. It is often the best choice for materials that are highly sensitive in nature, for example, US government requires that one "disintegrate, incinerate, pulverize, shred, or smelt" its most secret information and we do recommend it for the most sensitive and valuable data. However this is not always a practical solution if you are hoping to recycle or resell the media.

We offer the expertise and knowledge to remove or destroy data, no matter what you information security needs may be. NCMSS can handle any of these types of storage devices: Fax, Copiers, PDA's, Optical Disks, Hard Drives, Flash Memory, Printers, Switches, VPN Appliances, Routers, Magnetic Tapes and Magnetic Disks and Hard Copy: Paper, Microfilms, Back-Up tapes, etc.

Is NCMSS the right solution for your business?
Thoughts? Want to learn more? Let’s talk.


Call: (415) 366-8120