Getting Rid of Your Hard Drive? Degauss, Shred, Wipe or Destroy?
A recent study, analyzing used hard drives and mobile devices being sold online through places such as Amazon and eBay discovered that 75% of the drives contained residual data from their previous owners.
This poses the question, “How far should a company go in its efforts to destroy all information contained on a hard drive or digital device before recycling?”
The answer depends on various factors including the confidentiality of the information contained on the drive or device, individual company standards, and the level of security mandated by government regulations or industry standards.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed guidelines for Computer Security and Media Sanitization (NIST 800-88). These guidelines define the most secure way to destroy data contained on computer hard drives and backups. Organizations regulated by data privacy laws such as HIPAA, HITECH and GLBA should be aware of these hard drive destruction guidelines when disposing of servers, hard drives and computers.