security How do I responsibly dispose of backup tapes?

Securis recently partnered with Loudoun County, VA to run their county-wide e-waste recycling and shredding ev… Have you tried to reduce costs when it’s time to get rid of old IT equipment? When your phone gets old, becomes out of date, or starts to break, it’s time to decide whether to sell it or…

a Hard Drive

While degaussing is the only safe method to remove data from a piece of technology, companies usually go one step further and pair their data erasure methods with crushing. CNet reported that once data is wiped, organizations can remove or destroy the platter on a hard drive to ensure complete certainty the information is unattainable. While most people believe that if the platter can’t spin, then the hard drive can’t be read—but data can actually still be recovered from the device. This is why degaussing beforehand is incredibly important. Degaussing does not work on SSDs, because SSDs do not use magnetic fields to store data like traditional hard drives do.

Read more about Nsa approved degausser here.

It is a machine used to eliminate data stored on computer and laptop hard drives, floppy disks and magnetic tape, by randomly changing the alignment of magnetic domains on the medium. The company employs advanced methods such as shredding, crushing, and degaussing to fragment hard drives into minute particles, guaranteeing the impossibility of data retrieval and ensuring peace of mind.

Degaussers come in various types and sizes, with varying effectiveness as well. A professional data destruction service selects the most appropriate degausser for the job based on prevailing circumstances.

Software wipes simply overwrites the data on the hard disk drive and serve as a rudimentary approach to denying access to important information. Data hackers can still find and pull the data stored there. It also takes hours to conduct, and don’t always work on every system. This lack of security should be extremely alarming for companies looking for an easy way out of disposing old media. They should securely wipe hard drives, the first time every time.

Using Degaussers For Tapes

The people at HP talked me through trouble shooting the drive and decided it had died, and sent me a new drive, free. Not being able to format the drive, I took a strong magnet and sat it on the drive for several hours. I don’t know if this worked, but it was the best solution I could come up with. If you don’t have original install media, see if you can make an install/recovery set of media _before_ you nuke the drive. In fact, even if you _do_ have media, see if there is a way to make an additional set.

But, before taking a sledgehammer to media, make sure to erase the data. Even tiny pieces can be put together and information can be salvaged if not properly disposed of.

To the best of my knowledge degausing coils do not have sufficient power to erase today’s hard disks. Reformat or use a tool like DBaN to erase the hard drive before donating. Formatting and deleting the data from the hard drive does not removes the data completely from the hard drive.

Seriously, securely erasing floppies would be a waste of time, since they’re not expensive and are easily destroyed. Fake Name, alternating magnetic fields aren’t important. What’s important is overcoming the coercivity of the magnetic material, and for that, you need a strong field.

This process is effective in a range of industries including video, audio, computer, broadcast and data security. After you degauss a hard drive, the appearance of the hard drive doesn’t change at all. Tape recorders create a magnetic field that arranges the position of the iron oxide that is contained on the film. Hard drives use pulses of electrical energy to write patterns of data on the platters.