Even the most rigorous software cleanse that you can give your aging technology isn’t enough to stop a truly devoted technophile from restoring the information.
Business technology is on a cycle: once it becomes a certain age, you begin to have problems with even the very best of hardware. This happens as software becomes more robust, and the hardware simply isn’t fast enough to keep up or as the circuits begin to age and cause problems. Whatever the reason, every few years you will need to replace your hardware and that means fully destroying the hard drives and all of the sensitive information that they store. IT leaders have been coming up with creative ways to get rid of their old hard drives and SSDs for decades, with everything from hydrochloric acid to microwaves making the rounds. While pulling out a sledgehammer may sound like fun if you have a single drive to destroy, what about if you’ve got 15-20? Here are the best ways to ensure enterprising criminals can’t gain access to business or personal data from discarded drives.
While grabbing a heavy piece of metal and slamming the drive or adding the drives to a large fire may stop anyone from gaining useful information, it doesn’t address the damage that can be done to the environment. Technology waste needs to be properly recycled to protect the environment and keep your business compliant with all local laws. The Department of Defense has a Data Sanitation Process 5220.22-M, which some consider to be the gold standard of data sanitation. Software removal tools include DBAN or the CBL Data Shredder that help “completely” scrub your hard drives. These programs are all designed to completely overwrite the data on a drive and then confirm that the cleanse is complete.
With traditional hard drives, the goal is to make the platters “unspinnable” which can be done in a variety of ways. One of the most time-consuming is to unscrew everything around the hard drive, pull out the platter and perform some destructive action. Here’s where some people get quite creative with their methods, using everything from screwdrivers to scratch the surface and magnets to a nice acid bath or sanding the surface with an industrial sander. While all provide a measure of satisfaction, this method isn’t very practical when you have multiple drives to be destroyed. Completely cracking and breaking the platter-based hard drive or SSD is considered the best way to fully destroy hard drives quickly and efficiently.
If you need an old hard drive (or three!) completely destroyed, come see the wizards at Data Magic Computer Services. You might be surprised how satisfying it is to place that aging technology into our “jaws of death”, and you’ll certainly appreciate that no one will be able to glean any sensitive information after that devastation. The Data Magic team provides holistic security and support for your entire organization, from cybersecurity and network services to Apple support and software development for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contact us at (469) 213-6508 today to schedule your free initial consultation, or request your free initial consultation online.