Why Degaussing Won't Work for SSDs

Traditional hard drives store data magnetically. Tiny bits of magnetized materials can be positively or negatively charged (1's and 0's), and remain charged even without a power source. Degaussing has long been a popular method of data destruction for traditional magnetic media. A degausser works by generating a powerful magnetic field that alters the magnetic charges that store data on the drive. This will completely erase, or randomize the data. Degaussing can be an effective method of data destruction on traditional electromagnetic drives, but it has draw backs. Especially when it comes to Solid State Drives (SSD).

Solid state drives use an electric charge to store data on individual transistors. For this reason degaussing an SSD will not erase the data. Degaussing a solid state drive will have virtually no effect on the SSD because the data is not stored magnetically. This leaves you with two other options for drive sanitization. Physical destruction or sanitization with software.

Physical Destruction - Pros

  • When properly done, no data will be recoverable.

Physical Destruction - Cons

  • If particle size is too large data can still be recovered.
  • Proper physical destruction can get expensive.
  • Destroyed drives end up in landfills with adverse environmental impact.
  • Lack of proof and tracking of the drive’s sanitization in case of an audit.
  • Difficult to ensure data security as drives change hands multiple times before it’s destroyed.

Benefits of Software Sanitization with WipeDrive - Pros

  • Drives can be wiped at a fraction of the cost of physical destruction.
  • WipeDrive uses the drive’s native commends to ensure all parts of the SSD are accessed and securely wiped.
  • Can be done in-house without being sent out to a third party.
  • Reduces the time and number of people with access to sensitive data.
  • Log files are created to give you a reliable record in case of audit.
  • Drives can then be reused or donated instead of ending up in a landfill.

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