Data Sanitization: Physical Destruction vs. Software Erasure

Data Sanitization: Physical Destruction vs. Software Erasure

Your business or personal data hold tremendous value, and effective data destruction is an essential part of protecting your security. Whether you have retired hardware or disposable media to sanitize, there is a solution which will wipe the slate clean.

Let’s look into the best methods of data destruction and how to choose the right technique for your own protected information.

What Is Data Destruction?

Data destruction destroys data completely so that it cannot be reconstructed by data recovery services or techniques. Simply deleting a file does not remove the information, but only makes it inaccessible to the operating system. Experts can still recover the information unless it has been destroyed or overwritten.

There are two methods of reliable data removal, physical destruction, and specialized software erasure. They can both be used to permanently remove data from all types of electronic storage, including:

  • Internal hard drives
  • External hard drives
  • DVDs, CDs, and data tapes
  • Flash drives and smartphones

When to Choose Physical Data Destruction

When the device storing the data is of little or no value, physical destruction offers complete peace of mind. Using onsite equipment, your data destruction policy can require the shredding or mangling of tapes, hard drives, and optical media such as DVDs.

Larger equipment can be physically destroyed by a reputable service. Sometimes a method called degaussing is used to garble and erase magnetic media such as tapes. Physical data destruction hardware should be part of any business that holds customer information, and small-sized models will bring that level of security home.

When you simply need to get rid of the problem, physical destruction is the answer—but what if you want to reuse or resell the equipment?

When to Choose Software Data Erasure

Software erasure or data wipe services preserve the value of IT equipment while completely eradicating the information it contains. Data wiping is also environmentally friendly, creating no landfill waste and allowing items to be used again.

Using a solution like Wipe-Drive through a trusted installer, you can perform clean data wipes by specialized software erasure onsite or in-house, eliminating the risk of transporting data storage devices to a third party.

Data destruction software works by overwriting the data with random numbers until it is unrecoverable. It also completely removes viruses without destroying the hard drive, and it works on small devices like flash drives. The software can be customized for your industry standards to provide all necessary verification and documentation of software data wiping history.

Both Solutions May be Best

The best solution for most businesses and individuals with valuable or sensitive data is a combination of these methods. Having equipment onsite for daily physical destruction, and the right data destruction software professionally installed will allow you to preserve valuable equipment and completely eliminate disposable data storage as part of your data destruction policy.

At White Canyon Software, we have everything you need to implement a secure protocol for your home and business. Keeping your data secure protects your future and business reputation, and we understand the needs and pitfalls you face. Contact us today to learn more about the wide variety of solutions we offer for network security and reliable data management.

Call White Canyon Software at 801.224.8900, connect on Live Chat, or schedule a webinar today.

Tagged: Data Destruction, Software Erasure, Network Security, Physical Destruction
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