The CyberWire Podcast
Nathan Jones from WhiteCanyon Software talks about secure data destruction when he was a guest on The CyberWire Podcast
If you go back into the 70's 80's and 90's almost every use case was for physical destruction. Whenever you were getting rid of your old laptops desktops or servers you would just physically destroy those drives. We found that was being, obviously, quite wasteful and unnecessary in a lot of cases. So it really came about because we were looking for a better solution than just destroying everything and everything ending up in a landfill.
It has a lot to do with the audit report that is generated as part of the process. A lot of what you are having to do is prove that the data is secure. Part of what the software does is make an audit report that says, "This drive, with this unique identifier was wiped to this spec. It started at this time, it ended at this time, it was done by this technician, it was performed at this location." That report gives you the context of everything that was done to that drive. When, where, how, all the important information. That is required for meeting standards like HIPAA, NATO, GDPR, where you are trying to meet the requirements that are on you from a regulatory standpoint. That report is impossible to do with a physical destruction. Part of the erasure solution is that we're doing this via a secure application where we are going through and capturing all this information, we're encrypting the audit report so it's impossible to spoof these. So just from a compliance standpoint, it's a far superior solution.
After the security side of things, the environmental impact may be the most compelling factor. 90% of these devices when they come to the end of their use after a couple years, they could have a second and even a third life. Once these drives leave large data centers, they could then go to a more mid range system where companies aren't wanting to pay top dollar for state of the art, but these drives still have value. When we are talking about laptops and desktops, these devices could be going to school or libraries.