This article explains why degaussing is the best method of data erasure for hard drives in 2020.
A degausser is a machine that sends an EMP through a hard drive to erase the data stored on the hard drive.
Degaussing is the process that refers to the EMP that is sent through the hard drive to erase the magnetically stored data.
Overwriting Data On a Hard Drive
The first method that we are going to analyze is using software to rewrite data on a hard drive.
This method has been used successfully for years, but there are a few positives and negatives, to discuss.
The most typical method is by using the DBAN method.
You can learn more about DBAN here.
Some of the positives aspects of this method include being easy to install and less expensive.
A negative of using software to rewrite data over data in a hard drive is that you can’t completely guarantee that the data is erased.
You can rewrite data over and over again, but it doesn’t mean that the data isn’t still magnetically recorded.
If your data can still be forensically retrieved, you are leaving yourself open to a potential breach of data. Especially if the data is top secret or highly valuable.
Another negative of this method for data erasure is that you need somebody who has enough technical skill to use the software safely and correctly.
If you are not tech-savvy, then you might need to hire somebody who is comfortable with IT to complete this process of overwriting your data on your hard drives.
Another factor to consider is that if you have a 1 TB hard drive to re-write, it can take up to 18 hours to complete.
It is a complete hassle to rewrite disks especially if you have more than one to do.
If protecting your organization from a breach is a priority to you, then using software would be detrimental to your data security process.
In the next section, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of using a hard drive shredder for the destruction of your data.
A hard drive shredder is a machine that will shred your hard drives into smaller pieces (approximately an inch in size) to make data recovery extremely difficult.
Technically, data can be recovered from a piece of a hard drive platter by a cyber-forensics specialist. With this method, however, it is still difficult to do.
A hard drive shredder is also expensive and requires maintenance.
The price for a decent hard drive shredder can run around $25,000 as seen in the product listing below:
Over time, a hard drive shredder is the most expensive option or method of hard drive data destruction.
A hard drive shredder has many teeth that ultimately have the possibility of getting jammed.
I can guarantee that the last thing that you will want to do during your day is to reach down into a machine that has big metal teeth to pull out bits and chunks of hard drives!
One thing to add about hard drive shredders is that they can be bulkier and physically larger than the other options. On top of that, they can be noisy to operate.
In this section, we’ll talk about degassing as a method of hard drive data erasure.
Degaussing is a method that uses a degausser machine to send in EMP pulse through a hard drive.
The process of degassing can take anywhere from 1-30 seconds depending on the machine that is used to degauss the hard drive.
A degausser is the best way to guarantee that the data has been forensically erased off of the hard drive platters. The EMP magnetically neutralizes the hard drive rendering it utterly useless.
A degausser is more expensive than software, But it’s less expensive than any a hard drive Shredder.
You can acquire a good degausser for as little as five thousand and some change:
As you can see, a degausser is less than a quarter of the price of a good hard drive shredder.
How Do We Compare Data Erasure Methods?
Time Comparison Between Data Erasure Methods
Cost Comparison Of Data Erasure Methods
Risk Of Breach / Data Recovery
A degausser is the quickest cleanest and most efficient way to erase the data on a hard drive.
There is no mess involved.
There are no machine teeth that could be unsafe to deal with.
… And the cost is worth the guarantee of information security.
Contact us at 800-243-9226 or use our contact form here to get in touch with a Whitaker Brothers Product Specialist if you have any questions.