Securing sensitive information is non-negotiable. Whether you’re a government agency, a business enterprise, or an individual, the need to destroy data securely is paramount. When it comes to data destruction for end-of-life (EOL) magnetic storage media—hard disk drives (HDDs) and tapes, degaussing stands as a leading method.
But how do you choose the right degausser for your specific needs? In this comprehensive guide, let our Masters of Destruction walk you through the essential considerations to make an informed decision.
- Determine Your Data Destruction Requirements
- Evaluate Magnetic Field Strength
- Consider Portability and Size
- Explore Verification Options
- Factor in Speed and Efficiency
- Budget Considerations
Fun Fact: Did you know that magnetic storage media (HDDs and tapes) are forecasted to store 72% of the world’s data in 2024?
Determine Your Data Destruction Requirements
- Security Compliance: Various industries maintain distinct security standards, so it’s imperative to always use an appropriate degausser that aligns with the relevant compliance criteria, like those set by the NSA or DoD. Notably, when dealing with Top-Secret data, the only acceptable degaussers are those listed on the NSA Evaluated Product List. The NSA data destruction standard is unrivaled, representing the most stringent requirement in the world. Aligning your data destruction practices with NSA standards offers an undisputed level of assurance.
- Media Type: Are you dealing with hard drives (HDDs), tapes, or both? Ensure the degausser you choose supports the media you use.
Note: Solid-state media must be physically destroyed, it cannot be degaussed as it is a non-magnetic media.
Evaluate Magnetic Field Strength
The appropriate degausser for your data destruction needs depends on the degaussers’ magnetic field strength, which is measured in gauss (G). To successfully destroy all data from an end-of-life (EOL) HDD, a degausser must surpass the coercivity of the drive. Coercivity represents the HDD’s magnetic field strength and is measured in oersteds. Modern storage media typically have a coercivity of around 5,000 oersteds.
Here’s the key: in its most simplified form, 1.1 gauss can effectively eliminate 1 oersted. Theoretically, for storage media with a coercivity of 5,000 oersteds, a magnetic field greater than 5,001 gauss is required to destroy the data. In real-world application, the gauss should be 1.5 – 2 times the value of the media’s coercivity due to magnetic field orientation.
Garner Products offers a range of degaussers with varying field strengths at a minimum of 10,000 gauss and up to 40,000 gauss. To make an informed choice, consult our comprehensive product comparison chart with a detailed breakdown of each degausser’s specifications.
Consider Portability and Size
Degaussers come in various sizes. Consider your workspace and mobility needs. Do you require a portable unit for on-site data destruction, or is a larger, stationary degausser more suitable?
The best practice is to degauss, destroy, and verify in-house. No EOL storage media should ever leave a facility or be released to a third-party vendor without undergoing an in-house data destruction process. That’s why our smooth-rolling and high-performance enclosed destruction cart allows you to maintain chain-of-custody by simply plugging in and achieving verifiable data destruction, all within your secure facility.
Explore Verification Options
For added peace of mind, consider a degausser with data destruction verification features. Garner’s exclusive IRONCLAD Verification System tracks, logs, and documents media as it is sanitized, generating customizable Certificate of Destruction Reports (CoD) complete with JPG images of the media before and/or after data destruction to provide undeniable proof of data destruction.
IRONCLAD is fully integrated with Garner’s complete line of hard drive & tape degaussers, and hard drives & solid-state physical destroyers.
Factor in Speed and Efficiency
Efficiency matters, especially in high-volume environments. Garner’s range of degaussers supports hard drive output ranging from 80 single to 4,500 bundled drives per hour, and degaussing charge times as fast as 3 seconds. Assess your operational needs and select a degausser that aligns with your data destruction requirements.
Degaussers vary in price, however, it’s crucial to never compromise on EOL data security. A quality degausser of sufficient gauss strength, manufactured by a reputable company is key to ensuring your data is forensically unrecoverable. Garner Products offers a range of options to suit various budgets while ensuring top-notch verifiable data destruction. Speak to our Masters of Destruction today!
Choosing the right degausser is a critical step in maintaining EOL data security and compliance. For a detailed comparison of Garner’s degausser products, visit our product comparison page. Degauss before you dispose, your data will be gone for good!
About Garner Products
Garner Products designs and manufactures premium equipment that delivers complete, permanent, and verifiable data destruction. For over 60 years, Garner has provided the education, systems, and support that enable customers worldwide in all industries to securely destroy data.