Media destruction, either physical or electronic, is intended to prevent data disclosure. Some ways data may be disclosed are:
Drives that will not be reused should be physically destroyed. Even if the drive is to be reused it should be erased using one of the recommended tools or applications. Different terms may be used to refer to disk or file erasure. Some common terms are disk wiping and secure deletion.
Note: As of 2001, ATA (thought not SCSI) drives support a secure-overwrite command that should eliminate all data on the drive much more rapidly than operating system-level utilities. Certain specialty hardware supports this.
Our recommendation acknowledges the NIST document, but maintains consistency with other practices throughout higher-education and industry.
|Hard Disk||DoD 5220.22 erase prior to format||Physical destruction or deguass|
|Floppy Disk||Degauss or erase prior to format||Physical destruction, degauss, or erase|
|Caseless Optical (CD/DVD)||Typically N/A||Physical destruction (break into pieces or uniformly abrade surface)|
|ZIP/Cartridge||DoD 5220.22 erase||Physical destruction or degauss|
|Small solid state, USB/Flash||Erasing is unpredictable, but nonetheless recommended prior to format||Physical destruction|
|Tapes||Degauss||Physical destruction or degauss|
Last updated 12/09/2014