Which Data Destruction Method is the Most Secure: Data Erasure or Drive Destruction?

Dec 21, 2019

IT asset disposition, or ITAD, is just the end of the long process of IT asset management (ITAM).  That said, it is no less important than protecting data while it’s in use.  This means you must take the time to understand data destruction options so you can remain in compliance with applicable consumer privacy and environmental laws.

There are two main methods of securely destroying data, in keeping with consumer privacy laws: data erasure and drive destruction.  Is one more secure than the other?  Which is preferable for your North Dakota or South Dakota business?  Here are a few things to consider before making your final decision.

Hard Drive Data Wiping

Data erasure, also referred to as data wiping, is an approved method of data destruction under most privacy laws (although industries like healthcare and finance have their own regulations related to data destruction that you’ll need to be aware of if they apply to your business).  This process involves using software that performs a multi-pass overwriting process, replacing all existing data with junk data (zeros, for example) to eliminate any trace of sensitive data you don’t want recovered.

Because the data is overwritten, instead of merely deleted, there is no chance of recovery.  It’s like removing a tattoo versus covering it.  With removal, scarring could still reveal information about the tattoo you used to have.  When you cover it, it’s as if the old tattoo was never there.

This method isn’t considered the gold standard in data disposal, but it really is a great alternative to shredding a hard drive with the added benefits to consider.  The main advantage of choosing this option is that you can safely remarket devices that still have some value in order to see a return on investment, offsetting the initial cost and/or helping to pay for upgrades to new devices.

Hard Drive Shredding

The option many companies prefer is hard drive destruction, whereby drives are shredded using industrial equipment in compliance with the strictest privacy laws, then recycled in keeping with environmental protections.  When done properly, the immense physical damage to drives makes it impossible for any data to be recovered, even by adept hackers.

If you choose a certified ITAD service provider for this task, you’ll have the option to watch as devices are shredded on-site (or they can be removed to a secure facility for destruction) and you’ll receive a verified Certificate of Destruction and Recycling for your records when the process is complete.  In the meantime, all devices are tracked by serial number for your peace of mind.

Reliable Professional Help

Whether hard drive wiping or drive shredding is your preferred means of data destruction, it’s essential to choose a service provider you trust.  This means selecting a certified ITAD provider that stays on top of changing laws for you,  submits to independent audits, and vets downstream partners to ensure compliance throughout the entire chain of custody, keeping your customers and your company safe.

When you need a reputable and reliable ITAD company to manage your data destruction needs in North Dakota or South Dakota, contact the qualified professionals at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to schedule an appointment and request a quote.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.