What you need to know about Data Destruction

Data has grown in the past decade. Consequently, it has become more vulnerable to attacks.

There is a demand for data destruction planning and businesses are having to step up to protect themselves. Proper data destruction is essential for data security best practices and integrity. This is essential to prevent any potential disasters.

Many International data standards surrounding data storage exist and, in some circumstances, they have been written into law.

It is important to understand how you can meet your local and overseas’ regulatory requirements. By working with a partner like 3d Systems, who can guide you through the process, you can rest assured that you have taken the correct action in preventing any data security breach.

We can help you understand the different types of common wiping standards and how we can help you apply them to your business or personal circumstances. If you are looking for a total one stop supplier to take care of Data Destruction on all your devices, then this is something we would be happy to assist with.

3d System Sales Ltd offers services both at our own premises in Hampshire where goods will be transported by our own team or on-site at your location using portable equipment.  If required, physical destruction of devices can be carried out, with every step recorded to provide you with evidence of destruction. Not being tied to a single vendors solution means that we will take each project on a case by case basis, offering a time and cost-effective solution for you whether you have 10 or 10,000 devices to process.  This flexibility also allows us to offer you a solution that meet’s your preferred standards, rather than forcing you to compromise to an alternative.

Something to consider.

The service that we offer can increase the value of your devices for resale purposes, helping you to lower your total cost of ownership.  How? As part of the data destruction process, we take the opportunity to test for functionality all the devices and grade them. When these devices are then resold, we are able to achieve a greater selling price for items that have been tested in this manner in comparison to devices that are untested.

Our team would be very happy to help you through this process. To discuss all our data wiping solutions please call 3d System Sales Ltd on 01256 808555 to find a solution that fits your personal or business needs.

More technical information needed?

As we have already said, there are multiple options for wiping devices and we cannot list them all here, but major factors you might have to consider will be how long it may take to wipe the drive and what level of security you desire as they are typically linked.  For example, if you have a large hard drive, to make a very simple overwrite of zeros will take much less time to complete than writing random data (more effective). And the more passes that are required (effectively increasing the level of protection), the longer it takes. Common standards range from as few as 1 passes up to 35 passes.

If the process used also verifies each write at the end of each pass, then the whole process will take longer than using a different wipe method that doesn’t verify at all or waits until the very end of the last pass to verify that the data has been overwritten.

Whichever method you use, they all have Pro’s and Con’s which we would be happy to discuss with you.

Here is a guide to a few of the most commonly recognised international standards for data wiping:

Canadian Standard

RCMP TSSIT OPS-II (Four-pass wipe)

This method uses four different passes. It alternates ones and zeros to write over data on the first three passes, it then writes random characters on the fourth and verifies that step was successful.

This method is similar to a US-based standard which is called NAVSO P-5239-26, defined by the US Navy.

US Department of Defence

DoD 5220.22-M (Three-pass wipe)

US Department of Defence standards are another military-grade option for data destruction. This works very similarly to the Canadian and US Naval standards. It uses zeros in the first pass and ones in the second pass, followed by a random character in the third. The main difference between the Canadian and Navy standard and this DOD is that each pass is verified along the way.


Gutmann, Pfitzner, and Schneier’s Methods

These different algorithms are complex multi-pass overwrites which prevent the extraction of the original data.

The Gutmann Method is one of the most complex and thorough wiping standards. This approach uses 18 to 35 different passes. It uses heavy variations in the overwriting patterns. Random characters are also input at certain intervals and a complex pattern is used throughout the entire overwrite. This method is a good option for older hard drives.

The Pfitzner Method is equally complicated. This method uses a 33-pass option and runs the entire program multiple times. Verification occurs along the way and also uses a combination of random characters for each pass. There is the option for both a seven-pass and 33-pass program.

The Schneier Method has a more complex system than some of the other standard data destruction techniques. It first employs zeros and ones in the first two passes followed by five more random characters. Some software will verify that a character was written, and will then start the process all over again if the verification shows a failure to write the character to the drive.

To discuss data wiping solutions please call 3d System Sales Ltd on 01256 808555 to find a solution that fits your personal or business needs.


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