Best Practices for the Destruction of Digital Data 

Dr. Gordon Hughes, and Ryk Edelstein 

The availability of reliable and up-to-date data sanitization guidance has not kept pace with the advances in high capacity, hard drive storage technology. Detailed research on the topic uncovers guidance, recommendations, and product claims that span the past 30 years, netting a confusing and contradictory collection of statements, many of which may not in fact apply to current technology.                                                                                                                                                                               

 

This guide is intended to establish an understanding of the technologies and practices necessary to develop an effective data destruction policy suitable for the protection of all levels of information and respecting degrees of information sensitivity. The guidance provided here is based on current and accepted protocol established by industry, academic and government recognized sources, and is specific to the protection of modern, high capacity hard drive storage hardware. The guidance provided should be sufficient to define the framework necessary to ensure that legacy data is adequately protected.

 

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