In a world where there is an excessive amount of data, it’s important to know how to keep some of this information private. However, every individual and organization should also be informed about the proper ways to destroy and sanitize data. Degaussing is one example of a method used to permanently destroy magnetic media. Let’s analyze how this process works and what types of electronic items can be destroyed via degaussing.
How Does Degaussing Work?
Degaussing is a data destruction method that lasts a few seconds and that is typically employed on devices that include magnetic media (cassette tapes, floppy disks, access cards, zip drives, other reels, etc.). This technique can ensure that data is rapidly destroyed from media where the application of overwriting erasure software is not possible because of software failure.
According to market research firm MarketsandMarkets™, the global degaussing system market was valued at $726.8 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $981.2 million by 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.92%. This report included degaussing in the vessel manufacturing industry (frigates, submarines, aircraft carriers, destroyers, etc.).
On devices that are degaussed, a magnetic field is applied to tiny areas known as Weiss domains. During the data writing phase, the magnetic field creates a verse that dictates the orientation of the magnetization of some of these Weiss domains. These verses carry bit values of either 0 or 1. The data then becomes erased because the magnetized Weiss domains are arranged to be facing one direction. The machine that creates this magnetic field is called a degausser.
What Magnetic Storage Devices Can Be Degaussed?
There are three primary types of electronic devices that can be degaussed:
- Digital magnetic tapes of all major formats (DLT, LTO, etc.)
- Hard disk drives (2 ½, 3 ½ or 5 ¼-inch)
- Floppy disks (3 ½ and 5 ¼-inch)
All of these items have magnetic strips that contain data.
What Does Degaussing Do To A Hard Drive?
The magnetic field produced by a degausser is so powerful that it doesn’t simply offer a safe way to destroy data. It also protects future investments via disks that can record large amounts of information. You should also know that a magnet can oppose resistance to demagnetization. This phenomenon is known as magnetic coercivity. According to Hong Kong-based information security news website InfoSec, a degausser is generally considered “effective” if it produces a magnetic field of (at minimum) 1.5 times the coercivity of the support it requires in order to be deleted. Consequently, the greater a degausser’s power is, the more effective it is. Thus, this effective tool can be utilized on future devices with magnetic media.
On-site degaussing is highly beneficial because it gives you the opportunity to directly observe how this process is performed. The same is true for any other data destruction and sanitization method.
Off-site degaussing services are generally carried out at a controlled and supervised facility. You may prefer off-site degaussing if there is limited space at your workplace or home office, or if you have time limitations. Regardless of which of these two methods you choose (and of the location you select, in the case of off-site degaussing), a professional data destruction company will always follow proper protocols and regulations to make sure that your equipment is treated with the highest level of care.
Reach Out To An Experienced Data Destruction Company
Contact the experts at e-End in Frederick, Maryland for more information about degaussing and the benefits of this process. We are one of the most respected companies in the Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania region due to having achieved NAID’s AAA requirements for specialized destruction services such as SSDs and hard drives, optical, film, and any other forms of media destruction.
We cover a wide range of recycling and destruction services, including secure data destruction, electronic recycling, equipment, and device destruction, and IT asset disposition (ITAD). We are also validated by the highest electronic certifications so that we help you ensure that you always remain compliant with federal and state recycling and data destruction laws.
At e-End, we offer both on-site and off-site degaussing services. We are capable of positioning our destruction vehicles up to a client’s loading dock or building and can degauss and shred anything that needs to be destroyed in a timely manner. We even have a mobile auxiliary power unit that provides the required electricity to our mobile destruction. Call e-End today at 240-529-1010 or contact us online to learn more about degaussing and our other data destruction services.