What is Degaussing?
Degaussing is the process of removing the signal(data) from magnetic media, by imposing a strong magnetic field onto the media, which completely neutralizes the existing signal, leaving only a small, uniform background signal. We offer on-site degaussing services at your facility, as well as off-site degaussing services at our secured facility. As a nationwide vendor for over 50 years, our degaussing and data destruction processes comply with corporate policies and legal mandates. Our unique and proven process along with our highly trained team of data destruction experts, provides the highest level of security for degaussing and disposal.
How Degaussing Works
A degausser is a machine that removes the magnetic field (data) stored on tape and disk media. When exposed to the powerful magnetic field of a degausser, the magnetic data on a tape or hard disk is neutralized, or erased. Degaussing guarantees that magnetic media is erased; it is the standard method of magnetic data destruction. Using the right degausser will guarantee that your information is no-longer retrievable.
Degaussing is simply a demagnetization process to erase a hard drive or tape. Degaussers contain a magnetic field that is measured in units of gauss or oersted. All magnetic media has a level of coercively which directly correlates to oersted. Depending on the oersted level of magnetic media, different degaussers must be used to properly eradicate all data.
Let’s first discuss how magnetic media is written. Magnetic tapes have three basic components: an iron oxide powder, a binder and film backing. A tape recorder works by moving the tape past small blocks called heads. When recording, the heads will create a magnetic field that alters the iron oxide powder on the surface of the tape into a pattern. Playback heads then convert this pattern into sound, video, and computer data.
Hard drives work in a very similar way. Instead of tape, hard drives use a circular piece of metal, called a platter, which contained a coating of iron oxide. The platter spins beneath a read/write head. Small pulses of electricity pass through a coil in the head to magnetize the surface of the platter.
Degaussers are able to erase because they generate a magnetic field so powerful that is permanently removes the magnetic memory from the iron oxide which removes or randomized the data pattern. Depending on the type of media, different magnetic field strengths are required to effectively destroy magnetic memory. Modern tapes and hard drives require more magnetic strength. Depending on the type of tape your organization uses, we will use the appropriate degausser to get the job done.
Benefits of Degaussing
Is My Data Safe After Degaussing?
All data is destroyed using cartridge and drive manufacturer approved processes prior to ever being read or written to. This insures the security and confidentiality of the data. Data Destruction Certificates and Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreements are available at no charge. We guarantee the security and confidentiality of your data. We handle tens of thousands of pieces of media each month.
You can rest assured, knowing that your data has been professionally destroyed, and that the component materials will be disposed of in a responsible manner.
Conforming to Laws and Regulations
Degaussing magnetic media (specifically magnetic tape media) is the approved method of data destruction. Re-formatting your tapes is not good enough. By eradicating any and all data through degaussing, industry and federal regulations regarding data destruction are adhered to.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Sarnanes-Oxley Act (corporate reporting and auditing practices)
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Financial Services Modernization Act)
- USA Patriot Act (Bank Security Act)
- Homeland Security Information Sharing Act (Federal agencies security information)
- Other regulatory agencies concerned with Data Destruction (FDA,SEC,Utility Commission, etc.)
Why do most companies not degauss their own media?
Simple…MONEY! Most companies do not want the added cost of expensive equipment and additional labor costs to degauss their own media. By handling thousands of pieces each month, we are able to provide an easy and economical way for companies to reduce costs and increase their backup performance. Let us handle the degaussing process so you can sit back and relax.