Do You Require a Government Certified Degausser?
Many corporations and government organizations that deal with any form of personal, financial or medical information must be vigilant in how they deal with the dissemination and disposal of such information. Many laws passed within the last 10 years outline legal and financial penalties for negligence with personal data. These laws include the following: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. There are many degaussers available on the market today that will erase your data to standards that meet or exceed the specifications outlined in the above laws.
Degaussers have been approved for security erasure by the National Security Administration (NSA), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), a British intelligence agency.
In addition, many government agencies are required to manage their data security to detailed government specification, which would require they buy a degausser or physical destroyer that meets or exceeds standards required by the National Security Agency (NSA) or authorized by the Department of Defense (DoD).
NSA Approved Degaussers
NSA approves powerful degaussers that meet their specific standards and that in many cases utilize the latest technology for top secret erasure levels. The process involved to get a degausser certified by the NSA is lengthy and challenging, and equipment is usually only approved if it meets stringent operational requirements or offers a new, competitive advantage to previously approved degaussers.
The newest top secret NSA approved degaussers are currently certified to erase magnetic tape media up to 2,800 Oersted and both Longitudinal Magnetic Recording (LMR) and Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) hard drives up to 6,000 Oersted. PMR hard drives are estimated to deliver more than triple the storage density of traditional LMR drives, and thus in many instances require a much more powerful degausser. Using an NSA approved degausser to erase a PMR drive, you can be confident the information will be completely removed from the drive so that it cannot be forensically reconstructed.
Most NSA approved degaussers are cavity or drawer-style machines, and some require specific adapters to manage different sizes and formats of media. It is important to inquire if the adapter comes shipped with the unit or if it is an option that must be purchased separately.