Information - Technology
Information - Technology
Data carrier destruction
Information on digital data carriers can be wiped with a Degausser or with an Eraser. In
addition, data carriers can also be physically destroyed. Shredders, Crushers and Punchers are available for physical destruction.
It is important to realize that information is still present on a physically damaged data carrier. The information is only divided into smaller pieces. For example, a modern hard disk can contain up to several terabytes of information. Crushing,
bending or puncturing the hard disk platters will not remove the information. A 1x1 cm hard disk platter fragment can contain gigabytes of information.
With physical destruction of data carriers, the smaller the fragments, the more time and effort is needed to reconstruct the information. This is defined in the DIN 66399 and ISO / IEC 21964 standard;
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) regulates the rights of people whose
data is processed by defining privacy rights and strengthening existing rights. Organizations that process personal data are required by law to demonstrate that they comply. Personal data is information that is directly
about someone or can be traced back to this person. For physical destruction of this data the minimum security level is 3.
There are certain special categories of personal data. Special personal data is data that is so privacy-sensitive that it can have a major impact on someone if this data is processed. The processing of this personal data is prohibited unless there is
a legal exception. When physically destroying this data minimum security level 4 must be used.
DIN 66399 (ISO / IEC 21964) norm
The DIN 66399 standard, developed by the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), is a standard developed in 2013 for destroying all types of data carriers. The DIN 66399 standard defines
three protection classes, seven safety levels and six material classifications. The international standard ISO / IEC 21964 for the protection and destruction of data is based on the existing German standard DIN 66399 (since 2018).
The DIN 66399 / ISO 21964 standard has three protection classes. These determine to what extent the data must be protected on a data carrier;
|- Protection class 1
||Normal protection of internal data
|- Protection class 2
||Higher protection of confidential data
|- Protection class 3
||Very high protection of confidential and secret data
Seven safety levels are derived from the three protection classes. These safety levels determine the amount of effort and resources needed to reproduce information on a destroyed data carrier;
|- Security level 1
||Reproduction of data requires simple effort
|- Security level 2
||Reproduction of data requires special effort and tools
|- Security level 3
||Reproduction of data requires considerable effort (labor, time, tools)
|- Security level 4
||Reproduction of data requires exceptional effort and unusual tools
|- Security level 5
||Reproduction of data only possible with unusual tools
|- Security level 6
||Reproduction of data is unlikely with current state of technology
|- Security level 7
||Reproduction of data is impossible with current state of technology
The various types of data carriers are divided according to the DIN 66399 / ISO 21964 standard into the following six categories;
|- Material classification P
||Original size (paper, film printing plates)
|- Material classification F
|- Material classification O
||Optical data carriers (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray)
|- Material classification T
||Magnetic data carriers (tapes, floppy disks, credit cards)
|- Material classification H
||Hard disk drives
|- Material classification E
||Electronic data carriers (USB stick, SSD's, memory cards)
A shredder is used to grind data carriers in small fragments. For this purpose hardened steel knives that rotate in the opposite direction are used. There are shredders for various types of data carriers; paper and cardboard, optical media
(CD, DVD, Blu-Ray), flash memory (USB sticks, memory cards), tapes (audio, video, data), credit cards, smartphones, tablets, SSD's and hard disks.
Not every shredder is suitable for all types of data carriers and materials. For the grinding of the metal housing of a hard disk, for example, much more power is needed than for shredding paper. The DIN 66399 / ISO 21964 standard specifies which materials
a shredder can process to which safety level. 90% of the particles must comply with the norm and the remaining 10% must not exceed 3x the norm.
Crushers are specifically developed to physically damage hard drives. A crusher uses a metal wedge to bend a hard disk over it's length in a 90 degree angle. The metal wedge is pressed down with a great force. This damages the platters, read heads,
electric motor and electronics of the hard disk so that it is no longer accessible. A crusher is often used as a second step in the hard disk destruction process. First a hard disk is erased with a degausser after which it is physically destroyed
with a crusher. This provides an optical verification that a hard disk has been destroyed and is ready to be disposed of.
Some crushers optionally offer a module that can also destroy SSD's (Solid State Drive). An SSD is placed in the metal module after which it is compressed by the crusher. Depending on the specific model, the SSD is pierced in several places with
metal pins or cracked into a wave pattern. Both methods ensure that all individual SSD memory chips are damaged.
A Puncher uses a hardened steel pin to pierce hard drives. When piercing a hard disk drive, the platters, readheads, electric motor and electronics of the hard disk are damaged so that it is no longer accessible. A puncher is often used as a
second step in the hard disk destruction process. First a hard disk is erased with a degausser after which it is physically destroyed with a puncher.
DIN 66399 / ISO 21964 Norm
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