To Shred or to Erase? That is the Question.

August 26th, 2020

Blog, Data Security

As you prepare to decommission your I.T. equipment, one of the most important tasks ahead of you is the proper destruction of confidential data and information. This is an essential security measure you must take to prevent hackers from accessing valuable information about your company, even if said information is latent or outdated. But which method of data destruction should you use, shredding or erasing? They both have unique advantages you can benefit from, so you must decide which option offers you more value and protection. In this blog, we’ll cover the difference between shredding and erasing and how to decide between the two. 

Shredding vs. Erasing: What’s the Difference? 

Although shredding and erasing are both considered proper methods of data destruction, there is a significant difference between the two.

Shredding is akin to paper shredding; the physical storage media is destroyed by an industrial machine with rotating teeth. The biggest advantage of shredding your data is that there is no possibility of data recovery or reassembly. Once the hard drive is destroyed, there is no going back. 

Shredding is also the most economical form of data destruction, as well as the fastest. With the help of a trusted data destruction company, you can check this off your to-do list in the blink of an eye. 

Companies with tight budgets may try to keep their data shredding in-house as a way to save more money. We strongly recommend against this. Untrained and unqualified personnel can put the company at risk of a data breach if they don’t perform the data shred correctly. This risk is eliminated when working with a professional company. 

Erasing refers to overwriting the current data with binary code. When done correctly, the binary code will completely obscure the current information with nonsensical ones and zeros that even the best hackers can’t undo. This method of data destruction is also referred to as data clearing or data wiping. 

Erasing is a long and arduous process that can only be handled by highly-qualified engineers, and nobody else! The more data there is, the longer it takes to completely remove it from existence. Due to how complicated this process is, companies will usually spend more money erasing their data as opposed to shredding their data. However, the major advantage is that old hard drives can be reused and recycled. 

What’s the Best Option?

To determine whether shredding or erasing is the best option for you, consider the following.

Contact Keystone Technology Management for reliable and affordable hard drive shredding services and data erasing services!