Secure Data Wiping : Industry Best Practices
The DoD 5220.22 M technique has shown to be a safe way of erasing data from hard disk devices. It is reputable, well-known, and widely utilized in a variety of sectors.

The Obsolete DoD Standard

Despite being out of date, the DoD 5220.22-M standard is still used by many suppliers and consumers in the industry. The "DoD Standard," published by the National Industrial Security Program in 1995, detailed a procedure for overwriting the hard disk with three passes and a final verification pass. This standard was never formally authorized by the United States Department of Defense and was never meant to be a model for businesses to follow. Using this approach to wipe a hard disk prevents most software and hardware-based recovery methods; however, the repeated overwrite passes are no longer necessary and waste time and money. The Department of Defense and the majority of rules and certification processes currently relate to the current NIST SP 800-88 R1 requirements, which require a mix of wiping and physical destruction.

Be wary of complex drive destruction providers who claim to be qualified or authorized by DoD standards; such promises are deceptive, as certification to this level does not exist.

The most recent NIST standard

Consider the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Special Publication 800-88: Guidelines for Media Sanitization while seeking a hard drive wiping or shredder service for current data erasure compliance. The most recent edition was published in 2012, and it contains methods for overwriting, secure erasing, and physical destruction. In standards and certification compliance across all industries, the NIST standards have superseded the DoD standard.

The Most Effective Data Destruction Strategy

It is crucial to remember that, regardless of the standard utilized, disk wiping software cannot wipe physically defective hard disks.

The most significant disadvantage of hard drive shredding is the loss of resale value; nevertheless, if a hard drive has failed, has any damaged sectors, or is too old to be reused, destruction is the best option.

A mix of wiping and shredding is the best overall suggested data disposal method. You should promptly lock any new hard drives and engage with a qualified vendor to destroy those that cannot be adequately erased, as documented by a serial number report and certificate of destruction.

Find firms that go above and above legally mandated processes that prioritize security, resale value, and recycling. Keep in mind that certifications of destruction do not absolve you of legal obligation. You are still responsible if data is discovered after sending it to a contractor who "certified" its deletion. So, while inquiring about procedures, be cautious and search for voluntary certificates such as R2 or e-Stewards that the official internet directory has validated. These certifications need yearly third-party audits to ensure that all equipment is managed safely and responsibly and that any drives offered for reuse have been completely wiped.

Organizations must use media sanitization (also known as data sanitization) to avoid leaking confidential and sensitive data from storage media such as hard drives, USB flash storage, servers, and so on. When releasing storage devices from custody, failure to delete the data might expose critical corporate information and lead to data breaches.

DoD 5220.22-M data destruction guidelines define a systematic procedure for erasing hard drives and other data storage mediums by specifying overwriting passes, patterns, and verification techniques. The goal of these data wiping standards is to guarantee that data from storage devices is permanently destroyed, leaving no traces behind, before the item is returned, reassigned, resold, or disposed of for recycling.

This blog article aims to discuss the DoD 5220.22-M data wiping standard and how it removes undesired, sensitive data from storage media.