If your business wants to dispose of its end-of-life media correctly to avoid violating compliance laws or suffering a data breach, then it's likely you've come across the term "degaussing" at some point.

A  number of different degaussing devices can be used to erase the media and important data on it, but it's important to know exactly how it works before you make a choice.

Lowdown on degaussing
Degaussing is the only National Security Agency and Department of Defense approved data erasure method for those who wish to comply with data protection laws and keep information safe. Commonly used for end-of-life media devices, degaussers are a step above what common software wipe methods can offer.

A software wipe simply erases the data by either covering it in code or scrambling it. Since the hard drive is still intact and the data is still present, it's wholly possible for a hacker to get their hands on the information inside of it. With the average data breach costing a business nearly $4 million, according to a study completed by the International Business Machine Corporation, it's imperative to completely rid the device of anything that may be of value. It's worth mentioning that this method isn't approved by the NSA or DOD.

Degaussers differ by utilizing a magnetic field to effectively erase any information left on the drive, as well as render it unreadable. It's commonly paired with a crushing machine as a foolproof way to make sure data is unobtainable.

Throwing away end-of-life media devices can leave your organization vulnerable to a data breach.

Making your choice
Each degausser sold by Proton Data has unique qualities that make it right for certain jobs. Each media device has a certain Oersted magnetic density that needs to be penetrated in order to completely wipe it, and degaussers work best when paired with the end-of-life media and method of use it was created in mind for.

Proton T-4 HDD: This NSA-certified degausser uses unique, patented reverse polarity technology to securely erase data on data tapes and hard drives. Many degaussers on the market have either a positive or negative magnetic pulse – but never both. This one-of-a-kind degausser utilizes 20,000 Gauss positive and negative fields to permanently delete data stored on the device.

When it comes to degaussing strength, this machine takes home the gold medal every time. It features a 45- to 60-second cycle time, which allows large organizations within industries like medical or military to routinely erase vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

"The Proton T-4 HDD is the strongest degausser on the market."

Proton T-1.5 HDD: This degausser is the strongest commercial product available on the market and utilizes a 15,000-Gauss magnetic field to safely erase data. Perfect for HIPAA or NIST standards, the T-1.5 meets DOD requirements for safely disposing of unclassified information.

As it weighs just 48 pounds, it can easily be moved around an organization's building and its automatic function is simple enough that any employee can use it. The five-second cycle time means it can quickly and efficiently erase data from large amounts of end-of-life media, which is especially valuable for organizations that may have a whole room devoted to storing those devices.

Proton 1100 Paddle Wand: Another NSA-certified degausser, the 1100 paddle wand is a portable degausser with enough magnetic field density to truly erase data from a device. This product doesn't require electricity to work and will erase hard drives with the highest coercivity available, up to 5,000 Oersted, making it incredibly valuable for organizations with small amounts of data to sanitize.

Proton 1090 Floppy Disk Degausser: This degausser is NSA-certified as well, and specializes in the complete and secure data erasure of floppy disk drives. This is able to handle both standard and high-density drives, as it generates a 750+ Gauss magnetic field.

If you're still unsure about which degausser is right for your data erasure needs, contact us so we can help you secure your organization's information.