Confidential information whether personal or official should be destroyed or erased completely before you dispose your hard drive or any storage device. since, there are chances of misusung your data. File deletion or formatting the device will erase your data, but it is just temporary. There are many recovery tools that can recover them even after formatting the storage device several times. Hence, the drive should be cleaned up beyond recovery. To achieve this, US Department of Defense (DOD) has developed some of the sanitization standards. DoD Standard 5220.28 STD is provides highest security level for data. Before going to the DoD 5220.28, first get to know in brief about DoD.
US Department of Defence
The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is a federal agency responsible for maintaining and organizing standardization of materials, facilities, and engineering practices. It provides a uniform series of specifications, standards, and related documents including many recommendations for data security, Internet security, and many other areas. ITs standards comes from more than 20 organizations adopted by DoD. for data security and protection, the organization concerned is National Security Efforts Sector.
How DoD 5220.28 STD works?
DoD Standard 5220.28 STD recommends the approach of overwriting all the locations with a character, its complement and then a random character and then verify. So as to clear and sanitize the information stored on the media. The process is as explained below:
In order to perform this, it requires 7 passes (hence, it is slower) matching the U.S. Department of Defense standards (DOD 5220.28). The method first overwrites with 01010101. The second overwrite is performed with 10101010. This cycle is repeated three times. The final overwrite is made using random characters. The Department of Defense (DoD) hard disk wipe standard requires the data to be destroyed is rewritten multiple times to ensure proper data protection.
There are many other sanitization standards available, among them, this is considered as the highest level security provider. It erases hard drive data, such that no recovery program can ever retrieve your sensitive and confidential data.