On-Site | Certified | Compliant

NSA Compliant Hard Drive Destruction

Compliant data and information destruction for military contractors.

NSA Requirements: Hard Drive & SSD Destruction

The destruction of information classified by the National Security Agency (NSA) is governed by stringent guidelines to ensure that classified data is completely and irreversibly destroyed. Compliance with these requirements is critical for any organization handling classified information, including government entities, contractors, and associated businesses.

NSA Defense Counterintelligence Agency
hard Drive destruction projects for the City of Los Angeles
Hard drive destruction projects NASA in Pasadena
Hard drive destruction project for the Office of the Inspector General Health and Human Services
US Bankruptcy Court
Logo Irvine 1 copy

NSA -Classified Information Destruction


Required Destruction Equipment

All destruction equipment (shredders, disintegrators, degaussers) must be tested and approved by the NSA. The NSA evaluates and lists acceptable products on the NSA/CSS Evaluated Products List (EPL).  The type of equipment used for destruction is based on the type of digital media.  For example, SSDs cannot be degaussed like a magnetic or hard disk drive.


Witness and Verification

The destruction process requires the presence of at least two authorized personnel to witness the destruction, ensuring that materials are destroyed within NSA standards.

Verification and documentation of the destruction process are crucial. This includes maintaining logs and certificates of destruction which detail the date, time, method used, and personnel involved.  This document can come in the form of a Certificate of Destruction from E-Waste Security or other certified data destruction vendor.


Destruction Methods - Particle Size

Hard drives and other magnetic media need to be degaussed and destroyed.  The destruction or shred size does not matter.  The degauss process scrambles or erases the data and the destruction makes the media unusable.  SSDs and flash media need to be disintegrated to 2mm to comply with NSA requirements.

The destruction of the hard drive consists of “physically damaging by deforming the internal platters…”  The NSA/CSS Policy Manual 9-12  “Storage Device Sanitization and Destruction Manual” does not require shredding the drive to a certain size.


Audits - Inspections - Vendor Due Diligence

Use a vetted or certified data destruction vendor if your organization does not have media destruction on the EPL list. 

Audits will require documentation of the equipment used.  This report should include the make, model, and serial number for each machine on the EPL.

Digital Media Destruction Guidance

The National Security Agency (NSA) provides specific guidance for complying with digtal media and hard drive destruction projects.  The manual entitled NSA/CSS Storage Device Sanitization Manual 9-12  details the proper methodology and equipment required for contractors and agencies.  In addition, the NSA/CSS Policy 6-22 “Handling of NSA/CSS Information Storage Media” assigns responsibilities for the secure handling of all NSA/CSS information media storage  These policies and manuals detail the acceptable equipment and methodology for hard drive destruction.

NSA Data Destruction Quote