Media Sanitization Service
CIT provides a Media Sanitization Service through the NIH Data Center for the secure disposal of information storage media. These include CDs, DVDs, tapes (except for the old round mainframe tapes), and disk media (e.g., hard drives and floppy disks). Magnetic media (e.g., hard drives and magnetic tape) are degaussed; optical media (e.g., CDs and DVDs) are destroyed.
The Media Sanitization Service meets the minimum sanitization requirements and risk levels according to the NIH Sanitization Guide, which is based on National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) sanitization standards.
The proper disposal of storage media greatly reduces the risk of data exposure, thereby increasing data security. The Media Sanitization Service helps customers comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirement that media containing sensitive data be overwritten or sanitized prior to recycling, reusing, donating, or disposing of the data storage media.
The NIH Data Center’s sanitization equipment meets the DoD requirements for sanitizing all data storage media and is listed on the NSA Degausser Approved Product List (NSA/CSS EPL-9-12A-C).
This service is available to all NIH customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is this service necessary?
A: You may not realize it, but even erasing and reformatting a disk does not permanently remove the data stored on it. Magnetic media that cannot be erased using an approved repeated-overwrite operation must be degaussed to completely erase data prior to recycling, reusing, donating, or disposing of the storage media. For optical media, such as CDs and DVDs, destruction is the only safe bet.
The Media Sanitization Service complies with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) which requires that media containing sensitive data be overwritten or sanitized prior to recycling, reusing, donating, or disposing of the data storage media.
Q: How do I request this service?
A: To request sanitization services, have your Administrative Officer (AO) submit an Online Service Request through the NIH IT Service Desk with “Media Sanitization” in the description of the service request and provide the following information on the ticket:
Name of Requestor
Type of Media
Number of Units
For disk and tape media, do you want the media returned? If yes, are there any time constraints for the return of the media?
Media Labels or Serial Numbers (if any)
To ensure the request is processed as quickly as possible, please be sure to include all the information listed above. More details on requesting Media Sanitization Service from the NIH Data Center can be found in the NIH Data Center Media Sanitization Information document (PDF).
Q: What kinds of storage media can be sanitized?
A: The CIT service, located in the highly secure NIH Data Center, sanitizes data from the following data storage media:
- Hard disk drives -- up to 3.5” diameter and 1.6" high
- Hard disks up to 5300 Oersted
- Tapes up to 2600 Oersted
- Removable magnetic disks
- Floppy disks
- Tapes up to 1/2" wide (type 3480)
- Other tapes -- DLT, LTO, QIC, DAT, 8mm, TRAVAN, and AIT tapes
- CDs and DVDs
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