Physical destruction of data storage: key considerations

Physical Destruction of Data Storage – Important Things to Consider

By Sonalisha Mohanty Category Hot Topics Reading time 5 mins Published on Apr 15, 2024

Must-know Facts About Physical Data Destruction

Today’s digitally-driven era demands impactful data destruction ways to discard obsolete info securely. Regardless of digital shifts, physical destruction is vital for preserving the privacy and authenticity of data. Data can be of any form – from employee details to business info. Thus, data storage and security are becoming a skyrocketing demand for all. Gone are the days when simply deleting the files was enough to save the data. Anyway, the physical destruction of data storage is beneficial for larger firms to save their credible data from threats.

In this blog, we will brief you on important things to consider while opting for the physical disposal of data.

Physical Destruction in Brief!!

Data destruction is vital to protect hidden info from theft and breach. It is a process of destroying data storage devices (hardware or software) so that it becomes unusable. Timely destruction of data is vital for firms to limit its unfair use. Regardless of various methods, the physical destruction of data storage is trending now and then.

Physical destruction of data refers to disposing of unused and obsolete data stored in physical devices (Hard Disk Drives or tapes). Owing to the data breach risks, the physical destruction of data becomes a savior for many firms and other users. Even if many users neglect the method of physical destruction, its flexible features pave the way for secure data disposal.

We use large machinery shredders to dispose of the data storage devices. Such machines shred off the devices into tiny pieces to prevent data theft. It collects obsolete data that are of no use but can hamper a firm’s worth once hacked. Physical destruction of data plays a vital role in data security, as it prevents unfair access to it.

Types of Physical Destruction of Data Storage

Physical disposal of data storage devices takes place in three forms –

  • Shredding machines: Users can opt for larger shredding machines to destroy the data storage devices physically. It breaks the device into smaller pieces and destroys it.
  • Drillers: It is an effective way of destroying data by drilling holes in the drives. It disposes of the data and limits unfair access to it.
  • Crushing: It physically destroys data with a metal press that breaks the device into smaller pieces. It traces the elements with vital data stored and crushes it.

An image shows a logo of bitcoin with secure framework.

When You Should Physically Destroy the Data?

The global solid state drive market expects a 14.3% rise by 2031, which turns the physical destruction of data vital for many firms.

Amid the rise in data usage, secure data disposal has become a need for many firms. Yet, there needs to be a proper solution to deleting a file or content from the disk. It can still potentially harm the firm’s credibility via a data breach or cyber-attacks. Hence, physical disposal of data storage devices is needed for security purposes.

Firms often opt for reusable devices to save their personal info and limit unfair access to it. Yet, it carries data theft risks and cannot be deleted. Furthermore, you can't resell the reusable devices to vendors; hence, it blocks your funds from being incurred. It is when you must physically destroy the storage devices to save costs and confidential info.

In short, when you have data that is outdated but can cause loss if stolen, you must opt for physical disposal of the device. Some notable reasons are –

  • Saving Sensitive Data About Business

Physical disposal of the data is vital to save sensitive info for your firm. Firms include financial records, policy statements, secrets, and other useful data that may cause loss to business if leaked.

  • Securing Employee Data

Firms deal with vast amounts of employee data. Some firms store employee’s data in HDD that needs physical disposal. It is the optimal way to protect data from external risks.

Regulatory authorities like PCI DSS, GDPR, and many more impose strict data security policies. Physical disposal of data storage follows legal compliance to secure data from hacking or unauthorized use.

An image shows a cracking of the laptop and destruction of data storage.

Benefits of Physical Destruction of Data Storage

  • Data Protection

Many users think that deleting the files from the HDD can save them from hacking. On the contrary, it still carries the data recovery risks. Physical disposal damages the devices that hackers cannot recover for unethical use.

  • Adhering to the data disposal policy

Users can opt for the physical destruction of data storage devices adhering to legal compliance. It enhances the goodwill of the firm and protects them from piracy attacks.

No wonder the physical destruction of data storage devices helps firms to eradicate major data thefts. Yet, it also consists of some drawbacks that you must know.

Pitfalls of Physical Destruction of Data Storage

  • No scope for data refurbishment

Physical destruction is useful, yet one must be careful while doing so. You must check if the data is obsolete and can be destroyed forever. Physical disposal of data has no way for refurbishment or reuse.

  • Expensive Destruction

The Physical destruction of certain storage devices like mobile phones is costly. Everyone needs help to afford the process it takes to destroy the devices due to their complex design and integrated battery arrangements.


Today’s digital space demands liable data usage to protect it from theft and cyber-attacks. The blog concludes with the rising demand for physical destruction to ease data recovery risks and limit thefts. Firms with obsolete data sets must opt for physical disposal of data but with the right steps. No wonder the physical disposal of data unlocks a secure platform for firms with fewer cyberattacks. Yet, unfair practices or a lack of awareness can degrade the value of physical data destruction in ways that, Thus, it's mandatory to upgrade your skills with smart trends in data storage and destruction.

Apart from the physical disposal of data, today’s digital space is moving toward more resilient options. The rise of AI, quantum computing, and blockchain technology delivers proven ways of destroying your data. Furthermore, the physical destruction of data storage is crucial for data scientists. Thus, upskilling with an Advance Data Science and AI Program equips you with the skills to control the data storage & destruction lifecycle. Plus, its globally-accredited certifications (IBM & Microsoft) enrich the scope for career growth in the digital space.


1. How might you physically destroy data?

You can opt for shredding, crushing, and drilling to destroy the data physically. Experts always try to find a secure and cost-effective way for physical data destruction. Once you find the obsolete data, you can select the right way to destroy it. Shredding and crushing breaks the data storage device into tiny pieces. Drilling makes a hole in the device, making it impossible to recover the data.

2. What happens to data when it is destroyed?

When data is destroyed, it becomes invisible with no recovery chances. No user can retrieve the data from the memory of the device. Yet, it depends on the method of data destruction you opt for. Under physical destruction, there is no chance of recovering the data once lost.

3. What are the benefits of data destruction?

Data destruction has many benefits when the right method is adopted. They are like –

  • Protecting confidential info of the business
  • Saving employee data from theft
  • Shielding the firm’s credibility
  • Diminishing data theft risks