September 26, 2023 1 min read

DCSA Guidance for Destroying Media-Based Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

CUI may be stored on storage devices, phones, network devices, computers, and other types of devices requiring additional methods of destruction and sanitization.

Some typical destruction methods for such devices and materials are:

  • Disintegrate, Pulverize, Melt, or Incinerate outsourced metal.
  • Incineration at a licensed incineration facility with the specific capabilities to perform these activities effectively, securely, and safely.
  • Shred or disintegrate flexible media (e.g., diskettes) once the media are physically removed from their outer containers.
    • The shred size of refuse should be small enough that there is a reasonable assurance in proportion to the data confidentiality that the data cannot be reconstructed.
    • To make reconstructing the data even more difficult, the shredded material can be mixed with non-sensitive material of the same type (e.g. shredded paper/shredded flexible media).

Please note that some forms of media-based CUI may also be sanitized through clearing and purging of the device or equipment.  The Following Publications are Helpful in terms of Learning More about Approved Destruction Methods

  • NIST Special Publication 800 Rev. 1, Section 5 “Guidelines for Media Sanitization” (https://nvlpubs.nist. gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/ NIST.SP.800-88r1.pdf) 
  • NSA Media Destruction Guidance (  Media-Destruction-Guidance/) 

About Arlington

We are Arlington, Incorporated (Arlington), a team of innovative, solution-oriented, highly agile, and well-versed professionals with decades of experience in working with America’s defense industry. From emerging cybersecurity regulations to helping our clients solve complex security & compliance solutions – and so much more – you can trust Arlington, the firm that’s Dedicated to Defense®.  Learn more at