What Security Level & Cut Type Do I Need for Confidential Documents?

What Security Level & Cut Type Do I Need for Confidential Documents?

In the digital age, safeguarding sensitive information is paramount, whether it's personal documents or confidential business data. One of the frontline defenses in this battle for security is the humble shredder. However, not all shredders are created equal, and understanding the nuances of shredder security levels and cut types is essential in making the right choice for your needs.

In this article, we aim to provide a detailed examination of different cut types and security levels, enabling you to make well-informed decisions confidently. Now lets talk about the different cut types first.

Strip-Cut Shredders: Imagine a shredder churning out long, spaghetti-like strips of paper. That's the hallmark of strip-cut shredders. While they boast impressive shredding speeds, their security level is the lowest among the shredder family. The larger size of shredded particles makes it relatively easier for determined individuals to reconstruct the shredded documents. Hence, strip-cut shredders are best suited for disposing of non-sensitive documents with minimal security requirements.

Cross-Cut Shredders: Enter the cross-cut shredders, the middle ground between speed and security. These shredders slice documents into smaller, confetti-like pieces, significantly enhancing security compared to their strip-cut counterparts. The smaller particle size makes it more challenging for malicious actors to piece together shredded documents. Cross-cut shredders find their place in scenarios where moderate security is necessary, such as shredding financial statements or personal information.

Micro-Cut Shredders: For those who prioritize top-tier security, micro-cut shredders are the ultimate choice. These machines transform paper into minuscule, unreadable particles, rendering any attempt at document reconstruction futile. With the smallest particle size among shredder types, micro-cut shredders provide unparalleled security, making them ideal for organizations handling highly sensitive or confidential information, such as government agencies or financial institutions.

What exactly is DIN 66399?

When browsing through the specifications of a paper shredder, you'll frequently encounter a security level accompanied by a DIN classification, such as P-1 or P-3. But what does this classification signify? The DIN P-level is an integral component of the officially recognized German DIN 66399 standard, established in 2012. This standard serves as the international benchmark for secure shredding of data media and was developed by the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), which translates to the German Institute for Standardization.

Security levels, denoted by classifications such as P-1 to P-7 according to DIN 66399 standards, encompass three distinct protection classes or categories, some of which overlap:


Protection Class Description Security Levels Security Level Description
Class 1 Normal security for internal data DIN P-1, DIN P-2, DIN P-3 Low level of security
Class 2 High security for confidential data DIN P-3, DIN P-4, DIN P-5 High level of security
Class 3 Very high protection for confidential data DIN P-4, DIN P-5, DIN P-6, DIN P-7 Very high level of security

Understanding the relationship between security levels and shredder types is crucial when selecting the right equipment for document disposal needs. Security levels, such as those defined by standards like DIN 66399, range from P-1 to P-7, indicating the level of protection offered by a shredder. Each security level corresponds to specific shredder types: strip-cut for lower levels, cross-cut for medium levels, and micro-cut for higher levels.

Let's delve deeper into this relationship through the table provided to gain a clearer understanding.

Security Level Description Size Width Data Reproduction
P-1 Very low level of security < 2,000 mm² / 3.1 in² < 12 mm / 0.47 in After destruction, the data can be easily reproduced.
P-2 Low level of security < 800 mm² / 1.24 in² < 6 mm / 0.24 in After destruction, the data can be reproduced with a certain degree of effort.
P-3 Medium level of security < 320 mm² / 0.5 in² < 2 mm / 0.08 in After destruction, the data can be reproduced with considerable effort.
P-4 Medium level of security < 160 mm² / 0.25 in² < 6 mm / 0.24 in After destruction, the data can be reproduced with the use of special recovery devices.
P-5 High level of security < 30 mm² / 0.05 in² < 2 mm / 0.08 in After destruction, the data is unlikely to be reproduced.
P-6 Very high level of security < 10 mm² / 0.02 in² < 1 mm / 0.04 in After destruction, the data is impossible to reproduce.
P-7 Extremely high level of security < 5 mm² / 0.01 in² < 1 mm / 0.04 in After destruction, the data is impossible to reproduce.

In the realm of shredders, the choices are vast, but understanding the correlation between cut types and security levels is paramount. Whether you opt for the speedy strip-cut, the balanced cross-cut, or the fortress-like micro-cut, choosing the right shredder hinges on your security needs.

Remember, maintaining your shredder and disposing of shredded materials properly are essential steps in ensuring maximum security. So, the next time you're in the market for a shredder, let the knowledge of cut types and security levels empower you to safeguard your sensitive information.

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