Security Engineered Machinery Turns Electronic Data Into Dust

October 31, 2018 at 1:24 pm by Heidi White
Leonard Rosen, SEM Founder and Chairman of the Board

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, so has the world of data destruction. Westborough-based Security Engineered Machinery, founded more than 50 years ago, has met that demand with devices that destroy hard drives. Founder Leonard Rosen spoke to WBJ about the company’s role in securing the information of government agencies and government contractors.

How does SEM help keep the country’s data secure?

Every military installation — and company of note — is involved with electronic media. In the past, it was all paper. As time went on and advancements were made in communications and data storage, electronic media became the ultimate in information accumulation.

We have adapted by coming out with machines that can destroy the information on these new devices.

What kind of machines?

Our biggest area of expertise is in hard-drive destruction. That’s done in several ways. One is by deaussing, which is introducing a magnetic charge to a hard drive that basically erases that information.

Are the physical items also destroyed?

We have crushers that exert force into a hard drive and very heavy-duty shredders that accept hard drives and chew them up into tiny pieces.

How much communication is there with customers on new adapting SEM devices to fit their needs?

Depending on what the government agency or defense contractor is doing, we can adapt our machines to meet whatever security requirement they have.

SEM does work with defense contractors?

You’ll be hard pressed to find a major defense contractor in the U.S. that doesn’t use our technology.

Do these products have to meet any government standards?

When we find out what new devices need to be destroyed, we either have something that can destroy it or we start designing one that can do it. Once we have a completed product that we have confidence in, we sent it to National Security Administration for evaluation.

How is it evaluated?

They put it through volume tests, but the end product is more important. The toughest thing we’re doing now is destroying solid state drives. There’s so many layers of information in those, so it’s a two-step situation.

Original post by Worcester Business Journal on

This interview was conducted and edited for length and clarity by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.

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Heidi White

Heidi is Director of Marketing at SEM and is passionate about data security, health and fitness, and her family.