DIN Standard Security Levels

The DIN Standard (often referred to as the DIN 32757-1 standard) is Europe’s recognised security levels which have an influence over worldwide measures of paper based physical information security.

What security level do you require when shredding paper? It is helpful to consider the following Din Security levels (often referred to as the DIN 32757-1 standard) when making your choice. Most shredder ranges are offered in several different security levels. With 6 Security Levels currently available, they are split into Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5 and Level 6. The majority of manufacturers use the DIN security system of measure to define the security level of their shredders cutting mechanism. Level 1 being the lowest and Level 6 being the highest security level.

Security Levels 1-2 These levels of security are not generally acceptable for protecting any kind of information. An A4 page shredded into about 40 strips is just not secure enough to securely protect general information, identities, personal or commercially sensitive data including information that may contain the information of an individual, bank account details or passwords etc.

Security Levels 3-4 These levels of security are generally acceptable for protecting most critical and confidential information produced by many government departments, agencies and corporate office environments. The paper is shredded in a multidirectional manner, generally providing destruction beyond recognition and reconstruction. This level of security shredding is typically used in HR, Records, Finance, Legal and Accounting office environments.

Security Levels 5-6 These High Security – Top Secret Paper & Optical Media Shredders provide levels of security that are generally mandatory for protecting regulated documents with information generated by many Federal Governments, Defence Forces and Intelligence agencies. This information is generally categorised as Restricted, Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, Protected, Highly Protected and Classified data. The paper is shredded in a multidirectional manner into particularly small particles, where even part of a single character is not easily recognised. Highest security document destruction shredding – beyond forensic recovery. Often Security Levels 5-6 are referred to as Super Micro Cut.


SCEC Endorsed & SEG Tested Paper Document and Optical Media Shredders

Australian Federal Government Departments and Agencies mostly use Security Level 4 and 5, “Class B and Class A” document shredders. For these offices, not any brand of paper shredding machine can be used to destroy security classified information (paper-based and ICT media) even when paper is shredded to dimensions within the parameters and specification of Security Level 4-5. Only SEG tested and SCEC Endorsed document paper shredders, optical media shredders and destructors used to destroy CD, DVD & High Density Blu-ray discs that are SEG Tested or SCEC Endorsed can be commissioned and approved for use within the Australian Federal Government Departments and Agencies office environments. SEG Tested and SCEC Endorsed Paper & Optical Media Shredders and Destructors have been thoroughly tested and examined, gaining SEG, SCEC and DSM compliance then approved by ASIO T4 protective security for government use. This tested equipment only gains approval when security performance, consistently protects paper-based and ICT media carriers to these levels.

Australian Government Offices and Contractors to the Australian Federal Government who have obligations to comply by correctly destroying Top Secret, Highly Protected and Classified information are encouraged to utilise the resources of the SEG “Security Equipment Guide” or SEC – “Security Equipment Catalogue” which is available from ASIO T4 Protective Security. The SEG “Security Equipment Guide” and “Security Equipment Catalogue” is available via online access to select government and interdepartmental authorities, constantly being updated in real time. Agencies should refer to the SEG “Security Equipment Guide” or SEC “Security Equipment Catalogue” when selecting this physical security destruction equipment.

SCEC – Security Construction and Equipment Committee

SCEC – The Security Construction and Equipment Committee is a standing interdepartmental committee responsible for the evaluation, testing and endorsement of physical security equipment for use by Australian Government Departments and Agencies. Class A and Class B high security paper and optical shredders, degausers and destructors for varying office use applications are included under this category.

SCEC Approved Bulk Shredding & Document Destruction

Outsourcing SCEC Approved Document Destruction Contractors is clearly a more practical option when large volumes of bulk data destruction is required. In the majority of cases, use of a ASIO-endorsed destruction company for all levels of classified information up to SECRET or TOP SECRET when directly supervised by an agency officer can be acceptable.