IT staff worried about leaving confidential data on old disc media are being offered an alternative to just binning them and hoping for the best. Verity Systems has come up with a destruction system that literally grinds the data off the surface of a CD or DVD.

The CD-DX2 doesn't come cheap at £2,100 (2,499 euros), but some IT departments might find it cheap at the price for a machine capable of meeting the most stringent data destruction standards, including the US NSA's NSA/CSS Specification 04-02 for optical media destruction.

The unit can grind down between 90 and 340 discs per hour, depending on media type, at a claimed cost of one penny per disc. The resulting dust is collected in a vacuum bag.

Verity guarantees that once the disc has passed through its machine, it is gone for good.

"Any person or company that does not properly dispose of digital records could face a major liability" said Verity Systems Sales Manager Andy Page. "The DX-CD2TM delivers a 100% effective solution for optical media disposal and is already used by government departments, financial organisations and the military throughout the world."

Hard disks can already be shredded by portable shredders such as that offered by DiskShred, but the DX-CD2 is a more portable table-top affair.

The cost alone suggests that the machine won't find its way into many mainstream businesses, but high-security, highly-centralised organisations would doubtless welcome its arrival. But as the HMRC found out to its cost in 2007, the problem can be not so much destroying old CDs as finding them once that have been lost.