MP.1.118 Media Destruction – Sanitation (CMMC Level 1)

Sanitize or destroy information system media containing Federal Contract Information before disposal or release for reuse.

Source Discussion

This requirement applies to all system media, digital and non-digital, subject to disposal or reuse. Examples include digital media found in workstations, network components, scanners, copiers, printers, notebook computers, and mobile devices; and non-digital media such as paper and microfilm. The sanitization process removes information from the media such that the information cannot be retrieved or reconstructed. Sanitization techniques, including clearing, purging, cryptographic erase, and destruction, prevent the disclosure of information to unauthorized individuals when such media is released for reuse or disposal.

Organizations determine the appropriate sanitization methods, recognizing that destruction may be necessary when other methods cannot be applied to the media requiring sanitization.

Organizations use discretion on the employment of sanitization techniques and procedures for media containing information that is in the public domain or publicly releasable or deemed to have no adverse impact on organizations or individuals if released for reuse or disposal. Sanitization of non-digital media includes destruction, removing FCI from documents, or redacting selected sections or words from a document by obscuring the redacted sections or words in a manner equivalent in effectiveness to removing the words or sections from the document. NARA policy and guidance control sanitization processes for federal contract information. NIST SP 800-88 provides guidance on media sanitization.

CMMC Clarification

In this case, “media” can mean something as simple as paper, or storage devices like diskettes, disks, tapes, microfiche, thumb drives, CDs and DVDs, and even mobile phones. It is important to see what information is on these types of media. If there is Federal contract information (FCI)—information you or your company got doing work for the Federal government that is not shared publicly)—you or someone in your company should do one of two things before throwing the media away:

  • clean or purge the information, if you want to reuse the device; or
  • shred or destroy the device so it cannot be read.

See NIST Special Publication 800-88 Revision 1, Guidelines for Media Sanitization for more information.


“Media” refers to a broad range of items that store information, including paper documents, disks, tapes, digital photography, USB drives, CDs, DVDs, and mobile phones. It is important to know what information is on media so that you handle it properly. If there is FCI, you or someone in your company should either:

  • shred or destroy the device before disposal so it cannot be read [a] or
  • clean or purge the information, if you want to reuse the device [b].

See NIST Special Publication 800-88, Revision 1, Guidelines for Media Sanitization, for more information.


You are moving into a new office. As you pack for the move, you find some of your old CDs in a file cabinet. When you load the CDs into your computer drive, you see that one has information about an old project your company did for the Department of Defense (DoD). Rather than throw the CD in the trash, you make sure that it is shredded.



FAR Clause 52.204-21 b.1.vii

NIST SP 800-171 Rev 1 3.8.3



NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4 MP-6


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