Security Encyclopedia

Zeroization

Zeroizaton, or Zeroisation, is a method of erasing data from a resource should the resource fall outside the security boundary of its owner.

Programmers set up strategies for zeroization to prevent data from being useful in the event it falls into the wrong hands. A feature of a zeroization process executed by the data owner is that the data should be impossible to recover.

Zeroization methods cover deletion of data, deletion of cryptographic keys, and that Credentials Service Providers (CSPs). In some cases, zeroization may occur automatically once certain conditions are met, and zeroization by tamper-resistant hardware (including cold zeroization by hardware disconnected from a power source) is common.

Example:

“As a fail-safe, large enterprise developers employ zeroization so that if company property falls out of their control, the data on it is permanently and irreversibly deleted.”