Definition - What does Remote Wipe mean?
A remote wipe refers to a system where an administrator has the ability to remotely delete data on a hardware device or system. Remote wipe features are often part of comprehensive security management systems that address issues like bring your own device (BYOD) policies or security gaps in distributed computing networks.
Techopedia explains Remote Wipe
A remote wipe generally refers to the deleting of data on a device. Other kinds of wipes, like an enterprise wipe, further distinguish different data deletion strategies.
During a remote wipe, the deletion is triggered from a remote system endpoint. Many types of remote wipes can be set up in different ways. The remote wipe can target company specific information or erase all information on a device/system. In many cases, the remote wipe is designed to provide quick and effective solutions to security breaches or other crises.
As mentioned, the remote wipe can be extremely useful in cases of a device/system hijacking or unauthorized access. A number of users have argued for an alternative, which is known as a remote lock, where information remains on a device/system but access is prevented. With a remote lock (versus a remote wipe), those in charge of a system do not automatically lose all of the information. Either one of these security features is helpful, such as when a mobile device is stolen, or when administrators believe that other users are stealing information through Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drives or other resources.