Welcome » IT Booklets » Information Security » Appendix B: Glossary
A B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U V W Z
AAccess - The ability to physically or logically enter or make use of an IT system or area (secured or unsecured). The process of interacting with a system.Administrator privileges - Computer system access to resources that are unavailable to most users. Administrator privileges permit execution of actions that would otherwise be restricted.Air-gapped environment - Security measure that isolates a secure network from unsecure networks physically, electrically, and electromagnetically.Anomalous activity - The process of comparing definitions of what activity is considered normal against observed events to identify significant deviations.Antivirus/anti-malware software - A program that monitors a computer or network to identify all types of malware and prevent or contain malware incidents.Asset - In computer security, a major application, general-support system, high-impact program, physical plant, mission-critical system, personnel, equipment, or a logically-related group of systems.Attack signature - A specific sequence of events indicative of an unauthorized access attempt.Authentication - The process of verifying the identity of an individual user, machine, software component, or any other entity.Availability - Whether or how often a system is available for use by its intended users. Because downtime is usually costly, availability is an integral component of security.BBaseline configuration - A set of specifications for a system, or configuration item (CI) within a system, that has been formally reviewed and agreed on at a given point in time and that can be changed only through change control procedures. The baseline configuration is used as a basis for future builds, releases, or changes.Black holing - A method typically used by ISPs to stop a DDoS attack on one of its customers. This approach to block DDoS attacks makes the site in question completely inaccessible to all traffic, both malicious attack traffic and legitimate user traffic.Border router - A device located at the organization’s boundary to an external network.Buffer overflow - A condition at an interface under which more input can be placed into a buffer or data-holding area than the capacity allocated, overwriting other information. Attackers exploit such a condition to crash a system or to insert specially-crafted code that allows them to gain control of a system.CChange management - The broad processes for managing organizational change. Change management encompasses planning, oversight or governance, project management, testing, and implementation.Classification - Categorization (e.g., “confidential,” “sensitive,” or “public”) of the information processed by the service provider on behalf of the receiver company.Cloud computing - Generally a migration from owned resources to shared resources in which client users receive information technology services on demand from third-party service providers via the Internet “cloud.” In cloud environments, a client or customer relocates its resources — such as data, applications, and services — to computing facilities outside the corporate firewall, which the end user then accesses via the Internet.Computer security - Technological and managerial procedures applied to computer systems to ensure the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of information managed by the computer system.Confidentiality - Assuring information will be kept secret, with access limited to appropriate persons.Configuration management - The management of security features and assurances through control of changes made to a system’s hardware, software, firmware, documentation, testing, test fixtures, and test documentation throughout the development and operational life of the system.Control requirements - Process used to document and/or track internal processes to determine that those established procedures and/or physical security policies are being followed.Control self-assessment - A technique used to internally assess the effectiveness of risk management and control processes.Corrective control - A mitigating technique designed to lessen the impact to the institution when adverse events occur.Crisis management - The process of managing an institution’s operations in response to an emergency or event that threatens business continuity. An institution’s ability to communicate with employees, customers, and the media, using various communications devices and methods, is a key component of crisis management.Critical system (infrastructure) - The systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, that are so vital that the incapacity or destruction of such may have a debilitating impact.Cyber attack - An attempt to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to a computer, computer system, or electronic communications network. An attack, via cyberspace, targeting an institution for the purpose of disrupting, disabling, destroying, or maliciously controlling a computing environment/infrastructure; or destroying the integrity of the data or stealing controlled information.Cyber event - A cybersecurity change or occurrence that may have an impact on organizational operations (including mission, capabilities, or reputation).Cyber incident - Actions taken through the use of computer networks that result in an actual or potentially-adverse effect on an information system or the information residing therein.Cyber resilience - The ability of a system or domain to withstand cyber attacks or failures and, in such events, to reestablish itself quickly.Cyber threat - An internal or external circumstance, event, action, occurrence, or person with the potential to exploit technology-based vulnerabilities and to adversely impact (create adverse consequences for) organizational operations, organizational assets (including information and information systems), individuals, other organizations, or society.Cybersecurity - The process of protecting consumer and bank information by preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks.DData classification program - A program that categorizes data to convey required safeguards for information confidentiality, integrity, and availability; establishes controls required based on value and level of sensitivity. Data corruption - Errors in computer data that occur during writing, reading, storage, transmission, or processing, which introduce unintended changes to the original data. Data integrity - The property that data has not been destroyed or corrupted in an unauthorized manner; Maintaining and assuring the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire life-cycle.Data loss prevention (DLP) - A comprehensive approach (covering people, processes, and systems) of implementing policies and controls designed specifically to discover, monitor, and protect confidential data wherever it is stored, used, or in transit over the network and at the perimeter.Data mining - The process or techniques used to analyze large sets of existing information to discover previously unrevealed patterns or correlations.Database - A collection of data that is stored on any type of computer storage medium and may be used for more than one purpose.Deep packet inspection - The capability to analyze network traffic to compare vendor-developed profiles of benign protocol activity against observed events to identify deviations.Defense-in-depth - Information security strategy integrating people, technology, and operations capabilities to establish variable barriers across multiple layers and dimensions of the organization.Detective control - A mitigating technique designed to recognize an event and alert management when events occur.Dictionary attack - Discovery of authenticators by encrypting likely authenticators and comparing the actual encrypted authenticator with the newly encrypted possible authenticators.Distributed denial of service (DDoS) - A type of attack that makes a computer resource or resources unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DDoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the concerted efforts of a group that intends to affect an institution’s reputation by preventing an Internet site, service, or application from functioning efficiently.Domain Name System security extensions (DNSSEC) - A technology that was developed to, among other things, protect against such attacks by digitally ‘signing’ data so you can be assured it is valid.Due diligence - Technical, functional, and financial review to verify a third-party service provider’s ability to deliver the requirements specified in its proposal. The intent is to verify that the service provider has a well-developed plan and adequate resources and experience to ensure acceptable service, controls, systems backup, availability, and continuity of service to its clients.EEnd-of-life - All software products have life cycles. End-of-life refers to the date when a software development company no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance for the product.Endpoint security - Security controls that validate the security compliance of the client system that is attempting to use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) virtual private networks (VPN). Endpoint security controls also include security protection mechanisms, such as Web browser cache cleaners, that remove sensitive information from client systems.End-to-end process flow - Document that details the flow of the processes, considering automated and manual control points, hardware, databases, network protocols, and real-time versus periodic processing characteristics.Enterprise-wide - Across an entire organization, rather than a single business department or function. Exploit - A technique or code that uses a vulnerability to provide system access to the attacker. An exploit is an intentional attack to impact an operating system or application program.External Connections - An information system or component of an information system that is outside of the authorization boundary established by the organization and for which the organization typically has no direct control over the application of required security controls or the assessment of security control effectiveness.FFinancial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) - A nonprofit, information-sharing forum established by financial services industry participants to facilitate the public and private sectors’ sharing of physical and cybersecurity threat and vulnerability information.Firewall - A hardware or software link in a network that relays only data packets clearly intended and authorized to reach the other side. Frame relay - A high-performance WAN protocol that operates at the physical and data link layers of the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) reference model. Frame Relay is an example of a packet-switched technology. Packet-switched networks enable end stations to dynamically share the network medium and the available bandwidth. Frame relay uses existing T-1 and T-3 lines and provides connection speeds from 56 Kbps to T-1.FTP (file transfer protocol) - A standard high-level protocol for transferring files from one computer to another, usually implemented as an application level program.Full duplex - A communications channel that carries data in both directions.GGovernance - In computer security, governance means setting clear expectations for the conduct (behaviors and actions) of the entity being governed and directing, controlling, and strongly influencing the entity to achieve these expectations. Governance includes specifying a framework for decision making, with assigned decision rights and accountability, intended to consistently produce desired behaviors and actions.Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) - The GLBA, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Pub.L. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted November 12, 1999), required the Federal banking agencies to establish information security standards for financial institutions. HHardening - The process of securing a computer’s administrative functions or inactivating those features not needed for the computer’s intended business purpose. Hardware - The physical elements of a computer system; the computer equipment as opposed to the programs or information stored in a machine.Hash - A fixed length cryptographic output of variables, such as a message, being operated on by a formula or cryptographic algorithm.Hijacking - The use of an authenticated user’s communication session to communicate with system components.Host - A computer that is accessed by a user from a remote location.Hypervisor - A piece of software that provides abstraction of all physical resources (such as central processing units, memory, network, and storage) and thus enables multiple computing stacks (consisting of an operating system, middleware and application programs) called virtual machines to be run on a single physical host.II/O - Input/output.IDS - Intrusion Detection System.Incident management - The process of identifying, analyzing, and correcting disruptions to operations and preventing future recurrences. The goal of incident management is to limit the disruption and restore operations as quickly as possible.Incident response plan - A plan that defines the action steps, involved resources, and communication strategy upon identification of a threat or potential threat event, such as a breach in security protocol, power or telecommunications outage, severe weather, or workplace violence.Information security - The process by which an organization protects the creation, collection, storage, use, transmission, and disposal of information.Information systems - Electronic systems and physical components used to access, store, transmit, protect, and eventually dispose of information. Information systems can include networks (computer systems, connections to business partners and the Internet, and the interconnections between internal and external systems). Other examples are backup tapes, mobile devices, and other media.Information technology - Any services or equipment, or interconnected system(s) or subsystem(s) of equipment that comprise the institution’s IT architecture or infrastructure. It can include computers, ancillary equipment (including imaging peripherals, input, output, and storage devices necessary for security and surveillance), peripheral equipment designed to be controlled by the central processing unit of a computer, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including cloud computing and help-desk services or other professional services which support any point of the life cycle of the equipment or service), and related resources.Infrastructure - Describes what has been implemented by IT architecture and often include support facilities such as power, cooling, ventilation, server and data redundancy and resilience, and telecommunications lines. Specific architecture types may exist for the following: enterprise, data (information), technology, security, and application.Integrity - Assurance that information is trustworthy and accurate; Ensuring that information will not be accidentally or maliciously altered or destroyed (see “Data Integrity”).Interconnectivity - The state or quality of being connected together. The interaction of a financial institution’s internal and external systems and applications and the entities with which they are linked.Interdependencies - Where two or more departments, processes, functions, and/or third-party providers support one another in some fashion. Internet service provider (ISP) - A company that provides its customers with access to the Internet (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink).Intrusion detection - Techniques that attempt to detect unauthorized entry or access into a computer or network by observation of actions, security logs, or audit data; detection of break-ins or attempts, either manually or via software expert systems that operate on logs or other information available on the network. Intrusion detection system (IDS) - Software/hardware that detects and logs inappropriate, incorrect, or anomalous activity. IDS are typically characterized based on the source of the data they monitor: host or network. A host-based IDS uses system log files and other electronic audit data to identify suspicious activity. A network-based IDS uses a sensor to monitor packets on the network to which it is attached.Intrusion prevention systems (IPS) - A system that can detect an intrusive activity and can also attempt to stop the activity, ideally before it reaches its target.IPv6 - Version 6 of the Internet Protocol.ISAC - Information Sharing and Analysis Center.ISO - International Organization for Standards.IT system inventory - A list containing information about the information resources owned or operated by an organization. LLife-cycle process - The multi-step process that starts with the initiation, analysis, design, and implementation, and continues through the maintenance and disposal of the system.MMalware - Software designed to secretly access a computer system without the owner’s informed consent. The expression is a general term (short for malicious software) used to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware, ransomware, crimeware, most rootkits, and other malicious and unwanted software or programs.Man-in-the-middle attack - Places the attacker’s computer in the communication line between the server and the client. The attacker’s machine can monitor and change communications.Media - Physical objects that store data, such as paper, hard disk drives, tapes, and compact disks (CDs).Metric - A quantitative measurement.Mobile device - A portable computing and communications device with information-storage capability. Examples include notebook and laptop computers, cellular telephones and smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, and audio recording devices.Multi-factor authentication - The process of using two or more factors to achieve authentication. Factors include something you know (e.g., password or personal identification number); something you have (e.g., cryptographic identification device or token); and something you are (e.g., biometric).NNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that works to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards. NIST developed a voluntary cybersecurity framework based on existing standards, guidelines, and practices for reducing cyber risks to critical infrastructures.Network - Two or more computer systems grouped together to share information, software, and hardware.Network activity baseline - A base for determining typical utilization patterns so that significant deviations can be detected.Network administrator - The individual responsible for the installation, management, and control of a network.Network diagram - A description of any kind of locality in terms of its physical layout. In the context of communication networks, a topology describes pictorially the configuration or arrangement of a network, including its nodes and connecting communication lines.Network security - The protection of computer networks and their services from unauthorized entry, modification, destruction, or disclosure, and provision of assurance that the network performs its critical functions correctly and that there are no harmful side effects. Network security includes providing for data integrity.Non-repudiation - Ensuring that a transferred message has been sent and received by the parties claiming to have sent and received the message. Non-repudiation is a way to guarantee that the sender of a message cannot later deny having sent the message and that the recipient cannot deny having received the message.OOperating system - A system that supports and manages software applications. Operating systems allocate system resources, provide access and security controls, maintain file systems, and manage communications between end users and hardware devices.Outsourcing - The practice of contracting with another entity to perform services that might otherwise be conducted in-house. Contracted relationship with a third party to provide services, systems, or support.PP2P - Peer-to-peer communication, the communications that travel from one user’s computer to another user’s computer without being stored for later access on a server. E-mail is not a P2P communication since it travels from the sender to a server, and is retrieved by the recipient from the server. On-line chat, however, is a P2P communication since messages travel directly from one user to another.Patch - Software code that replaces or updates other code. Frequently patches are used to correct security flaws.Penetration test - The process of using approved, qualified personnel to conduct real-world attacks against a system to identify and correct security weaknesses before they are discovered and exploited by others. Phishing - A digital form of social engineering that uses authentic-looking — but bogus — e-mail to request information from users or direct them to fake Web sites that request information.Port - Either an endpoint to a logical connection or a physical connection to a computer.Preventive control - A mitigating technique designed to prevent an event from occurring.Principle of least privilege - The security objective of granting users only the access needed to perform official duties.Privileged access - Individuals with the ability to override system or application controls.Protocol - A format for transmitting data between devices.RReal-time network monitoring - Immediate response to a penetration attempt that is detected and diagnosed in time to prevent access.Red team - A group of people authorized and organized to emulate a potential adversary’s attack or exploitation capabilities against an enterprise’s security posture. The red team’s objective is to improve enterprise information assurance by demonstrating the impacts of successful attacks and by demonstrating what works for the defenders in an operational environment.Remote access - The ability to obtain access to a computer or network from a remote location.Remote deposit capture (RDC) - A service that enables users at remote locations to scan digital images of checks and transmit the captured data to a financial institution or a merchant that is a customer of a financial institution.Removable media - Portable electronic storage media, such as magnetic, optical, and solid-state devices, which can be inserted into and removed from a computing device and which is used to store text, video, audio, and image information. Such devices have no independent processing capabilities. Examples include hard disks, floppy disks, zip drives, compact disks (CD), thumb drives, pen drives, and similar storage devices.Replay attack - The interception of communications, such as an authentication communication, and subsequently impersonation of the sender by retransmitting the intercepted communication.Retention requirement - Requirement established by a company or by regulation for the length of time and/or for the amount of information that should be retained.Risk analysis - The process of identifying risks, determining their probability and impact, and identifying areas needing safeguards; Risk analysis is an integral part of risk management.Risk assessment - A prioritization of potential business disruptions based on severity and likelihood of occurrence. The risk assessment includes an analysis of threats based on the impact to the institution, its customers, and financial markets, rather than the nature of the threat. Rlogin - Remote login. A UNIX utility that allows a user to login to a remote host on a network, as if it were directly connected, and make use of various services. Remote login is an information exchange between network-connected devices where the information cannot be reliably protected end-to-end by a single organization’s security controls. Rogue wireless access - An unauthorized wireless node on a network.Routing - The process of moving information from its source to the destination.SSandbox - A restricted, controlled execution environment that prevents potentially malicious software, such as mobile code, from accessing any system resources except those for which the software is authorized. Scenario analysis - The process of analyzing possible future events by considering alternative possible outcomes.Security architecture - A detailed description of all aspects of the system that relate to security, along with a set of principles to guide the design. A security architecture describes how the system is put together to satisfy the security requirements.Security Audit - An independent review and examination of system records and activities to test for adequacy of system controls, ensure compliance with established policy and operational procedures, and recommend any indicated changes in control, policy, and procedures.Security breach - A security event that results in unauthorized access of data, applications, services, networks, or devices by bypassing underlying security mechanisms. Security event - An event that potentially compromises the confidentiality, integrity, availability, or accountability of an information system.Security log - A record that contains login and logout activity and other security-related events and that is used to track security-related information on a computer system. Security posture - The security status of an enterprise’s networks, information, and systems based on information security and assurance resources (e.g., people, hardware, software, and policies) and capabilities in place to manage the defense of the enterprise and to react as the situation changes.Security Violation - An instance in which a user or other person circumvents or defeats the controls of a system to obtain unauthorized access to information or system resources.Sensitive customer information - A customer’s name, address, or telephone number, in conjunction with the customer’s social security number, driver’s license number, account number, credit or debit card number, or a personal identification number or password that would permit access to the customer’s account. Sensitive customer information also includes any combination of components of customer information that would allow someone to log onto or access the customer’s account, such as user name and password or password and account number.Server - A computer or other device that manages a network service. An example is a print server, which is a device that manages network printing.Service level agreement (SLA) - Formal documents between an institution and its third-party provider that outline an institution’s predetermined requirements for a service and establish incentives to meet, or penalties for failure to meet, the requirements. SLAs should specify and clarify performance expectations, establish accountability, and detail remedies or consequences if performance or service quality standards are not met.Service Level Agreement (SLA) - Formal documents that outline the institution's predetermined requirements for the service and establish incentives to meet, or penalties for failure to meet, the requirements. They should specify and clarify performance expectations, establish accountability, and detail remedies or consequences if performance or service quality standards are not met.Service Provider - Also referred to as a technology service provider (TSP). Among a broad range of entities, including affiliated entities, non-affiliated entities, and alliances of companies providing products and services. Other terms used to describe service providers include vendors, subcontractors, external service providers, application service providers, and outsourcers.Sniffing - The passive interception of data transmissions.Social engineering - A general term for trying to trick people into revealing confidential information or performing certain actions.Spear phishing - An attack targeting a specific user or group of users, and attempts to deceive the user into performing an action that launches an attack, such as opening a document or clicking a link. Spear phishers rely on knowing some personal piece of information about their target, such as an event, interest, travel plans, or current issues. Sometimes this information is gathered by hacking into the targeted network. Spoofing - A form of masquerading where a trusted IP address is used instead of the true IP address as a means of gaining access to a computer system.SQL Injection Attack - An exploit of target software that constructs structure query language (SQL) statements based on user input. An attacker crafts input strings so that when the target software constructs SQL statements based on the input, the resulting SQL statement performs actions other than those the application intended. SQL injection enables an attacker to talk directly to the database, thus bypassing the application completely. Successful injection can cause information disclosure as well as ability to add or modify data in the database. Stateful inspection - A firewall inspection technique that examines the claimed purpose of a communication for validity. For example, a communication claiming to respond to a request is compared to a table of outstanding requests.System administration - The process of maintaining, configuring, and operating computer systems.System resources - Capabilities that can be accessed by a user or program either on the user’s machine or across the network. Capabilities can be services, such as file or print services, or devices, such as routers.TT-1 line - A special type of telephone line for digital communication and transmission. T-1 lines provide for digital transmission with signaling speed of 1.544Mbps (1,544,000 bits per second). This is the standard for digital transmissions in North America. Usually delivered on fiber optic lines.Telnet - An interactive, text-based communications session between a client and a host. It is used mainly for remote login and simple control services to systems with limited resources or to systems with limited needs for security.Third-party relationship - Any business arrangement between a financial institution and another entity, by contract or otherwise. Third-party service provider - Any type of company, including affiliated entities, non-affiliated entities, and alliances of companies providing products and services to the financial institution. Other terms used to describe service providers include subcontractors, external service providers, application service providers, and outsourcers. Threat intelligence - The acquisition and analysis of information to identify, track, and predict cyber capabilities, intentions, and activities that offer courses of action to enhance decision-making. Trojan horse - Malicious code that is hidden in software that has an apparently beneficial or harmless use.Trusted zone - A channel in which the end points are known and data integrity is protected in transit. Depending on the communications protocol used, data privacy may be protected in transit. Examples include secure socket layer, internet protocol security and a secure physical connection. UUS-CERT - The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. US-CERT is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the public and private sectors, established to protect the nation’s Internet infrastructure. US-CERT coordinates defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation. User Identification - The process, control, or information by which a user identifies himself or herself to the system as a valid user (as opposed to authentication).Utility - A program used to configure or maintain systems, or to make changes to stored or transmitted data.VVirtual machine - A software emulation of a physical computing environment. Virtual private network (VPN) - A computer network that uses public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization's network. Virus - Malicious code that replicates itself within a computer.VLAN - Virtual local area network.Vulnerability - A hardware, firmware, or software flaw that leaves an information system open to potential exploitation; a weakness in automated system security procedures, administrative controls, physical layout, internal controls, etc., that could be exploited to gain unauthorized access to information or to disrupt critical processing. Vulnerability Analysis - Systematic examination of an information system or product to determine the adequacy of security measures, identify security deficiencies, provide data from which to predict the effectiveness of proposed security measures, and confirm the adequacy of such measures after implementation.Vulnerability Scanning - Systematic examination of systems to determine the adequacy of security measures, identify security deficiencies, and provide data from which to predict the effectiveness of proposed security measures.WWarehouse attack - The compromise of systems that store authenticators.Worm - A self-replicating malware computer program. It uses a computer network to send copies of itself to other nodes (computers on the network) and it may do so without any user intervention. This is primarily because of security vulnerabilities on the target computers. ZZero-day attack - An attack on a piece of software that has a vulnerability for which there is no known patch.