Appendix B: Glossary

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Acceptable use policy - A document that establishes an agreement between users and the enterprise and defines for all parties the ranges of use that are approved before users can gain access to a network or the Internet.

Access - 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.

Agility - In IT systems, the ability to rapidly incorporate new technologies or changes to technologies allowing an organization to adapt to changing business needs.

Application development - The process of designing and building code to create a computer program (software) used for a particular type of job.


Benchmark - A standard, or point of reference, against which things may be compared or assessed.


Confidentiality - Assuring information will be kept secret, with access limited to appropriate persons.

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.

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.

Cybersecurity - The process of protecting consumer and bank information by preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks.


Data center - A facility that houses an institution's most important information systems components, including computer systems, telecommunications components, and storage systems.

Detective control - A mitigating technique designed to recognize an event and alert management when events occur.

Disaster recovery - The process of recovering from major processing interruptions.

Due diligence for service provider selection - 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.


Enterprise architecture - The overall design and high-level plan that describes an institution's operational framework and includes the institution's mission, stakeholders, business and customers, work flow and processes, data processing, access, security, and availability.

Enterprise-wide - Across an entire organization, rather than a single business department or function.

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.


Financial 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.


Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) - The act, 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.


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.

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.

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 - When two or more departments, processes, functions, or third-party providers support one another in some fashion.

Internet - The global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link billions of devices worldwide.

Interoperability - The ability of a system to work with or use the parts or equipment of another system.

IT architecture - A subset of enterprise architecture, with detail to support data processing and access, including fundamental requirements for centralized or distributed computing, real or virtual servers, devices and workstations, and networking design. Architecture plans may also exist for data (information), security, and applications.

IT governance - An integral part of governance that consists of the leadership and organizational structures and processes that ensure that the institution's IT sustains and extends the organization's strategies and objectives.

IT strategic plan - A comprehensive blueprint that guides the organization's technology management and contains high-level goals and plans for all areas of information technology that affect the business, not just the infrastructure. The plan should include areas that impact technology management, including cost management, human capital management, hardware and software management, third-party management, risk management, and all other considerations in the enterprise IT environment.

IT system inventory - A list containing information about the information resources owned or operated by an organization.


Malware - 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.

Metric - A quantitative measurement.

Milestone - A major project event.

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.

Mobile financial services - The products and services that a financial institution provides to its customers through mobile devices.


National 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.


Operating 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.

Operational IT plan - Typically, the plans that are made by front-line, or low-level, IT managers. Operational IT plans are focused on the specific procedures and processes that implement the larger strategic plan.

Operational risk - The risk of failure or loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes, people, or systems.


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.

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.

Project - A task involving the acquisition, development, or maintenance of a technology product.

Project management - Planning, monitoring, and controlling an activity.


Residual risk - The amount of risk remaining after the implementation of controls.

Resilience - The ability of an institution to recover from a significant disruption and resume critical operations.

Risk - The potential that events, expected or unanticipated, may have an adverse effect on a financial institution's earnings, capital, or reputation.

Risk identification - The process of determining risks and existing safeguards. It generally includes inventories of systems and information necessary to operations and defines the potential threats to systems and operations.

Risk management - The total process required to identify, control, and minimize the impact of uncertain events. The objective of a risk management program is to reduce risk and obtain and maintain appropriate management approval at predefined stages in the life cycle.

Risk measurement - A process to determine the likelihood of an adverse event or threat occurring and the potential impact of such an event on the institution. The result of risk measurement leads to the prioritization of potential risks based on severity and likelihood of occurrence.

Risk mitigation - The process of reducing risks through the introduction of specific controls and risk transfer. It includes the implementation of appropriate controls to reduce the potential for risk and bring the level of risk in line with the board's risk appetite.


Scenario analysis - The process of analyzing possible future events by considering alternative possible outcomes.

Scorecard - A dashboard of performance measures.

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 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.

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 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 into or access the customer’s account, such as user name and password or password and account number.

Service Level Agreement (SLA) - Formal documents between an institution and its third-party service 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.

Social engineering - A general term for trying to trick people into revealing confidential information or performing certain actions.

System administration - The process of maintaining, configuring, and operating computer systems.


Tactical plan - Typically, a short-term plan that establishes the specific steps needed to implement a company's strategic plan. These plans are often created by mid-level managers.

Telecommunications - The exchange of information over significant distances by electronic means.

Third-party relationship - Any business arrangement between a financial institution and another entity, by contract or otherwise.

Third-party service provider - Any third party to whom a financial institution outsources activities that the institution itself is authorized to perform, including a technology service provider.

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.

Total cost of ownership (TCO) - The true cost of ownership of a computer or other technology system that includes original cost of the computer and software, hardware and software upgrades, maintenance, technical support, and training.


Virus - Malicious code that replicates itself within a computer.

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.


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Appendix C: References