Information Security Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing IT security and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • E

    email spoofing

    Email spoofing is the forgery of an email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source.

  • Encrypting File System (EFS)

    The Encrypting File System (EFS) is a feature of the Windows 2000 operating system that lets any file or folder be stored in encrypted form and decrypted only by an individual user and an authorized recovery agent.

  • encryption

    In computing, encryption is the method by which plaintext or any other type of data is converted from a readable form to an encoded version that can only be decoded by another entity if they have access to a decryption key.

  • end-to-end encryption (E2EE)

    End-to-end encryption is a secure method of transferring data from one end device to another without allowing third-party interference.

  • endpoint fingerprinting

    Endpoint fingerprinting is a feature of enterprise network access control (NAC) products that enables discovery, classification and monitoring of connected devices, including non-traditional network endpoints such as smartcard readers, HVAC systems, medical equipment and IP-enabled door locks. Such endpoints are sometimes referred to as "dumb devices."

  • endpoint security management

    Endpoint security management requires endpoint devices to comply with specific security policies before they are granted access to network resources.

  • Escrowed Encryption Standard (EES)

    The Escrowed Encryption Standard (EES) is a standard for encrypted communications that was approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1994 and is better known by the name of an implementation called the Clipper chip.

  • ethical hacker

    An ethical hacker is a computer and networking expert who systematically attempts to penetrate a computer system or network on behalf of its owners for the purpose of finding security vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could potentially exploit.

  • ethical worm

    An ethical worm is a program that automates network-based distribution of security patches for known vulnerabilities.

  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil maid attack is characterized by the attacker's ability to physically access the target multiple times without the owner's knowledge. 

  • evil twin

    An evil twin, in security, is a rogue wireless access point that masquerades as a legitimate hot spot.

  • executable

    In computers, to execute a program is to run the program in the computer, and, by implication, to start it to run.

  • Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)

    The Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) is a protocol for wireless networks that expands on authentication methods used by the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), a protocol often used when connecting a computer to the Internet.

  • extrusion prevention

    Extrusion prevention, also called exfiltration prevention, is the practice of stopping data leaks by filtering outbound network traffic and preventing unauthorized packets from moving outside the network. In contrast, extrusion detection simply alerts the existence of a problem that should be investigated.

  • F

    false acceptance (type II error)

    False acceptance, also called a type II error, is a mistake occasionally made by biometric security systems.

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