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

    Electronic Code Book (ECB)

    Electronic Code Book (ECB) is a mode of operation for a block cipher, with the characteristic that each possible block of plaintext has a defined corresponding ciphertext value and vice versa.

  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (e-signature bill)

    The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (often referred to as the e-signature bill) specifies that in the United States, the use of a digital signature is as legally valid as a traditional signature written in ink on paper.

  • Elk Cloner

    Elk Cloner was the first computer virus known to have spread in the wild.

  • elliptical curve cryptography (ECC)

    Elliptical curve cryptography (ECC) is a public key encryption technique based on elliptic curve theory that can be used to create faster, smaller, and more efficient cryptographic keys.

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • 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.

  • email virus

    An email virus consists of malicious code that is distributed in email messages, and it can be activated when a user clicks on a link in an email message, opens an email attachment or interacts in some other way with the infected email message.

  • employee onboarding and offboarding

    Employee onboarding and offboarding are two core HR activities that are gaining in importance.

  • 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, also referred to as a white hat hacker, is an information security expert who systematically attempts to penetrate a computer system, network, application or other computing resource on behalf of its owners -- and with their permission -- to find security vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could potentially exploit.

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