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

    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.

  • false rejection (type I error)

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

  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)

    The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is United States legislation that defines a comprehensive framework to protect government information, operations and assets against natural or man-made threats.

  • federated identity management

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made between multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same identification data to obtain access to the networks of all the enterprises in the group.

  • FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974)

    FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) is legislation that protects the privacy of students' personally identifiable information (PII). The act applies to all educational institutions that receive federal funds.

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the FIDO Alliance, a non-profit organization that seeks to standardize authentication at the client and protocol layers.

  • finger vein ID

    Finger vein ID is a biometric authentication system that matches the vascular pattern in an individual's finger to previously obtained data...(continued)

  • fingernail storage

    Fingernail storage is a method of writing data onto a human fingernail using a pulsed laser. The fluorescence of the nail, when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, is increased at points where data is written. Data can be read from the fingernail using a microscope while irradiating the nail with UV energy.

  • fingerscanning (fingerprint scanning)

    Fingerscanning, also called fingerprint scanning, is the process of electronically obtaining and storing human fingerprints.

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