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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  • I

    identity and access management (IAM)

    Identity and access management (IAM) is a framework of business processes, policies and technologies that facilitates the management of electronic or digital identities.

  • identity chaos (password chaos)

    Identity chaos (sometimes called password chaos) is a situation in which users have multiple identities and passwords across a variety of networks, applications, computers and/or computing devices.

  • identity governance

    Identity governance is the policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control.

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or groups of people to have access to applications, systems or networks by associating user rights and restrictions with established identities.

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else.

  • IGP (Interior Gateway Protocol)

    An IGP (Interior Gateway Protocol) is a protocol for exchanging routing information between gateways (hosts with routers) within an autonomous network (for example, a system of corporate local area networks).

  • ILOVEYOU virus

    The ILOVEYOU virus comes in an e-mail note with "I LOVE YOU" in the subject line and contains an attachment that, when opened, results in the message being re-sent to everyone in the recipient's Microsoft Outlook address book and, perhaps more seriously, the loss of every JPEG, MP3, and certain other files on the recipient's hard disk.

  • in the wild

    According to noted computer virus expert Paul Ducklin, in order for a virus to be considered in the wild, "it must be spreading as a result of normal day-to-day operations on and between the computers of unsuspecting users.

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also known as an IT incident, computer incident or security incident.

  • incident response plan (IRP)

    An incident response plan (IRP) is a set of written instructions for adequately detecting, responding to and limiting the effects of an information security incident, an event that may or may not be an attack or threat to computer system or corporate data security.

  • Indicators of Compromise (IOC)

    Indicators of compromise are unusual activities on a system or network that imply the presence of a malicious actor.

  • Information Awareness Office (IAO)

    Created in response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) is a branch of the United States Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) that aims to gather massive amounts of intelligence through electronic sources in order to help avert terrorist acts in the future.

  • information security (infosec)

    Information security (infosec) is a set of strategies for managing the processes, tools and policies necessary to prevent, detect, document and counter threats to digital and non-digital information.

  • information signature

    To fight terrorism, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is planning to develop a system that uses a super database of recorded online transactions and analytical programming that will identify what is referred to as the information signature of a terrorist or terrorist activity before harm can be done.

  • inherence factor

    The inherence factor, in a security context, is a category of user authentication credentials consisting of elements that are integral to the individual in question, in the form of biometric data.

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