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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  • K

    key chain

    A key chain is a series of keys that can be created to help ensure secure communication between routers in a network. Authentication occurs whenever neighboring routers exchange information. Plain text authentication sends a plain text key with each message, and plain text is vulnerable to snooping. Key chains allow a rotating series of keys to be used for limited periods of time to decrease the likelihood of a compromise.

  • key fob

    A key fob is a small, programmable hardware device that provides access to a physical object. Key fobs, are used to provide one-factor authentication for objects such as doors or automobiles. They are also used as an authentication factor for objects that require two-factor or multifactor authentication, such as laptops.

  • key string

    A key string is the authentication code included in each key in a key chain, which is a series of keys that can be created to help ensure secure communication between routers in a network.

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and record each keystroke typed on a specific computer's keyboard.

  • keystroke dynamics

    Keystroke dynamics are the patterns of rhythm and timing created when a person types...(Continued)

  • Klez

    Klez (pronounced KLEHZ) is an Internet worm that launches automatically when a user previews or reads an e-mail message containing Klez on a system that has not been patched for a vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer mail clients.

  • knowledge factor

    The knowledge factor, in a security context, is a category of authentication credentials consisting of information that the user possesses, such as a personal identification number (PIN), a user name, a password or the answer to a secret question.

  • knowledge-based authentication (KBA)

    In a KBA scheme, the user is asked to answer at least one "secret" question before being allowed to change account settings or reset a password.

  • Kraken

    Kraken is the name given to a family of malware that's currently being used to create what the security firm Damballa has called "the world's largest botnet." Single bots infected with Kraken malware have been recorded sending up to 500,000 spam email messages in a day. (Continued...)

  • L

    lawful interception (LI)

    Lawful interception (LI) is the legally sanctioned official access to private communications, such as telephone calls or e-mail messages.

  • LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol)

    LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol) is a Cisco-proprietary version of EAP, the authentication protocol used in wireless networks and Point-to-Point connections. LEAP is designed to provide more secure authentication for 802.11 WLANs (wireless local area networks) that support 802.1X port access control.

  • lifestyle polygraph

    A lifestyle polygraph is a lie-detector (polygraph) test that is administered as a requirement for employment in certain fields.

  • link encryption (link level or link layer encryption)

    Link encryption (sometimes called link level or link layer encryption) is the data security process of encrypting information at the data link level as it is transmitted between two points within a network.

  • live capture

    Live capture is the act or method of gathering biometric data from an individual while the individual is physically present.

  • logic bomb (slag code)

    In a computer program, a logic bomb, also called slag code, is programming code, inserted surreptitiously or intentionally, that is designed to execute (or "explode") under circumstances such as the lapse of a certain amount of time or the failure of a a program user to respond to a program command.

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