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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  • B

    backscatter body scanning

    Backscatter body scanning is an X-ray-based technology that yields a high-resolution image of a person's body beneath their clothing and reveals concealed objects... (Continued)

  • barnacle

    In a computer, a barnacle is unwanted programming, such as adware or spyware, that is downloaded and installed along with a user-requested program.

  • bastion host

    On the Internet, a bastion host is the only host computer that a company allows to be addressed directly from the public network and that is designed to screen the rest of its network from security exposure.

  • bifurcation

    In the biometric process of fingerscanning, a bifurcation is a point in a finger image at which two ridges meet.

  • bimodal IAM (bimodal identity access management)

    Bimodal identity and access management (IAM) uses two forms of credentials, internal and external, as a method of authentication.

  • BioAPI Consortium

    The BioAPI Consortium is a group of over 90 organizations whose goal is to encourage and promote the growth of biometric technology by developing an industry-wide application programming interface (API.) The consortium's API defines how a software application interacts with a biometric verification device; it is compatible with different operating systems, vendor applications, and types of biometric technologies including voice and facial recognition, iris and retina scans, signature verification, hand and earlobe geometry, and fingerprint analysis.

  • biometric authentication

    Biometric authentication is a security process that relies on the unique biological characteristics of an individual to verify that he is who is says he is. Biometric authentication systems compare a biometric data capture to stored, confirmed authentic data in a database. If both samples of the biometric data match, authentication is confirmed.

  • biometric payment

    Biometric payment is a point of sale technology in which a customer submits biometric data, such as a fingerprint, to authorize the deduction of funds from a bank account.

  • biometric verification

    Biometric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing biological traits... (Continued)

  • biometrics

    Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people's unique physical and behavioral characteristics.

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent. A black hat hacker may exploit security vulnerabilities for monetary gain; to steal or destroy private data; or to alter, disrupt or shut down websites and networks.

  • blended threat

    A blended threat is an exploit that combines elements of multiple types of malware and perhaps takes multiple attack vectors to increase the severity of damage and the speed of contagion.  

  • block cipher

    A block cipher is a method of encrypting text (to produce ciphertext) in which a cryptographic key and algorithm are applied to a block of data (for example, 64 contiguous bits) at once as a group rather than to one bit at a time.

  • Blowfish

    Blowfish is an encryption algorithm that can be used as a replacement for the DES or IDEA algorithms.

  • BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708)

    BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708) is a vulnerability in the Remote Desktop (RDP) protocol that affects Windows 7, Windows XP, Server 2003 and 2008.

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