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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  • C

    cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in return for stopping or remediating the attack.

  • cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software and data, from cyberattacks.

  • cyberstalking

    Cyberstalking is a crime in which the attacker harasses a victim using electronic communication, such as e-mail or instant messaging (IM), or messages posted to a Web site or a discussion group.

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.'

  • cyberwarfare

    Cyberwarfare is computer- or network-based conflict involving politically motivated attacks by a nation-state on another nation-state.

  • cypherpunk

    Cypherpunk, a term that appeared in Eric Hughes' "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto" in 1993, combines the ideas of cyberpunk, the spirit of individualism in cyberspace, with the use of strong encryption (ciphertext is encrypted text) to preserve privacy.

  • D

    data breach

    A data breach is a confirmed incident in which sensitive, confidential or otherwise protected data has been accessed and/or disclosed in an unauthorized fashion.

  • Data Encryption Standard (DES)

    The Data Encryption Standard (DES) is an outdated symmetric-key method of data encryption.

  • data encryption/decryption IC

    A data encryption/decryption IC is a specialized integrated circuit (IC) that can encrypt outgoing data and decrypt incoming data...

  • data key

    In cryptography, a data key is a key (a variable value that is applied to a string or block of text to encrypt or decrypt it) that is used to encrypt or decrypt data only and is not used to encrypt or decrypt other keys, as some encryption formulas call for.

  • data masking

    Data masking is a method of creating a structurally similar but inauthentic version of an organization's data that can be used for purposes such as software testing and user training. The purpose is to protect the actual data while having a functional substitute for occasions when the real data is not required.

  • data splitting

    Data splitting is an approach to protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access by encrypting the data and storing different portions of a file on different servers.

  • decipher

    All three terms - decipher, decrypt, and decode - mean to convert ciphertext into the original, unencrypted plaintext.

  • defense in depth

    Defense in depth is the coordinated use of multiple security countermeasures to protect the integrity of the information assets in an enterprise... (Continued)

  • Defense Message System (DMS)

    The Defense Message System (DMS) is a secure X.400-based e-mail system developed by the United States government in conjunction with industry partners to ensure safety for critical operations.

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