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Explore Terms: A Glossary of Common Cybersecurity Terminology

The NICCS Portal’s cybersecurity lexicon is intended to serve the cybersecurity communities of practice and interest for both the public and private sectors. It complements other lexicons such as the NISTIR 7298 Glossary of Key Information Security Terms. Objectives for lexicon are to enable clearer communication and common understanding of cybersecurity terms, through use of plain English and annotations on the definitions. The lexicon will evolve through ongoing feedback from end users and stakeholders.

Acronyms

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z

Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

Letter: A

  1. access
     
    Definition: The ability and means to communicate with or otherwise interact with a system, to use system resources to handle information, to gain knowledge of the information the system contains, or to control system components and functions.

    From: CNSSI 4009
  2. access and identity management

    Synonym(s): identity and access management
  3. access control  

    Definition: The process of granting or denying specific requests for or attempts to: 1) obtain and use information and related information processing services; and 2) enter specific physical facilities.

    Related Term(s): access control mechanism

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  4. access control mechanism  

    Definition: Security measures designed to detect and deny unauthorized access and permit authorized access to an information system or a physical facility.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  5. active attack  

    Definition: An actual assault perpetrated by an intentional threat source that attempts to alter a system, its resources, its data, or its operations.

    Related Term(s): passive attack

    Adapted from: IETF RFC 4949, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1
  6. active content  

    Definition: Software that is able to automatically carry out or trigger actions without the explicit intervention of a user.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  7. Advanced Persistent Threat  

    Definition: An adversary that possesses sophisticated levels of expertise and significant resources which allow it to create opportunities to achieve its objectives by using multiple attack vectors (e.g., cyber, physical, and deception).

    From: NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  8. adversary  

    Definition: An individual, group, organization, or government that conducts or has the intent to conduct detrimental activities.

    Related Term(s): threat agent, attacker

    From: DHS Risk Lexicon
  9. air gap  

    Definition: To physically separate or isolate a system from other systems or networks (verb).

    Extended Definition: The physical separation or isolation of a system from other systems or networks (noun).
  10. alert  

    Definition: A notification that a specific attack has been detected or directed at an organization’s information systems.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  11. All Source Intelligence 

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Analyzes threat information from multiple sources, disciplines, and agencies across the Intelligence Community. Synthesizes and places intelligence information in context; draws insights about the possible implications.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  12. Analyze

    Definition: A NICE Workforce Framework category consisting of specialty areas responsible for highly specialized review and evaluation of incoming cybersecurity information to determine its usefulness for intelligence.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  13. antispyware software  

    Definition: A program that specializes in detecting and blocking or removing forms of spyware.

    Related Term(s): spyware

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary
  14. antivirus software
     
    Definition: A program that monitors a computer or network to detect or identify major types of malicious code and to prevent or contain malware incidents. Sometimes by removing or neutralizing the malicious code.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary
  15. asset
     
    Definition: A person, structure, facility, information, and records, information technology systems and resources, material, process, relationships, or reputation that has value.

    Extended Definition: Anything useful that contributes to the success of something, such as an organizational mission; assets are things of value or properties to which value can be assigned.

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon
  16. asymmetric cryptography  

    Synonym(s): public key cryptography
  17. attack

    Definition: An attempt to gain unauthorized access to system services, resources, or information, or an attempt to compromise system integrity.

    Extended Definition: The intentional act of attempting to bypass one or more security services or controls of an information system.

    Related Term(s): active attack, passive attack

    From: NCSD Glossary. NTSSI 4009 (2000), CNSSI 4009
  18. attack method  

    Definition: The manner or technique and means an adversary may use in an assault on information or an information system.

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, NCSD Glossary
  19. attack mode
     
    Synonym(s): attack method
  20. attack path  

    Definition: The steps that an adversary takes or may take to plan, prepare for, and execute an attack.

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, NCSD Glossary
  21. attack pattern  

    Definition: Similar cyber events or behaviors that may indicate an attack has occurred or is occurring, resulting in a security violation or a potential security violation.

    Extended Definition: For software, descriptions of common methods for exploiting software systems.

    Related Term(s): attack signature

    Adapted from: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Visualization Techniques for Computer Network Defense, MITRE's CAPEC web site
  22. attack signature  

    Definition: A characteristic or distinctive pattern that can be searched for or that can be used in matching to previously identified attacks.

    Extended Definition: An automated set of rules for identifying a potential threat (such as an exploit or the presence of an attacker tool) and possible responses to that threat.

    Related Term(s): attack pattern

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, CNSSI 4009, ISSG V1.2 Database
  23. attack surface  

    Definition: The set of ways in which an adversary can enter a system and potentially cause damage.

    Extended Definition: An information system's characteristics that permit an adversary to probe, attack, or maintain presence in the information system.

    Adapted from: Manadhata, P.K., & Wing, J.M. in Attack Surface Measurement; DHS personnel
  24. attacker

    Definition: An individual, group, organization, or government that executes an attack.

    Extended Definition: A party acting with malicious intent to compromise an information system.

    Related Term(s): adversary, threat agent

    Adapted from: Barnum & Sethi (2006), NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1
  25. authenticate
     
    Related Term(s): authentication
  26. authentication  

    Definition: The process of verifying the identity or other attributes of an entity (user, process, or device).

    Extended Definition: Also the process of verifying the source and integrity of data.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-21, NISTIR 7298
  27. authenticity  

    Definition: A property achieved through cryptographic methods of being genuine and being able to be verified and trusted, resulting in confidence in the validity of a transmission, information or a message, or sender of information or a message.

    Related Term(s): integrity, non-repudiation

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  28. authorization

    Definition: A process of determining, by evaluating applicable access control information, whether a subject is allowed to have the specified types of access to a particular resource.

    Extended Definition: The process or act of granting access privileges or the access privileges as granted.

    From: OASIS SAML Glossary 2.0; Adapted from CNSSI 4009
  29. availability  

    Definition: The property of being accessible and usable upon demand.

    Extended Definition: In cybersecurity, applies to assets such as information or information systems.

    Related Term(s): confidentiality, integrity

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, 44 U.S.C., Sec 3542

Letter: B

  1. behavior monitoring  

    Definition: Observing activities of users, information systems, and processes and measuring the activities against organizational policies and rule, baselines of normal activity, thresholds, and trends.

    Adapted from: DHS personnel

    behavioral monitoring  

    Synonym(s): behavior monitoring
  2. blacklist  

    Definition: A list of entities that are blocked or denied privileges or access.

    Related Term(s): whitelist

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  3. Blue Team  

    Definition: A group that defends an enterprise's information systems when mock attackers (i.e., the Red Team) attack, typically as part of an operational exercise conducted according to rules established and monitored by a neutral group (i.e., the White Team).

    Extended Definition: Also, a group that conducts operational vulnerability evaluations and recommends mitigation techniques to customers who need an independent technical review of their cybersecurity posture.

    Related Term(s): Red Team, White Team

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  4. bot

    Definition: A computer connected to the Internet that has been surreptitiously / secretly compromised with malicious logic to perform activities under remote the command and control of a remote administrator.

    Extended Definition: A member of a larger collection of compromised computers known as a botnet.

    Synonym(s): zombie

    Related Term(s): botnet
  5. bot herder

    Synonym(s): bot master
  6. bot master

    Definition: The controller of a botnet that, from a remote location, provides direction to the compromised computers in the botnet.

    Synonym(s): bot herder
  7. botnet  

    Definition: A collection of computers compromised by malicious code and controlled across a network.
  8. bug  

    Definition: An unexpected and relatively small defect, fault, flaw, or imperfection in an information system or device.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary
  9. Build Security In  

    Definition: A set of principles, practices, and tools to design, develop, and evolve information systems and software that enhance resistance to vulnerabilities, flaws, and attacks.

    Adapted from: Trustworthy Cyberspace: Strategic Plan for the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Program (2011), US-CERT's Build Security In website.

Letter: C

  1. capability  

    Definition: The means to accomplish a mission, function, or objective.

    Related Term(s): intent

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon
  2. cipher

    Synonym(s): cryptographic algorithm
  3. ciphertext  

    Definition: Data or information in its encrypted form.

    Related Term(s): plaintext

    From: CNSSI 4009
  4. cloud computing  

    Definition: A model for enabling on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing capabilities or resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-145
  5. Collect & Operate

    Definition: A NICE Workforce Framework category consisting of specialty areas responsible for specialized denial and deception operations and collection of cybersecurity information that may be used to develop intelligence.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  6. Collection Operations

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Executes collection using appropriate strategies and within the priorities established through the collection management process.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  7. computer forensics
     
    Synonym(s): digital forensics
  8. computer network defense

    Definition: The actions taken to defend against unauthorized activity within computer networks.

    From: CNSSI 4009
  9. Computer Network Defense Analysis  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Uses defensive measures and information collected from a variety of sources to identify, analyze, and report events that occur or might occur within the network in order to protect information, information systems, and networks from threats.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  10. Computer Network Defense Infrastructure Support

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Tests, implements, deploys, maintains, reviews, and administers the infrastructure hardware and software that are required to effectively manage the computer network defense service provider network and resources; monitors network to actively remediate unauthorized activities.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  11. computer security incident
     
    Synonym(s): incident

    Related Term(s): event
  12. confidentiality

    Definition: A property that information is not disclosed to users, processes, or devices unless they have been authorized to access the information.

    Extended Definition: Preserving authorized restrictions on information access and disclosure, including means for protecting personal privacy and proprietary information.

    Related Term(s): availability, integrity

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, 44 U.S.C., Sec 3542
  13. consequence

    Definition: The effect of an event, incident, or occurrence.

    Extended Definition: In cybersecurity, the effect of a loss of confidentiality, integrity or availability of information or an information system on an organization's operations, its assets, on individuals, other organizations, or on national interests.

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, National Infrastructure Protection Plan, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  14. Continuity of Operations Plan

    Definition: A document that sets forth procedures for the continued performance of core capabilities and critical operations during any disruption or potential disruption.

    Related Term(s): Business Continuity Plan, Disaster Recovery Plan, Contingency Plan

    Adapted from: CPG 101, CNSSI 4009

  15. critical infrastructure  

    Definition: The systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to society that the incapacity or destruction of such may have a debilitating impact on the security, economy, public health or safety, environment, or any combination of these matters.

    Related Term(s): key resource

    Adapted from: National Infrastructure Protection Plan
  16. critical infrastructure and key resources  

    Synonym(s): critical infrastructure
  17. cryptanalysis 

    Definition: The operations performed in defeating or circumventing cryptographic protection of information by applying mathematical techniques and without an initial knowledge of the key employed in providing the protection.

    Extended Definition: The study of mathematical techniques for attempting to defeat or circumvent cryptographic techniques and/or information systems security.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-130
  18. cryptographic algorithm  

    Definition: A well-defined computational procedure that takes variable inputs, including a cryptographic key, and produces an output.

    Related Term(s): key, encryption, decryption, symmetric key, asymmetric key

    From: CNSSI 4009
  19. cryptography  

    Definition: The use of mathematical techniques to provide security services, such as confidentiality, data integrity, entity authentication, and data origin authentication.

    Extended Definition: The art or science concerning the principles, means, and methods for converting plaintext into ciphertext and for restoring encrypted ciphertext to plaintext.

    Related Term(s): plaintext, ciphertext, encryption, decryption

    From: NIST SP 800-130; Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  20. cryptology  

    Definition: The mathematical science that deals with cryptanalysis and cryptography.

    Related Term(s): cryptanalysis, cryptography

    From: CNSSI 4009
  21. Customer Service and Technical Support  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Addresses problems, installs, configures, troubleshoots, and provides maintenance and training in response to customer requirements or inquiries (e.g., tiered-level customer support).

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  22. cyber ecosystem  

    Definition: The interconnected information infrastructure of interactions among persons, processes, data, and information and communications technologies, along with the environment and conditions that influence those interactions.

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  23. cyber exercise  

    Definition: A planned event during which an organization simulates a cyber disruption to develop or test capabilities such as preventing, detecting, mitigating, responding to or recovering from the disruption.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, DHS Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
  24. cyber incident  

    Synonym(s): incident

    Related Term(s): event
  25. cyber incident response plan  

    Synonym(s): incident response plan
  26. cyber infrastructure  

    Definition: An electronic information and communications systems and services and the information contained therein.

    Extended Definition: The information and communications systems and services composed of all hardware and software that process, store, and communicate information, or any combination of all of these elements: • Processing includes the creation, access, modification, and destruction of information. • Storage includes paper, magnetic, electronic, and all other media types. • Communications include sharing and distribution of information.

    Adapted from: NIPP
  27. Cyber Operations  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Performs activities to gather evidence on criminal or foreign intelligence entities in order to mitigate possible or real-time threats, protect against espionage or insider threats, foreign sabotage, international terrorist activities, or to support other intelligence activities.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  28. Cyber Operations Planning  

    Definition: in the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Performs in-depth joint targeting and cyber planning process. Gathers information and develops detailed Operational Plans and Orders supporting requirements. Conducts strategic and operational-level planning across the full range of operations for integrated information and cyberspace operations

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  29. cybersecurity  

    Definition: The activity or process, ability or capability, or state whereby information and communications systems and the information contained therein are protected from and/or defended against damage, unauthorized use or modification, or exploitation.

    Extended Definition: Strategy, policy, and standards regarding the security of and operations in cyberspace, and encompass[ing] the full range of threat reduction, vulnerability reduction, deterrence, international engagement, incident response, resiliency, and recovery policies and activities, including computer network operations, information assurance, law enforcement, diplomacy, military, and intelligence missions as they relate to the security and stability of the global information and communications infrastructure.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, NIPP, DHS National Preparedness Goal; White House Cyberspace Policy Review, May 2009
  30. cyberspace  

    Definition: The interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, that includes the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers.

    Adapted from: NSPD 54/HSPD -23, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4

Letter: D

  1. Data Administration
     
    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Develops and administers databases and/or data management systems that allow for the storage, query, and utilization of data.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  2. data aggregation  

    Definition: The process of gathering and combining data from different sources, so that the combined data reveals new information.

    Extended Definition: The new information is more sensitive than the individual data elements themselves and the person who aggregates the data was not granted access to the totality of the information.

    Related Term(s): data mining

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  3. data breach  

    Definition: The unauthorized movement or disclosure of sensitive information to a party, usually outside the organization, that is not authorized to have or see the information.

    Related Term(s): data loss, data theft, exfiltration
  4. data integrity

    Definition: The property that data is complete, intact, and trusted and has not been modified or destroyed in an unauthorized or accidental manner.

    Related Term(s): integrity, system integrity

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-27
  5. data leakage  

    Synonym(s): data breach
  6. data loss  

    Definition: The result of unintentionally or accidentally deleting data, forgetting where it is stored, or exposure to an unauthorized party.

    Related Term(s): data leakage, data theft
  7. data loss prevention
     
    Definition: A set of procedures and mechanisms to stop sensitive data from leaving a security boundary.

    Related Term(s): data loss, data theft, data leak

    Adapted from: Liu, S., & Kuhn, R. (2010, March/April). Data loss prevention. IEEE IT Professional, 11(2), pp. 10-13.
  8. data mining  

    Definition: The process or techniques used to analyze large sets of existing information to discover previously unrevealed patterns or correlations.

    Related Term(s): data aggregation

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  9. data spill

    Synonym(s): data breach
  10. data theft  

    Definition: The deliberate or intentional act of stealing of information.

    Related Term(s): data aggregation, data leakage, data loss
  11. decipher  

    Definition: To convert enciphered text to plain text by means of a cryptographic system.

    Synonym(s): decode, decrypt

    From: CNSSI 4009
  12. decode  
     
    Definition: To convert encoded text to plain text by means of a code.

    Synonym(s): decipher, decrypt

    From: CNSSI 4009
  13. decrypt  

    Definition: A generic term encompassing decode and decipher.

    Synonym(s): decipher, decode

    From: CNSSI 4009
  14. decryption  

    Definition: The process of transforming ciphertext into its original plaintext.
    Extended Definition: The process of converting encrypted data back into its original form, so it can be understood.

    Synonym(s): decode, decrypt, decipher

    Adapted from: ICAM SAML 2.0 WB SSO Profile 1.0.2
  15. denial of service  

    Definition: An attack that prevents or impairs the authorized use of information system resources or services.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary

  16. designed-in security
     
    Synonym(s): Build Security In
  17. digital forensics  

    Definition: The processes and specialized techniques for gathering, retaining, and analyzing system-related data (digital evidence) for investigative purposes.

    Extended Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Collects, processes, preserves, analyzes, and presents computer-related evidence in support of network vulnerability, mitigation, and/or criminal, fraud, counterintelligence or law enforcement investigations.

    Synonym(s): computer forensics, forensics

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009; From: NICE Workforce Framework
  18. digital rights management  

    Definition: A form of access control technology to protect and manage use of digital content or devices in accordance with the content or device provider's intentions.
  19. digital signature

    Definition: A value computed with a cryptographic process using a private key and then appended to a data object, thereby digitally signing the data.
    Related Term(s): electronic signature

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, IETF RFC 2828, ICAM SAML 2.0 WB SSO Profile 1.0.2, InCommon Glossary, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1
  20. disruption  

    Definition: An event which causes unplanned interruption in operations or functions for an unacceptable length of time.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  21. distributed denial of service  

    Definition: A denial of service technique that uses numerous systems to perform the attack simultaneously.

    Related Term(s): denial of service, botnet

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  22. dynamic attack surface  

    Definition: The automated, on-the-fly changes of an information system's characteristics to thwart actions of an adversary.

    Adapted from: DHS personnel

Letter: E

  1. Education and Training

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Conducts training of personnel within pertinent subject domain; develop, plan, coordinate, deliver, and/or evaluate training courses, methods, and techniques as appropriate.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  2. electronic signature 

    Definition: Any mark in electronic form associated with an electronic document, applied with the intent to sign the document.

    Related Term(s): digital signature

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  3. encipher  

    Definition: To convert plaintext to ciphertext by means of a cryptographic system.

    Synonym(s): encode, encrypt

    From: CNSSI 4009
  4. encode  

    Definition: To convert plaintext to ciphertext by means of a code.

    Synonym(s): encipher, encrypt

    From: CNSSI 4009
  5. encrypt  

    Definition: The generic term encompassing encipher and encode.

    Synonym(s): encipher, encode

    From: CNSSI 4009
  6. encryption
     
    Definition: The process of transforming plaintext into ciphertext.

    Extended Definition: Converting data into a form that cannot be easily understood by unauthorized people.

    Synonym(s): encode, encrypt, encipher

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, ICAM SAML 2.0 WB SSO Profile 1.0.2
  7. enterprise risk management  

    Definition: A comprehensive approach to risk management that engages people, processes, and systems across an organization to improve the quality of decision making for managing risks that may hinder an organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.

    Extended Definition: Involves identifying mission dependencies on enterprise capabilities, identifying and prioritizing risks due to defined threats, implementing countermeasures to provide both a static risk posture and an effective dynamic response to active threats; and assessing enterprise performance against threats and adjusts countermeasures as necessary.

    Related Term(s): risk management, integrated risk management, risk

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, CNSSI 4009
  8. event

    Definition: An observable occurrence in an information system or network.

    Extended Definition: Sometimes provides an indication that an incident is occurring or at least raise the suspicion that an incident may be occurring.

    Related Term(s): incident

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  9. exfiltration 

    Definition: The unauthorized transfer of information from an information system.

    Related Term(s): data breach

    From: NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  10. exploit  

    Definition: A technique to breach the security of a network or information system in violation of security policy.

    Adapted from: ISO/IEC 27039 (draft), DHS personnel
  11. Exploitation Analysis  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Analyzes collected information to identify vulnerabilities and potential for exploitation.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  12. exposure  

    Definition: The condition of being unprotected, thereby allowing access to information or access to capabilities that an attacker can use to enter a system or network.

    Adapted from: NCSD glossary

Letter: F

  1. Failure  

    Definition: The inability of a system or component to perform its required functions within specified performance requirements.

    From: NCSD Glossary
  2. firewall

    Definition: A capability to limit network traffic between networks and/or information systems.

    Extended Definition: A hardware/software device or a software program that limits network traffic according to a set of rules of what access is and is not allowed or authorized.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  3. forensics  

    Synonym(s): digital forensics

Letter: G


Letter: H

  1. hacker  

    Definition: An unauthorized user who attempts to or gains access to an information system.

    From: CNSSI 4009
  2. hash value  

    Definition: A numeric value resulting from applying a mathematical algorithm against a set of data such as a file.

    Synonym(s): cryptographic hash value

    Related Term(s): hashing

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  3. hashing  

    Definition: A process of applying a mathematical algorithm against a set of data to produce a numeric value (a 'hash value') that represents the data.

    Extended Definition: Mapping a bit string of arbitrary length to a fixed length bit string to produce the hash value.

    Related Term(s): hash value

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, FIPS 201-2
  4. hazard  

    Definition: A natural or man-made source or cause of harm or difficulty.

    Related Term(s): threat

    From: DHS Risk Lexicon

Letter: I

  1. ICT supply chain threat  

    Definition: A man-made threat achieved through exploitation of the information and communications technology (ICT) system’s supply chain, including acquisition processes.

    Related Term(s): supply chain, threat

    From: DHS SCRM PMO
  2. identity and access management  

    Definition: The methods and processes used to manage subjects and their authentication and authorizations to access specific objects.
  3. impact  

    Synonym(s): consequence
  4. incident  

    Definition: An occurrence that actually or potentially results in adverse consequences to (adverse effects on) (poses a threat to) an information system or the information that the system processes, stores, or transmits and that may require a response action to mitigate the consequences.

    Extended Definition: An occurrence that constitutes a violation or imminent threat of violation of security policies, security procedures, or acceptable use policies.

    Related Term(s): event

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, FIPS 200, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, ISSG
  5. incident management

    Definition: The management and coordination of activities associated with an actual or potential occurrence of an event that may result in adverse consequences to information or information systems.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, ISSG NCPS Target Architecture Glossary
  6. incident response

    Definition: The activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident and may also support short-term recovery.

    Extended Definition: In the Workforce framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Responds to crisis or urgent situations within the pertinent domain to mitigate immediate and potential threats; uses mitigation, preparedness, and response and recovery approaches, as needed, to maximize survival of life, preservation of property, and information security. Investigates and analyzes all relevant response activities.

    Synonym(s): response

    Related Term(s): recovery

    From: Workforce Framework
  7. incident response plan

    Definition: A set of predetermined and documented procedures to detect and respond to a cyber incident.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  8. indicator  

    Definition: An occurrence or sign that an incident may have occurred or may be in progress.

    Related Term(s): precursor

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-61 Rev 2 (DRAFT), ISSG V1.2 Database
  9. Industrial Control System

    Definition: An information system used to control industrial processes such as manufacturing, product handling, production, and distribution or to control infrastructure assets.

    Related Term(s): Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, Operations Technology

    Adapted from: NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, NIST SP 800-82
  10. information and communication(s) technology

    Definition: Any information technology, equipment, or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that processes, transmits, receives, or interchanges data or information.

    Related Term(s): information technology

    Adapted from: The Access Board's 2011 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Section 508
  11. information assurance
     
    Definition: The measures that protect and defend information and information systems by ensuring their availability, integrity, and confidentiality.

    Related Term(s): information security

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  12. Information Assurance Compliance

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Oversees, evaluates, and supports the documentation, validation, and accreditation processes necessary to assure that new IT systems meet the organization's information assurance and security requirements; ensures appropriate treatment of risk, compliance, and assurance from internal and external perspectives.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  13. information security policy
     
    Definition: An aggregate of directives, regulations, rules, and practices that prescribe how an organization manages, protects, and distributes information.

    Related Term(s): security policy

    From: CNSSI 4009; NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  14. information sharing  

    Definition: An exchange of data, information, and/or knowledge to manage risks or respond to incidents.

    Adapted from: NCSD glossary
  15. information system resilience  

    Definition: The ability of an information system to: (1) continue to operate under adverse conditions or stress, even if in a degraded or debilitated state, while maintaining essential operational capabilities; and (2) recover effectively in a timely manner.

    Related Term(s): resilience

    Adapted from: NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  16. Information Systems Security Operations

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Oversees the information assurance program of an information system in or outside the network environment; may include procurement duties (e.g., Information Systems Security Officer).

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  17. information technology  

    Definition: Any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that processes, transmits, receives, or interchanges data or information.

    Related Term(s): information and communication(s) technology

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 rev. 4, based on 40 U.S.C. sec. 1401
  18. inside( r) threat  

    Definition: A person or group of persons within an organization who pose a potential risk through violating security policies.

    Extended Definition: One or more individuals with the access and/or inside knowledge of a company, organization, or enterprise that would allow them to exploit the vulnerabilities of that entity's security, systems, services, products, or facilities with the intent to cause harm.

    Related Term(s): outside( r) threat

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009; From: NIAC Final Report and Recommendations on the Insider Threat to Critical Infrastructure, 2008
  19. integrated risk management  

    Definition: The structured approach that enables an enterprise or organization to share risk information and risk analysis and to synchronize independent yet complementary risk management strategies to unify efforts across the enterprise.

    Related Term(s): risk management, enterprise risk management

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon
  20. integrity  

    Definition: The property whereby information, an information system, or a component of a system has not been modified or destroyed in an unauthorized manner.

    Extended Definition: A state in which information has remained unaltered from the point it was produced by a source, during transmission, storage, and eventual receipt by the destination.

    Related Term(s): availability, confidentiality, data integrity, system integrity

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, 44 U.S.C., Sec 3542, SANS; From SAFE-BioPharma Certificate Policy 2.5
  21. intent  

    Definition: A state of mind or desire to achieve an objective.

    Related Term(s): capability

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon
  22. interoperability  

    Definition: The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.
    Adapted from: IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary, DHS personnel
  23. intrusion  

    Definition: An unauthorized act of bypassing the security mechanisms of a network or information system.

    Synonym(s): penetration

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  24. intrusion detection  

    Definition: The process and methods for analyzing information from networks and information systems to determine if a security breach or security violation has occurred.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, ISO/IEC 27039 (draft)
  25. Investigate  

    Definition: a NICE Workforce Framework category consisting of specialty areas responsible for the investigation of cyber events and/or crimes of IT systems, networks, and digital evidence

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  26. investigation  

    Definition: A systematic and formal inquiry into a qualified threat or incident using digital forensics and perhaps other traditional criminal inquiry techniques to determine the events that transpired and to collect evidence.

    Extended Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Applies tactics, techniques, and procedures for a full range of investigative tools and processes to include but not limited to interview and interrogation techniques, surveillance, counter surveillance, and surveillance detection, and appropriately balances the benefits of prosecution versus intelligence gathering.

    Adapted from: ISSG V1.2 Database; Conrad, E., Misenauer, S., & Feldman, J. (2010). CISSP® Study Guide. Burlington, MA: Syngress; From: NICE Workforce
    Framework
  27. IT asset  

    Synonym(s): asset

Letter: J


Letter: K

  1. key  

    Definition: The numerical value used to control cryptographic operations, such as decryption, encryption, signature generation, or signature verification.
    Related Term(s): private key, public key, secret key, symmetric key

    From: CNSSI 4009
  2. key pair  

    Definition: A public key and its corresponding private key.

    Extended Definition: Two mathematically related keys having the property that one key can be used to encrypt a message that can only be decrypted using the other key.

    Related Term(s): private key, public key

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, Federal Bridge Certificate Authority Certification Policy 2.25
  3. key resource  

    Definition: A publicly or privately controlled asset necessary to sustain continuity of government and/or economic operations, or an asset that is of great historical significance.

    Related Term(s): critical infrastructure

    From: NCSD glossary
  4. keylogger  

    Definition: Software or hardware that tracks keystrokes and keyboard events, usually surreptitiously / secretly, to monitor actions by the user of an information system.

    Related Term(s): spyware
  5. Knowledge Management
     
    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Manages and administers processes and tools that enable the organization to identify, document, and access intellectual capital and information content.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework

Letter: L

  1. Legal Advice and Advocacy
     
    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Provides legally sound advice and recommendations to leadership and staff on a variety of relevant topics within the pertinent subject domain; advocates legal and policy changes and makes a case on behalf of client via a wide range of written and oral work products, including legal briefs and proceedings.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework

Letter: M

  1. machine learning and evolution  

    Definition: A field concerned with designing and developing artificial intelligence algorithms for automated knowledge discovery and innovation by information systems.

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  2. macro virus

    Definition: A type of malicious code that attaches itself to documents and uses the macro programming capabilities of the document’s application to execute, replicate, and spread or propagate itself.

    Related Term(s): virus

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  3. malicious applet  

    Definition: A small application program that is automatically downloaded and executed and that performs an unauthorized function on an information system.

    Related Term(s): malicious code

    From: CNSSI 4009
  4. malicious code  

    Definition: Program code intended to perform an unauthorized function or process that will have adverse impact on the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system.

    Extended Definition: Includes software, firmware, and scripts.

    Related Term(s): malicious logic

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009. NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  5. malicious logic  

    Definition: Hardware, firmware, or software that is intentionally included or inserted in a system to perform an unauthorized function or process that will have adverse impact on the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system.

    Related Term(s): malicious code

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  6. malware

    Definition: Software that compromises the operation of a system by performing an unauthorized function or process.
    Synonym(s): malicious code, malicious applet, malicious logic

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-83
  7. mitigation  

    Definition: The application of one or more measures to reduce the likelihood of an unwanted occurrence and/or lessen its consequences.

    Extended Definition: Implementing appropriate risk-reduction controls based on risk management priorities and analysis of alternatives.

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  8. moving target defense
     
    Definition: The presentation of a dynamic attack surface, increasing an adversary's work factor necessary to probe, attack, or maintain presence in a cyber target.

    From: DHS personnel

Letter: N

  1. network resilience  

    Definition: The ability of a network to: (1) provide continuous operation (i.e., highly resistant to disruption and able to operate in a degraded mode if damaged); (2) recover effectively if failure does occur; and (3) scale to meet rapid or unpredictable demands.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  2. Network Services

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Installs, configures, tests, operates, maintains, and manages networks and their firewalls, including hardware (e.g., hubs, bridges, switches, multiplexers, routers, cables, proxy servers, and protective distributor systems) and software that permit the sharing and transmission of all spectrum transmissions of information to support the security of information and information systems.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  3. non-repudiation
     
    Definition: A property achieved through cryptographic methods to protect against an individual or entity falsely denying having performed a particular action related to data.

    Extended Definition: Provides the capability to determine whether a given individual took a particular action such as creating information, sending a message, approving information, and receiving a message.

    Related Term(s): integrity, authenticity

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009; From: NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4

Letter: O

  1. object 

    Definition: A passive information system-related entity containing or receiving information.

    Related Term(s): subject, access, access control

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  2. Operate & Maintain

    Definition: A NICE Workforce Framework category consisting of specialty areas responsible for providing the support, administration, and maintenance necessary to ensure effective and efficient IT system performance and security.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  3. operational exercise

    Definition: An action-based exercise where personnel rehearse reactions to an incident scenario, drawing on their understanding of plans and procedures, roles, and responsibilities.

    Extended Definition: Also referred to as operations-based exercise.

    Adapted from: DHS Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
  4. Operations Technology  

    Definition: The hardware and software systems used to operate industrial control devices.

    Related Term(s): Industrial Control System

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  5. outside( r) threat  

    Definition: A person or group of persons external to an organization who are not authorized to access its assets and pose a potential risk to the organization and its assets.

    Related Term(s): inside( r) threat

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  6. Oversight & Development
     
    Definition: A NICE Workforce Framework category consisting of specialty areas providing leadership, management, direction, and/or development and advocacy so that all individuals and the organization may effectively conduct cybersecurity work.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework

Letter: P

  1. passive attack  

    Definition: An actual assault perpetrated by an intentional threat source that attempts to learn or make use of information from a system, but does not attempt to alter the system, its resources, its data, or its operations.

    Related Term(s): active attack

    Adapted from: IETF RFC 4949, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1
  2. password

    Definition: A string of characters (letters, numbers, and other symbols) used to authenticate an identity or to verify access authorization.

    From: FIPS 140-2
  3. pen test  

    Definition: A colloquial term for penetration test or penetration testing.

    Synonym(s): penetration testing
  4. penetration  

    Synonym(s): intrusion
  5. penetration testing
     
    Definition: An evaluation methodology whereby assessors search for vulnerabilities and attempt to circumvent the security features of a network and/or information system.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  6. Personal Identifying Information / Personally Identifiable Information  

    Definition: The information that permits the identity of an individual to be directly or indirectly inferred.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, CNSSI 4009, GAO Report 08-356, as cited in NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1
  7. phishing  

    Definition: A digital form of social engineering to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1
  8. plaintext  

    Definition: Unencrypted information.

    Related Term(s): ciphertext

    From: CNSSI 4009
  9. precursor
     
    Definition: An observable occurrence or sign that an attacker may be preparing to cause an incident.

    Related Term(s): indicator

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-61 Rev 2 (DRAFT)
  10. Preparedness  

    Definition: The activities to build, sustain, and improve readiness capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from natural or manmade incidents.

    Adapted from: NIPP
  11. privacy  

    Definition: The assurance that the confidentiality of, and access to, certain information about an entity is protected.

    Extended Definition: The ability of individuals to understand and exercise control over how information about themselves may be used by others.

    From: NIST SP 800-130; Adapted from: DHS personnel
  12. private key  

    Definition: A cryptographic key that must be kept confidential and is used to enable the operation of an asymmetric (public key) cryptographic algorithm.

    Extended Definition: The secret part of an asymmetric key pair that is uniquely associated with an entity.

    Related Term(s): public key, asymmetric cryptography

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1, FIPS 201-2, FIPS 140-2, Federal Bridge Certificate Authority Certification Policy 2.25
  13. Protect & Defend  

    Definition: A NICE Workforce Framework category consisting of specialty areas responsible for the identification, analysis, and mitigation of threats to internal IT systems or networks.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  14. public key  

    Definition: A cryptographic key that may be widely published and is used to enable the operation of an asymmetric (public key) cryptographic algorithm.

    Extended Definition: The public part of an asymmetric key pair that is uniquely associated with an entity and that may be made public.

    Related Term(s): private key, asymmetric cryptography

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1, FIPS 201-2, FIPS 140-2, Federal Bridge Certificate Authority Certification Policy 2.25
  15. public key cryptography  

    Definition: A branch of cryptography in which a cryptographic system or algorithms use two uniquely linked keys: a public key and a private key (a key pair).

    Synonym(s): asymmetric cryptography, public key encryption

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, FIPS 140-2, InCommon Glossary
  16. public key encryption  

    Synonym(s): public key cryptography
  17. Public Key Infrastructure  

    Definition: A framework consisting of standards and services to enable secure, encrypted communication and authentication over potentially insecure networks such as the Internet.

    Extended Definition: A framework and services for generating, producing, distributing, controlling, accounting for, and revoking (destroying) public key certificates.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, IETF RFC 2828, Federal Bridge Certificate Authority Cross-certification Methodology 3.0, InCommon Glossary, Kantara Identity Assurance Framework 1100, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1

Letter: Q


Letter: R

  1. Recovery

    Definition: The activities after an incident or event to restore essential services and operations in the short and medium term and fully restore all capabilities in the longer term.

    Adapted from: NIPP
  2. Red Team  

    Definition: A group authorized and organized to emulate a potential adversary’s attack or exploitation capabilities against an enterprise’s cybersecurity posture.

    Related Term(s): Blue Team, White Team

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  3. Red Team exercise  

    Definition: An exercise, reflecting real-world conditions, that is conducted as a simulated attempt by an adversary to attack or exploit vulnerabilities in an enterprise's information systems.

    Related Term(s): cyber exercise

    Adapted from: NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  4. redundancy  

    Definition: Additional or alternative systems, sub-systems, assets, or processes that maintain a degree of overall functionality in case of loss or failure of another system, sub-system, asset, or process.

    From: DHS Risk Lexicon
  5. resilience  

    Definition: The ability to adapt to changing conditions and prepare for, withstand, and rapidly recover from disruption.
    From: DHS Risk Lexicon
  6. response  

    Definition: The activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident and may also support short-term recovery.

    Extended Definition: In cybersecurity, response encompasses both automated and manual activities.

    Related Term(s): recovery

    Adapted from: National Infrastructure Protection Plan, NCPS Target Architecture Glossary
  7. response plan

    Synonym(s): incident response plan
  8. risk
     
    Definition: The potential for an unwanted or adverse outcome resulting from an incident, event, or occurrence, as determined by the likelihood that a particular threat will exploit a particular vulnerability, with the associated consequences.

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, NIPP and adapted from: CNSSI 4009, FIPS 200, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, SAFE-BioPharma Certificate Policy 2.5
  9. risk analysis  

    Definition: The systematic examination of the components and characteristics of risk.

    Related Term(s): risk assessment, risk

    From: DHS Risk Lexicon
  10. risk assessment  

    Definition: The product or process which collects information and assigns values to risks for the purpose of informing priorities, developing or comparing courses of action, and informing decision making.

    Extended Definition: The appraisal of the risks facing an entity, asset, system, or network, organizational operations, individuals, geographic area, other organizations, or society, and includes determining the extent to which adverse circumstances or events could result in harmful consequences.

    Related Term(s): risk analysis, risk

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  11. risk management  

    Definition: The process of identifying, analyzing, assessing, and communicating risk and accepting, avoiding, transferring or controlling it to an acceptable level considering associated costs and benefits of any actions taken.

    Extended Definition: Includes: 1) conducting a risk assessment; 2) implementing strategies to mitigate risks; 3) continuous monitoring of risk over time; and 4) documenting the overall risk management program.

    Related Term(s): enterprise risk management, integrated risk management, risk

    From: DHS Risk Lexicon and Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  12. risk mitigation
     
    Synonym(s): mitigation
  13. risk-based data management 
     
    Definition: A structured approach to managing risks to data and information by which an organization selects and applies appropriate security controls in compliance with policy and commensurate with the sensitivity and value of the data.

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  14. rootkit  

    Definition: A set of software tools with administrator-level access privileges installed on an information system and designed to hide the presence of the tools, maintain the access privileges, and conceal the activities conducted by the tools.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009

Letter: S

  1. secret key  

    Definition: A cryptographic key that is used for both encryption and decryption, enabling the operation of a symmetric key cryptography scheme.

    Extended Definition: Also, a cryptographic algorithm that uses a single key (i.e., a secret key) for both encryption of plaintext and decryption of ciphertext.

    Related Term(s): symmetric key

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  2. Securely Provision
     
    Definition: A NICE Workforce Framework category consisting of specialty areas concerned with conceptualizing, designing, and building secure IT systems, with responsibility for some aspect of the systems' development.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  3. security automation  

    Definition: The use of information technology in place of manual processes for cyber incident response and management.

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  4. security incident  

    Synonym(s): incident
  5. security policy

    Definition: A rule or set of rules that govern the acceptable use of an organization's information and services to a level of acceptable risk and the means for protecting the organization's information assets.

    Extended Definition: A rule or set of rules applied to an information system to provide security services.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, NIST SP 800-130, OASIS SAML Glossary 2.0
  6. Security Program Management  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Manages information security (e.g., information security) implications within the organization, specific program, or other area of responsibility, to include strategic, personnel, infrastructure, policy enforcement, emergency planning, security awareness, and other resources (e.g., the role of a Chief Information Security Officer).

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  7. signature

    Definition: A recognizable, distinguishing pattern.

    Extended Definition: Types of signatures: attack signature, digital signature, electronic signature.

    From: CNSSI 4009; Adapted from: NIST SP 800-94
  8. situational awareness  

    Definition: Comprehending information about the current and developing security posture and risks, based on information gathered, observation and analysis, and knowledge or experience.

    Extended Definition: In cybersecurity, comprehending the current status and security posture with respect to availability, confidentiality, and integrity of networks, systems, users, and data, as well as projecting future states of these.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, DHS personnel, National Response Framework
  9. software assurance  

    Definition: The level of confidence that software is free from vulnerabilities, either intentionally designed into the software or accidentally inserted at any time during its lifecycle, and that the software functions in the intended manner.

    From: CNSSI 4009
  10. Software Assurance and Security Engineering  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Develops and writes/codes new (or modifies existing) computer applications, software, or specialized utility programs following software assurance best practices.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  11. spam  

    Definition: The abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages.

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  12. spillage  

    Synonym(s): data spill, data breach
  13. Spoofing  

    Definition: Faking the sending address of a transmission to gain illegal [unauthorized] entry into a secure system.

    Extended Definition: The deliberate inducement of a user or resource to take incorrect action. Note: Impersonating, masquerading, piggybacking, and mimicking are forms of spoofing.

    From: CNSSI 4009
  14. spyware  

    Definition: Software that is secretly or surreptitiously installed into an information system without the knowledge of the system user or owner.

    Related Term(s): keylogger

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  15. Strategic Planning and Policy Development  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Applies knowledge of priorities to define an entity.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  16. subject  

    Definition: An individual, process, or device causing information to flow among objects or a change to the system state.

    Extended Definition: An active entity.

    Related Term(s): object, access, access control

    Adapted from: NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4., CNSSI 4009
  17. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
     
    Definition: A generic name for a computerized system that is capable of gathering and processing data and applying operational controls to geographically dispersed assets over long distances.

    Related Term(s): Industrial Control System

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, CNSSI 4009
  18. supply chain  

    Definition: A system of organizations, people, activities, information and resources, for creating and moving products including product components and/or services from suppliers through to their customers.

    Related Term(s): supply chain risk management

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  19. Supply Chain Risk Management  

    Definition: The process of identifying, analyzing, and assessing supply chain risk and accepting, avoiding, transferring or controlling it to an acceptable level considering associated costs and benefits of any actions taken.

    Related Term(s): supply chain

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, CNSSD 505
  20. symmetric cryptography  

    Definition: A branch of cryptography in which a cryptographic system or algorithms use the same secret key (a shared secret key).

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, SANS
  21. symmetric encryption algorithm  

    Synonym(s): symmetric cryptography
  22. symmetric key

    Definition: A cryptographic key that is used to perform both the cryptographic operation and its inverse, for example to encrypt plaintext and decrypt ciphertext, or create a message authentication code and to verify the code.

    Extended Definition: Also, a cryptographic algorithm that uses a single key (i.e., a secret key) for both encryption of plaintext and decryption of ciphertext.

    Related Term(s): secret key

    From: CNSSI 4009
  23. System Administration  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Installs, configures, troubleshoots, and maintains server configurations (hardware and software) to ensure their confidentiality, integrity, and availability; also manages accounts, firewalls, and patches; responsible for access control, passwords, and account creation and administration.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  24. system integrity

    Definition: The attribute of an information system when it performs its intended function in an unimpaired manner, free from deliberate or inadvertent unauthorized manipulation of the system.

    Related Term(s): integrity, data integrity

    From: CNSSI 4009
  25. Systems Development

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Works on the development phases of the systems development lifecycle.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  26. Systems Requirements Planning  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Consults with customers to gather and evaluate functional requirements and translates these requirements into technical solutions; provides guidance to customers about applicability of information systems to meet business needs.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  27. Systems Security Analysis
     
    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Conducts the integration/testing, operations, and maintenance of systems security.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  28. Systems Security Architecture  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Develops system concepts and works on the capabilities phases of the systems development lifecycle; translates technology and environmental conditions (e.g., law and regulation) into system and security designs and processes.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework

Letter: T

  1. tabletop exercise  

    Definition: A discussion-based exercise where personnel meet in a classroom setting or breakout groups and are presented with a scenario to validate the content of plans, procedures, policies, cooperative agreements or other information for managing an incident.

    Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, DHS Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
  2. tailored trustworthy space

    Definition: A cyberspace environment that provides a user with confidence in its security, using automated mechanisms to ascertain security conditions and adjust the level of security based on the user's context and in the face of an evolving range of threats.

    Adapted from: National Science and Technology Council's Trustworthy Cyberspace: Strategic Plan for the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Program
  3. Targets  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Applies current knowledge of one or more regions, countries, non-state entities, and/or technologies.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  4. Technology Research and Development 

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Conducts technology assessment and integration processes; provides and supports a prototype capability and/or evaluates its utility.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  5. Test and Evaluation

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Develops and conducts tests of systems to evaluate compliance with specifications and requirements by applying principles and methods for cost-effective planning, evaluating, verifying, and validating of technical, functional, and performance characteristics (including interoperability) of systems or elements of systems incorporating information technology.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework
  6. threat  

    Definition: A circumstance or event that has or indicates the potential to exploit vulnerabilities and to adversely impact (create adverse consequences for) organizational operations, organizational assets (including information and information systems), individuals, other organizations, or society.

    Extended Definition: Includes an individual or group of individuals, entity such as an organization or a nation), action, or occurrence.

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, NIPP, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  7. threat actor
     
    Synonym(s): threat agent
  8. threat agent  

    Definition: An individual, group, organization, or government that conducts or has the intent to conduct detrimental activities.

    Related Term(s): adversary, attacker

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon
  9. threat analysis  

    Definition: The detailed evaluation of the characteristics of individual threats.

    Extended Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Identifies and assesses the capabilities and activities of cyber criminals or foreign intelligence entities; produces findings to help initialize or support law enforcement and counterintelligence investigations or activities.

    Adapted from: DHS personnel; From NICE Workforce Framework
  10. threat assessment  

    Definition: The product or process of identifying or evaluating entities, actions, or occurrences, whether natural or man-made, that have or indicate the potential to harm life, information, operations, and/or property.

    Related Term(s): threat analysis

    From: DHS Risk Lexicon and adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53, Rev 4
  11. ticket  

    Definition: In access control, data that authenticates the identity of a client or a service and, together with a temporary encryption key (a session key), forms a credential.

    Adapted from: IETF RFC 4120 Kerberos V5, July 2005; Conrad, E., Misenauer, S., & Feldman, J. (2010). CISSP® Study Guide. Burlington, MA: Syngress
  12. traffic light protocol  

    Definition: A set of designations employing four colors (RED, AMBER, GREEN, and WHITE) used to ensure that sensitive information is shared with the correct audience.

    Adapted from: US-CERT
  13. Trojan horse  

    Definition: A computer program that appears to have a useful function, but also has a hidden and potentially malicious function that evades security mechanisms, sometimes by exploiting legitimate authorizations of a system entity that invokes the program.

    From: CNSSI 4009

Letter: U

  1. unauthorized access  

    Definition: Any access that violates the stated security policy.

    From: CNSSI 4009

Letter: V

  1. virus  

    Definition: A computer program that can replicate itself, infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user, and then spread or propagate to another computer.

    Related Term(s): macro virus

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  2. vulnerability  

    Definition: A characteristic or specific weakness that renders an organization or asset (such as information or an information system) open to exploitation by a given threat or susceptible to a given hazard.

    Extended Definition: Characteristic of location or security posture or of design, security procedures, internal controls, or the implementation of any of these that permit a threat or hazard to occur. Vulnerability (expressing degree of vulnerability): qualitative or quantitative expression of the level of susceptibility to harm when a threat or hazard is realized.

    Related Term(s): weakness

    Adapted from: DHS Risk Lexicon, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4
  3. Vulnerability Assessment and Management  

    Definition: In the NICE Workforce Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Conducts assessments of threats and vulnerabilities, determines deviations from acceptable configurations, enterprise or local policy, assesses the level of risk, and develops and/or recommends appropriate mitigation countermeasures in operational and non-operational situations.

    From: NICE Workforce Framework

Letter: W

  1. weakness  

    Definition: A shortcoming or imperfection in software code, design, architecture, or deployment that, under proper conditions, could become a vulnerability or contribute to the introduction of vulnerabilities.

    Related Term(s): vulnerability

    Adapted from: ITU-T X.1520 CWE, FY 2013 CIO FISMA Reporting Metrics
  2. White Team
     
    Definition: A group responsible for refereeing an engagement between a Red Team of mock attackers and a Blue Team of actual defenders of information systems.

    Related Term(s): Blue Team, Red Team

    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  3. whitelist

    Definition: A list of entities that are considered trustworthy and are granted access or privileges.

    Related Term(s): blacklist

    Adapted from: DHS personnel
  4. work factor
     
    Definition: An estimate of the effort or time needed by a potential adversary, with specified expertise and resources, to overcome a protective measure.
    Adapted from: CNSSI 4009
  5. worm  

    Definition: A self-replicating, self-propagating, self-contained program that uses networking mechanisms to spread itself.

    From: CNSSI 4009

Letter: X


Letter: Y


Letter: Z