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GCC Information Security Office

Computer Security Glossary


Firewall : A firewall is a hardware or software solution to enforce security policies. In the physical security analogy, a firewall is equivalent to a door lock on a perimeter door or on a door to a room inside of the building – it permits only authorized users such as those with a key or access card to enter. A firewall has built-in filters that can disallow unauthorized or potentially dangerous material from entering the system. It also logs attempted intrusions. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewall_(computing)

Intrusion Detection System (IDS): Software/hardware that detects and logs inappropriate, incorrect, or anomalous activity. Intrusion Detection Systems are typically characterized based on the source of the data they monitor: host or network. A host-based IDS uses system log files and other electronic audit data to identify suspicious activity. A network-based IDS uses a sensor to monitor packets on the network to which it is attached. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusion_Detection_System


Malware: Malware is short for malicious software. Malware is software designed specifically to disrupt a computer system. A trojan horse, worm or a virus could be classified as Malware. Some advertising software can be malicious in that it can try to re-install itself after you remove it. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware

Peer to Peer (P2P): A method of file sharing over a network in which individual computers are linked via the Internet or a private network to share programs/files, often illegally. Users download files directly from other users’ computers, rather than from a central server. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_to_Peer

Spyware: A virus is a program written to cause mischief or damage to a computer system which replicates by copying itself into system files or other documents on a computer. Computer viruses are not as common currently as other types of malware, spyware and adware being more prevalent these days. However, it is always best to be vigilant and keep your computer safe from all potentially harmful software. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_virus

VPN: A VPN is a technology that establishes a private or secure network connection within a public network, such as the Internet. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vpn

Vulnerability: In network security, a vulnerability refers to any flaw or weakness in the network defense that could be exploited to gain unauthorized access to, damage or otherwise affect the network. This term most commonly refers to vulnerabilities that may be exploited in software, such as operating systems and applications. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulnerability_(computing)

Worm: A computer worm is a self-replicating computer program, similar to a computer virus. A virus attaches itself to, and becomes part of, another executable program; however, a worm is self-contained and does not need to be part of another program to propagate itself. They are often designed to exploit the file transmission capabilities found on many computers. For details click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_worm

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