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Software that displays advertisements; you may see popup ads or a small window or bar that displays ads in your browser.
Back door
A means of accessing your computer that bypasses computer security mechanisms.
Back up (v)
To copy an electronic record to ensure its information will not be lost, often while compressing data to save space.
Backup (n)
A copy of an electronic record, maintained to protect the information from loss and often compressed to save space.
Short for robot, a computer on which intruders have installed software that lets them secretly control the system from a remote location on the Internet.
A network of bots connected via the Internet to perform tasks, such as installing malware, sending spam, or attacking other computers.
Compromised computer
A computer that cannot be considered secure, because it has been infected with malware, been accessed by someone without authority to access it, or been subject to some other form of malicious attack.
Computer Security Incident
See "incident."
To choose options in order to create a custom system.
Credit Card Payment Processing
Credit card numbers used for payment processing are regulated through a trade association agreement with the "Payment Card Industry Security Standards Counsel" or PCI SSC. Data that must be safeguarded under PCI include credit card numbers, names and other information used for payment processing. See UNM Policy 7200 and Policy 7212
Data in Transit
Data that is moving across public or "untrusted" networks such as the Internet, or data that is moving within the confines of private networks such as corporate Local Area Networks (LANs).
Data at Rest
Inactive data which is stored physically in any digital form.
Data stewards
Officers of the university responsible for determining how data in their area should be handled and who should have access to that data.
Denial of Service (DoS)
An attack that successfully prevents or impairs the authorized functionality of networks, systems or applications by exhausting resources. This activity includes being the victim of or participating in the DoS.
Drive-by download
Software downloaded by a malicious web site without your knowledge.
The process of transforming information to make it unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the password needed to decode it.
Export Controlled Research
Export Controlled Research is protected by International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). E.g., dual-use technology used for scientific advancement as well as military applications.
Extended Validation Certificate (EV Cert)
A certificate that, prior to being issued, requires verification of a web site's authenticity by a certificate authority. See for a list of extended validation guidelines (steps required before a certificate authority issues an EV Cert), and a current list of Certificate Authority Browser Forum members.
Any observable occurrence in a network or system.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Education records (i.e., files and documents which contain information related to an identifiable student) are protected by FERPA. E.g., class lists, grade rosters, records of advising sessions, grades, financial aid applications.
A security system that uses hardware and/or software mechanisms to prevent unauthorized users from accessing an organization's internal computer network.

Any machine connecting to the Internet should use a firewall. There are two types of firewalls. Software firewalls usually run on computers. Hardware firewalls are separate devices designed to efficiently protect computers. They are usually used by businesses, organizations, schools, and governments. All firewall protection creates a barrier between the computers and the Internet.
Software that is embedded into hardware; it can be updated and accessed by the user.
Flash drives
a.k.a., thumb drives. Very small portable storage devices that may store very large (gigabyte) quantities of information and can be attached to a USB or Firewire port quickly and easily to transfer files.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley/Financial Services Modernization Act (GLBA)
UNM's Bursar records are protected by the GLBA. Bursar records are also protected by FERPA.
Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Certain health information is protected by HIPAA and is considered confidential if it is individually identifiable and held or transmitted by a covered entity. E.g., health records, patient treatment information, health insurance billing information.
Human Subjects
Sensitive Identifiable Human Subject Research. Information that reveals or can be associated with the identities of people who serve as research subjects. E.g., names, finger prints, full-face photos, a videotaped conversation or information from a survey filled out by an individual.
Generally at UNM, incidents are problems or interruptions in IT services. In Information Security however, an incident is defined as a violation or imminent threat of violation of computer security policies, acceptable use policies, or standard security practices.
Incident Handling
The mitigation of violations of security policies and recommended practices.
Incident Response
See "Incident Handling."
A sign that an incident may have occurred or may be currently occurring.
Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS)
Software that automates the process of monitoring the events occurring in a computer system or network and analyzing them for signs of possible incidents and attempting to stop detected possible incidents.
Instant Messaging (IM)
The ability to exchange short text messages online with coworkers or others. IM solutions can take several forms. They can use an existing Internet-based service, or they can be an Intranet-only solution implemented and controlled within an IT department. The latter is significantly more secure than the former, but lacks access to business partners.
Hardware or software that records everything you type, then sends it off to whomever installed the software.
A contraction of "malicious software," malware is a general term used to describe software that infiltrates or damages a computer.
Mobile device (contemporary devices are typically called smart phones or tablets)
A portable device that can be used to perform computer-like tasks, such as browsing the web or reading email, but does not run under a standard desktop operating system, such as Windows, OS X or Linux. This distinction is what makes mobile devices a particular security challenge; standard forms of protection are unavailable or not feasible for general use. The devices typically offer Internet activity through Wi-Fi and/or a telecommunications company data service.
Peer-to-peer (P2P)
A network of computers that can directly access each other's files.
Personal Identifiers
(Confidential Data) Personal identifiers include Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers and bank account numbers, or any other unique identifier that can be used to perpetrate identity theft. These are considered Confidential Data when they appear in conjunction with an individual's name or other personal identifier. See also, Data Classification Standard.
The process of attempting to acquire sensitive information used for identity theft, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an email or instant message, or via a web site or telephone call.
Restricted Research Data
Restricted Access Research Data Sets. E.g., human subject data.
Social Engineering
An attempt to trick someone into revealing information (e.g., a password) that can be used to attack systems or networks.
Software patches
Fixes to correct a problem. People are constantly finding security holes (vulnerabilities) in computer software that could be used to infect your computer with a virus, spyware, or worse. When vulnerabilities are discovered, the software vendor typically issues a fix (patch) to correct the problem. Patches should be applied as soon as possible because the average time for someone to try to exploit a security hole can be as little as a few days.
Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail.
Malware whose principal aim is to surreptitiously collect information by "spying" on the user.
The potential source of an adverse event.
Malware that appears to perform a benign or useful action but in fact performs a malicious action, such as transmitting a computer virus.
Transport Layer Security (TLS)
TLS and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), are cryptographic protocols designed to provide communications security over a computer network. TLS supersedes SSL and is the generally accepted form of encryption for Data in Transit as of May 2015.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
The Internet address on the World Wide Web. It usually begins with http:// followed by the rest of the name of the resource. It is the common name for a sitess web page.
Self-replicating malware that attaches itself to a digital document or application, then spreads through copies of that document or application that are shared, frequently via email or USB drives. Viruses almost always corrupt or modify files.
A weakness in a system, application, or network that is subject to exploitation or misuse. Vulnerabilities include weak passwords, poor configuration, or software bugs.
Self-replicating malware that can move from computer to computer on the network. Unlike a virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing document or application. Worms almost always cause harm to the network, if only by consuming bandwidth.
A computer that has been compromised, often by a botnet, so that an unauthorized person has complete control to use the computer to perform malicious tasks.

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