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Security Acronym Glossary
Security Acronym Glossary

We want all of our users to be security experts! Learn the key security acronyms in alphabetical order below.

Natalie Novick avatar
Written by Natalie Novick
Updated over a week ago

Acronym

Phrase

Definition

ACL

Access Control List

A list of rules that dictates which users or systems have access to a resource.

API

Application Programming Interface

A software interface that allows 2 applications to talk to each other. An API sits between an application and a web server, acting as an intermediary layer that processes data transfer between systems.

BC/DR

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Represents a set of approaches or processes that helps an organization recover from a disaster and resume its routine business operations.

CAIQ (pronounced cake)

Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire

A survey provided by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) for cloud consumers and auditors to assess the security capabilities of a cloud service provider.

CCPA

California Consumer Privacy Act

California State Statute passed in 2020 that allows for consumers to have more control over data shared with websites, such as the ability to request for their personal data such as names and website history to be exported or deleted.

CSA

Cloud Security Alliance

An organization of thousands of cloud service providers that provides thought leadership and maintains the popular CAIQ.

CMS

Credential Management System

An established form of software that is used for issuing and managing credentials as part of public key infrastructure (PKI).

DDoS

Distributed Denial of Service

An attack designed to disrupt a website or network by bombarding it with traffic. Hackers and others use these attacks for a variety of reasons including revenge, extortion, and financial and political gain.

DLP

Data Loss Prevention

DLP tools are used by organizations to block attempts to exfiltrate sensitive information outside of the organization’s network. For example, many organizations employ DLP to ensure that emails with personal information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers are blocked.

EDR

Endpoint Detection & Response

EDR solutions are used to secure end users devices such as laptops by detecting potential malware or other attempts to exploit the device. They are typically considered to be the successor to traditional signature-based antivirus software and use a combination of signatures and machine learning to detect advanced threats.

HIPAA

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

A federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge.

IDS/IPS

Intrusion Detection System/Intrusion Prevention System

IDS and IPS tools are used either at the network or host level and are designed to identify anomalies in a network. An IDS generates alerts for users to review, and an IPS actively blocks malicious activity.

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

An international standard-setting body that maintains various technical, industrial, and commercial standards. ISO 27001, which focuses on Information Security Management, is one of these standards and is one of the most popular standards that organizations outside of North America become certified for.

MDM

Mobile Device Management

Mobile Device Management solutions are used to centrally manage and secure end user devices such as laptops and smartphones by deploying standardized configuration profiles that enforce basic controls such as password complexity, disk encryption, and updates.

PCI DSS

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

A set of security standards designed to ensure that ALL companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.

PHI

Protected/Personal Health Information

The demographic information, medical histories, test and laboratory results, mental health conditions, insurance information and other data that a healthcare professional collects to identify an individual and determine appropriate care.

PKI

Public Key Infrastructure

Governs the issuance of digital certificates to protect sensitive data, provide unique digital identities for users, devices and applications and secure end-to-end communications.

RBAC

Role-Based Access Control

A mechanism that restricts system access. It involves setting permissions and privileges to enable access to authorized users.

SAML

Security Assertion Markup Language

Works by exchanging user information, such as logins, authentication state, identifiers, and other relevant attributes between the identity and service provider. As a result, it simplifies and secures the authentication process as the user only needs to log in once with a single set of authentication credentials.

SDLC

Software Development Life Cycle

A structured process that enables the production of high-quality, low-cost software, in the shortest possible production time. The goal of the SDLC is to produce superior software that meets and exceeds all customer expectations and demands.

SIEM

Security Information and Event Management

Technology that supports threat detection, compliance and security incident management through the collection and analysis (both near real time and historical) of security events, as well as a wide variety of other event and contextual data sources.

SIG

Standardized Information Gathering (Questionnaire)

A repository of third-party information security and privacy questions, indexed to multiple regulations and control frameworks.

SLA

Service-Level Agreement

Sets the expectations between the service provider and the customer and describes the products or services to be delivered, the single point of contact for end-user problems, and the metrics by which the effectiveness of the process is monitored and approved.

SOC 1

Systems and Organization Controls

A SOC 1 report is for organizations whose internal security controls can impact a customer’s financial statements such as payroll, claims, or payment processing companies. SOC 1 reports can assure customers that their financial information is being handled securely.

SOC 2

Systems and Organization Controls

A SOC 2 report is a security framework that specifies how organizations should safeguard customer data. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) developed SOC 2 around five Trust Services Criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

SOC 3

Systems and Organization Controls

A SOC 3 report is a public report of internal controls over security, availability, processing integrity, and confidentiality. This report is less detailed than SOC 2.

SQL

Structured Query Language

A standardized programming language that is used to manage relational databases and perform various operations on the data in them.

SSO

Single Sign-On

An authentication method that enables users to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites by using just one set of credentials.

TISAX

Trusted Information Security Asset Exchange

An information exchange that was founded by the German Association of the Automotive Industry. Vendors who wish to work with TISAX members are usually required to share their existing assessment or complete a new assessment as part of the due diligence process.

TLS

Transport Layer Security

TLS is the successor to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and is a cryptographic protocol used to encrypt data in-transit over a computer network.

VPN

Virtual Private Network

A service that establishes a secure, encrypted connection while using a public network.

VSA

The Vendor Security Alliance

A coalition of companies committed to improving Internet security.

VSA Core

The Vendor Security Alliance Core

This questionnaire, first available on October 24th, 2019, comprises the most critical questions on vendor security in addition to privacy. The privacy section covers both US Privacy (data breach notification requirements plus the new California data privacy law (CCPA)), plus EU Privacy (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)).

WAF

Web Application Firewall

Protects web applications from a variety of application layer attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and cookie poisoning, among others.

XXS

Cross-Site Scripting

An attack in which an attacker injects malicious executable scripts into the code of a trusted application or website. Attackers often initiate an XSS attack by sending a malicious link to a user and enticing the user to click it.

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