= Information Security Terminology



Abstract: A summary or brief description of the content of another longer work. 

AMP (Application Management Process): The process used by the university to manage the installation, upgrading and depreciation of software across the IT estate.  Read more about AMP...

Anti-spyware: Anti-spyware software is a type of program designed to prevent and detect unwanted spyware program installations and to remove those programs if installed.  Read more about Anti-spyware...

Anti-virus: Antivirus software is a program or set of programs that are designed to prevent, search for, detect, and remove software viruses, and other malicious software; Read more about Anti-virus...

API (Application Programming Interface): A set of rules that allow the creation of applications, which access the data of an operating system, applications or service

App (Application): A piece of software developed to be installed on mobile devices

Authentication: A security process that typically employs usernames and passwords to validate the identity of users before allowing them access to secure systems.

ASL: Academic Services Librarian

AV / Audio-Visual:


Bandwidth: describes the maximum data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection - for example, a gigabit Ethernet connection has a bandwidth of 1,000 Mbps, (125 megabytes per second).

Boolean operator: A word (such as AND, OR, or NOT) that commands a computer to combine search terms. Used to narrow (AND, NOT) or broaden (OR) searches.


Cloud: The cloud refers to software and services that run on the Internet, instead of locally on your computer.

CMS / Content Management System:  In its simplest terms, Content Management Systems are designed to help users create and manage their websites. A CMS helps web editors manage the many different resources, content types and various data that make up modern web sites.

CRM / Customer Relationship Manager:  Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.


Data Breach: A data breach is an incident in which sensitive, protected and confidential data has been viewed, used or stolen by someone who isn't authorised to do so.

Data Classification: The process of organising data into categories for its most effective and efficient use. 

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service): The intention of harming and stopping a computer network, by flooding it with data sent from many individual computers.

Document delivery: A service that retrieves or photocopies information sources for library users.

Downtime: The time during which a computer or server is out of action or unavailable for use - often for maintenance purposes.

DPA - Data Protection Act: controls how personal information can be used.


Encryption:  Data encryption translates data into another form, or code, so that only people with access to a secret key (formally called a decryption key) or password can read it. 

Email: Short for electronic mail, email (or e-mail) is defined as the transmission of messages over communications networks.


Firewall: A network security system that uses rules to control incoming and outgoing network traffic, acting as a barrier between a trusted network and an untrusted network.

FTP / File Transfer Protocol:FTP is a standard network protocol used for the transfer of computer files between a client and server on a computer network.


GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation

GGC: Greenwich Gateway Card (your university ID card)


Hack: To break into computers and computer networks.


ICO: The Information Commissioner's Office.  The independent regulatory office in charge of upholding information rights in the interest of the public.

Information and Library Services  / IT and Library Services: The directorate within the University with oversight of all central IT and Library systems, from student It provision to administrative systems used to run the University.

InfoSec: Information Security.

Infrastructure: The IT infrastructure refers to everything; the network, the servers etc.

IT Security: A term used to describe all the security on  an IT infrastructure to protect you from viruses, cyberattacks, ransomware, data leaks and more.

ITSM: The web based ILS IT Service Desk call logging and reporting platform. Powered by Sunrise Sostenuto.



Keylogger: a program that records the keystrokes on a computer.


LibCal: Our Library Workshop and events calendar

LibGuides: The website for our Library Subject Guides, written by our librarians and Academic Skills tutors.


MAC Address: A MAC address is a hardware identification number that uniquely identifies each device on a network.

Malware: Malware, or malicious software, is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user. Types of malware can include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware.

MFD: Multi-Functional Device (all-in one device used for printing, scanning, photocopying).

Moodle: The university Virtual Learning Environment.


Network: A network consists of multiple devices that communicate with one another.



Passcode: A string of characters used as a password, especially to gain access to a computer or smartphone.

Password: A string of characters that allows access to a computer system or service.

Phishing: Phishing is the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be someone else in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

Plagiarism: Passing off someone else's work, ideas or words as your own.

Portal: A website or web page providing access or links to other sites.


QR code: A machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.


Remote Desktop: A means of connecting to a computer so that you are presented with the interface of the remote machine as if you were sat at it.


SSH / Secure Shell: Secure Shell is a program to log into another computer over a network, to execute commands in a remote machine, and to move files from one machine to another. It provides strong authentication and secure communications over insecure channels.

Social Engineering:  The use of deception to manipulate individuals into revealing confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.

Spam: The term spam can be used to describe any unwanted email from a company or website.

Spear Phishing: The fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to trick targeted individuals into revealing confidential information.

Spyware: Software that is installed in a computer without the user's knowledge which transmits information about the user's computer activities over the Internet.


Targeted attack: A targeted attack is any malicious attack that is targeted to a specific individual, company, system or software.

Trojan horse: A Trojan horse is a seemingly benign program that when activated, causes harm to a computer system.

Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication is a security mechanism that requires two types of credentials for authentication and is designed to provide an additional layer of validation, minimising security breaches.


UPS: Uninterruptible Power Supply - a type of power supply that uses battery backup to maintain power during unexpected power outages.


Virtual Desktop: See Remote Desktop.

Virtual Learning Environment: An online system designed to support teaching and learning. Our Virtual Learning Environment is Moodle.

Virus: A computer virus is a malicious program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes.

VoIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol -  a telephone connection over the Internet.

VPN: Virtual Private Network.


Web Filter: A Web filter is a technology that directs users away from certain URLs or websites by effectively preventing their browsers from loading certain pages from those sites.


XML: Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a universal format, maintained by the W3C, used for representation and transfer of structured data on the web or between different applications.



ZIP file: A ZIP file is a file in the ZIP format which implements lossless compression in order to reduce the volume of saved files.