Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms


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The attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and payment card details and sometimes, indirectly, money , often for malicious reasons. This can be done by masquerading as a trustworthy organisation or individual in an electronic communication such as an email or instant message.

Plain text. This form of data can usually be read by any kind of device, and is therefore a universal sending method for communication. Sensitive information, such as passwords, should not be stored or shared in this form as it is insecure and could allow unauthorised access to sensitive data if intercepted or accessed. Proprietary information.

Data that an organisation wishes to keep confidential and therefore should be treated as such. This can include trade secrets, formulas, work processes and methodology. Acronym: Portable Storage Device. This is a small, transportable drive designed to hold any kind of digital data. Quid Pro Quo. Offering something to receive something back in return, such as offering a free pen in return for some personal details. This type of malware attempts to force its victims to pay a ransom through certain online payment methods, in order to grant access to their systems or to get their data back.

Payments for the ransoms are often demanded in online cryptocurrencies, unregulated currencies which provide attackers with a greater chance that payments made to them will be successful and not monitored by governments or law enforcement. Remote working.

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Cyber Security Glossary

The practice of employees fulfilling their job role s at another location other than a traditional office, such as working from home. Please ee also our definition of Teleworking. A type of malicious software malware that is activated each time your system boots up. They are designed to enable access to a computer or areas of installed software that would not otherwise be allowed.

They are often undetected, and planted prior to an intruder using it, to enable use at a later date.

Deliberate seizure or destruction of information or systems with the intention to cause damage. Social Engineering. A non-technical method of intrusion which hackers use that rely heavily on human interaction, and often involves tricking people into breaking normal security procedures. Those who perform these actions are known as Social Engineers. Storage medium.

Any technology used to store, handle and retrieve data. The process of an attacker attempting to gain entry to a secure, restricted area by seeking out unattended access.

How do we use this information?

Trojan Horse. Acronym: Uniform Resource Locator. This is often more-commonly known as a web address.


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Most web browsers display the URL of the web page in their address bar. Acronym: Universal Serial Bus. A type of connection commonly used to connect electronic devices to a computer or computing device. A USB flash drive is a type of data storage medium that can be transferred between machines that have a USB port that the device can be inserted into. A computer program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs without your consent.

A virus attaches itself to an existing program and can infect other machines. Viruses can be very dangerous, even causing irreparable damage to your computer or network, or entire system. Acronym: Virtual Private Network. White hat. A term used for hacking methods and individuals who use ethical means to improve the security of a system.

A trademarked term of a popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide high-speed Internet and network connections. Malware that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers, often via a network, relying on security failures on the target computer to access it. Worms differ to viruses as they do not need to attach themselves to an existing program or file. Thus, excessive reliance on the representative's guidance can reduce the effectiveness of FSOs. When FSOs are unsure of the proper policies and procedures to implement, there is an increased likelihood that classified information may be mishandled or that security safeguards over and above the requirement may be needlessly imposed.

Some interviewees stated that if they must wait and expend resources while waiting for an AIS to be accredited before working on their contracts, they cannot meet their full potential in terms of timeliness and cost in fulfilling their Government classified contracts. This electronic template is a prime example of a joint initiative undertaken by the CSAs to meet a need in industry. In response to the first question-whether they have been successful in obtaining timely threat information from their CSA or another Government source-the overwhelming majority of the respondents to the survey believed they received timely threat information.

They also receive information from their contacts within industry and at National Classification Management Society meetings or their local Industrial Security Awareness Councils. While a majority in the survey indicated that the information they received was timely, many of them were not as satisfied with the quality of the information they received. Specifically, they stated that the information they received was of a general nature.

What they would prefer is program specific threat information.

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The opposite position was taken by those interviewed. They were quite satisfied with the assessments provided. To a much smaller degree, the electronic survey revealed that a number of contractors lacked knowledge as to what a threat is and how it relates to them. Several of the respondents indicated that because of their size or remote location they did not have any threats. In fiscal year , the number of suspicious contact reports received by DSS from cleared defense industry was up 86 percent over the previous year. DSS is projecting that the numbers from fiscal year will be 46 percent higher than those for These numbers show that the perceived threat has increased substantially and greater emphasis on the education and training of industry is needed to ensure that industry is aware of correct procedures for identifying, taking action against, and reporting any perceived threats.

In response to the second question- approximately 90 percent of the respondents indicate that they currently receive adequate program reviews from their CSAs to assess security vulnerabilities. According to the data from the survey and the on-site interviews, from industry's perspective, the current reviews are adequate. According to the electronic survey analysis, 60 percent of the respondents indicated that they believe they have inadequate guidance with respect to the handling and identification of SBU information.

According to our analysis, CSAs, involved in the survey, are not "speaking" the same language and are applying different protection standards for the same information. A major concern for those who were interviewed is how this type of material should be identified. According to the DOE guidance, "official use only" information may be disseminated only to those persons who require it to conduct official business, and who have a need-to-know.

The various designations refer to unclassified, sensitive information that is or may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act. Again, a major problem is caused by the fact that there is not one set of guidelines.

Internet Security Glossary, Version 2

Under the current circumstances, it is difficult to determine what is important and what is not. For companies that work with multiple agencies, it is particularly difficult to determine how to handle the sensitive information that does not fall under the rubric of E.


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  • See Appendix E, Questions 52 and 54 for additional clarity. In order to better focus and coordinate industry and Government's efforts with respect to implementation of the NISP, it is essential for ISOO to stand-up to its role as originally envisioned in E. We will also ask questions about your experience as the security representative and your familiarity with various industrial security initiatives associated with the National Industrial Security Program NISP.

    Acronyms and Abbreviations AIS Confidential CSA Central Verification Activity DD Department of Defense DHS Department of Energy E. Operations Security OUO Personnel Security Clearance S Secret SAP Secure Tape Archive TS Top Secret. Differences in the responses among the four company sizes were not statistically significant. Though the numbers of facilities that responded in the pejorative to this question are low, that does not necessarily mean that there are problems.

    Additionally, a large number of respondents have only been in their positions for 1 or 2 years and may not have the historical perspective to see improvements. This presents a problem of interpretation in a lot of cases. Many times though this has been resolved by questions and answers provided to the contractors in ISL on controversial issues. Visit procedures are stream lined. Differences in the responses among the five regions were found to be statistically significant p less than 0. No obvious pattern was found for these differences though it should be noted that respondents from the Capital Region did show a lower percentage of positive responses to this question when compared to responses from the other four regions of the country.

    Differences in the responses among the four company sizes were found to be statistically significant p is less than 0. No obvious pattern was found for these differences, though it should be noted that facilities with more than cleared employees did show a lower percentage of positive responses to this question when compared to responses from the other 3 facility sizes. It has given us the opportunity to applying risk management in the safeguard of classified materials.

    This has allowed us to meld security into our business strategies and into our programs from inception thereby us to reduce the cost of security processes, protect classified materials from cradle to grave and to keep up with production schedules without sacrificing our nations secrets. This question does not address whether a responding facility has ever gone through this process and positive responses may be from facilities that have never gone through the process, or who have limited experience with it, and therefore have never had a problem.

    Additionally, it appears from the one-on-one interviews that most people misunderstand this question when first presented with it. Some examples of reciprocity are the DOE accepts DoD facility clearance and personnel clearances, closed area designations and DoD certification of classified processing systems.

    It cuts out security costs, time and effort to start up and get running. Our DSS Rep. The local DSS-Field Chief is extremely responsive and willing to "think out of the box" to help us meet our contract goals and maintain National Security objectives.

    The DFARS Glossary: Cybersecurity Acronyms for Government Contractors | Sera-Brynn

    The cause of these differences could be attributed to the fact that a facility with a greater number of cleared employees would have to go through the process of clearing employees more often than a smaller facility and therefore would have more opportunities for problems in the system. He spent a considerable amount of time tracking down information on these cases.

    In the end we determined that the DISCO has no record on a couple of the personnel that we have been awaiting final clearances on, over a dozen cases are considered adjudicated and closed by the DISCO, however no LOC was ever issued to us; a couple of the cases are "thought" to be with contractors; and over 40 of the cases are sitting at DOHA for adjudication. We have seen a significant improvement though in the past year with interim clearances being issued more expeditiously. Another concern is the new LOC electronic system. We have noticed from "Meade Listings" that clearances for individuals have been issued but we have never seen a LOC for the individual.

    Because of this problem, we would like to see quarterly validation listings effected. Differences in the responses among the four company sizes were found to be statistically significant p less than 0. Comments in the essay portion of this question, along with onsite interview responses, show a high level of concern with the implementation of Chapter 8.

    This question in its present state does not address these concerns. There needs to be some consistency across DSS. That isn't happening I went on the DSS website and they had an outline of what changed versus what it used to be and that was so very helpful because I had everything right in front of me. Congress added the language into a DOE bill that stated a contractor would be fined for a security incident and it included the term "sensitive" information.

    DOE is still trying to figure out what "sensitive" information is. In addition, the word "sensitive" is used in the military to sometimes denote classified information. We all know there are still three levels of classification TS, S, and C. So I have briefed my people if they hear the term to call me so that I can make a determination of what is really meant by the use of the word. It has added to the confusion. It is difficult to explain or understand the requirement to protect unclassified information.

    This is one of those requirements that makes the security profession look silly. Statistical interpretation of the data: Differences in the responses among the five regions were found to be statistically significant p is less than 0. I believe that contractors who safeguard their proprietary information should apply their same procedures for protecting SBU information.

    I don't know if it is appropriate to place this caveat within NISP. Something has to be formalized whether it is an E. Industry recognizes the immensity of this effort and is struggling with defining SBU. Not every contract has a DD so we need a more comprehensive vehicle. It clearly spells out responsibilities and practices. Common sense is required by the contractor, but familiarity with the NISPOM, and the occasional question to the DSS Rep, results in confidence that sensitive information is being well protected. Top Skip to main content.

    Background 2. Survey Goals and Methodology 3. Sera-Brynn recommends that your IRP include specific actions for reporting and handling incidents that may affect Covered Defense Information. NIST is part of the U. Department of Commerce. NIST is the series of documents that sets forth the U. The current version of is revision 4. The current version of is revision 1. The PGI is available electronically here. At a minimum, include the control, compliance status, the expected compliance date, and resources needed to fix it.

    Rapidly report under the DFARS cybersecurity clause means within 72 hours of discovery of any cyber incident. The RMF is the common information security framework for the federal government and its contractors.

    Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms
    Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms
    Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms
    Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms
    Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms Defense Security Service (DSS) Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms

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