Glossary

Authorization
The process of granting or denying access to a network resource. Most computer security systems are based on a two-step process. The first stage is authentication, which ensures that a user is who he or she claims to be. The second stage is authorization, which allows the user access to various resources based on the user’s identity.
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Authorization is a security mechanism used to determine user/client privileges or access levels related to system resources, including computer programs, files, services, data and application features. Authorization is normally preceded by authentication for user identity verification. System administrators (SA) are typically assigned permission levels covering all system and user resources.
During authorization, a system verifies an authenticated user’s access rules and either grants or refuses resource access.
Modern and multiuser operating systems depend on effectively designed authorization processes to facilitate application deployment and management. Key factors include user type, number, credentials requiring verification and related actions and roles. For example, role-based authorization may be designated by user groups requiring specific user resource tracking privileges. Additionally, authorization may be based on an enterprise authentication mechanism, like Active Directory (AD), for seamless security policy integration.
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Computer
A computer is a machine or device that performs processes, calculations and operations based on instructions provided by a software or hardware program. It is designed to execute applications and provides a variety of solutions by combining integrated hardware and software components.
A computer is made up of multiple parts and components that facilitate user functionality. A computer has two primary categories:
Hardware: Physical structure that houses a computer’s processor, memory, storage, communication ports and peripheral devices
Software: Includes operating system (OS) and software applications
A computer works with software programs that are sent to its underlying hardware architecture for reading, interpretation and execution. Computers are classified according to computing power, capacity, size, mobility and other factors, as personal computers (PC), desktop computers, laptop computers, minicomputers, handheld computers and devices, mainframes or supercomputers.
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Computer generally means a programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: it responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program).
Modern computers are electronic and digital. The actual machinery — wires, transistors, and circuits — is called hardware; the instructions and data are called software.
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Computer Network
A computer network is a group of computer systems and other computing hardware devices that are linked together through communication channels to facilitate communication and resource-sharing among a wide range of users. Networks are commonly categorized based on their characteristics.
One of the earliest examples of a computer network was a network of communicating computers that functioned as part of the U.S. military’s Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) radar system. In 1969, the University of California at Los Angeles, the Stanford Research Institute, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Utah were connected as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) project. It is this network that evolved to become what we now call the Internet.
There are many types of networks, including:
Local Area Networks (LAN)
Personal Area Networks (PAN)
Home Area Networks (HAN)
Wide Area Networks (WAN)
Campus Networks
Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN)
Enterprise Private Networks
Internetworks
Backbone Networks (BBN)
Global Area Networks (GAN)
The Internet
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Computer network is a group of two or more computer systems linked together.
Networks can be broadly classified as using either a peer-to-peer or client/server architecture.
Computers on a network are sometimes called nodes. Computers and devices that allocate resources for a network are called servers.
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COMPUter SECurity (COMPUSEC)
COMPUter SECurity (COMPUSEC) is a military term used in reference to the security of computer system information. Today it can relate to either the military or civilian community. COMPUSEC also concerns preventing unauthorized users from gaining entry to a computer system.
The differences between computer security (COMSEC) and COMPUSEC is that COMSEC is involved with data that is being transmitted and protecting the data while being transmitted. COMPUSEC concerns itself with protecting data during the act of processing or while being stored.
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In the computer industry, the term security — or the phrase computer security — refers to techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer cannot be read or compromised by any individuals without authorization. Most computer security measures involve data encryption and passwords. Data encryption is the translation of data into a form that is unintelligible without a deciphering mechanism. A password is a secret word or phrase that gives a user access to a particular program or system.
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Confidentiality
Confidentiality, in the context of computer systems, allows authorized users to access sensitive and protected data. Specific mechanisms ensure confidentiality and safeguard data from harmful intruders.
Confidentiality is one of the five pillars of Information Assurance (IA). The other four are authentication, availability, integrity and nonrepudiation.
Sensitive information or data should be disclosed to authorized users only. In IA, confidentiality is enforced in a classification system. For example, a U.S. government or military worker must obtain a certain clearance level, depending on a position’s data requirements, such as, classified, secret or top secret. Those with secret clearances cannot access top secret information.
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Confidentiality is a set of rules or a promise that limits access or places restrictions on certain types of information.
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Electronic Mail (Email)
Electronic mail (email) is a digital mechanism for exchanging messages through Internet or intranet communication platforms.
Email messages are relayed through email servers, which are provided by all Internet service providers (ISP).
Emails are transmitted between two dedicated server folders: sender and recipient. A sender saves, sends or forwards email messages, whereas a recipient reads or downloads emails by accessing an email server.
Email messages are comprised of three components, as follows:
Message envelope: Describes the email’s electronic format;
Message header: Includes sender/recipient information and email subject line;
Message body: Includes text, image and file attachments.
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Email (or e-mail) is defined as the transmission of messages over communications networks. Typically the messages are notes entered from the keyboard or electronic files stored on disk. Most mainframes, minicomputers, and computer networks have an email system.
Some electronic mail systems are confined to a single computer system or network, but others have gateways to other computer systems, enabling users to send electronic mail anywhere in the world. Companies that are fully computerized make extensive use of e-mail because it is fast, flexible, and reliable.
Typical Components of an Email System
Most e-mail systems include a rudimentary text editor for composing messages, but many allow you to edit your messages using any editor you want. Some systems will also provide basic formatting, including bold, italics, font color and HTML. You can use the program to send the message to a recipient by specifying the recipient’s address. You can also send the same message to several users at once. This is called broadcasting.
Sent messages are stored in electronic mailboxes until the recipient fetches them. To see if you have any mail, you may have to check your electronic mailbox periodically, although many systems alert you when mail is received. After reading your mail, you can store it in a text file, forward it to other users, or delete it. Copies of memos can be printed out on a printer if you want a paper copy.
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Employee monitoring
Employee monitoring is the use of various methods of workplace surveillance to gather information about the activities and locations of staff members.
Businesses monitor employees to improve productivity and protect corporate resources. The main intention is to prevent unacceptable behavior in the first place and, should that effort fail, to curtail the behavior before it can have a negative effect on the business.
A workplace research study from International Data Corp (IDC) reported that 30-40 percent of employee Internet access time was not work-related. Other statistics: 21-31 percent of employees had sent emails divulging sensitive information, such as intellectual property or trade secrets, outside of the corporate network; 60 percent of all online purchases are made during work hours. In the United States, the annual loss in productivity through onlinegoldbricking is estimated at 40 percent.
Monitoring methods include keystroke logging, wiretapping, GPS tracking and Internet monitoring, which includes surveillance of employees’ web surfing, email, instant messaging and interaction on social networking sites.
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Employee monitoring is the act of monitoring employee activity. Organizations engage in employee monitoring to track performance, avoid legal liability, protect trade secrets, and address other security concerns. The practice may impact employee satisfaction due to its impact on privacy.
If employees use company computers for their work, companies often utilize Employee monitoring software that allow them to track everything employees do on their computers. For example, what emails were received, what applications were used and what keys were pressed.
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File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a client/server protocol used for transferring files to or exchanging files with a host computer. It may be authenticated with user names and passwords. Anonymous FTP allows users to access files, programs and other data from the Internet without the need for a user ID or password. Web sites are sometimes designed to allow users to use ‘anonymous’ or ‘guest’ as a user ID and an email address for a password. Publicly available flies are often found in a directory called pub and can be easily FTPed to a user’s computer. FTP is also the Internet standard for moving or transferring files from one computer to another using TCP or IP networks.
File Transfer Protocol is also known as RFC 959.
The original FTP specification was written by Abhay Bhushan and published as RFC 114 on April 16, 1971. This was later replaced by RFC 765 (June 1980). The current specification is RFC 959 (October 1985). RFC stands for request for comments.
There are various uses for and types of FTP:
An FTP site is a web site where users can easily upload or download specific files.
FTP by mail allows users without access to the Internet to access and copy files using anonymous FTP by sending an email message to ftpmail@decwrl.dec.com and putting the word help in the body of the text.
FTP Explorer is an FTP client based on Windows 95 file manager (Windows 95 Explorer).
An FTP server is a dedicated computer which provides an FTP service. This invites hackers and necessitates security hardware or software such as utilizing usernames, passwords and file access control.
An FTP client is a computer application which accesses an FTP server. While doing so, users should block incoming FTP connection attempts using passive mode and should check for viruses on all downloaded files.
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Short for File Transfer Protocol, the protocol for exchanging files over the Internet. FTP works in the same way as HTTP for transferring Web pages from a server to a user’s browser and SMTP for transferring electronic mail across the Internet in that, like these technologies, FTP uses the Internet’s TCP/IP protocols to enable data transfer.
FTP is most commonly used to download a file from a server using the Internet or to upload a file to a server (e.g., uploading a Web page file to a server).
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Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-layer protocol used primarily on the World Wide Web. HTTP uses a client-server model where the web browser is the client and communicates with the webserver that hosts the website. The browser uses HTTP, which is carried over TCP/IP to communicate to the server and retrieve Web content for the user.
HTTP is a widely used protocol and has been rapidly adopted over the Internet because of its simplicity. It is a stateless and connectionless protocol.
Although HTTP’s simplicity is its greatest strength it is also its main drawback. As a result, the HyperText Transfer Protocol – Next Generation (HTTP-NG) project has emerged as an attempt to replace HTTP. HTTP-NG promises to deliver a much higher performance and additional features to support efficient commercial applications in addition to simplifying HTTP’s security and authentication features. Some of HTTP-NG’s goals have already been implemented in HTTP/1.1, which incorporates performance, security and other feature improvements to its original version HTTP/1.0.
A basic HTTP request involves the following steps:
A connection to the HTTP server is opened.
A request is sent to the server.
Some processing is done by the server.
A response from the server is sent back.
The connection is closed.
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HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.
The other main standard that controls how the World Wide Web works is HTML, which covers how Web pages are formatted and displayed.
HTTP is called a stateless protocol because each command is executed independently, without any knowledge of the commands that came before it. This is the main reason that it is difficult to implement Web sites that react intelligently to user input. This shortcoming of HTTP is being addressed in a number of new technologies, including ActiveX, Java, JavaScript and cookies.
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Hardware (H/W)
Hardware (H/W), in the context of technology, refers to the physical elements that make up a computer or electronic system and everything else involved that is physically tangible. This includes the monitor, hard drive, memory and the CPU. Hardware works hand-in-hand with firmware and software to make a computer function.
Hardware is an encompassing term that refers to all the physical parts that make up a computer. The internal hardware devices that make up the computer and ensure that it is functional are called components, while external hardware devices that are not essential to a computer’s functions are called peripherals.
Hardware is only one part of a computer system; there is also firmware, which is embedded into the hardware and directly controls it. There is also software, which runs on top of the hardware and makes use of the firmware to interface with the hardware.
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Refers to objects that you can actually touch, like disks, disk drives, display screens, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips. In contrast, software is untouchable. Software exists as ideas, concepts, and symbols, but it has no substance.
Books provide a useful analogy. The pages and the ink are the hardware, while the words, sentences, paragraphs, and the overall meaning are the software. A computer without software is like a book full of blank pages – you need software to make the computer useful just as you need words to make a book meaningful.
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Hot key
A hot key is a key or a combination of keys on a computer keyboard that, when pressed at one time, performs a task (such as starting an application) more quickly than by using a mouse or other input device. Hot keys are sometimes called shortcut keys. Hot keys are supported by many operating system and applications.
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A user – defined key sequence that executes a command or causes the operating system to switch to another program. In DOS systems, for example, you can use hot keys to open memory-resident programs (TSRs). In Windows environments, you can often press a hot key to execute common commands. For example, Ctrl +C usually copies the selected objects.
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Information Security Policy
Information security policy is a set of policies issued by an organization to ensure that all information technology users within the domain of the organization or its networks comply with rules and guidelines related to the security of the information stored digitally at any point in the network or within the organization’s boundaries of authority.
The evolution of computer networks has made the sharing of information ever more prevalent. Information is now exchanged at the rate of trillions of bytes per millisecond, daily numbers that might extend beyond comprehension or available nomenclature. A proportion of that data is not intended for sharing beyond a limited group and much data is protected by law or intellectual property. An information security policy endeavors to enact those protections and limit the distribution of data not in the public domain to authorized recipients.
Every organization needs to protect its data and also control how it should be distributed both within and without the organizational boundaries. This may mean that information may have to be encrypted, authorized through a third party or institution and may have restrictions placed on its ditstribution with reference to a classification system laid out in the information security policy.
An example of the use of an information security policy might be in a data storage facility which stores database records on behalf of medical facilities. These records are sensitive and cannot be shared, under penalty of law, with any unauthorized recipient whether a real person or another device. An information security policy would be enabled within the software that the facility uses to manage the data they are responsible for. In addition, workers would generally be contractually bound to comply with such a policy and would have to have sight of it prior to operating the data management software.
A business might employ an information security policy to protect its digital assets and intellectual rights in efforts to prevent theft of industrial secrets and information that could benefit competitors.
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A security policy is a document that outlines the rules, laws and practices for computer network access. This document regulates how an organization will manage, protect and distribute its sensitive information (both corporate and client information) and lays the framework for the computer-network-oriented security of the organization.
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Interface
Interface is often divided into three categories:
A user interface, consisting of the set of dials, knobs, operating system commands, graphical display formats, and other devices provided by a computer or a program to allow the user to communicate and use the computer or program.
A graphical user interface (GUI) provides its user a more or less “picture-oriented” way to interact with technology. A GUI is usually a more satisfying or user-friendly interface to a computer system.
A programming interface, consisting of the set of statements, functions, options, and other ways of expressing program instructions and data provided by a program or language for a programmer to use.
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A boundary across which two independent systems meet and act on or communicate with each other. In computer technology, there are several types of interfaces.
user interface – the keyboard, mouse, menus of a computer system. The user interface allows the user to communicate with the operating system. Also see GUI.
software interface – the languages and codes that the applications use to communicate with each other and with the hardware.
hardware interface – the wires, plugs and sockets that hardware devices use to communicate with each other, to connect with or interact with by means of an interface.
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Internet Security
Internet security is a catch-all term for a very broad issue covering security for transactions made over the Internet. Generally, Internet security encompasses browser security, the security of data entered through a Web form, and overall authentication and protection of data sent via Internet Protocol.
Internet security relies on specific resources and standards for protecting data that gets sent through the Internet. This includes various kinds of encryption such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). Other aspects of a secure Web setup includes firewalls, which block unwanted traffic, and anti-malware, anti-spyware and anti-virus programs that work from specific networks or devices to monitor Internet traffic for dangerous attachments.
Internet security is generally becoming a top priority for both businesses and governments. Good Internet security protects financial details and much more of what is handled by a business or agency’s servers and network hardware. Insufficient Internet security can threaten to collapse an e-commerce business or any other operation where data gets routed over the Web.
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Kernel
A kernel is the core component of an operating system. Using interprocess communication and system calls, it acts as a bridge between applications and the data processing performed at the hardware level.
When an operating system is loaded into memory, the kernel loads first and remains in memory until the operating system is shut down again. The kernel is responsible for low-level tasks such as disk management, task management and memory management.
A computer kernel interfaces between the three major computer hardware components, providing services between the application/user interface and the CPU, memory and other hardware I/O devices.
The kernel provides and manages computer resources, allowing other programs to run and use these resources. The kernel also sets up memory address space for applications, loads files with application code into memory, sets up the execution stack for programs and branches out to particular locations inside programs for execution.
The kernel is responsible for:
Process management for application execution
Memory management, allocation and I/O
Device management through the use of device drivers
System call control, which is essential for the execution of kernel services.
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The kernel is the central module of an operating system (OS). It is the part of the operating system that loads first, and it remains in main memory. Because it stays in memory, it is important for the kernel to be as small as possible while still providing all the essential services required by other parts of the operating system and applications. The the kernel code is usually loaded into a protected area of memory to prevent it from being overwritten by programs or other parts of the operating system.
Typically, the kernel is responsible for memory management, process and task management, and disk management. The kernel connects the system hardware to the application software. Every operating system has a kernel. For example the Linux kernel is used numerous operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD, Android and others.
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Keystroke Logger
A keystroke logger is a device or program that allows the user to monitor what another user types into a device. In some cases, a keystroke logger is hardware that attaches to the keyboard or another part of a hardware system. In other cases, it is a program that is considered a type of spyware that can be slipped into a system and used in various ways, many of which are illegal.
A keystroke logger may also be called a keylogger.
In terms of the makeup of a keystroke logger spyware program, its most basic elements often include a dynamic link library (DLL), and an executable that runs the file. As the keystroke logger represents a somewhat common type of spyware or malware, there is a focus on how to identify, isolate and disarm these types of monitoring programs. Some users rely on utilities like tcpview to catch keystroke loggers, while others purchase anti-malware and anti-spyware programs that specialize in identifying these threats.
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A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger, key logger, or system monitor, is a hardware device or small program that monitors each keystroke a user types on a specific computer’s keyboard. As a hardware device, a keylogger is a small battery-sized plug that serves as a connector between the user’s keyboard and computer. Because the device resembles an ordinary keyboard plug, it is relatively easy for someone who wants to monitor a user’s behavior to physically hide such a device “in plain sight.” (It also helps that most workstation keyboards plug into the back of the computer.) As the user types, the device collects each keystroke and saves it as text in its own miniature hard drive. At a later point in time, the person who installed the keylogger must return and physically remove the device in order to access the information the device has gathered.
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Keystrokes
A keystroke is a single press of a key on a keyboard. Each key press is a keystroke. Keystrokes can be used for programming purposes to respond to the user pressing a particular key. However, they can also be used for things such as keystroke logging, where a user’s keystrokes are tracked either with or without the prior knowledge or consent of the user.
Examples of software programs that record keystrokes are typing tutor programs, that help teach users how to type more quickly and more accurately. Parental control programs can be set up to record keystrokes, allowing parents to see what their children are doing on the computer. Businesses and schools may also use software with keylogging enabled, to track what their employees or students are doing on the computer and verify no illegal or inappropriate activity.
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The pressing of a key. The efficiency of software programs is sometimes measured by the number of keystrokes it requires to perform a specific function. The fewer the keystrokes, claim some software producers, the faster and more efficient the program. The number of keystrokes, however, is generally less important than other characteristics of the software.
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Local Area Network (LAN)
A local area network (LAN) is a computer network within a small geographical area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, office building or group of buildings.
A LAN is composed of inter-connected workstations and personal computers which are each capable of accessing and sharing data and devices, such as printers, scanners and data storage devices, anywhere on the LAN. LANs are characterized by higher communication and data transfer rates and the lack of any need for leased communication lines.
In the 1960s, large colleges and universities had the first local area networks (LAN). In the mid-1970s, Ethernet was developed by Xerox PARC (Xerox Palo Alto Research Center) and deployed in 1976. Chase Manhattan Bank in New York had the first commercial use of a LAN in December 1977. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was common to have tens or hundreds of individual computers located in the same site. Many users and administrators were attracted to the concept of multiple computers sharing expensive disk space and laser printers.
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A local-area network (LAN) is a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most often, a LAN is confined to a single room, building or group of buildings, however, one LAN can be connected to other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves. A system of LANs connected in this way is called a wide-area network (WAN).
Most LANs connect workstations and personal computers. Each node (individual computer ) in a LAN has its own CPU with which it executes programs, but it also is able to access data and devices anywhere on the LAN. This means that many users can share expensive devices, such as laser printers, as well as data. Users can also use the LAN to communicate with each other, by sending email or engaging in chat sessions.
LANs are capable of transmitting data at very fast rates, much faster than data can be transmitted over a telephone line; but the distances are limited and there is also a limit on the number of computers that can be attached to a single LAN.
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Log File
A log file is a file that keeps a registry of events, processes, messages and communication between various communicating software applications and the operating system. Log files are present in executable software, operating systems and programs whereby all the messages and process details are recorded. Every executable file produces a log file where all activities are noted.
The phenomenon of keeping a log is called logging, whereas a record file itself is called a log file. The most commonly used logging standard is syslog, which is short for “system log.” A software framework has its own predefined log file and it does not usually appear in the overall system log or operating system event log. Syslog automatically produces a time-stamped documentation of processes of a system while in execution and running state as defined in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFC 5424. The log messages in a log file can be recorded and analyzed later, even after the program has been closed.
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A file that lists actions that have occurred. For example, Web servers maintain log files listing every request made to the server. With log file analysis tools, it’s possible to get a good idea of where visitors are coming from, how often they return, and how they navigate through a site. Using cookies enables Webmasters to log even more detailed information about how individual users are accessing a site.
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Monitoring-as-a-Service (MaaS)
Monitoring-as-a-service (MaaS) is one of many cloud delivery models under anything as a service (XaaS). It is a framework that facilitates the deployment of monitoring functionalities for various other services and applications within the cloud. The most common application for MaaS is online state monitoring, which continuously tracks certain states of applications, networks, systems, instances or any element that may be deployable within the cloud.
MaaS offerings consist of multiple tools and applications meant to monitor a certain aspect of an application, server, system or any other IT component. There is a need for proper data collection, especially of the performance and real-time statistics of IT components, in order to make proper and informed management possible.
The tools being offered by MaaS providers may vary in some ways, but there are very basic monitoring schemes that have become ad hoc standards simply because of their benefits. State monitoring is one of them, and has become the most widely used feature. It is the overall monitoring of a component in relation to a set metric or standard. In state monitoring, a certain aspect of a component is constantly evaluated, and results are usually displayed in real time or periodically updated as a report. For example, the overall timeout requests measured in a period of time might be evaluated to see if this deviates from what’s considered an acceptable value. Administrators can later take action to rectify faults or even respond in real time. State monitoring is very powerful because notifications now come in almost every form, from emails and text messages to various social media alerts like a tweet or a status update on Facebook.
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Monitoring Software
Monitoring software observes and tracks the operations and activities of users, applications and network services on a computer or enterprise systems. This type of software provides a way to supervise the overall processes that are performed on a computing system, and provides reporting services to the system or network administrator.
Monitoring software is primarily a type of security and surveillance software installed on an individual system or the corporate network. It can be a standalone application, or function as part of firewall software or hardware, anti-virus software, or an information security software suite. Generally, monitoring software records and logs all incoming/outgoing network traffic, user processes and interactions, and application activities. It includes specific rules, signatures, events and preferences, which describe normal and abnormal system states and activities. It also alerts the administrator if it identifies any violation or breach that results in abnormal system behavior, user activity or network flow. Moreover, such software is also used for spying on employees or users’ activities within a corporate network.
Parental control is a type of monitoring software that blocks specific user activities and issues a notification to parents/administrators in case of any violations or breaches.
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Software for monitoring the desktop and online activities of employees, family members, roommates or other users of a computer. Sometimes referred to as parental control software, monitoring software can quietly monitor and log PC and online activities or more actively filter content and block offensive websites from being accessed.
It isn’t always easy to distinguish monitoring software from spyware, which is why at least one of the following criteria must be met in order for the installation of monitoring software to be considered legal:
The owner of the software must also be the owner of the computer it is going to be installed on;
The owner of the software must be the parent of a minor child;
The owner of the software must have the consent of all users of the monitored computer.
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Operating System (OS)
An operating system (OS), in its most general sense, is software that allows a user to run other applications on a computing device. While it is possible for a software application to interface directly with hardware, the vast majority of applications are written for an OS, which allows them to take advantage of common libraries and not worry about specific hardware details.
The operating system manages a computer’s hardware resources, including:
Input devices such as a keyboard and mouse;
Output devices such as display monitors, printers and scanners;
Network devices such as modems, routers and network connections;
Storage devices such as internal and external drives.
The OS also provides services to facilitate the efficient execution and management of, and memory allocations for, any additional installed software application programs.
Some operating systems were developed in the 1950s, where computers could only execute one program at a time. Later in the decade, computers included many software programs, sometimes called libraries, which were linked together to create the beginning of today’s operating systems.
The OS consists of many components and features. Which features are defined as part of the OS vary with each OS. However, the three most easily defined components are:
Kernel: It provides basic level control over all of the computer hardware devices. Main roles include reading data from memory and writing data to memory, processing execution orders, determining how data is received and sent by devices such as the monitor, keyboard and mouse, and determining how to interpret data received from networks.
User Interface: This component allows interaction with the user, which may occur through graphical icons and a desktop or through a command line.
Application Programming Interfaces: This component allows application developers to write modular code.
Examples for OSs include Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.
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The operating system is the most important program that runs on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs and applications. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.
For large systems, the operating system has even greater responsibilities and powers. It is like a traffic cop — it makes sure that different programs and users running at the same time do not interfere with each other. The operating system is also responsible for security, ensuring that unauthorized users do not access the system.
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Parental control
Parental control software refers to a wide spectrum of software programs and resources for a wide variety of different devices and technologies. What all of these have in common is that they facilitate the control of one user, typically a parent, over the use and access of another user, typically a child.
One way to distinguish different types of parental control software is by recognizing which kinds of technologies they work with. One basic and early type of parental control software included channel blockers, content filters and other tools for cable television. Other types of parental controls offer control over a child’s activity on the Internet, where it’s possible for children to view a lot of material many parents find objectionable.
Another way to think about parental control software is in terms of the methodology these programs use. Some parental controls work through content filtering, where specific kinds of content are blocked. Others allow for better monitoring, while still other forms of parental control software may act not as filters, but as directors that guide a child’s activity toward specific educational or other goals. All of these kinds of tools help make a child’s use of technology productive and safe.
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A special browser or filtering program designed to reject Web sites not suited for children. Such programs may screen pages by word content, site rating or by URL, using an updated database of objectionable sites, or any combination of these techniques. Parental control software also comes with the operating system in Windows and Mac computers.
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Password
A password is a basic security mechanism that consists of a secret pass phrase created using alphabetic, numeric, alphanumeric and symbolic characters, or a combination. A password is used to restrict access to a system, application or service to only those users who have memorized or stored and/or are authorized to use it.
A password may also be called an access code, PIN or secret code.
A password is one of the most used access control procedures applied in virtually all digital and computing appliances. Generally, a password is used in combination with a user name and in most cases, an individual must provide both to gain access to a system, network or other password-protected area. In most applications and services, passwords are created by the user themselves and are typically separate for each different system or service used. In good security practices, a password should be between eight and 24 characters long, and include at least one capital letter, one number and one special character. Words are frequently used, but this is not recommended because they are more easily guessed or cracked.
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A secret series of characters that enables a user to access a file, computer, or program. On multi-user systems, each user must enter his or her password before the computer will respond to commands. The password helps ensure that unauthorized users do not access the computer. In addition, data files and programs may require a password.
Ideally, the password should be something that nobody could guess. In practice, most people choose a password that is easy to remember, such as their name or their initials. This is one reason it is relatively easy to break into most computer systems.
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Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes. When something is private to a person, it usually means that something is inherently special or sensitive to them. The domain of privacy partially overlaps security (confidentiality), which can include the concepts of appropriate use, as well as protection of information. Privacy may also take the form of bodily integrity.
The right not to be subjected to unsanctioned invasion of privacy by the government, corporations or individuals is part of many countries’ privacy laws, and in some cases, constitutions. Almost all countries have laws which in some way limit privacy. An example of this would be law concerning taxation, which normally require the sharing of information about personal income or earnings. In some countries individual privacy may conflict with freedom of speech laws and some laws may require public disclosure of information which would be considered private in other countries and cultures.
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Freedom from damaging publicity, public scrutiny, secret surveillance, or unauthorized disclosure of one’s personal data or information, as by a government, corporation, or individual: Ordinary citizens have a qualifiedright to privacy.
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Screenshots
Refers to the act of copying what is currently displayed on a screento a file or printer. If the system is in graphics mode, the screen capture will result in a graphics file containing a bit map of the image. If the system is in text mode, the screen capture will normally load a file with ASCII codes.
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A screenshot, screen capture (or screen-cap), screen dump or screengrab[1] is an image taken by a person to record the visible items displayed on the monitor, television, or other visual output device in use. Usually, this is a digital image using the operating system or software running on the computer, but it can also be a capture made by a camera[2] or a device intercepting the video output of the display.
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Software
Software, in its most general sense, is a set of instructions or programs instructing a computer to do specific tasks. Software is a generic term used to describe computer programs. Scripts, applications, programs and a set of instructions are the terms often used to describe software.
Software is often divided into three categories:
System software;
Programming software;
Application software.
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Software is a general term for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices. (The term hardware describes the physical aspects of computers and related devices.)
Software can be thought of as the variable part of a computer and hardware the invariable part. Software is often divided into application software (programs that do work users are directly interested in) and system software (which includes operating systems and any program that supports application software). The term middleware is sometimes used to describe programming that mediates between application and system software or between two different kinds of application software (for example, sending a remote work request from an application in a computer that has one kind of operating system to an application in a computer with a different operating system).
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User
A user is a collection of settings and information associated with a user. It can be defined as the explicit digital representation of the identity of the user with respect to the operating environment, which could be operating systems, software applications or websites. The user profile helps in associating characteristics with a user and helps in ascertaining the interactive behavior of the user along with preferences.
A user can contain personal data. Most user profiles have a set of parameters which are either mandatory or optional. In some cases, the user profile could have different sections and tabs. In the case of software applications or network-related ones, user profiles are usually monitored and maintained by administrators. In some cases, they are maintained by the users themselves. The user profile enables the personalization of the system and can help in customizing certain features for his/her needs. Preferences and needs of a user can usually be found with the help of a user profile.
User profiles have information for most attributes like system needs, general data, restrictions and application settings. It can help in specifying the terms for certain features in the system such as profile visibility, layout view, color themes, preferred languages, date format and message display format. User profiles can be created, modified and deleted.
Most user profiles have a user description like account details, user details and password-related information. In most cases, the user profile helps in providing additional security to users. Users can create authentication measures with the help of different features in the user profile, like a secret question or password. A user profile can also help in password recovery or creation of a new password for users in most applications.
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An individual who uses a computer. This includes expert programmers as well as novices. An end user is any individual who runs an application program.
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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Monitoring(VDI Monitoring)
Virtual desktop infrastructure monitoring (VDI monitoring) is the process of reviewing, monitoring and managing the operations of a VDI environment for the purpose of performance management, troubleshooting and/or security. It is used to ensure that virtual desktops perform as expected by monitoring the overall operation of desktop infrastructure.
VDI monitoring is an extensive process that includes a series of different processes and methodologies across both the IT/computational and user side of a virtual desktop environment. The IT/computational layer is further divided into the hardware and software tier. VDI monitoring is typically performed through a virtual machine monitor or a VDI-specific monitoring application, such as virtual desktop manager (VDM), which monitors the operations of VDI components at each tier. This may include tracking user activity, operational status and the security of each virtual desktop at a granular level, as well as the composite infrastructure and resource utilization per desktop instance.
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Website monitoring
Website monitoring is the process of testing and logging the status and uptime performance of one or more websites. This monitoring tool ensures that websites are accessible for all users and is used by businesses and organizations to ensure that website uptime, functionality and performance are always up to standard.
Website monitoring can be done locally within a data center’s firewall where a website is hosted or globally through multiple test sites. Often, this monitoring tool is provided by the service provider through a Web portal with desktop and mobile versions.
There are two ways to monitor websites:
1) Traditional local monitoring: Focuses on the health of the website on the server and may not reflect the experience of a user. As long as the server is running, it appears on local monitoring that the website is functioning as expected.
2) Global monitoring: Tests and monitors uptime and may even identify issues across the Internet backbone. For example, the website may be accessible from most parts of the globe, but not from a specific region because of DNS issues. Global monitoring may spot this, so that the specific issue can be remedied by updating or fixing the DNS server in question. Because of this, global monitoring is also known as end-user monitoring or end-to-end uptime monitoring, which monitors availability and performance experienced by actual users. Thus, it is ideal for diagnosing individual incidents and tracking the impact of website changes.
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Website monitoring is the process of testing and verifying that end-users can interact with a website or web application as expected. Website monitoring is often used by businesses to ensure website uptime, performance, and functionality is as expected.
Website monitoring companies provide organizations the ability to consistently monitor a website, or server function, and observe how it responds. The monitoring is often conducted from several locations around the world to a specific website, or server, in order to detect issues related to general Internet latency, network hop issues, and to pinpoint errors. Monitoring companies generally report on these tests in a variety of reports, charts and graphs. When an error is detected monitoring services send out alerts via email, SMS, phone, SNMP trap, pager that may include diagnostic information, such as a network trace route, code capture of a web page’s HTML file, a screen shot of a webpage, and even a video of a website failing. These diagnostics allow network administrators and webmasters to correct issues faster.
Monitoring gathers extensive data on website performance, such as load times, server response times, page element performance that is often analyzed and used to further optimize website performance.
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