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Common Security Terms Dictionary: T

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 7/22/2010

If you’re new the computing world, all of the acronyms, nomenclature, and strange terms can become a little intimidating. It’s my hope that this dictionary series will help you absorb this information and shed some light on the world of “techno-babble.”

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    TCP/IP

    Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol is the primary protocol of the internet. It determines how information is packaged, sent, and then subsequently unpackaged and processed.

    TELNET

    TELNET is a protocol used for terminal emulation via TCP/IP networks. One of the most basic remote connection protocols used to connect to another system over the network and execute commands or run programs.

    Threat Assessment

    Often one of the initial stages of network hardening, this process involves identifying potential (or existing) threats to the security of your network.

    Token Ring Network

    A network configured in a ring topology (the network devices are connected in physical ring formation) that requires network clients to possess a token before transmitting data on the network ring. This token is passed in succession to each client until the recipient is located and subsequently given the token for further processing or replies.

    Token-Based Access

    Often referring to a type of authentication protocol requiring a user to enter a token code (usually a string of numbers that changes every minute or so) in order to access a secure, remote network. This method is often used for connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). For example, a user might possess a token card which has a digital display with a set of numbers that changes every 60 seconds. The same set of numbers are assigned to that user's ID on a remote authentication server so that the numbers on both the client and server side are the same and change at the same time (synchronization). The user would then enter their password or a PIN number in succession with the token code currently displayed on their card to login and be authenticated with the remote VPN server.

    Topology

    A term that usually refers to the layout or physical format of a communications network. A kind of schematic that illustrates how all of the devices are interconnected with one another.

    Transport Layer Security (TLS)

    An internet security protocol used for securing communications between applications and users. This prevents third party applications or individuals from interfering with this exchange. Digital certificates and encryption methods are sometimes used during the process of TLS to secure wireless network communications for example.

    Trojan Horse

    Deriving its name from the Greek story, a Trojan horse is a program or file that has a sole purpose of infiltrating a system by disguising itself as a legitimate program or system file. It attempts to gain access to a system through genuine means and then, once fully embedded, release its malicious code or exploit system vulnerabilities.