Synonym(s): cryptographic algorithm


Data or information in its encrypted form.

Cloud computing:

A model for enabling on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing capabilities or resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM):

Cloud security posture mangement is a term coined by Gartner, and defined as "a continuous process of cloud security improvement and adaptation to reduce the likelihood of a successful attack." At the heart of CSPM is the detection of cloud misconfiguration vulnerabilities that can lead to compliance violations and data breaches⁠. CSPM offerings typically use APIs of the underlying cloud providers to monitor environments for security or policy violations in order to remediate. Security policy is an essential enabler of CSPM as it can help ensure cloud assets, services, and applications are not deployed or promoted with security configurations that are non-compliant.

Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP):

A term coined by Gartner, and defined as “a technology solution primarily used to secure server workloads in public cloud infrastructure as a service environments. There are two primary ways to protect workloads with CWPP: Microsegmentation and bare metal hypervisors.


An approach in software development that utilizes cloud computing to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Technologies such as containers, microservices, serverless functions and immutable infrastructure, deployed via declarative code are common elements of this architectural style.

Collect & Operate:

A NICE Framework category consisting of specialty areas responsible for specialized denial and deception operations and collection of cybersecurity information that may be used to develop intelligence.

Collection Operations:

In the NICE Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Executes collection using appropriate strategies and within the priorities established through the collection management process.

Computer forensics:

Synonym(s): digital forensics

Computer network defense:

The actions taken to defend against unauthorized activity within computer networks.

Computer Network Defense Analysis:

In the NICE Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Uses defensive measures and information collected from a variety of sources to identify, analyze, and report events that occur or might occur within the network in order to protect information, information systems, and networks from threats.

Computer Network Defense Infrastructure Support:

In the NICE Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Tests, implements, deploys, maintains, reviews, and administers the infrastructure hardware and software that are required to effectively manage the computer network defense service provider network and resources; monitors network to actively remediate unauthorized activities.


A property that information is not disclosed to users, processes, or devices unless they have been authorized to access the information. Preserving authorized restrictions on information access and disclosure, including means for protecting personal privacy and proprietary information.


The effect of an event, incident, or occurrence. In cybersecurity, the effect of a loss of confidentiality, integrity or availability of information or an information system on an organization's operations, its assets, on individuals, other organizations, or on national interests.

Continuity of Operations Plan:

A document that sets forth procedures for the continued performance of core capabilities and critical operations during any disruption or potential disruption.

Critical infrastructure:

The systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to society that the incapacity or destruction of such may have a debilitating impact on the security, economy, public health or safety, environment, or any combination of these matters.


The operations performed in defeating or circumventing cryptographic protection of information by applying mathematical techniques and without an initial knowledge of the key employed in providing the protection.  The study of mathematical techniques for attempting to defeat or circumvent cryptographic techniques and/or information systems security.

Cryptographic algorithm:

A well-defined computational procedure that takes variable inputs, including a cryptographic key, and produces an output.


The use of mathematical techniques to provide security services, such as confidentiality, data integrity, entity authentication, and data origin authentication. The art or science concerning the principles, means, and methods for converting plaintext into ciphertext and for restoring encrypted ciphertext to plaintext.


The mathematical science that deals with cryptanalysis and cryptography.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

In the NICE Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Addresses problems, installs, configures, troubleshoots, and provides maintenance and training in response to customer requirements or inquiries (e.g., tiered-level customer support).

Cyber ecosystem:

The interconnected information infrastructure of interactions among persons, processes, data, and information and communications technologies, along with the environment and conditions that influence those interactions.

Cyber exercise:

A planned event during which an organization simulates a cyber disruption to develop or test capabilities such as preventing, detecting, mitigating, responding to or recovering from the disruption.

Cyber infrastructure:

An electronic information and communications systems and services and the information contained therein. The information and communications systems and services composed of all hardware and software that process, store, and communicate information, or any combination of all of these elements: • Processing includes the creation, access, modification, and destruction of information. • Storage includes paper, magnetic, electronic, and all other media types. • Communications include sharing and distribution of information.

Cyber Operations:

In the NICE Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Performs activities to gather evidence on criminal or foreign intelligence entities in order to mitigate possible or real-time threats, protect against espionage or insider threats, foreign sabotage, international terrorist activities, or to support other intelligence activities.

Cyber Operations Planning:

In the NICE Framework, cybersecurity work where a person: Performs in-depth joint targeting and cyber planning process. Gathers information and develops detailed Operational Plans and Orders supporting requirements. Conducts strategic and operational-level planning across the full range of operations for integrated information and cyberspace operations


The activity or process, ability or capability, or state whereby information and communications systems and the information contained therein are protected from and/or defended against damage, unauthorized use or modification, or exploitation. Strategy, policy, and standards regarding the security of and operations in cyberspace, and encompass[ing] the full range of threat reduction, vulnerability reduction, deterrence, international engagement, incident response, resiliency, and recovery policies and activities, including computer network operations, information assurance, law enforcement, diplomacy, military, and intelligence missions as they relate to the security and stability of the global information and communications infrastructure.


The interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, that includes the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers.