IT Definitions

Note: Definitions were obtained from internal college resources and external sources on the Internet such as: Wikipedia, Techopedia, TechTerms.com, etc.

When used in these IT Security Standards, the following terms are defined terms and will be proscribed the following meanings:

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Edmonds College’s online room scheduling system.


The ability to use, modify, or affect an IT system or to gain entry to a physical area or location.
A bridging device that connects equipment which cannot ordinarily be attached to each other.
Antivirus Protections:
Software protection installed on a computer to detect and quarantine malicious software programs. The three main methods of infection can be delivered by software installed by the end user, browsers or email.
In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building or interfacing with application software and data.
A computer program that performs a specific task.
Application System:
An interconnected set of IT resources under the same direct management control that meets a defined set of business needs.
Appropriate college activities:
These include, but are not limited to: Class-related activities, Edmonds College-supported research, management and administrative functions, Edmonds College-supported extra-curricular activities and organizations, and other uses approved by Edmonds College’s administration.
Short for “Authorized Devices”. Wireless SSID (see Wireless below) used internally by IT only to onboard devices such as Chromebook Labs.
The process of verifying the identity of a person before giving them access to sensitive information.
Configured access to applications and data per approved policy and procedure based on needs required to perform one’s duties.


A computer program (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome) that lets users use websites.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD):
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). A stop error, better known as a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is an error screen displayed on a Windows computer system after a fatal system error or system crash.


This is data storage for newer data, and is designed to cut down on the time it takes to load that same data again. There are several types of cache, such as browser cache, memory cache, and hard disk cache.
WCTCS owned legacy software that manages Student, Financial, and HR/Payroll data for the college.
Central Processing Unit (CPU/Processor):
This device is the brains of the computer.
A website security certificate is a validation and encryption tool which secures and encrypts data going back and forth between the browser and website. It is issued by a trusted certification authority (CA), which verifies the identity of a website’s owner.
Chromebook (Chrome Device):
A Chromebook is a laptop-like device that runs Google's Chrome OS operating system. Unlike traditional laptops, Chromebooks are designed to run cloud-based applications and store data online. While the Chrome OS and some applications can run offline, Chromebooks work best when used with an Internet connection.
Command Prompt:
Command Prompt is used to execute entered commands. Most of those commands are used to automate tasks via scripts and batch files, perform advanced administrative functions, and troubleshoot and solve certain kinds of Windows issues. You can open Command Prompt via the Command Prompt shortcut located in the Start menu. This is a basic program that allows the user to control every aspect of a computer system, such as creating files, running programs, and modifying the very core of an operating system.
The firm, its employees and affiliated agents. Contractor also includes any firm, provider, organization, individual, or other entity performing the business activities of the agency. It will also include any subcontractor retained by Contractor as permitted under the terms of the Contract. Contractor and third-party are synonymous as defined within the Definitions section of any standard.
ctcLink is a multi-phase, multi-year project that will replace the full administrative software suite for the 34 Community and Technical Colleges and State Board for Community and Technical College in WA state with Oracle PeopleSoft, a web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that is being deployed to provide standardization and support improved service delivery and efficiency across multiple business processes through three pillars - Campus Solutions, Finance and Human Capital Management. This is an upcoming online system that allows a school’s students, faculty and staff the ability to interact with their institution’s academic resources, financial resources, and more, while on-or-off-campus.
A cookie is a small amount of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser. Its purpose is to remember information about you, and is similar to a preference file created by a software application.
Crash/System Crash:
This occurs when a computer program, such as a software application or an operating system, unexpectedly stops functioning and becomes unresponsive/freezes. If the program is a critical part of the operating system, the entire system may crash or hang, often resulting in a kernel panic or fatal system error.
Chrome Extension:
These are small software programs that improves the Google Chrome web browser experience. They enable users to tailor Chrome functionality and behavior to individual needs or preferences.
An attempt to bypass security controls on an IT system, with the intention of changing, destroying, and/or stealing valuable information.


De minimis use:
Per WAC 292-110-010 Use of State Resources, an employee's use of college resources is considered de minimis only if each of the following conditions are met:
  • There is little or no cost to the college;
  • Any use is brief;
  • Any use occurs infrequently;
  • he use does not interfere with the performance of the employee's official duties or others’ official duties;
  • The use does not compromise the security or integrity of state property, information systems, or software;
  • The use is not for the purpose of conducting an outside business, in furtherance of private employment, or to realize a private financial gain; and
  • The use is not for supporting, promoting the interests of, or soliciting for an outside organization or group.
A user’s default homepage or home “environment” on a computer system.
In the IT context a group of service provider holding a set of security protocols which enables a user with the correct credentials to access computer and network services. A domain, in the context of networking, refers to any group of users, workstations, devices, printers, computers and database servers that share different types of data via network resources.
Domain Name System (DNS):
The Internet's system for converting alphabetic domain names ( www.google.com) into numeric IP addresses ( For example, when a Web address (URL) is typed into a browser, DNS servers return the IP address of the Web server associated with that name.
Driver provides a software interface to hardware devices, enabling operating systems and other computer programs to access hardware functions without needing to know precise details of the hardware being used.
Display Cable:
These cables connect a computer system to a monitor or projector, and use these common cable types: VGA, HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort.


Eligible users:
Eligible users of Edmonds College technology resources include current employees, former employees with emeritus status, volunteers, and students at all Edmonds College sites. Representatives from government agencies, school district faculty, Edmonds College contractors and other non-commercial organizations may become eligible users of Edmonds College technology resources by special arrangement.
Environmental Security:
Physical protection against damage from fire, flood, wind, earthquake, explosion, civil unrest and other forms of natural and man-made risk.
Common acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning which is an integrated platform of software used to manage all the core processes needed to run a company: finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, and others. The Washington Community and Technical College System has adopted Oracle PeopleSoft for HR, Finance and Campus Solutions.
A cable-network system for connecting multiple computer systems to form a local network that allows for communication, file transfer, and more, between all connected machines.
Extranet/VPN Connection:
A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that is constructed using public wires — usually the Internet — to connect remote users or regional offices to a company's private, internal network. An extranet is an intranet that is accessible to some people from outside the company, or possibly shared by more than one organization. An intranet is a private network, operated by a large company or other organization, which uses internet technologies, but is insulated from the global internet.


File Explorer:
This is a file manager application that is built into the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems.
File Explorer:
This is a file manager application that is built into the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems.
A combination of hardware and software designed to control the types of network connections allowed to a system its network, or multiple attached networks.
Freeze/Frozen State:
When a computer does not respond to any user input, it is said to be frozen. You can typically force your computer to shut down by holding the power button for several seconds.



Help Desk/Service Desk:
A service providing information and support to computer users, especially within an organization.
Help Desk/Service Desk:
A service providing information and support to computer users, especially within an organization.
A mouse hover, also called just hover, triggers an event when a user places a mouse over a designated area, such as a hyperlink on a Web page.


Information Technology (IT):
Telecommunications, automated data processing, databases, the Internet, management information systems, and related information, equipment, goods, and services.
Information Technology Departments:
Telecommunications, automated data processing, databases, the Internet, management information systems, and related information, equipment, goods, and services.
  • ACS (Academic Computing Services)
  • ADS (Application and Data Services)
  • ICS (Integrated Card Services)
  • >ITS (Instructional Technology Support)
  • NTS (Networks & Telecommunications Support)
  • MCDS (Mediated Classroom Design & Support)
  • SDS (Server and Desktop Services)
  • START (Student Technology Advice and Resource Team)
Information Technology (IT) Assets:
The processes, procedures, systems, IT infrastructure, data, and communication capabilities that allow each agency to manage, store, and share information in pursuit of its business mission, including but not limited to:
  • Applications.
  • All data typically associated with IT systems regardless of source (agency, partner, customer, citizen, etc.).
  • All data typically associated with IT systems regardless of the medium on which it resides (disc, tape, flash drive, cell phone, personal digital assistant, etc.).
  • End-user authentication systems.
  • Hardware (voice, video, radio transmitters and receivers, mainframes, servers, workstations, personal computers, laptops, and all end point equipment).
  • Software (operating systems, application software, middleware, microcode).
  • IT infrastructure (networks, connections, pathways, servers, wireless endpoints).
  • Services (data processing, telecommunications, office automation, and computerized information systems).
  • Telecommunications hardware, software, and networks.
  • Radio frequencies.
  • Data computing and telecommunications facilities.
  • Intelligent control systems such as video surveillance, HVAC, and physical security.
Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure:
This consists of the equipment, systems, software, and services commonly used across an organization, and also serves as the foundation upon which mission/program/project-specific systems and capabilities are built. Approaches to provisioning of IT infrastructure vary across organizations, but commonly include capabilities such as Domain Name Server (DNS), Wide Area Network (WAN), and employee locator systems. Additional common capabilities examples include IT security systems, servers, routers, workstations, networked Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, and networked printers (multifunction devices)
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL):
Is a set of detailed practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.
Information Technology (IT) Risk Assessment:
This is a process by which to determine what IT Assets exist that require protection, and eliminate the potential for loss of information confidentiality, integrity, or availability. The purpose of a risk assessment is to help management create appropriate strategies and controls for stewardship of information assets. (Source: Information Resources and Communications (IR&C) at the University of California Office of the President)
Information Technology resources:
The technological capabilities that allow each agency to manage, store, and share information in pursuit of its business mission, including but not limited to:
  • All data typically associated with IT systems regardless of source (agency, partner, customer, citizen, etc.).
  • All data typically associated with IT systems regardless of the medium on which it resides (disc, tape, flash drive, cell phone, personal digital assistant, etc.).
  • End-user authentication systems.
    Hardware (voice, video, radio transmitters and receivers, mainframes, servers, workstations, personal computers, laptops, and all end point equipment).
  • Software (operating systems, applications software, middleware, microcode).
  • nfrastructure (networks, connections, pathways, servers, wireless endpoints).
  • Services (data processing, telecommunications, office automation, and computerized information systems). Telecommunications hardware, software, and networks.
  • Radio frequencies.
  • Data computing and telecommunications facilities.
Internal System or Network:
An IT system or network designed and intended for use only by State of Washington employees, contractors, and business partners.
Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS):
Software and/or hardware designed to detect an attack on a network or computer system. A Network IDS (NIDS) is designed to support multiple hosts, whereas a Host IDS (HIDS) is set up to detect illegal actions within the host. Most IDS programs typically use signatures of known cracker attempts to signal an alert. Others look for deviations of the normal routine as indications of an attack.
Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS):
Software and/or hardware designed to prevent an attack on a network or computer system, stopping the attacker from stealing information or data.
I/O Devices:
These are tools that users use to interact with a computer. For example, keyboards and mice are input devices, and a monitor and printer are output devices.



Keychain is the password management system in macOS, developed by Apple. It was introduced with Mac OS 8.6, and has been included in all subsequent versions of Mac OS, including macOS.
The K-20 Educational Network Consortium is a high-speed, high-capacity network that connects colleges, universities, K-12 school districts and libraries across Washington state. K-12 schools and educational organizations rely on the K-20 network to run hundreds of data-based applications that support school administration, distance learning, and miscellaneous operations. The K-20 is Edmonds College’s primary connection to the Internet.


In computing, a link or hyperlink is a reference to data that the reader can directly follow either by clicking, tapping, or hovering. A hyperlink points to a whole document or to a specific element within a document.


Malicious Code:
Software (such as a Trojan horse) that appears to perform a useful or desirable function, but actually gains unauthorized access to system resources or tricks a user into executing other malicious logic.
A general term coined for all forms malicious software including but limited to computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware and other malicious and unwanted software.
Mobile Device:
A small-sized computing device that may have a display screen, touch input or a keyboard, and/or data storage capability. Examples include laptops, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), smartphones, and tablet PCs.
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA):
A security system or mechanism in which more than one form of authentication is implemented to verify the legitimacy of a transaction.


A network is comprised of a number of different computer systems connected by physical and/or wireless connections.
Network Device:
A network-attached device is a shared resource that is available to other computers which are also on a network, and can include servers, firewalls, routers, switches, workstations, and printers.
Network Interface Card (NIC):
A network interface controller (NIC) is a dedicated computer hardware component that connects a computer to a computer network. For example, a NIC can feature one or multiple Ethernet ports.



A unique string of characters that, in conjunction with a logon ID, authenticates a user’s identity.
This is the Portable Document Format file type.
PEAP Protocol:
Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP) is an 802.1X authentication type for wireless LANs (WLANs).
Penetration Test:
A deliberate probe of a network or system to discover security weaknesses.
Personal Identification Number (PIN):
A personal identification number (PIN) is a numeric or alphanumeric password or code used in the process of authenticating or identifying a user to a system and system to a user.
Physical Security:
Physical security describes measures that prevent or deter attackers from accessing a facility, resource, or information stored on physical media in an IT facility.
The practice of sending fraudulent emails purporting to be from reputable companies, in order to entice individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and more.
POP-UP Window:
A window that emerges without warning while browsing websites, and prompts the user to view advertisements or spam. Legitimate pop-up windows may ask for user login or password credentials.
The act of completely powering a piece of equipment off, and then powering it back on.
Print Queue:
A print queue is a list of printer output jobs held in a reserved memory area. It maintains the most current status of all active and pending print jobs.



This action causes a computer to restart.
Units of related data fields such as groups of data fields that can be accessed by a program and that contains information on a specific item or an individual.
When using a Web Browser, this action will force a web page to present the latest information.
Remote Desktop Session (RDS):
A program or an operating system feature that allows a user to connect to a computer in another location, see that computer's desktop and interact with it as if it were local.
The potential that an event may cause a material negative impact to an asset.
Risk Assessment:
The process of identifying and evaluating risks to assess potential impact.
Risk Management:
Identification and implementation of IT security controls to reduce risks to an acceptable level.
Risk Mitigation:
A systematic reduction in the extent of exposure to a risk and/or the likelihood of its occurrence.


SD Card:
Secure Digital (SD) is a non-volatile memory card format. It plugs into compatible SD slots on consumer electronics devices and holds flash memory that is retained even when the device is turned off.
Secure Segmentation:
Secure segmentation is defined as implementing methods that allow for secure communication between various levels of segmented environments. These environments typically involve 4 basic segment groups:
  • Outside (Trust no one)
  • Services (Trust limited to defined segmentation lines)
  • Internal (Trust limited to defined group)
  • External users (Trust limited to defined group)
The methods for securing these segments may include but are not limited to firewall and switch/router configurations and router/switch access-control-lists/ACLs.
The protection afforded to IT systems, data, and physical items in order to preserve their availability, integrity, and confidentiality. The ability to protect:
  • The integrity, availability, and confidentiality of information held by an agency.
  • Information technology assets from unauthorized use or modification and from accidental or intentional damage or destruction.
  • Information technology facilities and off-site data storage.
  • Computing, telecommunications, and applications related services.
  • Internet-related applications and connectivity.
Security Controls:
The security requirements and methods applied by agencies to manage IT security risk including but not limited those defined in the OCIO (Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer) IT security standards.
Security Domain:
An environment or context that is defined by security policy, a security model, or security architecture to include a set of system resources and the set of system entities that have the right to access the resources.
Student Identification (SID):
Student Identification number. A unique nine digit number generated and assigned to a student at the time of admission and is used to identify the student.
Single Sign-on/Simplified Sign-on:
A session and user authentication service that permits a user to use one set of login credentials (e.g., name and password) to access multiple applications. The service authenticates the end user for all the applications the user has been given rights to and eliminates further prompts when the user switches applications during the same session.
Social Engineering:
In the context of information security, this is the act of psychologically manipulating people into divulging confidential information.
Service Set Identifier (SSID):
A service set identifier (SSID) is a sequence of characters that uniquely names a wireless local area network (WLAN). An SSID is sometimes referred to as a "network name." This name allows stations to connect to the desired network when multiple independent networks operate in the same physical area.
State Government Network:
The shared, internal enterprise network bounded by the State of Washington’s consolidated technology services agency (CTS) managed security layer. The CTS-managed security layer is defined as firewalls, proxy servers, security appliances, secure gateways and other centrally-managed security services.
Any collection of people, processes, and technology needed to deliver a service, capability, or functionality.
System Tray:
Introduced with Windows 95, the system tray is located in the Windows Taskbar (usually at the bottom next to the clock) and contains miniature icons for easy access to system functions such as fax, printer, modem, volume, and more. Double click or right click on an icon to view and access the details and controls.


Tablet Device:
A portable general-purpose computer contained within a single small form factor LCD display sized to approximately match that of a traditional writing paper tablet.
Task Manager:
Task Manager, previously known as Windows Task Manager, is a task manager, system monitor, and startup manager included with Microsoft Windows systems.
Technology resources:
These include, but are not limited to, staff time, hardware, software, networks, laboratories, data, files, licenses, contracts, network bandwidth, telecommunication equipment, funds, user names, passwords, documentation, television and video equipment, and media.
Any circumstance or event (human, physical, or environmental) with the potential to cause harm to an IT system in the form of destruction, disclosure, adverse modification of data, and/or denial of service by exploiting vulnerability.
A security token may be either a dedicated hardware device or software-based installation on an electronic device which is used for identity proofing in multi-factor authentication.
Trusted Agency:
System or Network. An IT system or network that is recognized automatically as reliable, truthful, and accurate without continual validation or testing.


Characterized by the absence of a Trusted status, and presumed to be unreliable, untruthful, and inaccurate unless proven otherwise.
UI/User Interface:
The user interface, in the industrial design field of human–computer interaction, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur.
Uniform Resource Locator, or most commonly known as a web address.
USB (abbreviation of Universal Serial Bus), is an industry standard that was developed to define cables, connectors and protocols for connection, communication, and power supply between personal computers and their peripheral devices.
A person who uses or operates something, especially a computer or other machine.


A computer virus is a type of malicious software program. Synonymous with malware.
Voice over Internet Protocol/VoIP:
This technology allows for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over the Internet.
In IT terms, vulnerability describes points of risk to penetration of security barriers. Awareness of potential vulnerability is very important to designing ever more effective defenses against attack by unauthorized parties.
Vulnerability Assessment:
A comprehensive analysis that attempts to define, identify, and classify the security holes (vulnerabilities) in a system, network, or communications infrastructure within the assessment scope.


Washington Community and Technical College System.
Wireless Network (Wi-Fi/WiFi):
This technology allows for wireless connectivity to a network that broadcasts a named SSID, such as “Edmonds College”.