Terms you may encounter in some of our cybersecurity training programs.

Access control

Certifying that only authorized access is given to assets (both physical and electronic). For physical assets, access control may be required for a facility or restricted area (e.g. screening visitors and materials at entry points, escorting visitors). For IT assets, access controls may be required for networks, systems, and information (e.g. restricting users on specific systems, limiting account privileges).

Allow list

An access control list that identifies who or what is allowed access, in order to provide protection from harm.

Anti-virus software

Software that defends against viruses, Trojans, worms, and spyware. Anti-virus software uses a scanner to identify programs that may be malicious. Scanners can detect known viruses, previously unknown viruses, and suspicious files.

Artificial intelligence

A subfield of computer science that develops intelligent computer programs to behave in a way that would be considered intelligent if observed in a human (e.g. solve problems, learn from experience, understand language, interpret visual scenes).


Access privileges granted to a user, program, or process.


The ability for the right people to access the right information or systems when needed. Availability is applied to information assets, software, and hardware (infrastructure and its components). Implied in its definition is that availability includes the protection of assets from unauthorized access and compromise.


An undocumented, private, or less-detectable way of gaining remote access to a computer, bypassing authentication measures, and obtaining access to plaintext.

Baseline security controls

The minimum mandatory protective mechanisms outlined by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) policy instruments to be used in interdepartmental IT security functions and information systems.


A blockchain is a write-only database, dispersed over a network of interconnected computers, that uses cryptography to create a tamper-proof public record of transactions. Because blockchain technology is transparent, secure and decentralized, a central actor cannot alter the public record.

Browser based exploitation

A misuse of legitimate browser components to execute malicious code. Simply visiting a website with hidden malicious code can result in exploitation.