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Glossary terms and definitions last updated: October 17, 2023

This Glossary only consists of terms and definitions extracted verbatim from NIST's cybersecurity- and privacy-related publications--Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), NIST Special Publications (SPs), and NIST Internal/Interagency Reports (IRs)--as well as from Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Instruction CNSSI-4009. Only terms that are defined in final publications—not drafts—are included here.

  • Multiple definitions. Some terms have multiple definitions. Terminology changes over time, and may differ based on the topic being addressed. Always refer to the source publication for the authoritative term and definition, and to see that information in its proper context.
  • Inclusive language. We recognize that some NIST publications contain potentially biased terminology. As we revise publications, we are reviewing and editing that language based on NIST’s inclusive language guidance. New publications in development will also follow that guidance.

The Glossary may be expanded to include relevant terms in external or supplemental sources, such as applicable laws and regulations. Recommendations for publications to be considered by NIST can be sent to secglossary@nist.gov. HOWEVER, terms without a source publication will not be independently added to this Glossary.

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