By Emmett Dulaney

As a Linux user and administrator, computer security is an essential issue. Ten key terms can take you a long way toward mastery of your environment.

  • 3DES: Also known as Triple Digital Encryption Standard (DES), 3DES is a symmetric block cipher algorithm used for encryption.

  • Access control list (ACL): A table or data file that specifies whether a user or group has access to a specific resource on a computer or network.

  • Certificate: A digital entity that establishes who you are and is often used with e-commerce. It contains your name and other identifying data.

  • Certificate authority (CA): An issuer of digital certificates (which are then used for digital signatures or key pairs), a certificate authority is occasionally referred to as a certification authority.

  • Data integrity: A quality that provides a level of confidence that data won’t be jeopardized and will be kept secret.

  • Encryption: The process of converting data into a form that makes it less likely to be usable to anyone intercepting it if they can’t decrypt it.

  • Footprinting: The process of systematically identifying the network and its security posture. This is typically a passive process.

  • Intrusion detection system (IDS): Tools that identify and respond to attacks using defined rules or logic. An IDS can be network based or host based.

  • Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model: A model defined by the ISO to categorize the process of communication between computers in terms of seven layers. The seven layers are Application, Presentation, Session, Transport, Network, Data Link, and Physical.

  • Rootkit: A software program that has the ability to obtain root-level access and hide certain things from the operating system.