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Title: Technology Terms and Definitions
Subject: Information Resources and Technology
Applies: University-Wide
Issuing Authority: Senior Vice President for Information Resources and Technology and Chief Information Officer
Adopted: 09/06/2018
Last Revision: 01/30/2019
Last Review: 09/06/2018


This document is intended to define common definitions and terms used in IRT policies.


Access Control

The use of computer-controlled entry and locking devices to limit and log access to areas of a physical facility, usually by means of a digitally-enclosed identification card or biometric device.

Administrative SafeguardsAdministrative actions, and policies and procedures to manage the selection, development, implementation, and maintenance of security measures to protect the University’s information assets and to manage the conduct of the University community in relation to the protection of those information assets.
AntivirusSoftware that runs on either a server or workstation and monitors network connections looking for malicious software. Antivirus software is generally reactive, meaning a signature file must be developed for each new virus discovered and these virus definition files must be sent to the software in order for the software to find the malicious code.
ApplicationA computer program that processes, transmits, or stores University information and which supports decision-making and other organizational functions. It typically presents as a series of records or transactions. These records and transactions are generally accessible by more than one user.
Application AdministratorRowan staff member who is responsible for granting access and providing support on the application to the Rowan community.
Application ManagerThe technology manager who is directly responsible for the development, maintenance, configuration, or functional specifications of the application. He or she is also required to implement, operate, and maintain security measures defined by the information owners.
Authorized UserA person authorized to access information resources specific to their role and responsibilities, and who has conveyed upon them the expectation of “Least Privilege.”
Automated ToolsSoftware that executes pre-scripted tests on software applications or hardware devices.
AvailabilityThe expectation that information is accessible by Rowan University when needed.
BreachAny incident that results in unauthorized access of data, applications, services, networks and/or devices by bypassing their underlying security mechanisms.
Business (Application) OwnerBusiness unit that purchased the application using University funds allocated to its budget or purchased using a grant. The business owner may be a technology organization for utility services-type applications, such as Banner and MS Exchange.
Business Impact Analysis (BIA)A process managed by the Office of Emergency Management that determines the financial and operational impact of a disruption to a business, and the requirements for recovering from the disruption. A business unit uses the BIA to list their business-critical functions and processes and supporting applications.
Business InterruptionAn event, whether anticipated or unanticipated, which disrupts the normal course of business operations within the university.
Business UnitApplies to multiple levels of the university, such as a revenue generating unit or a functional unit (e.g., Compliance, Human Resources, Information Resources and Technology (IR&T), Legal, and Finance). It may also be comprised of several departments.
Business-Critical Function/ProcessA function or process which, if compromised, presents a severe financial, operational, or regulatory risk to the business unit and/or to the University as a whole. A business-critical function/process may be supported by an information system owned by the business unit or by an information system that is shared across multiple units.
Cable ModemCable companies such as Comcast provide Internet access over Cable TV coaxial cable. A cable modem accepts this coaxial cable and can receive data from the Internet at over 1.5 Mbps.
Cellular Device

Any device that utilizes cellular voice and data services. This includes, but is not limited to, Apple smartphones and tablets and Android smartphones and tablets.

CensusSurvey administered to an entire population.
ChangeThe addition, modification or removal of approved, supported or base lined hardware, network, software, application, environment, system, desktop build or associated documentation of the production IT environment.
Cloud ServicesConsumer and business products, services and solutions delivered and consumed on-demand, using the cloud service providers' pooled resources, and delivered over a broad network, such as the Internet.
Computer DevicesAny type of device connected to a network that could become infected with a computer virus. Examples of computer devices would be, but not limited to, workstations, servers, laptops, PDAs, etc.
Confidential DataHighly sensitive data intended for limited, specific use by a workgroup, department, or group of individuals with a legitimate need-to-know.
Confidential InformationThe most sensitive information, which requires the strongest safeguards to reduce the risk of unauthorized access or loss. Unauthorized disclosure or access may 1) subject Rowan to legal risk, 2) adversely affect its reputation, 3) jeopardize its mission, and 4) present liabilities to individuals (for example, HIPAA and HITECH penalties). See the Information Classification policy for additional information.
ConfidentialityThe expectation that only authorized individuals, processes, and systems will have access to ROWAN’s information.
Cryptographic AlgorithmsA mathematical algorithm, used in conjunction with a secret key, that transforms original input into a form that is unintelligible without special knowledge of the secret information and the algorithm.
Cryptographic KeysA string of bits used by a cryptographic algorithm to transform plain text into cipher text or vice versa.
Dial-Up ModemA peripheral device that connects computers to each other for sending communications via the telephone lines.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)A form of high-speed Internet access used over standard phone lines.
Directory InformationInformation identified by Rowan that may be released without prior consent of the student. (See Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act policy (00-01-25-05 00) for a comprehensive list of information categorized as Directory Information.)
Due CareSteps that demonstrate the University has taken responsibility for the activities that take place within the institution, and has implemented the requisite measures to help protect its assets, including its students, faculty, staff, and the community which we serve.
Electronic MailA method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients
Electronic MediaPhysical object on which data can be stored, such as hard drives, zip drives, floppy disks, compact discs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, USB drives, memory sticks, MP3 players (iPod), Personal Digital Assistants (PDA's), digital cameras, smart phones and tapes.
EmployeeAny individual under the employment of Rowan University including but not limited to faculty and staff, etc.
EncryptionA process by which data is transformed into a format that renders it unreadable without access to the encryption key and knowledge of the process used. It is also defined as a method of converting information or data into a cipher or code to prevent unauthorized access and requires a passcode or other form of confirming identity to decrypt and access the information or data.
Encryption KeyA password, file or piece of hardware that is required to encrypt or decrypt information, essentially locking and unlocking the data.
Enterprise Information SystemAn information system and/or server providing services commonly needed by the University community and typically provided by the IERP and or the IRT units. Departmental information systems provide services specific to the mission and focus of individual departments, administrative units, or affiliated organizations.
EPHIElectronic Patient Health Information
External DataData for which the University is a custodian, such as video or media that are not directly licensed to Rowan University, but are being offered to the Rowan community via an external partnership.
FERPAFamily Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA applies to the records of individuals from the point of first registration until death of the individual.
Fiber Optic Service (FiOS)A data communications service provided by Verizon that uses fiber optic cables to transfer data.
FirewallA software or hardware-based network security system that controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on applied rule set.
Generic AccountAn account that is shared among a group of individuals, and typically used for devices like kiosks and clinical workstations. There is no corresponding employee account (i.e., RUID).
GLBAGramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Requires academic institutions to implement policies and controls for protecting financial information. An institution that is compliant with FERPA is considered compliant with GLBA.
Guest AccountAcounts provisioned to individuals not employed by ROWAN, but who have a justifiable business reason to access University resources.
High-Performance Computing ResourcesAll specialty computing systems, whether a single host or clustered hosts, that are used to address compute-bound, memory-bound, I/O-bound, or storage-bound applications or programs.
HIPAAHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
HITECHHealth Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.
Information AssetApplication, database, network, or body of information that is of value and importance to the University.
Information AssetsDefined as (1) all categories of information and data, including (but not limited to) records, files, and databases, regardless of form and (2) information technology facilities, equipment and software owned, outsourced, or leased by the University. This includes all University IT systems and data, including personal computer systems.
Information OwnerInformation owners are the business unit managers, senior management, or their designees who have planning and management or legal responsibility for the information generated within their functional areas. They must ensure that the level of protection assigned to their information is relative to its classification and sensitivity. For information regulated by HIPAA, FERPA, or GLBA, the information owner is expected to exercise due care when defining its level of protection.
Information Resources and Technology (IRT)the Rowan University department responsible for the governance of all information and technology.
Information RiskThe potential that a given threat will exploit vulnerabilities of an information asset, thereby causing loss or harm to the information asset. It is measured in terms of a combination of the probability of an event and its impact to the University if the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an asset is compromised. A risk can be financial, operational, regulatory, and/or reputational in nature.
Information Security IncidentIncludes any incident that is known or has the potential to negatively impact the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of Rowan University information. This can range from the loss of a laptop or PDA to the virus infection of an end-user workstation to a major intrusion by a hacker.
Information Security Office (ISO)Department responsible to the executive management for administering the information security functions within the University. The ISO is the Rowan University internal and external point of contact for all information security matters.
Information SystemConsists of one or more components (e.g., application, database, network, or web) that is hosted in a University campus facility, and which may provide network services, storage services, decision support services, or transaction services to one or more business units.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)Provides a cohesive set of best practice to Information Technology Service Management.
Information Technology Security Board (ITSB)A unified effort jointly managed by the Chief Information Officer and the Director of Information Security, working closely with the department heads of Human Resources, General Counsel, Public Safety, Facilities Services, Faculty Senate, Research and the Department Chair/Administrative Head of other university units, as warranted. The ITSB governs technical and operational security solutions specific to the University's needs. The ITSB will recommend security measures compliant with this policy, and security best practices.
InfrastructureThe hardware and software resources of an entire network that enable network connectivity, communication, operations and management of an enterprise network.
IntegrityThe expectation that Rowan's information will be protected from improper, unauthorized, destructive, or accidental changes.
Internal InformationData that is owned by the University, is not classified Confidential or Private, and is not readily available to the public. For example, this includes employee and student identification numbers and licensed software.
Least PrivilegeGiving every user, task, and process the minimal set of privileges and access required to fulfill their role or function. This includes access to information systems and facilities. Principles of least privilege limit access to the minimal level required for someone to perform their job responsibilities.
Live DataData accessible to users through systems that are in production environment (i.e., live)
Malicious SoftwareComputer code that infects a machine and performs a malicious action. This is sometimes perpetrated by computer viruses, worms, trojans, etc.
Mission-Critical ResourceMission-Critical Resource includes any resource that is critical to the mission of the University and any device that is running a mission-critical service for the University or a device that is considered mission critical based on the dependency of users or other processes. Mission-critical services must be available. Typical mission-critical services have a maximum downtime of three consecutive hours or less. Mission-critical resources for Information Security purposes include information assets, software, hardware, and facilities. The payroll system, for example, is a Mission-Critical Resource.
Mobile DeviceIncluding, but not limited to, laptops, tablets (iPad, Android, Windows, etc.) smartphones (Android, iPhone, etc.), and mobile broadband cards (also known as MiFi Hotspots and connect cards).
National Institute of Standard Technology (NIST)NIST is the federal technology agency that works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards.
NIHNational Institutes of Health
PANCredit Card Primary Account Number.
Password CirculationAn attempt to bypass the basic password requirement that prohibits reusing the same password within a specified period of time by changing the password repeatedly within a brief period of time in order to be able to reuse the password earlier than intended by the policy.
PCIPayment Card Industry.
Personal Identifying Information (PII)Personal Identifying Information includes employer tax ID numbers, drivers' license numbers, passport numbers, SSNs, state identification card numbers, credit/debit card numbers, banking account numbers, PIN codes, digital signatures, biometric data, fingerprints, passwords, and any other numbers or info that can be used to uniquely identify an individual
Physical SafeguardsPhysical measures, policies, and procedures to protect the University’s information assets from natural and environmental hazards, and unauthorized intrusion.
Private InformationSensitive information that is restricted to authorized personnel and requires safeguards, but which does not require the same level of safeguards as confidential information. Unauthorized disclosure or access may present legal and reputational risks to the University.
Privileged AccountsAn account which, by virtue of function, and /or security access, has been granted special privileges within the computer system, which are significantly greater than those available to the majority of users, including but limited to, local administrative accounts, privileged user accounts, domain administrative accounts, emergency accounts, service accounts, and application accounts.
Privileged InformationRefers to attorney-client communication.
Production IT EnvironmentSystem components used to provide information technology (IT) service to employees, faculty, patients, students, including but not limited to server hardware and associated operating systems, virtual servers, software applications, virtual applications, networks, data storage, air-conditioning, power supply, server rooms, datacenters, networks, and workstations that are part of the University Environment. This includes IT environments managed by IRT, departments, colleges, and vendors.
Protected Health Information (PHI)Information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Public Informationinformation that is readily available to the public, such as the information published on web sites.
Public NetworkAny network outside the Rowan University network.
Qualtrics Survey SoftwareSelf-service electronic survey tool.
Remote AccessConnection to a data-processing system from a remote location, for example through a virtual private network.
Removable MediaIncluding, but not limited to CDs, DVDs, storage tapes, flash devices (e.g., CompactFlash and SD cards, USB flash drives), and portable hard drives.
Risk AssessmentA process used to identify and evaluate risks and their potential impact on the University.
Rowan Community

Includes employees (e.g. faculty, staff, administration, physicians, researchers), students, former students, alumni, non-employees (e.g. contractors, vendors, guest affiliates), covered entities, agents and any other third parties of Rowan University.

RUIDReserved User ID.
SanitizationTo expunge data from storage media so that data recovery is impossible. The most common types of sanitization are destruction, degaussing, and overwriting.
SanitizedThe process of removing sensitive information from a document or other medium, so that it may be distributed to a broader audience.
Secure Backup (Encryption Recommended)The process of making a backup copy of information for the purpose of data recovery with security safeguards present to ensure the backup copy of the data remains protected from unauthorized access at all times. This may include physical protections as well as encryption to safeguard the backup information.
Secure Shell (SSH)A secure network protocol for secure network communication services between two networked computers.
Security Awareness Training (SAT)A method to inform users about the importance of protecting information technology systems and assets. SAT teaches security key concepts and best practices, such as creating a strong password, protecting mobile data, following IT Security policy, and reporting security incidents.
Security Awareness Training ProgramThe vehicle for disseminating security information for the ROWAN Community. Establishing and maintaining an information security awareness and training program will help to protect ROWAN's vital information resources.
Security Control OwnerThe Department, Dean, or VP who is responsible for the area that is being secured by a camera and/or control access system.
Security EventA possible unauthorized attempt to compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the University's electronic information or information systems. It may be a local threat that can or has evolved to present a larger risk to the University.
Security IncidentAn actual or possible breach of the University's safeguards that protect its electronic information, information technology infrastructure or services, or information systems (or dependent information systems), and presents a significant business risk to the University.
Sensitive InformationSensitive Information includes all data, in its original and duplicate form, which contains Protected Health Information as defined by HIPAA Student education records, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Customer record information, as defined by the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) Card holder data, as defined by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. Sensitive data also includes any other information that is protected by University policy or federal or state law from unauthorized access. This information must be restricted to those with a legitimate business need for access. Examples of sensitive information may include, but are not limited to, social security numbers, system access passwords, some types of research data (such as research data that is personally identifiable or proprietary), public safety information, information concerning select agents, information security records, and information file encryption keys.
Service AccountsAccounts created by to satisfy specific functions, such as communications between systems or to facilitate other operational requirements.
Service DeskThe University technology service team that receives and handles requests for technical support and requests for new or changes to technology and voice services
SIRTSecurity Incident Response Team.
Social MediaRefers to tools that allow the sharing of information and creation of communities through online networks of people.
SpamUnsolicited usually commercial messages (such as Email, text messages, or Internet postings) sent to a large number of recipients or posted in a large number of places.
Standard HardwareA supported computer configuration as designated by Information Resources and Technology.
SurveyA method of gathering information from a sample of people. Modes of administration include electronic surveys, paper surveys and telephone surveys.
Survey OwnerIndividual responsible for final decisions on all aspects of survey methodology and analysis. This is the person who creates or owns the survey.
Survey SampleGroup of individuals from a population who will be surveyed.
System Default Service AccountsAccounts created by a software vendor to facilitate installation or provide out-of-the-box functionality.
Technical SafeguardsThe technology, policies, and procedures used to control access to and protect the University’s electronic information and information systems.
Trade-in CycleThe frequency with which Rowan-owned and supported computers will be replaced. Constitutes a complete lifecycle for a Rowan-owned and supported device from acquisition to disposal. 
University DataAny data related to Rowan University functions that are a) stored on University information technology systems, b) maintained by Rowan faculty, staff, or students, or c) related to institutional processes on or off campus. This applies to any format or media (in other words, it is not limited to electronic data).
University FundsAll University funding sources, including, but not limited to, operational budgets, capital budgets, and grants. These funding sources do not include the use of the Student Technology Fee.
UserRefers to any member of the Rowan University community, as well as to visitors and temporary affiliates, who have been explicitly and specifically authorized to access and use the University’s data or information systems.
Video SurveillanceThe use of image capture, processing, transmission and storage equipment for authorized monitoring of public areas. This includes full-motion and still images, use of network transmission capacity, and digital storage and retrieval software. Audio recording is specifically excluded from this definition.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)Extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet using secure communication.
Virus DefinitionsPeriodic files provided by vendors to update the anti-virus software to recognize and deal with newly discovered malicious software. Virus definition files are periodic files provided by vendors to update the anti-virus software to recognize and deal with newly discovered malicious software.
VulnerabilityA flaw or weakness in system security procedures, design, implementation, or internal controls that could be exercised (accidentally triggered or intentionally exploited) and result in a security breach or a violation of the system's security policy.
WiFiWireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections. A WiFi enabled device such as a PC, mobile phone, or PDA can connect to the Internet when within range of a wireless network.
WorkstationsDesktop computers and laptops

By Direction of the CIO: 


Mira Lalovic-Hand, 

SVP and Chief Information Officer

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