Glossary of digital security terms

3FF (3rd Form Factor): a very small SIM card, also known as a “micro-SIM”, for use in small mobile devices.

3G (Third Generation): the broadband telecommunications systems that combine high-speed voice, data and multimedia.

3GPP (3G Partnership Project): a group that aims to produce specifications for a 3G system based on GSM networks.

4G: the 4th generation of wireless standards offering a comprehensive, secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to smartphones, laptop computer wireless modems and other mobile devices.

CAC (Common Access Card): a US Department of Defense smart card issued as standard physical and network identification for military and other personnel.

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access): a wireless communications technology that uses the spread spectrum communication to provide increased bandwidth.

Contactless: a card that communicates by means of a radio frequency signal, eliminating the need for physical contact with a reader.

DDA (Dynamic Data Authentication): an authentication technology that allows banks to approve transactions at the terminal in a highly secure way.

DI (Dual Interface): a device that is both contact and contactless.

Digital signature: an electronic signature created with a public-key algorithm that can be used by the recipient to authenticate the identity of the sender.

Dongle: any small piece of hardware that plugs into a computer.

EAC (Extended Access Control): a mechanism enhancing the security of ePassports whereby only authorized inspection systems can read biometric data.

EDGE: a pre-3G digital mobile phone technology allowing improved data transmission rates. 

EMV: the industry standard for international debit/ credit cards established by Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

ePassport: an electronic passport with high security printing, an inlay including an antenna and a microprocessor, and other security features.

ePurse: a small portable device that contains electronic money and is generally used for low-value transactions.

eTicketing: electronic systems for issuing, checking and paying for tickets, mainly for public transport.

ETSI: the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

FIPS 201 (Federal Information Processing Standard): a US federal government standard that specifies personal identity verification requirements for employees and contractors.

FOMA (Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access): the brand name for the world’s first W-CDMA 3G services offered by NTT DoCoMo, the Japanese operator.

GSM (Global System for Mobile communications): a European standard for digital cellphones that has now been widely adopted throughout the world.

GSMA (GSM Association): the global association for mobile phone operators.

HSPD-12 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12): orders all US federal agencies to issue secure and reliable forms of identification to employees and contractors, with a recommendation in favor of smart card technology.

ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization): a UN agency that defines standards and practices for air navigation, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation.

IP (Internet Protocol): a protocol for communicating data across a network; hence an IP address is a unique computer address using the IP standard.  

Java: a network oriented programming language invented by Sun Microsystems and specifically designed so that programs can be safely downloaded to remote devices.

LTE (Long Term Evolution): the standard in advanced mobile network technology, often referred to as 4G (see above).

M2M (Machine-to-Machine): technology enabling communication between machines for applications such as smart meters, mobile health solutions, etc.

MFS (Mobile Financial Services): banking services such as transfer and payment available via a mobile device.

Microprocessor: a “smart” card comprising a module embedded with a chip, a computer with its own processor, memory, operating system and application software.

MIM (Machine Identification Module): the equivalent of a SIM with specific features such that it can be used in machines to enable authentication.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service): a standard way of sending messages that include multimedia content (e.g. photographs) to and from mobile phones.

MNO (Mobile Network Operator): a company that provides services for mobile phone subscribers.

Module: the unit formed of a chip and a contact plate.

NFC (Near-Field Communication): a wireless technology that enables communication over short distances (e.g. 4cm), typically between a mobile device and a reader.

OATH (The Initiative for Open Authentication): an industry coalition comprising Gemalto, Citrix, IBM, Verisign and others, that is creating open standards for strong authentication.

OMA (Open Mobile Alliance): a body that develops open standards for the mobile phone industry.

OS (Operating System): software that runs on computers and other smart devices and that manages the way they function.

OTA (Over-The-Air): a method of distributing new software updates to cellphones which are already in use.

OTP (One-Time Password): a password that is valid for only one login session or transaction.

PDA (Personal Digital Assistant): a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager, often with the ability to connect to the internet.

PIN (Personal Identification Number): a secret code required to confirm a user’s identity.

PKI (Public Key Infrastructure): the software and/or hardware components necessary to enable the effective use of public key encryption technology. Public Key is a system that uses two different keys (public and private) for encrypting and signing data.

RUIM (Removable User Identity Module): an identity module for standards other than GSM.

SIM (Subscriber Identity Module): a smart card for GSM systems.

SMS (Short Message Service): a GSM service that sends and receives messages to and from a mobile phone.

Thin client: a computer (client) that depends primarily on a central server for processing activities. By contrast, a large client does as much processing as possible.

TSM (Trusted Services Manager): A third-party enabling mobile operators, mass transit operators, banks and businesses to offer combined services seamlessly and securely.

UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card): a high-capacity smart card used in mobile terminals for GSM and UMTS/3G networks.

UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System): one of the 3G mobile telecommunications technologies which is also being developed into a 4G technology.

USB (Universal Serial Bus): a standard input/output bus that supports very high transmission rates.

USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module): ensures continuity when migrating to 3G services.

VPN (Virtual Private Network): a private network often used within a company or group of companies to communicate confidentially over a public network.

W-CDMA (Wideband – Code Division Multiple Access): a 3G technology for wireless systems based on CDMA technology.