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Abuse of Privilege – Formal nomenclature for user actions not in accordance with organizational policy or law. Actions falling outside, or explicitly proscribed by, acceptable use policy.
Accountability – The principle that individuals using a facility or a computer system must be identifiable. With accountability, violations or attempted violations of system security can be traced to individuals who can then be held responsible.
Accuracy – Department of Defense parlance for the notion that information has been maintained and transferred in such a way as to be inviolate (the information has been protected from being modified or otherwise corrupted either maliciously or accidentally). Accuracy protects against forgery or tampering.
Active Data – Data existing on the data and file storage media of computer systems. Active data is easily viewed on the operating system and/or application software that was used to create it and is directly available to users without undeletion, alteration, or restoration.
Active Records – Records that relate to current activities and are used on a regular basis. This type of record is stored in its native format.
Ambient Data – Ambient data is data stored in non-traditional computer storage areas and formats, such as Windows swap files, unallocated space, and file slack.
Application – Utilized by most computer users, applications include software programs, such as word processing and spreadsheets.
Archival Data – Data that is not immediately available to the computer user but that the organization preserves for storage and record keeping purposes, often stored on CD-ROMs, tapes, or other electronic storage devices.
Archive – After processing discovery materials, an archive is created for each case. Viruses found in processing are typically removed (a clean archive), program-related files are removed (per instruction, a purged archive), erased files are analyzed and recovered if possible, slack space is checked, files are grouped according to files classes, and meta-data is added to the database.
ASCII – An acronym for American Standard Code that allocates a number to each key on the keyboard and that can be traded and read by most computer systems.
Attachments – Any file type associate with or attached to an email.
Attribute – A characteristic that sets one type of data apart from another, such as the location, length, or type of data.
Audit Trail – In computer security systems, a chronological record of when users logged in, how long they were engaged in various activities, what they were doing, and whether any actual or attempted security violations occurred. An audit trail is an automated or manual set of chronological records of system activities that may enable the reconstruction and examination of a sequence of events and/or changes in an event.
Author – The creator of a document, which can be a person, office, or designated position.