We want to make sure you get the best and most out of the newsletter. Below, you will find the most common Future Lab terms and their explanations. If you’re wondering about a technology or an acronym, please let us know (either by commenting below or sending an email to , and we will add it to the list.
Algorithm = step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer.
BAC = Basic Access Control, a procedure where the passport must first be opened and the printed optical code read before the chip can be scanned.
BACNet = a data communication protocol for Building, Automation and Control networks.
Biometrics = the study of automated methods for uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.
Bluetooth = Bluetooth is an industrial specification for wireless personal area networks, providing a way to connect devices like personal digital assistants (PDAs), mobile phones, laptops, PCs, printers and digital cameras via a secure, low-cost, globally available short range radio frequency.
CAT 5 = a cable allowing computers to interconnect in a network.
CCTV = Closed-circuit television, the use of television cameras for surveillance.
Collaboration = permitting governments, industry, and other stakeholders to create, grow and reform communities of interested parties that can leverage strengths, solve common problems, innovate and build upon existing efforts.
CPTED = Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design.communities of interested parties that can leverage strengths, solve common problems, innovate and build upon existing efforts.
Credential = software keys and passwords as well as other security tokens, such as a prox or smart card, are forms of credentials used on computers.
Encryption = turns ordinary text into unreadable patterns to protect against unauthorized viewing and use.
ID= Identification, identification document
Identity theft = a crime where somebody deliberately impersonates an individual for personal gain. Examples of identity theft are credit card frauds and gaining access under a guise of somebody else.
Interoperability = allowing, through open standards, the exchange, reuse, interchangeability and interpretation of data across diverse architectures.
IP address = a unique number that devices use to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP). All participating network devices - whether they are computers, printers, internet fax machines - must have their own unique address.
IP camera = a unit that includes a camera, a web server, and a connectivity board, sending images across the Internet.
IPv6 = Internet Protocol version 6, a standard used by electronic devices to exchange data across a packet-switched network, following IPv4 as the second version of the Internet Protocol.
LDAP = Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is a software protocol that enables anyone to locate individuals, organizations and other resources in a network.
LonTalk = a protocol optimized for control created by Echelon Corporation for networking devices over media such as twisted pair, powerlines, fiber optics, and radio frequency. It is popular for the automation of various functions in industrial control, home automation, transportation, and buildings systems such as lighting and HVAC.
Magnetic stripe interface = Interface for magnetic stripe cards that are a type of card capable of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card. The magnetic stripe, sometimes called a magstripe, is read by physical contact and swiping past a reading head.
NFC = Near Field Communication, a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions among electronic devices, operating in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters.
Open standard = publicly available and implementable standards. By allowing anyone to obtain and implement the standard, they can increase compatibility between various hardware and software components, since anyone with the necessary technical know-how and resources can build products that work together.
OSIPSI = Open Systems Integration and Performance Standards Initiative, an initiative within the Security Industry Association, with the goal to make sure that the standards developed for the security industry are done so by the industry experts (namely, SIA members).
PIN = A personal identification number is a secret shared between a user and a system that can be used to authenticate the user to the system. PINs are often 4-digit numbers in the range 0000-9999 resulting in 10,000 possible numbers, so that an attacker would need to guess an average of 5000 times to get the correct PIN.
Power over Ethernet = PoE, a technology where a system transmits electrical power, along with data, to remote devices over standard twisted-pair cable in an Ethernet network. This technology is useful for powering IP telephones, wireless LAN access points, webcams, Ethernet hubs, computers, and other appliances where it would be inconvenient or infeasible to supply power separately.
Proximity reader = a reader to be used with proximity cards, contactless integrated circuit devices used for security access. It can refer to the older 125 kHz devices or the newer 13.56 MHz contactless RFID cards, most commonly known as contactless smart cards.
RFID = Radio Frequency Identification is an automatic identification method where data is stored and retrieved using RFID tags or transponders, a small object attached to a product, animal, or person. Passive tags require no internal power source, active tags do.
Security badge = provide the physical evidence that a clearance has been granted
Smart card = a pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits. Most often a “smart card” is used when referred to a microprocessor card of credit card dimensions with various tamper-resistant properties and capable of providing security services.
Spoofing = a spoofing attack is a situation in which one person or program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data and thereby gains an illegitimate advantage.
Sustainability = maintaining balance and resiliency while addressing organizational, technical, financial and legal issues in a manner that allows an ecosystem to thrive and evolve.
TCP/IP = the two most important protocols in the Internet protocol suite it: the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). They are the set of communications protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the Internet and most commercial networks run.
User-Centric design = prioritizing services fulfilling user requirements over perceived hardware or software constraints.
Verification = the act of proving or disproving the correctness of a person or system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
WiFi = Wireless Fidelity, originally licensed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to describe the underlying technology of wireless local area networks (WLAN) based on the IEEE 802.11 specifications. Wi-Fi has become a commonly used term. It was intended to be used for mobile computing devices, such as laptops, in LANs, but is now often used for increasingly more applications, including Internet access, gaming, and basic connectivity of consumer electronics such as televisions and DVD players.
WEP = Wired Equivalent Privacy, the original Wi-Fi encryption standard.
Wi-Fi Protected Access = WPA and WPA2, are systems to secure wireless (Wi-Fi) computer networks, created in response to several serious weaknesses researchers had found in the previous system, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). It is designed to work with all wireless network interface cards, but not necessarily with first generation wireless access points.
ZigBee = a narrowband radio standard designed for low power building control devices that require uninterrupted battery operation for many years. It uses radio technology very similar to WiFi or Bluetooth.
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Published 23 Jan 2010
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