A key (also called an electronic key) is
|“||[t]he numerical value used to control cryptographic operations, such as decryption, encryption, signature generation, or signature verification.||”|
|“||[u]sually a sequence of random or pseudorandom bits used initially to set up and periodically change the operations performed in crypto-equipment for the purpose of encrypting or decrypting electronic signals, or for determining electronic counter-countermeasures patterns, or for producing other key[s].||”|
|“||[a] parameter used in conjunction with a cryptographic algorithm that determines its operation. Examples include:||”|
Key means "[m]ajor or most important; critical to achieving your intended outcome."
- Privacy and Civil Liberties Policy Development Guide and Implementation Templates, App. E, Glossary.
- NICCS, Explore Terms: A Glossary of Common Cybersecurity Terminology (full-text).
- CNSSI 4009, at 35.
- FIPS 186-3.
- Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builders, at 26.