Definition: The word "code" is used in a generic way to loosely describe “the instructions that a computer receives”. In some instances the word describes software. In other circumstances it could mean encryption, the act of programming or being used to describe malware. The term invariably refers to commands that can be given to a computer to read and execute. Malicious instructions can be planted in a computer or network to cause damage and diminish productivity. Programs of questionable origin and purpose have been discovered, for example, in the electrical grid.

Its Relevance: A computer must receive instructions to accomplish work. Literally, unless directives are received, a computer would set for a hundred years (barring a power or hardware failure) and await a legitimate command from a user. Infrastructure owners must know what commands are being executed within the system from an information assurance standpoint. The main issue is that bad instructions or directives must be kept away from an information system.

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