Definition: Ports, as they relate to telecommunications, are pathways to the central processing of computing devices. A myriad of standard interfaces exist. One of the most common is a physical interface for a USB device. Other entry-ways into a computer can be more logical and there are more than 65,000 of them. Some "ports" are used for well known purposes (i.e. number 80 for HTML). Others are more dynamic and can be assigned privately. The IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) is the group that provides for the control of telecommunication interfaces through registration.
Its Relevance: The manner in which access is provided for within a private information infrastructure must be well understood and thoroughly documented. The topic should be present in the organization’s information assurance plan. Cybercriminals and hackers have been known to "scan" ports for weaknesses.