Browse Definitions :
Definition

false positive

A false positive is an error in some evaluation process in which a condition tested for is mistakenly found to have been detected. 

In spam filters, for example, a false positive is a legitimate message mistakenly marked as UBE --unsolicited bulk email, as junk email is more formally known. Messages that are determined to be spam -- whether correctly or incorrectly -- may be rejected by a server or client-side spam filter and returned to the sender as bounce e-mail.

One problem with many spam filtering tools is that if they are configured stringently enough to be effective, there is a fairly high chance of getting false positives. The risk of accidentally blocking an important message has been enough to deter many companies from implementing any anti-spam measures at all.

False positives are also common in security systems. A host intrusion prevention system (HIPS), for example, looks for anomalies, such as deviations in bandwidthprotocols and ports. When activity varies outside of an acceptable range – for example, a remote application attempting to open a normally closed port -- an intrusion may be in progress. However, an anomaly, such as a sudden spike in bandwidth use, does not guarantee an actual attack, so this approach amounts to an educated guess and the chance for false positives can be high.

False positives contrast with false negatives, which are results indicating mistakenly that some condition tested for is absent. 

This was last updated in August 2014

Continue Reading About false positive

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Thanks for sharing these very useful tips for saving too much time which will prove
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software and data, from cyberattacks.

  • asymmetric cryptography (public key cryptography)

    Asymmetric cryptography, also called public key cryptography, uses a pair of numerical keys that are mathematically related to ...

  • digital signature

    A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • hard disk drive (HDD)

    A computer hard disk drive (HDD) is a non-volatile memory hardware device that controls the positioning, reading and writing of ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • network-attached storage (NAS)

    Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve...

Close