At the foundation of every cryptosystem is a hard mathematical problem that is computationally infeasible to solve. The discrete logarithm problem is the basis for the security of many cryptosystems including the Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem. More specifically, the ECC relies upon the difficulty of the Elliptic Curve Discrete Logarithm Problem (ECDLP). 

Recall that we examined two geometrically defined operations over certain elliptic curve groups. These two operations were point addition and point doubling. By selecting a point in a elliptic curve group, one can double it to obtain the point 2P. After that, one can add the point P to the point 2P to obtain the point 3P. The determination of a point nP in this manner is referred to as Scalar Multiplication of a point. The ECDLP is based upon the intractability of scalar multiplication products.