Businesses are now focusing more than ever on hiring cybersecurity teams, making it essential for teams to learn cybersecurity terms. This is because, in 2022, 22% of companies lost around $100,000 to $499,999 due to cyberattacks. This number is predicted to reach $23.84 trillion of damage by 2027.
Therefore, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand as organizations need protection from malware threats and ransom attacks. However, before outsourcing your cybersecurity needs, you need to become well-versed with the common terminologies within the industry.
This guide will help you out. We have compiled the optimal list of cybersecurity terms to help you stay informed. Continue reading to learn about the most critical cybersecurity terms and definitions.
Why Is Cybersecurity Important?
A good cybersecurity system protects against a full range of cybersecurity threats, such as malware, spam, phishing, ransomware, DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, and corporate takeover (CATO). Using cybersecurity solutions benefits a company, its employees, and its customers because their confidential data can stay safe from unauthorized access.
Cybersecurity is also critical because it mitigates and responds to threats and detects them. As a result, when attackers try to access confidential information, the firewalls stop them from entering the database. However, if a hacker can enter and steal data, the cybersecurity system uses advanced technologies to recover it.
Who Is Cybersecurity Important for?
Using cybersecurity solutions is a must-have for:
- Individual Internet Users: To gain protection for their data
- Government Departments and Agencies: To safeguard the state’s secrets
- Profit and Non-Profit Companies: To secure their client’s and employees’ private information
- Educational Institutes: To prevent financial loss and student privacy breaches
Top 142 Cybersecurity Terms to Learn About
These are the top cybersecurity terms to learn when you are working as a professional cybersecurity provider:
- Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)
Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) is the term used for describing prolonged and continuous cyberattacks on a network. During APT, a hacker or a team of hackers establish a long-term illicit presence on a system for mining highly confidential data. These attacks target large enterprises and governmental sectors to conduct intellectual property theft.
- Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) combines various cybersecurity solutions and analysis tools that defend against APT attacks and advanced threats. The primary task of this solution is to repel intrusion strategy threats. To do that, it provides visibility into all network traffic, secures the data center, and improves threat detection and response by launching false intrusion attacks.
Adware is an advertisement-supported software application that shows unwanted ads on your web browser. Some Adware created ads are filled with malware or lead you to illegitimate sites. Moreover, this malware type also attaches itself to authentic links. When you click on a legitimate download link, the malicious program will automatically get installed on your computer, putting it at risk of various viruses.
Anti-botnet is an advanced technology that prevents botnets (a network of malicious software-inflicted computer devices) from communicating with the command-and-control servers. It stops botnets from stealing sensitive data or downloading malware using machine learning algorithms. Anti-botnet protects from DDoS assaults, web attacks, scraping, phishing, and scanning.
Antimalware scans, identifies, and eliminates malicious threats and activities from a virus-infected system or network. You can apply it on an individual computer or the central gateway server. Unlike antivirus that detects and removes viruses, antimalware software safeguards the data system against all cybersecurity threats.
Anti-phishing tools or software is a monitoring application that prevents unauthorized people from accessing a network and stealing sensitive data. These tools constantly monitor the network traffic to detect malware, harmful materials, and disguised authorities to stop them. For example, if an email has threatening links, you will not receive the email in the first place.
Antivirus is cybersecurity software that interprets cybersecurity attacks by scanning, detecting, and deleting viruses from a computer. Once you install this software on your device, it will automatically run in the background to offer real-time protection from all viruses by stopping worms, Trojan horses, and spyware. You can even customize the antivirus to include additional firewalls for specific purposes.
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) combines computer science and robust datasets that perform problem-solving tasks only associated with intelligent beings, humans. In cybersecurity, AI is used to identify cyberspace vulnerabilities, threats, attacks, and viruses. The AI-based cybersecurity system detects and analyzes a vast amount of data in minutes to learn about malicious activities. Then it recommends solutions accordingly.
- Attack Vector
An attack vector is a pathway by hackers to exploit and take advantage of vulnerabilities and cracks in a cybersecurity system. Hackers create an attack vector by collecting data through observation tools and studying this information to find the weakest point. Once it is identified, they launch an attack. However, the exploitation of potential attack vectors can be prevented by having a high-performing cybersecurity system.
Authentication in cybersecurity means a digital device or a digital network uses various ways to check the user’s real identity. To check the user ID, you can use cards, passwords, fingerprints, retina scans, and voice recognition. Following this practice helps you learn who is accessing the network from which location. As a result, you can stop unauthorized people from entering personal cyberspace and stealing data.
A backdoor is a type of malware that allows attackers to negate the standard authentication procedures and gain access to a network. Once the hacker can access the network, they can review and retrieve any information on databases and file servers. They can also issue system commands and upload specific types of malware to damage the system further.
Baiting is a social engineering attack in which the attacker uses a reward or false promise of delivering an item or providing a benefit to trap people. For example, you receive an email from an unknown source with a link to download a free book. The link will contain a virus that will be downloaded on the system upon clicking and provide access to the hacker to all the data stored in the computer device.
- Banker Trojan
A banker Trojan is malware designed to steal banking details and credentials from online banking and transaction portals. This malicious computer program uses a backdoor to gain access. Then it copies the credentials by spoofing the transaction portal webpage.
- Black Hat Hacker
A black hat hacker is a cybercriminal who breaks into personal cyberspace and computer networks to steal information. Their primary intent is to conduct malicious activities, like file destruction, data hostage, ransomware, and identity theft in the hacked server.
- Blacklist/ Blocklist/ Denylist
Blacklist, also known as blocklist and denylist, is an inventory of hosts, email addresses, applications, and network port numbers that are not allowed to access your network. You put these items on the blocklist because they have been previously associated with malicious activities. So, allowing them access to your system can pave the way for malicious malware.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology that promotes the exchange of multimedia files from one device to another. When you use Bluetooth without a proper cybersecurity system, viruses and malicious codes can take advantage of the opening, enter the safe files into your device, and infect it. Once your device is infected, all data will be corrupted or compromised.
The word botnet is short for “robot network.” It describes a computer network infected by one or multiple malicious software. As a result, the network is under the control of a hacking party (known as the “bot-herder”).
Broadband is the transmission of high-speed internet connection. The internet is always connected with your computer and digital devices through Wi-Fi or a subscriber line, making your device vulnerable to backdoors, Trojans, and other malicious activities.
A browser is an application program that allows you to access all the information and sites available on the World Wide Web. Your browser can be secured from cybersecurity through a browser security application that protects you from networked data and privacy breaches.
- Brute Force Attack
A brute force attack is a trial-and-error methodology to ensure the network or system security reaches the desired stage. To do that, the network is continuously attacked by multiple threats that can decode login credentials and decrypt encryption keys. This will provide the attacker access to your system regardless of authorization.
A bug is a flaw in a company’s software or hardware design that makes the network vulnerable to cyber attackers. These bugs can provide a breach that can be exploited to gain user authentication, system authorization rights, and confidential data.
- Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan, or BCP, is formulating a security and recovery program that prevents cybersecurity threats from harming the organization’s databases. Moreover, it ensures that the company processes remain intact even if the network is dealing with a cyber threat. BCP is also responsible for recovering lost information in case of data theft.
- BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer)
Bring your own computer (BYOC) is a workplace concept in which employees are responsible for bringing their own computer or laptop devices to perform their work tasks. As workers connect their devices with the company’s network that contains sensitive and confidential data, these devices must have a cybersecurity system. Otherwise, attackers can easily hack an unguarded device and introduce various malware.
- BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Bring your own device (BYOD) is an official policy allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related activities, such as accessing emails and corporate apps by connecting with the main server. A BYOD policy must be implemented alongside cybersecurity solutions to ensure the company’s private information is not vulnerable to external attacks.
- BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop)
Bring your own laptop (BYOL) is the policy allowing students to bring their laptops into school or college premises and connect them with the institute’s server. It also permits students to take their educational institute-approved laptops home for homework and assignments.
CAPTCHA or CAPTCHA security is a challenge-response protection system for remote digital entry. It makes sure that only humans can access certain information. Therefore, it presents distorted images with several items, and the user has to identify a specific one. As bots cannot read and solve these problems, it prevents them from accessing the information.
Clickjacking is a cyberattack that makes the user believe they are clicking on a particular button. The button or a link is innocuously disguised to hide the malicious code. Clicking on this button or link leads the user to download malware that can steal personal data unconsciously.
Clientless remote access is a browser-based VPN system that authorizes remote employees to access the organization’s server and resources securely. Employees can use clientless VPN without installing specific software and configuring it with the device.
Cloud is a type of server that is accessed through the internet. It also consists of software and databases that use digital servers for programming and running. A cloud server is part of a collective data center that is located all over the world and connected through the internet.
- Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of services over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. In addition to providing complete servers, it offers data storage, analytics, and more. A cloud security system (a collection of security measures) protects these cloud-based infrastructures, data, and applications from cyber criminals.
- COTS (Commercial off-the Shelf)
Commercial off-the-shelf, abbreviated as COTS, is a commercially readymade software and hardware product. Anyone from the general public can buy, lease, or license them and implement them in their server for commercial use.
- Critical Infrastructure
Critical infrastructure is a collection of systems, networks, and assets vital for a state’s economic and social functions. The critical infrastructure cybersecurity system contains security protocols and technologies that prevent hackers from accessing the central infrastructure.
- Critical Update
A critical update, also called a critical patch, is a mandatory software update provided by the system developer or vendor. The primary purpose of this update is to solve significant security issues and loopholes. However, they also fix bugs in the system that cause performance disruption.
Crypto-jacking is illegitimately using a person’s or a company’s computing resources and central server for cryptocurrency mining. It is a crypto cybercrime in which an external party hijacks the database.
- Cyber Attack
A cyber-attack is an assault attempt instigated by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s computing system and database server. The intention behind these attacks is to cause damage to the network by introducing malware or stealing data from it.
Cyberbullying is harassing someone in cyberspace by using the internet. A cyberbully sends harmful content, such as photos and videos, to hurt the receiving party. It also includes spreading personal information about a person on internet forums to cause humiliation and embarrassment.
Cybersecurity is a protection practice used to defend networks, servers, digital devices, and electronic devices from malware, viruses, and malicious attacks. Companies use multiple technologies and processes to administer cybersecurity in their programs and networks.
- Cyber Warfare
Cyber warfare is a type of cyberattack that solely targets a country. Hackers launch attacks on governmental networks and civilian infrastructures during cyber warfare to cause disruption and wreak irreversible damage.
- Dark Web
The dark web, also known as the dark net, is a part of the internet that consists of websites that cannot be accessed through a regular internet browser. It is mainly used by people who want to carry out illegal activities, such as human trafficking, illicit weapons, and drug sales. To ensure people don’t reach the dark web sites through Google search, criminals only share them in their inner circle and limit IP addresses.
- Data Breach
A data breach is an invasion of a cybersecurity system that exposes confidential, sensitive, and encrypted information to unauthorized people. Businesses, governments, and regular individuals all face the same level of data break risk because everyone has confidential information that can be exploited.
- Data Server
A data server is a physical machine or virtual network that runs a database, maintains database storage, and retrieves data from the database. As database servers obtain sensitive details, it is secured through a security system configuration process called hardening.
- Data Integrity
Data integrity is collecting proof to ensure that digital information is not infected or corrupted with malware and can only be accessed by authorized people. Moreover, the data is complete, accurate, safe, and consistent for its entire lifecycle.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Data loss prevention (DLP) is essential to a company’s cybersecurity system. It focuses on detecting and preventing data breaches, data loss, leakage, misuse, and destruction of data. DLP also promotes network visibility, which informs about data in use (data protection through authentication), data in motion (safe data transmission), and data at rest (stored data protection).
- Data Theft
Data theft or information theft is illegally transferring and storing personal and financial details of a person, for example, stealing passwords, software codes, banking details, ATM PINs, social security numbers, and private images or videos. It is a high-level privacy and security breach as the attacker can use the information in any way they want for their profit.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a combination of cyberattacks employed by cyber criminals and hackers to make a service unavailable for the user. DDoS is targeted towards an online service, network resource, or host machine to ensure customers cannot use it on the internet. As a result, the company’s customer traffic and revenue suffer greatly.
Decryption is a process used to translate and transform encrypted information into its original form. Due to this process, cyber attackers can read and use information initially stored and transmitted in the cipher text. For decrypting a cipher code, attackers use an algorithm that provides the encryption key.
Deepfake is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) technology used by cybercriminals to obtain victims through trickery. Users can impersonate others by creating highly accurate fake audio, videos, and images. The impersonated items appear highly accurate, so people cannot judge them as fake and end up providing their personal information, account details, and other confidential credentials.
- Detection and Response
Detection and response or threat detection and response is the procedure of thoroughly analyzing an ecosystem’s absolute security. This procedure detects any malicious activity that can infect and harm the network. After threat detection, cybersecurity and threat analysts can effectively and timely respond to security threats to mitigate and prevent damage.
- Digital Forensics
Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science, and cybersecurity investigates cybercrimes and recovering data from infected digital devices. A digital forensic examines computer devices to collect, process, and preserve evidence of criminal cyber activity. Then they use the obtained results to identify network vulnerabilities and new viruses and malware to develop mitigation strategies.
- Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is integrating digital technology into all departments of a company to fundamentally change its business processes, culture, and customer interactions. Companies undergo digital transformation primarily to change how they operate and deliver valuable customer service. However, going through a digital transformation increases the risk of a cyber-attack because most businesses do not know how to mitigate cybersecurity issues.
- Domain Name System (DNS) Exfiltration
Domain name system (DNS) exfiltration is a way to transfer data from one digital device to another without establishing a direct connection. Instead of using physical material to connect both devices, DNS protocol or DNS servers are utilized. Once the connection is made, the sender requests a DNS resolution to the server address to start the file transfer process.
A domain is a website’s unique name or internet address that works as its location. Most businesses use their name for the domain as it is difficult for people to remember and recall a string of numbers. A domain name should not be longer than sixty-three characters, and at least one character must be entered after the protocol in the URL.
- Drive by Download Attack
Drive by download attack is a cyberattack in which the user unintentionally downloads a malicious code or virus on their computer or mobile device. When the device is exposed to malicious code, it becomes vulnerable to multiple threats. Drive-by-download attacks are acquired by clicking on a fake link, downloading a Trojan, or visiting a site and getting infected without prompt.
Encryption is a process that converts any form of information into a secret cipher code to hide the real intent and meaning of the content. Data encryption and decryption processes are also called cryptography. This practice is the basics of a cybersecurity system as it prevents data theft and its usage for malicious activities.
- Endpoint Protection
Endpoint protection or endpoint security is used for securing endpoints and entry points of end-user devices (computers, laptops, mobiles, tablets, etc.). This prevents the devices and cloud computing servers from being exploited by hackers. An endpoint-protected security system is an evolved and advanced version of antivirus software.
- Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is an integrated endpoint cybersecurity system that combines real-time continuous network monitoring and endpoint data accumulation through rules-based automated response and analysis. This security solution is called endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR). EDR system keeps collecting activity data to identify threat patterns and create accurate responses to contain and remove them.
- Ethical Hacker or White Hat Hacker
An ethical hacker or white-hat hacker is a professional cybersecurity professional with the same hacking skillset and tools as a cybercriminal or malicious hacker. However, they use it to identify the vulnerabilities and weak points of a company’s database and network system. A white hacker follows the governmental rules of hacking and does not cause harm to the company and its systems.
- Ethical Hacking
Ethical hacking is launching a hacking attack on an organization’s network, database, or computer system to gain unauthorized access. The organization authorizes this hacking to learn about its infrastructure vulnerabilities. During ethical hacking, the hacker must maintain the confidentiality of the sensitive data, report all vulnerabilities, and follow regulations stated by the law.
An exploit is a part of software code that discovers a security flaw or vulnerability in a system to use for its advantage. Ethical hackers, as well as black hat hackers, both write the exploit code in the system. However, ethical hackers use it as a proof-of-concept threat (implementation of the threat). Meanwhile, malicious hackers use it to initiate an attack and infiltrate a system.
- Fast Identity Online (FIDO)
Fast identity online (FIDO) is a free and open standardized authentication protocol established to replace password-only logins because it needs to be more effective and updated from a security perspective. A FIDO-enabled program confirms with the user how they want to authenticate their ID and which authentication process they wish to use for logins. The options include fingerprints, voice recognition, and retina scans.
- Fileless Malware
Fileless Malware is hostile and malicious software that does not rely on any files to infect a computer or server. Instead, it uses legitimate programs to introduce harmful programs and viruses into a system. Fileless malware is complicated to detect and remove as it leaves zero digital footprint.
A firewall’s task is to provide security and protection from external cyber-attacks. It is a digital shield that restricts unauthorized internet traffic from entering the network by using data packets based on specific security rules. A firewall becomes a barrier between cyber threats and your network and database to stop hacking attempts.
Greylist or graylist is a cybersecurity strategy to minimize spamming and block spammers. The list contains an inventory of email addresses and domain names associated with spammers or suspected spammers. As long as an address or website remains on the graylist, it cannot send any emails or messages to you because it will not be able to pass through the filter.
A hacker or a cyber-hacker is a person who has advanced computer and networking skills. This individual uses their skills to solve technical problems and provide cyber protection to organizations and governmental agencies. However, a hacker can also use computing skills to infiltrate networks, steal information, and infect databases for monetary gain.
A honeypot is a cybersecurity technique that creates a decoy to lure cyber attackers into a virtual trap and divert their attention from legitimate targets. Using this mechanism, companies can learn about vulnerabilities of their central server and improve their security policies accordingly. This deception trick also helps you understand the patterns and hacking techniques used by attackers.
HTML or HyperText Markup Language is standard code for structuring a website and its web pages across the internet. HTML is not strictly considered a programming language. Instead, it is a part of the markup language category. It would be best to learn this language as a cybersecurity professional because most cyber-attacks are based on HTML code.
- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Identity and access management (IAM) is a framework company uses to create business policies for managing electronic and digital identities. Security organizations use the IAM framework to administer user identities and design an authorization system, limiting who can access the company’s resources. Moreover, it ensures that employees can access the right IT resources in a crisis.
Identity or identity security is a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that protects against all types of identities within an enterprise. This security solution detects identity-based breaches whenever someone can overcome the endpoint security barriers.
- Indicators of Compromise (IOC)
Indicators of compromise (IOC) is a part of computer security in which various forensic data observe a network or a device to identify malicious activity. If your network has been breached, it detects the unauthorized presence and raises the alarm. So, you can minimize the damages by stopping the threat in the earlier stages.
iOS or Apple iOS is the operating system for iPhone, iPad, iWatch, MacBook, and other Apple devices. This operating system is designed to provide a seamless connective network for all Apple products. It is the second most popular mobile operating system worldwide, as 26.98% of people use iOS.
- IoT (Internet of Things)
The Internet of Things, also referred to as IoT, has an interrelated network of physical devices, digital machines, objects, people, and animals. These have a unique identifier (UID) that transfers real-time data to the leading network without using human-to-human or human-to-machine interaction. IoT for cybersecurity is used for safeguarding and protecting cloud computing servers and devices from malicious activities.
- In-Line Network Device
In-line network devices are a type of network device that are crucial for upholding the functioning of enterprises. For example, internet routers, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, intrusion detection systems, antimalware, antiviruses, and network taps. These devices receive digital information packets and send them to a specified destination. When these devices malfunction and drop the packets, it raises errors in the computing programs dependent on the packets’ transmission.
- Insider Threat
Insider threat is a cybersecurity risk that originates inside a company’s network. This threat is often created by former employees or business associates when they still have the authorization to access sensitive data. Therefore, they misuse this access to harm the organization. Since security systems work to discover and stop external threats, an insider threat can take a while to detect and cause much damage.
- Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a software application or a hardware device for network security. It continuously monitors network activity and database to locate malicious code. If a threat is located, IPS reports it immediately. Moreover, it takes quick action to block the threat, preventing it from spreading in the network and causing irreversible data loss and destruction.
- IP Address
An Internet protocol address or IP address is a series of numbers and rules that manage the data sent through the internet or a local network. IP addresses are essential in identifying information’s sending location while making digital devices accessible for communication.
- Keylogger/Keystroke Logger
Keylogger is a surveillance technology that monitors and records each keystroke of a computer device and smartphone. Cybercriminals use it as a spyware tool to gain personally identifiable information (PII), bank credentials, login information, and organization network data. Once they learn the credentials, they can access the network and misuse the stored sensitive data. A keylogger is also known as a keystroke logger or keyboard capture.
Malvertising, also known as malicious advertising, is a cyberattack through which cybercriminals inject malicious code into an organization’s secure advertising network. The main task of this code is to redirect users to threatening websites. When a person clicks on the ad, it leads them to sites with viruses that provide the user’s information to hackers for exploitation.
Malware is a type of intrusive software designed by cyber criminals to provide unauthorized access to a computer system. It also allows hackers to disrupt and damage a company’s network while stealing their data. However, the primary goal of malware depends on its type and the hacker’s motive.
- Man in the Middle
Man in the middle (MITM) is a general term for a cybersecurity attack through which the perpetrator inserts himself in a conversation between two different parties (mostly a user and an application). Hackers mostly do it to eavesdrop on a conversation or to impersonate one of the parties to gain data or to communicate harmful information.
- Memory Stick
A memory stick is a removable/portable flash memory drive in a card format connected to appliances and handheld devices to increase their memory, such as SD cards and RAM. A memory stick makes transferring and accessing multimedia files easier as it is compatible with various devices.
- MITRE ATT&CK™ Framework
MITRE ATT&CK™, or MITRE Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge Framework, is a globally accessible knowledge base for cybersecurity professionals. It contains adversary tactics and techniques that are accumulated through real-life observations. This framework allows threat hunters, red teams, and cybersecurity defenders to classify, identify, and assess attacks that place an organization’s database at risk.
- MFA (Multi-function Authentication)
MFA (Multi-function Authentication) is an authentication system that requires the user to provide two or more credentials to access protected information or a resource. For example, the user has to scan a fingerprint and insert a username and password to gain entry. Using MFA protection makes it difficult for hackers to obtain unauthorized access, decreasing the risk of cyberattacks.
MP3 is the abbreviated name of MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. A compressed file format encodes digital audio, mainly music and podcasts. Some MP3 files contain viruses and malware that spread and infect the computer system after it is downloaded and opened. However, this can be prevented by using virus protection software.
A network combines internet devices, electronic devices, wireless networks, servers, and cloud computing systems. These devices are connected to the internet 24/7 and obtain a high amount of sensitive data, making them susceptible to various cyberattacks. Therefore, companies use hardware and software security tools to ensure that the entire network is always safe.
- Packet Sniffer
A packet sniffer is software or hardware that analyzes and monitors a network’s traffic. It examines streaming packets of data that are transmitted between computer devices connected to a network and the internet. Organizations use it to detect and observe validated network traffic. Meanwhile, hackers use it to capture data packets that contain confidential information, such as passwords, banking credentials, etc. This tool is also known as a packet, network, or protocol analyzer.
A padlock is a symbol that appears alongside the website address in the internet browser application. It shows that the website is secure and safe for browsing. It has “transport layer security (TLS)” that protects users from malware during online surfing.
- Parental Controls
Parental controls are software tools that allow parents to restrict specific sites for their children’s internet use. It also alerts parents whenever a child tries to access a restricted website. There are various types of parental control software to conduct specific actions—for example, website filters, content filters, screen time managers, etc.
A patch is a software security or operating system (OS) update provided by the software developer to enhance an application’s security. It addresses security vulnerabilities within the application and fixes them to prevent cyberattacks. A patch can be released to fix performance bugs and enhance security features, depending on the current requirement.
- Pen-Testing/ Penetration Test
Penetration testing or pen-testing is a cybersecurity exercise. During this, authorized cybersecurity professionals launch attacks on a network or system to check and evaluate its security measures. The tools and techniques used during penetration testing are similar to ones used by hackers and cybercriminals for attacking. This testing technique allows you to learn about vulnerabilities in a company’s security system and create protective measures accordingly.
- PII (Personal Identifiable Information)
Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data or information used to learn an individual’s identity directly or indirectly. It can be the person’s address, phone number, address, passport number, etc. This information is applied to every USA visitor regardless of their citizenship.
Phishing is a cybercrime or social engineering attack that tricks people into sharing their private details with the hacker. Cybercriminals contact targets through email, call, or text messages. They pose that they are contacting a legitimate institute to collect sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and PINs, ID passwords, and more.
- Process Hollowing
Process hollowing is a code injection technique used as a security exploit. During this, an attacker removes or deletes code in an executable file, then replaces it with the malicious code. The malware then bypasses all the in-place firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. A hollowed-out code still points out legitimate cyber paths.
- Policy Management
Policy management or security policy management is a written document that allows companies to plan and implement security policies and procedures to protect their sensitive data and online and offline servers. All employees must follow these protocols while accessing and using the company’s IT assets and resources.
- Proxy Server
A proxy server is an intermediary server on the internet that accepts incoming requests from external servers, forwarding the requests to the destination server. A proxy server is an additional form of cybersecurity as it places security boundaries that protect you from falling victim to malicious activities on the internet.
Pre-texting is a type of social engineering during which a cybercriminal creates a false scenario to steal the victim’s data. During this attack, the attacker contacts a person and asks them to verify specific details. When the victim shares related information, the attacker also asks about confidential data later used for identity theft.
Ransomware is malicious software that blocks access to a network or computer server through encryption. To gain access to their personal data, the victim must pay a ransom to the hacker.
- Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a technical protocol developed by Microsoft to allow secure network communication. It is used by network administrators to remotely diagnose issues in the server that are faced by employees when remotely accessing their physical work desktops.
Risktool is a comprehensive compliance platform for cybersecurity that consists of various programs. These programs can conceal files in the system, obscure running applications on electronic devices, and terminate active network processes. Companies use the Risktool programs for legitimate purposes. However, cybercriminals also utilize it for deleting, copying, blocking, or disrupting the performance of computers and servers.
A rootkit is a combination of computer software tools that allow unauthorized personnel to access a computer device without being detected. When attackers activate this tool, it creates a backdoor, providing them with a way to exploit the computer network or application. Once the attacker gains entry into the server, they can deliver malware, Trojans, bots, and keyloggers for ransomware.
A router is a device that connects two or more physical or virtual devices, networks, and sub-networks, allowing them to transfer packets of information. The router inspects the data packet’s IP address. It calculates the best route to forward and deliver it to its destination.
Sandboxing is a cybersecurity practice in which cybersecurity professionals run multiple codes. Then observe and analyze those codes in an isolated environment created on the network. This isolated environment is a copy of the primary end-user operating environment. This technique helps test untested and untrusted code to stop cyber threats from accessing the network.
Scams or internet scams are digital/online frauds carried out by cybercriminals via the internet. There are multiple types of scams, such as phishing emails, social media scams, scareware, fake company support calls and messages on the phone, and more. Using a scamming technique, attackers can obtain money or personal information from an unsuspecting party.
Scareware is a malware attack that cons people to believe they have a virus or malicious software on their computer device. It then directs and convinces the user to download or buy an antivirus to resolve the issue. However, instead of downloading a protective application, the user uploads malicious software to their device. Scareware provides cybercriminals a gateway to launch attacks.
Security as a service (SECaaS) is a third-party security service that companies can avail to strengthen and manage their cybersecurity. These outsourced cybersecurity solutions offer services of data loss recovery, data loss prevention, antivirus management, threat intrusion detection, and more.
- SIEM (Security Information and Event Management)
SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) is a type of cybersecurity technology that provides threat detection, network compliance, and security incident management. It collects and analyzes data in historical and real-time by consolidating data from various sources, such as security events, logs events, and contextual data sources.
- SIM Swapping
SIM swapping is a combination of social engineering techniques that attackers use to transfer a mobile phone number and its account to a new SIM card. Attackers use this trick to issue SIM cards against your registered phone number to engage in fraudulent activities, incriminating you as the main culprit.
- Security Incident Response
Security incident response or incident response (IR) is a set of organized security policies and procedures. Using IR, you can identify, contain, and eliminate numerous cyberattacks. The primary objective of IR is to strengthen an organization’s cybersecurity system. As a result, it quickly detects and stops attacks, minimizing the total damage and providing future protection from similar attacks.
- Security Parameter
The security parameter is a testing measure in cryptography that helps discover how difficult it is for an attacker to break into a cryptographic scheme. This parameter identifies threats and vulnerabilities, explores risks, and establishes contingency plans. There are two types of security parameters, computational and statistical.
Smishing is a phishing cybersecurity attack carried out through mobile phone texting features. Therefore, it is also known as SMS phishing. The main goal behind this phishing attack is to gather the victim’s personal information, such as social security numbers, bank details, etc.
Sniffing is a way of monitoring and intercepting network traffic by using software that captures data packages. The sniffing software or hardware records all data packages passing through the network interface to weed out packets that can unlawfully access and read confidential data from the network.
- SOC or ISOC
A security operations center (SOC) or information security operations center (ISOC) is an in-house or third-party IT cybersecurity team that examines the entire internet traffic on the company’s infrastructure. As a result, the IT unit quickly detects and stops a cybersecurity threat in real-time before it can cause irreparable damage.
- SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response)
Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) is a collection of software programs and tools that streamline an organization’s security operations. It works on three main areas: threat vulnerability management, security operations automation, and incident response. SOAR conducts all these security activities without human intervention.
- Social Engineering
Social engineering is a psychological manipulation technique used by cybercriminals to influence or deceive a person to gain complete control over the victim’s computer system. After obtaining control, the hacker steals personal or financial information and uses it to gain monetary benefits.
Software is a digital program, data, or set of instructions for executing high-functioning tasks or operating the computer system. In cybersecurity, computer security software is designed to influence information security. It helps companies and end-users in securing their networks by stopping cyberattacks.
Spam is receiving bulk unsolicited messages through email, text messaging, instant messaging, or other digital communication forums. Most advertisers use spamming to attract customers’ attention and raise interest in their brand. However, this technique is also a cybersecurity threat because hackers use it to send offensive content and malware or conduct phishing scams.
- Spear Phishing
Spear phishing is an attack in which cyber criminals target a specific person or organization to steal sensitive information. Most spear phishing attacks are carried out through malicious emails. When a receiver opens the email, it infects the computer device with malware. It allows the sender to retrieve private information and data.
Spoofing is a scam in which scammers pretend to be associated with an organization to gain a person’s trust. Once the trust is established, scammers use it to steal data or money and spread malware in the person’s system.
Spyware is malicious spyware that enters a computer and gathers all the information and data. Then it forwards it to third-party that can use the information for their gain. However, spyware is also known as legitimate software that monitors and gathers your data for marketing and advertising purposes.
Secure sockets layer (SSL) is an encryption-based standard security technology and protocol developed by Netscape. It is used to secure an internet connection and protect the exchange of sensitive information between two parties. So, cybercriminals cannot read confidential data and use it for nefarious purposes.
A tablet is an electronic, wireless, and portable personal computer device with a touchscreen interface. It can be used as a computer, smartphone, and notebook computer. The most commonly used table style is slate style. You can connect keyboards and other docking stations to expand the device’s functioning.
Tailgating is a physical security breach that allows an unauthorized person to gain entry into a secure network. The unauthorized person forces their way in after an authorized user access the server. That is why it is also known as piggybacking. It is one of the most commonly used security breach techniques because the security system does not detect unapproved entries.
- Threat Assessment
Threat assessment is a process of formally evaluating and verifying perceived threats that can harm a network system of an enterprise. It also describes the nature of the threat to ensure it is contained within time. The process starts by initially assessing the threat and learning which system vulnerability it targets. Then a follow-up assessment is carried out to create a mitigation plan.
- Threat Hunting
Threat hunting, also referred to as cyber threat hunting, is a proactive cybersecurity search of networks, databases, data sets, and endpoints. It is carried out to discover and hunt unidentified malicious and suspicious activities that are difficult to detect with other security tools. It is a passive threat-detecting approach for monitoring data and systems for potential and existing security risks.
- Threat Intelligence
Threat intelligence is a process of analyzing collected and processed data to detect cyber threats. It also facilitates understanding the threat’s motive and main target by checking attack behaviors. During the threat intelligence process, cybersecurity professionals sift through data and examine it to spot issues. Then they deploy specific problem-solving solutions to contain and eliminate the threat.
Traffic or network traffic is the total amount of data that transfers in and out of a network during a specific timeframe. The traffic is constantly monitored to identify malicious activities, security issues, operational problems, and anomalies. This practice allows you to learn about your network performance and minimize security attacks to strengthen network security.
- Trojan Horse
Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that disguises its malicious nature by presenting itself as a legitimate code or software. When the Trojan horse gains access to a network, it creates a way for attackers to carry out any action in the network. As a result, attackers can export files, modify data, delete important files, and alter the stored information according to their liking.
- Two-factor Authentication (2FA)/Two-Step Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step authentication is an identity and access management program that provides an additional layer of security. To access a 2FA system, users must provide two identification forms to acquire access to the data source. This increases server safety and allows businesses to monitor who is entering their databases and using their information.
- User Authentication
User authentication is a security process that verifies the user’s identity before providing them access to a network or computing resource. Whenever a person tries to access a system, they must insert the correct credentials to obtain entry permission.
A universal serial bus (USB) is a flash drive for storing, sharing, and transferring files from one device to another. If a USB is connected to an infected device, the virus or malware enters and corrupts the flash drive. When you insert a virus-infected USB into your computer system, the virus spreads and makes the files and data stored in your device unreadable.
A username is a unique name that an organization provides to its employees to identify them on a computer network. Social media forums also utilize usernames to differentiate between multiple users. Using this ID system, companies know which people are currently using and have accessed the network previously.
A virus is a computer program that infects a computer device by multiplying it in the server without the permission or knowledge of the user. Depending on the type of virus, it can corrupt and delete data. It can also use emails and flash drives to spread from one computer to another. You can stop and destroy a virus program by installing a security patch or an antivirus.
Vishing, also known as voice phishing, is a phishing attack conducted through fraudulent phone numbers, text messages, social engineering, and voice-altering software. In this attack, attackers trick users into providing private information.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that uses cryptography to create a safe encrypted online connection. People use VPNs while using the internet to hide their IP addresses to increase their privacy. VPN blocks geographical location, censoring the real identity and replacing it with an anonymous user.
Vulnerability is a weakness in an organization’s IT system and infrastructure that can potentially be exploited by an attacker. A vulnerability can form due to a system flaw or feature error. Most attackers target more than one weak point to ensure the success of an attack. A successful attack provides attackers with unauthorized access to a network system.
- WAF (Web Application Firewall)
A WAF or web application firewall is a protective software for web applications. It filters and monitors an app’s HTTP traffic from the internet. When WAF is deployed, it forms a protective barrier between the internet, the app, and the end user. This filters legitimate traffic from malicious ones, stopping the threat from infiltrating the central server.
Whaling is a highly targeted spear phishing attack created for a company’s senior executives. It is a digitally enabled fraud that is disguised as a legitimate email. Whaling uses social engineering to trick people, convincing victims that they are representatives of a financial institute, such as a bank. Then attackers convince victims to transfer money into their accounts.
- Whitelist / Allowlist
Whitelist or allowlist is a cybersecurity strategy in which you create a catalog of approved email addresses, IP addresses, applications, and domain names. Everyone on this list is digitally allowed to contact you. Meanwhile, everyone is denied permission to send emails or messages. This way, spammers and hackers cannot reach your network.
Wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) is a technology that helps electronic computer devices (computers, smartphones, laptops, tablets) connect with the internet. It sends radio signals from a router to devices, translating them into usable data. Companies use Wi-Fi security protocols based on encryption technology only to receive protected data to keep their network safe.
A worm or computer worm is a type of Trojan horse malware attack. Its primary function is to self-replicate, invade computers, and infect them with malicious content. Regardless of moving onto other devices, the worm stays active on all infected systems and keeps destroying their data files.
- Zero-day Exploit
A zero-day (0-day) exploit is a cybersecurity attack that targets a system’s vulnerabilities unknown to the program developer and injects malware. As a result, the antivirus vendor or software developer cannot mitigate the risk and protect their sensitive data.
- Zero-Touch Provisioning or Deployment
Zero-touch provisioning or zero-touch deployment are interchangeable terms that refer to the automatic installation of organization-specific computer files, programs, and program settings. It also automatically updates the organization’s operating and security systems by uploading patches, fixing bugs, and implementing additional features.
What Are The 4 Pillars of Cybersecurity Awareness?
You must rely on the four pillars of cybersecurity awareness to ensure complete protection. The four pillars of cybersecurity awareness are:
The phishing or phishing report button is an effective IT security tool that allows users to alert and report suspicious emails and network activity. When installed in the organization’s network, the employees only have to push this button to activate the cybersecurity system. This feature also helps identify whether employees are dedicated to the network’s cybersecurity.
IT Security Trainings
IT security training is conducted to teach employees what to do in real-life security crises. During these training modules, employees are provided with theoretical knowledge of cybersecurity. These models are then tested through various learning assessments. Providing this training pays off if the company’s network is under attack.
Cybersecurity awareness also revolves around the workplace computers of employees. When giving cybersecurity awareness to workers, teach them how deeply malware or virus can infect a computer. Moreover, it informs which emails and links should be clicked on to maintain the security of the company’s network.
Attack simulations are fake cybersecurity attacks to raise awareness of cybercrimes. During simulations, you create false attacks that resemble phishing, smishing, and vishing attacks. These attack attempts are written in the “company’s language” to remain recognizable.
What Are The 7 Types of Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a vast term that is a combination of several types of disciplines, which are:
Application security is providing security measures for web applications and other software directly connecting to the internet. It prevents critical web application security flaws, such as malware injection, broken authentication, misconfiguration, bot attacks, and cross-site scripting.
Cloud security focuses on securing cloud computing servers. This type of cybersecurity creates policies, solutions, and controls that protect an organization’s cloud deployment from external threats and attacks.
The Endpoint security model or zero-trust security model creates micro-segments around data packets. Companies can use it for securing end-user devices (desktop and laptop computers). This prevents ransomware and phishing attacks, as the security system is equipped with endpoint detection and response solutions.
Internet of Things (IoT) security seeks out vulnerabilities in IoT devices. As these devices connect to the internet, malware can use them as a pathway to infect an organization’s network. IoT security uses discovery, classification, auto-segmentation, and virtual patches to prevent IoT vulnerability exploitation.
Mobile devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops, can attract threats and malware from the internet and lead to corporate data. Mobile security stops these attacks and secures operating systems, reducing the risks of rooting and jailbreaking.
Most cybersecurity attacks are directly carried out on the leading network as it contains sensitive data of the organization and its clients. Therefore, network security solutions identify and prevent attacks from infection the network. This cybersecurity type works on data loss prevention, network access control, and firewall generation while enforcing web use security policies.
The zero trust security model creates a perimeter around a company’s operational systems to protect them from all external threats. This is also a drawback of this cybersecurity type as it does not protect from insider threats. Moreover, the network perimeters also dissolve rapidly with some attacks, leaving the network completely vulnerable. Therefore, you should use it to protect individual resources and combine them with micro-segmentation.
Cybersecurity is quickly becoming a much-needed profession because companies are shifting most of their operations to digital servers. This makes them vulnerable to viruses, malware, and other cybersecurity threats. When working as a cybersecurity expert, you will be working to protect servers and sensitive information. To effectively do this, you will also have to communicate with company heads for debriefing. Therefore, bookmark this glossary of cybersecurity terms to keep your knowledge updated.