Cyber Security Glossary: Cyber Security Terms Listed From A To Z
Cyber Security Glossary: Cyber Security Terms Listed From A To Z
February 13, 2023, 22 min read
Table of Contents
How can you begin to protect yourself from cyber threats if you have no idea what those threats are or what countermeasures exist? An essential first step in utilising a comprehensive cybersecurity programme that has your back is arming yourself with knowledge.
Regarding cyber security, the solutions available often rely on technical terms or jargon to explain themselves, even though these issues have profound implications for you and your business. That’s why we sat down and included all the terms you’ve meant to learn more about.
Cyber Security A to Z: A Comprehensive Glossary of Essential Cyber Security Terms
Cyber security is a broad field that consists of many terms and definitions. By learning these terms, you can recognize the importance of information security. These terms will help you to understand cyber security and information security better.
In addition, by knowing these terms, you can find out how security strategies work behind. Are you ready to tackle anything and everything related to cyber security? If yes, read this post and get familiar with these tech words.
Advanced Persistent Threats
These kinds of stealthy threat actors could be harmful. These can gain unauthorized access to a computer network and remains undetected for an extended period. When an unauthorized user invades a network, the user might stay for an extended period and steal the data without harming the network.
An authentication check is performed before a user or device is granted access to a protected network or data. To put it another way, authentication is the process of verifying a user’s claimed identity. This guarantees that only those who should have access to protected systems do. To access data on a network, a user must first prove their identity by providing credentials kept in a secure location. If you use authentication, you can be sure you’re letting the right person in at the right time. However, this never happens by itself.
Vectors of attack are the entry points through which hackers penetrate a system or network. An attack surface is the sum of all the potential entry points a hacker could use to compromise a system or network and steal information. The term “attack vector,” often used interchangeably with “attack vector,” describes the various entry points through which a hacker could compromise a system and steal sensitive information.
Black Hat Hacking
These vulnerabilities could be sold by the hacker to other criminal enterprises. To distinguish malicious hackers from legitimate ones (white hats and grey hats), the term “black hat” has been coined. The white hats worn by the good guys and the black ones worn by the bad guys were a nod to the early Westerns that inspired these classifications.
A bot, short for “robot,” is a programme or script that executes predetermined automated actions. Malicious bots carry out activities that can be used to take over a computer remotely. These infected machines have been called zombies. Although taking over a single computer has benefits, the real value comes from amassing many zombie computers and connecting them so they can be controlled in unison to carry out massively destructive acts.
A Botnet is a network of infected computers that can be directed and coordinated by a central command and control server. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) cybercriminals use bots to control user accounts and conduct illicit activity on public websites and forums. Learn more about Allot’s Home Security options (such websites may be operated directly by the “bot herder”), or they may be legitimate websites compromised for this purpose.
A bug is a mistake in the computer program’s code that can cause unexpected results. In this context, “programme” refers to the microcode built into a microprocessor, so debugging discovers errors before end users find them. After the code has been written, the debugging process begins and continues iteratively as the individual pieces of code are assembled into a larger whole.
Brute Force Attack
This technique aims to guess a password (or the key used to encrypt a message) by exhaustively trying all possible permutations of the password or critical until success is achieved. Limiting the number of failed password attempts (say, to three before requiring a 15-minute wait to try again) is one way to make a system less vulnerable to Brute Force Attacks.
CAPTCHA is short for a Completely Automated Public Turing test. It’s a challenging test to differentiate between humans and computers. Recognizing stretched letters or numbers and choosing a picture are some examples of CAPTCHA.
Cloud security refers to policies, practices, and tools developed to protect an organization’s sensitive data from external and internal aggressors. As businesses adopt a digital transformation strategy and rely more heavily on cloud-based applications and services, they must ensure their data is safe in the cloud. In recent years, the phrases “digital transformation” and “cloud migration” have become commonplace in business contexts. Both terms have varying meanings depending on the organisation, but they all have one thing in common: a desire for change.
Cookies are small text files that contain identifying information about your computer and its activities on a network, such as a username and a password. HTTP cookies track users’ preferences and improve their online experience.
When protecting sensitive company data, cyber security refers to the measures taken to prevent unauthorised access to or manipulation of a company’s information-carrying assets. To do so successfully, one must be well-versed in the various threats one may face, including viruses and other malicious objects. The core of any company’s cybersecurity strategy is made up of identity management, risk management, and incident management.
A computer virus is a malicious code that spreads from host to host and replicates itself. Once it attaches itself to a legitimate file in a computer, it causes unexpected damage to software and data.
Cookies are the pieces of information, such as a username and password, to recognize your computer. While there are different types of cookies, which are magic, and HTTP cookies, their target is personalization and tracking.
Data breach describes unauthorized access to information. Because of network vulnerabilities, a significant amount of data can be nabbed through data breaches.
Data protection is the process or strategy to secure pieces of information. In this way, loss, corruption, or compromise can be prevented. Also, this term covers the recovery period through information backup.
Digital security is a set of terms that define the resources to protect your assets, like online identity and data. Digital security can be built and maintained through numerous tools like software, web services, and biometrics.
Data encryption: Information security encryption involves changing information from its original, human-readable form into a secret one. Decryption is required before encrypted data can be read or processed. The foundation of data security is encryption. It’s the best and quickest way to prevent unauthorised users from accessing sensitive data on your computer system.
Disk operating system, or DOS, refers to an OS booted directly from a disc. The term can also refer to a specific group of disc operating systems, most notably the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS).
A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is an assault designed to prevent users from accessing a system or network. DDoS attacks succeed by overwhelming their targets with traffic or crashing them with malicious data. When a DoS attack occurs, legitimate users (such as employees, members, or account holders) are denied access to the service or resource they were counting on.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are another name for distributed network attacks. An attack of this type targets the limitations of a network resource, such as the servers hosting a business’ website, to overwhelm them and cause them to crash. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack aims to overcome the attacked website with so many requests that it cannot serve legitimate users.
“Ethical hacking,” also known as “penetration testing,” is the practice of gaining unauthorised access to a computer system or network to identify security flaws that could be exploited by a malicious actor, resulting in monetary or other types of loss. Ethical hackers seek to strengthen a system or network’s safety by exploiting security flaws to patch them. To better secure and defend systems from attacks by malicious users, ethical hackers may use the same methods and tools as malicious hackers, but only with permission from the authorised person.
An email virus is a malicious code it is spread through email. It is delivered through an email message and downloads an email attachment. While there are various email viruses, they aim to access unauthorized information.
Endpoint security is a comprehensive approach to protecting networks, systems, and data from external threats. It leverages advanced technologies such as endpoint protection, access control, and network security to detect and respond to threats in real-time.
A firewall is a network security device that monitors the network traffic and manages the incoming or outgoing traffic, if necessary. There are various kinds of firewalls, all aiming to protect the network.
Firmware is a form of software permanently embedded within a physical device. It functions independently of application programming interfaces (APIs), the operating system, and device drivers, providing the necessary instructions and guidance for the device to communicate with other devices or carry out a predetermined set of basic tasks and functions. Even the simplest devices would be useless without firmware. For this reason, it is typically kept as close to the device’s metal as possible on a Read-Only Memory (ROM) chip to prevent accidental deletion.
FM, also known as “non-malware” or “fileless infection,” is a type of malware that does not persist in any persistent storage medium, infecting only in-process and in-memory data structures and service areas. This is in contrast to the traditional memory-resident virus, which must come into physical contact with a non-volatile storage medium like a hard drive or a thumb drive to execute. Fileless malware, typically acquired through visits to malicious websites, does not take the form of a file that can be analysed by standard antivirus software. It hides in a computer’s RAM and is nearly impossible to track down. However, after a computer restart, everything should return to normal, as this malware is typically not designed to survive.
Hardware is what makes the computer run. There are external and internal hardware tools. Some external devices are a keyboard, speaker, microphone, and such. And some internal tools are a CPU (central processing unit), RAM or a hard drive, sound card, video card, and so on.
A hacker solves a technical problem by employing their knowledge of computers, networks, or other related fields. As a broader concept, it can describe anyone who illegally gains access to computer systems or networks. A hacker may steal data for malicious purposes like identity theft, or they may shut down a plan and hold it, hostage for financial gain.
The process of “hashing” the critical results in a string of characters. With the help of a hash function, a randomly generated hash code can be used to represent the original data. Hash algorithms are commonly employed to ensure that a hacker or virus has not altered a file’s contents.
Credentials presented by a requester for access are compared with those stored in the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) database linked to the PIV Card or a derived PIV credential to verify or disprove the claim of identity.
Perpetrators of identity theft use stolen personal data to commit fraud and other offences. A criminal can execute various types of fraud using this stolen information after assuming the victim’s identity. Cybercriminals commit identity theft through complex methods of cyber attacks, such as social engineering, phishing, and malware. Theft of mail, rummaging through trash cans, and eavesdropping on phone calls are all examples of the more primitive methods that can lead to identity theft.
An insider threat occurs when a trusted computer systems user, such as an employee or contractor, risks a company by gaining unauthorised access to proprietary information that traditional, perimeter-based security measures would otherwise protect.
When a device is connected to a network, it is given a unique identifier in the form of a set of numbers known as an IP address or Internet Protocol address. Computers use IP addresses for communication across the Internet and other networks.
Information security is a term that defines the prevention of unauthorized access and uses, avoiding the destruction of information, and securing the system as a whole. It assures confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Specifically designed to record every key you press on a computer or mobile device, keyloggers are a common security threat. These can be placed on your computer to secretly track your activity while you usually continue using your equipment. Criminals can use keyloggers to steal your information, but they are also used for legitimate purposes, like providing feedback during software development.
Malware is an umbrella term that is short for malicious software. Malicious activities harm computers, computer systems, networks, and devices. While there are numerous kinds of malware, the most common ones are adware, spyware, worm, ransomware, and malicious crypto-mining.
IAM is an essential component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, enabling organizations to protect their sensitive information, mitigate security risks, and ensure efficient and secure access to resources for authorized individuals.
identity and access management (IAM) plays a critical role in maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of an organization’s information assets by preventing unauthorized access, reducing the risk of data breaches, and supporting compliance with regulatory requirements. It helps streamline user provisioning and deprovisioning processes, simplifies access management across various systems and platforms, and provides audit trails for monitoring user activities.
Metadata is information about information. It tells you what’s inside a sure thing. Metadata describes other data; for images, this might include the file size, colour depth, image resolution, creation date, and more. A text document’s metadata may include its length, creator, creation date, and synopsis.
NSA (Stands for the National Security Agency)
The United States Department of Defense’s National Security Agency (NSA) operates as a national-level intelligence agency under the supervision of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The National Security Agency (NSA) is a government agency that focuses on signals intelligence to monitor, collect, and process data on a global scale for use in intelligence gathering and counterintelligence operations (SIGINT). The NSA also watches U.S. communications networks and information systems. To do this, the agency employs a wide range of methods, the vast majority of which are covert. The NSA’s existence was not made public until 1975. About 32,000 people work for the National Security Agency.
Anything whose source code is freely available to the public and thus can be altered and distributed is said to be “open source.” It was first used to describe a methodology for developing software. However, nowadays, “open source” designates a more comprehensive set of values that we call “the open source way,” including the principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.
A Patch is an update or fix that adds new or changed code to an OS or programme. Most software companies, except open-source ones, do not release their code to the public. Patches, then, are typically small bits of binary code that are inserted into preexisting software (using an install program).
“phishers” attempt to trick users into giving up sensitive information by impersonating a trustworthy website. The theft of private information like passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account information is a part of this. Phishing emails often look like they came from a bank, provider, or online payment system. The phishing attempt aims to get the target to enter or update their personal information. Reasons such as “suspicious login to the account” or “password expiration” are frequently given.
When we talk about “Private Data,” we’re referring to information that is either personally identifiable or that falls into one of the (including credit or debit card information, bank account information, or user names and passwords).
Malicious software that encrypts files or locks users out of their computers to demand payment is known as “ransomware.” To extort money from victims, the malware presents a message offering to fix the system or retrieve the data if payment is made. Cybercriminals behind a scam may try to appear more legitimate by disguising themselves as fair law enforcement. A ransom note claims that the victim’s computer has been locked down or their files have been encrypted because they are using pirated software or have downloaded pirated materials.
Google’s reCAPTCHA is a no-cost tool for preventing spam and other forms of abuse on websites. A “CAPTCHA” is a Turing test to distinguish between humans and automated software. This problem is trivial for humans to solve but very challenging for “bots” and other malicious software.
Site scripting refers to a type of security vulnerability known as cross-site scripting (XSS). It occurs when an attacker injects malicious scripts into a website or web application, which are then executed by the user’s browser. These scripts can be used to steal sensitive information, manipulate website content, or launch further attacks. XSS vulnerabilities typically arise when user input is not properly validated or sanitized before being displayed on a web page. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, attackers can trick unsuspecting users into executing malicious code, compromising their privacy and potentially gaining unauthorized access to their accounts or systems. Preventing site scripting requires proper input validation, output encoding, and adherence to security best practices when developing web applications.
A sandbox is a networked, user-mimicking environment used for cybersecurity testing. To prevent harm to the host device or network, sandboxes are used to run malicious code.
Rather than physically breaking into a system or using technical hacking methods, social engineering is gaining popularity to gain unauthorised access to resources by exploiting human psychology and manipulating users. Instead of searching for a security flaw in the company’s software, a social engineer might email an employee posing as someone from IT, hoping to trick him into giving up confidential information. Spear phishing is based on deception and social engineering.
An attempt by a malicious actor to gain unauthorised access to a system by masquerading as a legitimate user is known as a “spoof.” Any action taken to make an unknown message appear to come from a trusted source is considered spoofing. Emails, phone calls, and even websites can all be spoofed, or one can get very technical and have their computer fake their IP address.
When protecting data transmitted between a web server and a browser, the industry standard is a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. Netscape created SSL to facilitate secure data transfer over the Internet.
Software is a set of instructions that orders the computer to run a certain way. All programs, procedures, and routines are determined in software. There are two types of it, which are system and application software.
Spyware is malicious software that collects the data in your computer and sends it to third parties. It gathers information like passwords and usernames, credit card numbers, account PINs, harvested email addresses, and so on.
One type of shareware is “trialware,” which is time-limited software. After that, it will no longer be valid. One must purchase a registration key or password to continue using the software. Software demos can be limited in time. An application’s trial period might end after 30 days, even if those days aren’t consecutive. Advanced trialware, or “demoware,” stops users from repeatedly installing trial versions without paying. It might do this by accessing previously installed data, such as a hidden file or Windows Registry entry. Please research shareware and wares.
A computer virus is known as a Trojan or Trojan horse. It is malicious software disguised to look like other types of software, such as utilities, games, or even antivirus software.
Two-factor authentication: To implement two-factor authentication, a static password must be combined with another form of authentication, like a hardware token that produces an entirely random one-time password, a smart card, an SMS message (where a mobile phone is the medium of exchange), or a distinct physical aspect, like a fingerprint.
VPN(Virtual Private Network)
By connecting to a VPN, a user’s computer or another device can send and receive data across a public or shared network as if it were directly related to the private network. It’s the equivalent of a secret, coded doorway in cyberspace.
h3>Vulnerability is a weakness in the network that can result in a cyber attack and data breaches. Because of the vulnerability, malicious activity can be installed, and unauthorized access can occur. There are different types of vulnerabilities: SQL injection, missing authentication, missing authorization, missing data encryption, and free upload of files.
White Hat Hacking
White-hat hackers are computer experts who use their expertise for the greater good, such as by locating security flaws in systems so they can be patched, thereby protecting sensitive information from malicious parties.
One type of computer virus is the worm, which can replicate and spread itself throughout a network simply by connecting to other computers.
A zero-day is a computer software vulnerability either unknown to those who should be interested in its mitigation or known, and a patch has not been developed. Until the vulnerability is mitigated, hackers can exploit it to adversely affect programs, data, additional computers, or a network.
A previously unknown bug, flaw, or backdoor in software. An attack happens once this flaw is exploited, and attackers release malware before the spot can be patched.
Why Should Everyone Be Aware of Cyber Security Terms?
Cyber security has become essential to our digital lives as we rely increasingly on technology and the Internet for communication, commerce, entertainment, and more. However, not everyone is aware of this digital world’s potential risks and threats, which is why understanding cybersecurity terms and concepts is crucial. Here are ten reasons why everyone should be aware of cybersecurity terms:
Protect Personal Data: With the amount of personal data we share online, it is essential to know how to secure this information and prevent cybercriminals from gaining unauthorized access.
Prevent Identity Theft: Cybersecurity terms like phishing, spoofing, and social engineering can help people recognize hackers’ tactics to steal personal information and prevent identity theft.
Avoid Financial Loss: Cybercriminals can use various methods to steal financial information or extort money from people, and understanding cybersecurity terms like ransomware, malware, and data breaches can help individuals avoid financial loss.
Protect Business Information: In today’s digital age, businesses must protect their data from cyberattacks to prevent significant financial loss or damage to their reputation. Knowing cybersecurity terms can help companies to identify potential vulnerabilities and take the necessary measures to protect themselves.
Protect Critical Infrastructure: Critical infrastructure, such as power grids, transportation systems, and healthcare facilities, are increasingly interconnected and reliant on technology. Understanding cybersecurity terms and concepts is essential to ensuring these systems remain secure and operational.
Promote Online Safety: By being aware of cybersecurity terms, individuals can promote online safety and help prevent cyberbullying, harassment, and other forms of online abuse.
Stay Ahead of Cyber Threats: Cyber threats are constantly evolving. Awareness of cybersecurity terms and trends can help individuals and organizations avoid these threats and proactively protect themselves.
Comply with Regulations: Many industries and countries have regulations related to cybersecurity, and knowing the relevant terms and concepts is essential to comply with these regulations.
Enhance Career Prospects: In today’s job market, employers are looking for individuals with a good understanding of cybersecurity. Knowing the relevant terms and concepts can help individuals enhance their career prospects and stay competitive.
Stay Informed: With the rapid pace of technological change, staying informed about cybersecurity trends and developments is essential. Knowing the relevant terms and concepts can help individuals stay informed and take proactive measures to protect themselves and their organizations.
Cyber security is an essential aspect of our digital lives. Everyone should know cybersecurity terms and concepts to protect themselves, their businesses, and critical infrastructure from cyber threats.
What are the 5 Cs of Cyber Security?
Cyber security is an ever-evolving field, with new threats and vulnerabilities emerging every day. As a result, knowing where to start when protecting your organization’s digital assets can be challenging. That’s where the 5 C’s of cybersecurity come in. These five key concepts provide a framework for understanding the most critical aspects of cybersecurity and how they relate to each other. Let’s take a closer look at each of the 5 C’s:
Confidentiality: Confidentiality refers to the protection of sensitive information from unauthorized access. This could include personal information, financial data, or trade secrets. Confidentiality requires strong access controls, such as passwords, encryption, and other security measures.
Integrity: Integrity is about maintaining the accuracy and consistency of data. This includes preventing unauthorized modifications, ensuring that data is not corrupted, and maintaining the authenticity of the information. Organizations need to implement controls such as data backup and recovery, version control, and change management procedures to ensure integrity.
Availability refers to ensuring that information and systems are available when needed. This includes preventing downtime from technical failures or cyber-attacks. Ensuring availability requires robust backup and disaster recovery systems, redundant hardware and networks, and continuous monitoring for potential disruptions.
Authenticity: Authenticity is about verifying the identity of users, devices, and applications. This includes preventing unauthorized access, ensuring that unauthorized parties do not modify data, and maintaining the integrity of digital identities. Authenticity is achieved through strong authentication and access control mechanisms.
Non-repudiation: Non-repudiation refers to the ability to prove that a user performed an action or made a statement. This includes verifying that a transaction was authorized, that data was not altered, and that communications were not intercepted. Non-repudiation is achieved through digital signatures, audit logs, and other security mechanisms.
These 5 C’s of cybersecurity provide a framework for understanding the most critical aspects of cybersecurity. By focusing on confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, and non-repudiation, organizations can build a robust security posture that protects against a wide range of cyber threats. By implementing these principles, organizations can better handle the ever-evolving threat landscape and keep their data and systems safe from cybercriminals.
What are the 7 Types of Cyber Security?
Cyber security is a vital aspect of modern-day technology. With the increasing number of cyber-attacks, organizations and individuals need to understand the various cybersecurity measures available to protect their digital assets. In this blog, we’ll discuss the seven types of cybersecurity measures that you need to know.
Network security is the practice of protecting computer networks from unauthorized access, misuse, and attacks. It involves securing the network infrastructure, including routers, switches, firewalls, and other network devices. Network security also protects network traffic and communication channels through encryption and other security measures.
Application security is securing software applications from various threats and vulnerabilities in the software’s design, coding, or implementation. It involves using different security techniques such as authentication, encryption, access controls, and input validation to ensure the application is secure from attacks such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and buffer overflow.
Information security is the practice of protecting data and information from unauthorized access, theft, and damage. It involves implementing various security measures such as access controls, encryption, backup and recovery procedures, and incident response planning to protect data and information.
Cloud security is securing data and applications stored in the cloud. It involves connecting the cloud infrastructure, including the servers, storage devices, and virtual machines, and implementing various security measures such as access controls, encryption, and intrusion detection and prevention.
Mobile security protects mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops from various threats and vulnerabilities. It involves securing the device’s hardware and software, implementing access controls, and using different security techniques such as encryption and mobile device management.
Endpoint security secures devices such as desktops, laptops, and servers from various threats and vulnerabilities. It involves connecting the endpoint devices, implementing access controls, and using different security techniques such as encryption, antivirus software, and intrusion detection and prevention.
Internet of Things (IoT) security
IoT security is securing internet-connected devices such as smart homes, wearable, and medical devices from various threats and vulnerabilities. It involves connecting the IoT devices and communication channels, implementing access controls, and using different security techniques such as encryption, intrusion detection, and prevention.
Understanding the various cybersecurity measures available is essential in protecting your digital assets. Implementing these measures can help prevent cyber-attacks and safeguard your data and information. Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and updating to ensure your digital assets remain secure.
Cyber security is a field that includes many branches. Thus, it consists of various terms and sets of words. By recognizing them and understanding their meanings clearly, building a solid cybersecurity strategy is possible. For a solid plan, you should know about information security basics and malicious activity types. In this way, you can be more prepared for threats. Recognition and awareness are keys to a better information security system.
You can build a cyber security culture in the office by training the employees about these terms. Creating this culture requires time and energy. However, once built, it is highly effective to prevent data breaches. That’s why every company needs to make a strategy for that and apply it. This way, the network’s vulnerability can be decreased even though cyber crimes become increasingly dangerous daily.
We’ll be updating our glossary regularly, so stay tuned. Feel free to get in touch to talk about how we can partner up to boost your cyber security brand. Don’t be shy! Just say “hi,” that’s nice too.
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●What are the differences between software and hardware?
While hardware is a set of physical devices to run the computer, the software is a programming code. Computers need hardware to run. However, they can run without software. The main difference is that the hardware is physical, but the software is virtual.
●What are the types of email viruses?
Some types of email viruses are direct action, resident, keyloggers, polymorphic, boot sector, and multipartite. To avoid these viruses, you should always be careful when clicking a link or downloading an attachment that was sent through an email.
● What are the differences between digital and cyber security?
The most fundamental difference between digital and cyber security is their protection coverage. Digital security protects the online presence. However, cyber security covers all areas, like networks, computer systems, and other devices. So, it offers both generalized and specified protection.
● What are the reasons for data breaches?
There are some common reasons for data breaches that need to be avoided by everyone. Some are drive-by downloads, system vulnerabilities, weak security measures, and targeted malicious activities. By building a solid cyber security strategy, data breaches can be prevented.