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Top 20 Cyber Security Terms Everyone Should Know

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Common cyber security terminology you should know.

Keeping up with all the cyber security trends, threats and attacks is one thing. Knowing and understanding all the cyber security terms is another. Here you’ll find some of the most commonly used terms in the security industry as well as links to other robust glossaries to help both you and your employees expand your cyber vocabularies.

  • Backup & Disaster Recovery: These terms are pretty straight forward. Backup and recovery is the process of backing up your data in case of a loss allowing for recovery of that data due to the data loss. The key to remember here is that backup & recovery is a process, involving many activities that require oversight and upkeep to offer maximum protection and is part of any disaster recovery plan.

  • User Authentication: Networks need to know who is allowed and who isn’t. Verifying who connects to your network is a key principle in securing your network

  • Encryption: Encrypting email messages keeps others from seeing your data and currently most emails are not encrypted.

  • Spam Filtering: Unscrupulous individuals and organizations can overload an inbox with unsolicited offers and ads. See what you want, not what you don’t. Filtering keeps unwanted messages from your inbox and your eyes.

  • Antivirus: This software keeps your computer safe from malware and cybercrime by monitoring the behavior of all our programs and flags anomalies, possibly block them if they become a threat to you.

  • Malware: This is one of the really bad guys. This computer code is specifically designed to cause harm to your computer, server and/or client machine.

  • Firewall Management: Here’s one of the good guys. This program keeps your computer and network safe from malicious attacks from the outside threats and unnecessary internet traffic.

  • SSL Decryption: You may know this as HTTPS, but SSL is an ever increasing category of network traffic which transmits private as well as secure communications. There is a sneaky side however, you can hide your application usage, transfer data to unauthorized groups and mask criminal actions. If the data created within your own network, your network managers can inspect the SSL packet, ensuring no harmful applications are inside.

  • Anti-Phishing: Here’s another helpful software, really a collection of programs the try to identify phishing content, that may be within a webpage, email or other online data. Phishing refers to the practice of illegitimately obtaining a person’s username or password by pretending to be a legitimate web business. Imagine a digital con-man lying about their true identity to gain your trust and then exploit it.

  • Password Protection: This security process keeps your information safe from specific users. Like a key and a lock, only those with proper authority have access to your companies data.

  • Single Sign-on: Or SSO is a part of the system that allows users to sign on only once and continue to use that whole website off of one set of credentials. Essentially,you would have to authenticate yourself on every page of a website that you went to, without SSO.

  • Multi Factor Authentication: With threats getting worse and security concerns on the rise, having your information protected by requiring users to provide more than two ways of identifying themselves provides a greater barrier of protection for you and your data.

  • Vulnerability Scanning: Like the name implies, potential areas for attack on your network are looked at, assessed and reported to your network’s manager. If their are gaps in your security, this scan will help you to know what and where their are.

  • Intrusion Prevention: IPS is a proactive way to secure your network from possible attacks and once identified, deal with them immediately. IPS can refuse a packet that it concluded to be harmful to the network and then block any additional traffic from that IP address, all without delay to the user.

  • Intrusion Detection System: A major part of the IPS is early detection, which is where the IDS shines. This system watches all the network traffic for suspicious activity and if it finds some, it reports the issue, then triggering the prevention system to deal with the problem.

  • DoS/ DDoS: Imagine someone blocking to door to a store or imagine several people blocking the door to your favorite store.Denial of service attacks is the intentional overloading a system by an individual attempting to stop the sites intended users from being able to access the site. Similarly, a distributed denial of service attack has the same intent and outcome, it just originates from multiple sources, making this type of attack virtually impossible to stop.

  • Ethical Hacking: Here’s another one of the good guys. Instead of testing your security on an outside threat, some companies hold competitions or hire tech professionals to see if their networks are at risk and how they can best protect them.

  • IP Spoofing: Also known as IP address forgery, this nefarious activity involves another impersonation scam. The undesirable users pretends to be a trusted host to hijack browser or gain access to your network. FYI, it is NOT illegal to spoof an IP address, but if someone else uses your IP address to commit fraudulent activities, that IS illegal.

  • Ransomware: This type of malware is designed specifically to deny you access to your data. This virus, typically, encrypts your files, making them useless until a ransom is paid.

  • Botnet Attack: Rather than one device, a group of internet connected devices have been attacked and corrupted. Working together these bots coordinate to attack individuals, aid cyber crime gangs and even interrupt military targeting systems

To learn more security terms, check out these extensive cyber security vocabulary resources.

Here’s five quick tips to keep your devices safe and secure now.

  1. Install solid security software on every device to prevent malware

  2. Employ strong passwords that are unique. There are free password managers that help you generate secure passwords such as Avast Passwords. Some password managers alert you if your email address was included in a data breach.

  3. Use a Virtual Private Network or VPN if you are working offsite at public places where you are using free, open public wifi hotspots.

  4. If you download apps, ensure they are from a trusted source.

  5. Review attachments and links in any email. Look at where the email originated from and determine if you can safely verify the contents. Review any email asking you for personal information.

Need help scoping your cyber security needs or finding the right cyber security provider? Talk with a TechStak adviser today and get connected to vetted industry experts ready to help.

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