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Top 30 Cybersecurity Terms You Need to Know

Top 30 Cybersecurity Terms You Need to Know



Aug 14, 2023
  1. Authentication​

    The process of identifying a user’s identity, making sure that they can have access to the system and/or files. This can be accomplished either by a password, retina scan, or fingerprint scan, sometimes even a combination of the above.
  2. Botnet​

    A combination of the words “robot” and “network”, a botnet is a network of computers that have been infected with a virus, and now are working continuously in order to create security breaches. These attacks come in the form of Bitcoin mining, sending spam e-mails, and DDoS attacks (see below).
  3. Data Breach​

    The result of a hacker successfully breaking into a system, gaining control of its network and exposing its data, usually personal data covering items such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, and more.
  4. DDoS​

    The acronym stands for Distributed Denial of Service and is a favorite Black Hat tool. Using multiple hosts and users, hackers bombard a website with a tidal wave of requests to such an extent that it locks up the system and forces it to temporarily shut down.
  5. Domain​

    A series of computers and associated peripherals (routers, printers, scanners), that are all connected as one entity.
  6. Encryption​

    Coding used to protect your information from hackers. Think of it like the code cipher used to send a top-secret coded spy message.
  7. Exploit​

    A means of attack on a computer system, either a series of commands, malicious software, or piece of infected data. Note that in this context, “exploit” is a noun, not a verb, as in “The hacker used a malware exploit to gain access to the credit card’s server.”
  8. Firewall​

    Any technology, be it software or hardware, used to keep intruders out.
  9. Hacker, Black Hat​

    Any hacker who attempts to gain unauthorized access to a system with the intent to cause mischief, damage, or theft. They can be motivated by greed, a political agenda, or simply boredom.
  10. Hacker, White Hat​

    A hacker who is invited to test out computer systems and servers, looking for vulnerabilities, for the purposes of informing the host of where security needs to be buffed up. They are benign hackers, personifying the old axiom “It takes a thief to catch a thief”. Sometimes called “ethical hackers.
  11. Malware​

    A portmanteau of “malicious” and “software”, describing a wide variety of bad software used to infect and/or damage a system. Ransomware, worms, viruses, and trojans are all considered malware. It most often delivered via spam emails.
  12. Man in the Middle Attack​

    An attack on the “middleman”, in this case, defined as the Wi-Fi system that connects users to the Internet. Hackers who commit Man in the Middle Attacks can break the Wi-Fi’s encryption and use this as a means of stealing your personal data because they’re now in the system.
  13. Phishing​

    A scam where a hacker poses as a legitimate business or organization (especially credit card companies, banks, charities, Internet providers, other utilities) in order to fool the victim into giving them sensitive personal information or inducing them to click a link or attachment that ends up delivering malware. Some of these schemes are extremely well done, others are sloppy and amateurish and can be spotted with just a little extra vigilance.
  14. Ransomware​

    A form of malware that hijacks your system and encrypts your files, denying you access to them until you send money to unlock everything. In other words, it kidnaps your computer and holds it for ransom, hence the clever name.
  15. Spoofing​

    Sadly, this has nothing to do with Weird Al Yankovic doing a parody version of a popular song. Rather, it’s when a hacker changes the IP address of an email so that it seems to come from a trusted source.
  16. Spyware​

    A form of malware used by hackers to spy on you and your computer activities. If a mobile device such as a smartphone is infected with spyware, a hacker can read your text messages, redirect your phone calls, and even track down where you are physically located!
  17. Clear CompTIA, CEH, and CISSP Certifications!​

    Cyber Security Expert Master's Program
  18. Trojan Horse​

    Yet another form of malware, this one a misleading computer program that looks innocent, but in fact allows the hacker into your system via a back door, allowing them to control your computer.
  19. Virus​

    Malware which changes, corrupts, or destroys information, and is then passed on to other systems, usually by otherwise benign means (e.g. sending an email). In some cases, a virus can actually cause physical damage.
  20. VPN​

    An acronym standing for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is a method of connecting a series of computers and devices in a private encrypted network, with each user’s IP address being replaced by the VPN’s IP address. Users get Internet anonymity, making it difficult for hackers to attack.
  21. Worm​

    Malware that can reproduce itself for the purposes of spreading itself to other computers in the network. Particularly nasty, worms can either be simply a means of slowing down a system by eating up resources, or by committing exploits such as installing back doors or stealing data.
  22. Cloud​

    You already utilize cloud computing if you use Gmail for email, Google Drive for document storage, or Netflix to stream your favorite movies. These services are all built on the cloud. cloud computing is providing on-demand services over the internet.If you want to run a business and you need to keep user data and you decide to do it on a hard drive, you will need a lot of storage space and a tech staff for it.Cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, which offer on-demand services and are both cost-effective and low-risk in terms of security, make this procedure simple.
  23. Software​

    It is a group of applications that instruct a computer to carry out a task. In which Users can download and use a package that contains these instructions.A hard drive or magnetic diskette are common examples of external long-term memory devices where software is often kept. When it is in use the computer reads the program from the storage device and temporarily stores the instructions in random access memory (RAM). Google Chrome is one such example of application software.
  24. IP Address​

    The world IP stands for Internet Protocol. An IP address is a series of numbers allocated to computers routers servers, and pretty much anything connected to the Internet, including websites. It functions very similarly to a standard address, allowing users to find any system or device on the global network by specifying its location
  25. Rootkit​

    A rootkit is a collection of programs or software tools that allow hackers to remotely access and control a computer or network. Although rootkits do not directly damage users, they have been used for other purposes that are legal, such as remote end-user support. However, the majority of rootkits either leverage the system for additional network security attacks or open a backdoor on the targeted systems for the introduction of malware, viruses, and ransomware. Typically, a rootkit is installed without the victim's knowledge via a stolen password or by taking advantage of system flaws. In order to avoid being picked up by endpoint antivirus software, rootkits are typically employed in conjunction with other malware.
  26. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)​

    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a company policy that permits, encourages, or mandates employees to access enterprise systems and data using their own personal devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, for work-related activities.
  27. Pen-testing​

    An approach to security evaluation where manual exploitations and automated techniques are used by attack and security professionals. Only environments with a solid security infrastructure should employ this advanced kind of security evaluation with a mature security infrastructure. Penetration tests can disrupt operations and harm systems because they employ the same equipment, procedures, and methodology as malicious hackers
  28. Social Engineering​

    Instead of breaking in or utilizing technical hacking techniques, social engineering is a growingly popular way to access restricted resources. This strategy relies on user manipulation and human psychology. An employee might get an email from a social engineer purporting to be from the IT department in order to deceive him into disclosing private information rather than trying to uncover a software weakness in a company system. Spear phishing assaults are built on a foundation of social engineering.
  29. Clickjacking​

    While someone is tricked into clicking on one object on a web page when they want to click on another, this practice is known as clickjacking. In this manner, the attacker is able to use the victim's click against them. Clickjacking can be used to enable the victim's webcam, install malware, or access one of their online accounts.
  30. Deepfake​

    A piece of audio or video that has been altered and changed to make it seem authentic or credible. The most perilous aspect of the prevalence of deepfakes is that they can easily convince individuals into believing a particular tale or idea, which may lead to user behavior that has a greater impact on society at large, such as in the political or financial spheres.

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