26 December 2023

Understand These Important Cybersecurity Words and Phrases

By Ronald Smith

Today, I want to talk to you about some essential terms and phrases related to cybersecurity. It’s important to understand these words so that you can stay safe and secure in the digital world. Let’s dive right in!

1. Malware: This word refers to malicious software that can harm your computer or steal your personal information. It can come in various forms, such as viruses, worms, or ransomware. Be careful and avoid downloading anything suspicious!

2. Firewall: Imagine a protective barrier around your computer, keeping out unwanted intruders. That’s what a firewall does. It acts as a shield, monitoring and filtering the incoming and outgoing network traffic to prevent unauthorized access. It’s like your personal security guard!

3. Phishing: No, I’m not talking about catching fish! Phishing is a sneaky technique used by attackers to trick you into revealing sensitive information, like your passwords or credit card details. They might send you fake emails or create fake websites that look legit. But remember, always double-check before sharing any personal information online!

4. Encryption: Think of this like a secret code. Encryption converts your data into an unreadable format, so even if someone intercepts it, they won’t be able to understand it without the encryption key. It’s like sending a secret message that only the intended recipient can decode. Pretty cool, huh?

5. Two-factor authentication: This extra layer of security adds an additional step to the login process. Besides your password, you also need a second verification method, like a unique code sent to your phone. It ensures that even if someone guesses or steals your password, they still can’t access your account without that second piece of the puzzle.

6. VPN (Virtual Private Network): A VPN is like a secret tunnel that keeps your online activities private and secure. It encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a remote server, making it difficult for others to track your browsing habits or steal your information. It’s like wearing an invisibility cloak while surfing the web!

7. Antivirus: Just like you take measures to prevent getting sick, your computer needs protection too! Antivirus software scans your computer for malicious programs and removes them. It’s your computer’s immune system, fighting off any potential threats.

Remember, these are just a few of the many cybersecurity terms out there. By understanding and being aware of these concepts, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the online world safely and securely. Stay vigilant, and stay safe!

Understand These Important Cybersecurity Words and Phrases

I wanted to talk to you about something really important – keeping your small business safe from data theft and damage. Trust me, it’s crucial for the survival of your enterprise! I’ve got some cybersecurity terms to share with you that will help you understand how to keep your digital data secure. Plus, they’ll come in handy when choosing the perfect intrusion prevention system.

These terms are super useful, especially if you don’t have a computer emergency response team. So, let’s dive in and learn about some cybersecurity terminology!

What Exactly are Cybersecurity Terms?

Let me introduce you to a cybersecurity glossary – a collection of terms that will be your go-to guide whenever you need some help.


Access control list – These bad boys control who can access specific digital areas. Think of them as digital bouncers – they can allow or deny access to certain files or directories. It’s like giving permission to read a file or browse through a folder.

Let’s talk about some important things in cybersecurity. First up, we have the Azure Access Control Service (ACS), which is a fancy Microsoft cloud service. It helps you get access to different stuff on your computer and the internet, like websites and other cool things. It’s a big deal for keeping things safe.

Now, let’s take a look at something called Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). This is when sneaky groups and even whole countries hack into computer networks. They do this for all sorts of reasons, but often it’s to get to valuable stuff like money or secret government information. The scary part is, they can do it without anyone even noticing!

Next, we have antivirus software. This is like a superhero program that fights against bad guys on your computer. It helps find and get rid of harmful software that could damage your files or steal your personal information. It’s your computer’s shield!

Speaking of protection, we have something called authentication. This is when special security tools check if you’re the real deal before letting you in. They do this by checking things like your username and password or even your face! It’s like a secret handshake that only the right people can do. This helps keep important information safe and sound.

Backup is like making copies of your files and data. There are different kinds of backups. One backs up all the data you have stored, while another is a full system backup, which includes everything on your computer.

Breach is when someone gets access to things they’re not supposed to, like your devices, networks, applications, or computer data. Even personal devices can get infected with malware. Sometimes, an entire network can come under attack, like with a DDOS attack.

Brute force attack is a fancy term for when hackers try lots of different combinations to try and break into your encrypted data or steal your login information.

Business continuity plan is a plan that helps you prevent or recover from a cyberattack. It’s important to backup and recover your data so you can get back to running your business smoothly.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Devices — This security policy allows me to use my own devices at work, like my smartphone, computer, and tablet. We use online document editing systems with encryption to protect our work and keep it safe.

C is for Checksum

Checksums are like special codes that are assigned to files and data before they are sent. These codes contain a sequence of letters and numbers, and they help us check if the data was transmitted correctly without any errors or tampering.

Clickjacking — It’s a clever trick that can fool us. Sometimes, we click on buttons that we think are safe, but they are actually hiding something dangerous. When we fall into this trap, we might end up installing harmful software, having our important information stolen, or even unknowingly activating our own webcams.

Cloud computing — It’s like having computer services delivered to us through the Internet. We can store our files, use servers, access software, and even do analytics. The great thing is that we only have to pay for the services we actually use, which helps us save money. Plus, it helps us keep our collections of data safe from data loss and reduces the costs of operating our own servers.

Computer Virus – Imagine a tiny, sneaky creature that can cause a lot of trouble for your computer. This creature is called a computer virus. It’s a type of malicious software that can spread from one computer to another, damaging software and stealing important data.

Credit Card Skimmers – Have you ever seen those little devices attached to card readers? They may look harmless, but they’re actually credit card skimmers. These sneaky devices collect credit card numbers without you even knowing. It’s important to be cautious and protect yourself from falling victim to these skimmers.

Critical Infrastructure – Let’s talk about something really important: critical infrastructure. This term describes the cyber systems and assets that are crucial for our physical and economic security. Things like power plants, water treatment facilities, and transportation systems fall under this category.

Cross-site Scripting – Have you heard of hackers? They can be pretty crafty. One of the tricks they use is called cross-site scripting. They inject a dangerous code into a website that seems perfectly fine. This code can cause security flaws in web applications and put your personal information at risk. It’s important to stay vigilant and be aware of these cyber threats.


Data Breach – Picture a thief breaking into a computer system or network to steal valuable information. This is called a data breach. The thief can get access to protected, confidential, or sensitive data. Sometimes, our own actions can make it easier for these thieves to succeed, so it’s crucial to practice good cybersecurity habits to prevent data breaches.

Data encryption – Encryption is a way to protect information by turning it into secret code. Only those who have the right key can decode and access the information.

Data integrity – This is all about making sure that information is reliable and accurate. It’s important to keep data safe from power outages and hackers.

Data theft – When someone takes digital information that has important or secret details from electronic devices, servers, or computers, it’s called theft.

Denial of service (DoS) attack – These attacks make a network or computer crash. They happen when a target is overloaded with requests and information.

Disaster recovery plan – This is a well-organized and documented plan that helps respond to a big problem with a computer system. It starts with making a list of all the laptops, desktops, and hardware needed.


Encrypted data – Also known as ciphertext. It’s a way of keeping data safe by transforming the information into a secret code.

Encode – This is the process of changing data into a different form. It involves using codes like numbers, symbols, and letters. It’s another helpful tool for preventing data loss. Systems are granted access based on special keys.

ERM – A simple definition of enterprise risk management is looking at the risks that small businesses face in terms of strategy, finances, and operations. It also involves having policies and standards, as well as managing IT operations. Think of it like a web server that automatically detects infected systems.

Exploit – Any attack on a computer system is called an exploit. For example, a software program that causes hardware or software to fail.


Firewall – These can be software or hardware-based. They’ve been a vital defense tool for 25 years.

A firewall keeps an eye on internet traffic – deciding what to allow and what to block. It’s not like an intrusion detection system that just observes.


Hacker – A hacker is someone who tries to break into systems without permission.

Honeypot – This is like a trap to catch potential hackers. It’s a system that pretends to be a part of the network.


IaaS – This is a type of cloud service that offers on-demand storage, computing, and networking services. It’s one of the four available choices for cloud computing services.

Identity theft—This is a really bad crime. It’s when someone steals your personal or financial information. The most common type is when they steal your money. They can even get this information from websites.

Internet protocol—This is the way computers send information to each other. It’s like a special address that each computer has.

IPS—This is a tool that helps keep computers safe. It can be a special software or hardware that watches over computer networks and takes action if it finds any problems.


JBOH—This is an attack that happens on Android phones. It’s called JavaScript-Binding-Over-HTTP attack. This happens a lot when people download infected apps.


Keylogger—This is a sneaky device or program that steals what you type on your computer. They can get all sorts of stuff like your passwords, answers to questions, and even your chats and documents.


Let’s talk about local area networks, or LAN for short. A LAN is simply a bunch of devices that are all connected. You usually find a LAN in just one building, like a school or an office.

Now, onto something called link redirecting. These special tools help search engines and people find web pages. They come in handy when a page gets moved to a new location. So instead of getting lost, you get redirected to the right place!


Hang on tight, because now we’re diving into the world of malware. It’s like a sneaky little code that tries to steal information and mess with network security. Some examples of malware include spyware, ransomware, worms, and viruses. Even your IP address can get hacked if you’re not careful!


We’re almost there! Let’s talk about network file exchange. This is how we transfer data between devices in a network. It’s all about sharing information with different levels of access. And to make sure everything stays secure, we need a well-designed network security system and something called mandatory access control to grant proper clearance.


Outsider threat – The danger that comes from someone who is not a part of our group. It could be an old employee or a customer who is not happy. This is another reason why it’s important for me to understand electronic data.

Operating system – The software that helps computer programs work properly. It takes care of both the hardware and software. These basic systems are often targeted by bad actors.

OWASP – The Open Web Application Security Project. This is a group that doesn’t make money and is working hard to make software security better.


Password sniffing – This is a special kind of software that steals passwords and usernames by watching the network traffic.

Patch – A patch is like a fix or update for an application or network system. It fixes problems or adds new features.

Patch management — This is all about making systems better by testing, researching, and installing patches and updates.

Penetration testing — This is like a pretend attack on a computer or network. It’s done to find out if there are any weak spots. It helps keep hacks that involve stealing or exchanging files on a network from happening.

Phishing — These are tricky attacks that try to trick you into giving away important information. They might look like messages from people or organizations you trust. This is a very common type of cyber attack.


Ransomware — This is a kind of sneaky software that locks up your data and demands money to unlock it. The bad guys usually want to be paid with cryptocurrency.

Rootkit — These are nasty programs that get into computers by hiding in infected emails. Then they download other infected software onto your computer.

Social engineering is a type of cyberattack that relies on tricking people into giving away sensitive information. Imagine someone pretending to be your boss to get access to your personal data. It’s a sneaky way for hackers to get what they want.

When it comes to cybersecurity, we use something called a Security Score. This measures how well protected you are against cybercrime. It looks at all the security measures you have in place and gives you a score. This score tells you how vulnerable you are to attacks.

Have you ever received unwanted texts or emails? Those are called spam. They’re messages that someone sends out in bulk without your permission. Usually, they’re trying to sell you something you don’t want or need. Nobody likes spam!

Be careful about a type of malicious software called spyware. This sneaky software can sneak into your computer and steal your personal data. It then sends that data to someone else, usually a bad person. They can get their hands on important information like your business credentials and sensitive financial data. That’s definitely not good!

To help keep your online activities private and secure, you can use something called a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It’s like having a secret tunnel that connects you to the internet. This tunnel is encrypted, meaning it’s coded and secure. It keeps your connection and online resources private, even when using an unsecured internet service provider. It’s a great way to stay safe online.

In summary, social engineering, security scores, spam, spyware, and VPNs are all important aspects of cybersecurity. By understanding these terms and taking steps to protect yourself, you can stay safe in the digital world.

Whitelist — A whitelist is like a special permission list. It decides which things are allowed and which things are not. For example, certain apps, domain names, emails, or internet addresses can be denied while others are approved.

WiFi — WiFi is a way for our devices to connect with each other without any wires. It links up things like smartphones, tablets, and computers. These devices connect to a wireless router using radio waves.

Worm — A worm is a sneaky kind of bad software. It can copy itself and move from one computer to another. Worms use things like attachments in emails or mistakes in software to spread. They infect the source code of a computer.


Zero-day exploit — A zero-day exploit happens when someone discovers a problem in the hardware or software of a device before anyone else knows about it. It’s called zero-day because it happens right away. Hackers take advantage of this flaw before it can be fixed.

Zombie — A zombie is a device or computer that has been taken over by the bad guys. When there are a lot of them, they can form a big group called a botnet.

  • What is Cybersecurity

Types of Cybersecurity Attacks

Today, I want to talk to you about different kinds of cybersecurity attacks. It’s important to know about these attacks as they can cause serious harm. Let’s dive in!

  • Phishing Attacks
  • Malware Attacks
  • Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks

Phishing attacks are like sneaky tricks used by criminals to steal your sensitive information. They might send you an email or a message pretending to be someone you trust, trying to get you to click on a harmful link.

Malware attacks are when sneaky software is installed on your device without your permission. This software can do all sorts of bad things, like stealing your personal information or damaging your files.

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is a way to overwhelm a website or online service with so much traffic that it can’t function properly. This can cause the website to crash, making it unavailable to users.

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks are when a bad guy secretly intercepts communication between two parties. They can then steal sensitive information or even modify the messages being sent.

So, there you have it! These are just a few examples of the different types of cybersecurity attacks out there. It’s crucial to stay informed and be cautious to protect yourself online. Stay safe!