Cyber Security Terms & Definitions

  1. Cybersecurity – The practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and sensitive information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

  2. Malware – Any software designed to harm or exploit a computer system, including viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and adware.

  3. Phishing – A social engineering technique used to trick people into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords, usernames, or credit card numbers, by posing as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

  4. Social engineering – The use of psychological manipulation or deception to trick individuals into divulging confidential information or performing actions that would compromise their security.

  5. Encryption – The process of converting plaintext data into a coded form, known as ciphertext, to protect it from unauthorized access.

  6. Firewall – A software or hardware-based network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predefined security rules.

  7. Two-factor authentication – A security mechanism that requires two forms of identification to access a system or application, typically a password and a secondary verification method, such as a fingerprint or security token.

  8. Vulnerability – A weakness or flaw in a system, network, or application that can be exploited by an attacker to compromise the security of the system or steal sensitive data.

  9. Patching – The process of applying software updates or fixes to address security vulnerabilities or bugs in a system or application.

  10. Incident response – The process of identifying, investigating, and responding to security incidents, such as cyber attacks or data breaches, to minimize the impact on an organization.

  11. Risk assessment – The process of identifying potential security risks and evaluating their likelihood and potential impact on an organization’s operations, assets, and reputation.

  12. Access control – The process of restricting access to resources, systems, or applications based on the principle of least privilege to prevent unauthorized access and reduce the risk of data breaches.

  13. Data classification – The process of categorizing data based on its level of sensitivity, value, or regulatory requirements to determine the appropriate level of protection and access control.

  14. Incident reporting – The process of reporting security incidents or potential security incidents to the appropriate internal or external stakeholders to enable timely response and remediation.

  15. Security awareness – The practice of educating employees, customers, or other stakeholders about cybersecurity risks and best practices to improve their security awareness and behavior.

  16. Authentication – The process of verifying the identity of a user or system by requiring proof of identity, such as a password, biometric data, or security token.

  17. Authorization – The process of granting or denying access to a resource, system, or application based on the user’s identity, role, or privileges.

  18. Incident management – The process of managing and resolving security incidents, including containment, eradication, recovery, and follow-up activities.

  19. Digital forensics – The process of collecting, analyzing, and preserving digital evidence to support an investigation into a security incident or cybercrime.

  20. Network segmentation – The process of dividing a network into smaller, isolated segments to improve security and limit the potential impact of a security breach.

  21. Data loss prevention – The process of preventing sensitive data from being leaked or stolen by unauthorized users or systems, through policies, controls, and monitoring.

  22. Penetration testing – The process of testing a system or network for vulnerabilities by simulating an attack, to identify weaknesses and prioritize remediation efforts.

  23. Security controls – The technical or administrative measures implemented to reduce the risk of security incidents, such as access controls, encryption, logging, and monitoring.

  24. Threat intelligence – The information collected and analyzed to identify potential threats, vulnerabilities, and attack patterns, to inform proactive security measures and incident response.

  25. Incident response plan – A documented plan outlining the steps to be taken in response to a security incident, including roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and remediation actions.

  26. Disaster recovery – The process of restoring critical systems and data after a catastrophic event, such as a natural disaster or cyber attack, to minimize business disruption and data loss.

  27. Compliance – The process of adhering to regulatory requirements, industry standards, or internal policies related to security, privacy, and data protection.

  28. Social media policy – A set of guidelines and restrictions governing the use of social media by employees, to reduce the risk of data breaches, reputational damage, or legal liabilities.

  29. Risk management – The process of identifying, assessing, and prioritizing risks to an organization’s assets, operations, and reputation, and implementing appropriate risk mitigation measures.

  30. Cloud security – The practice of securing data and applications stored in cloud environments, through measures such as encryption, access controls, and monitoring.

  1. Zero trust – A security model that assumes no implicit trust based on a user’s location or identity, and requires continuous verification of user access and behavior.

  2. Endpoint security – The practice of securing endpoints, such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, from cyber threats, through measures such as anti-virus software, firewalls, and access controls.

  3. Secure coding – The practice of writing software code that is free of vulnerabilities and adheres to secure coding principles, to reduce the risk of exploitation by attackers.

  4. Supply chain security – The practice of securing the supply chain, including third-party vendors and suppliers, to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches.

  5. Threat hunting – The process of actively searching for threats and potential security breaches, through manual or automated techniques, to detect and prevent attacks.

  6. Red teaming – The process of simulating a real-world attack by a skilled adversary, to test and improve an organization’s security defenses and incident response capabilities.

  7. Security information and event management (SIEM) – A system that aggregates and analyzes security event data from multiple sources, to detect and respond to security incidents.

  8. Identity and access management (IAM) – The practice of managing user identities and access to systems, applications, and data, to ensure proper authentication and authorization.

  9. Multifactor authentication – A security mechanism that requires two or more forms of identification to access a system or application, to improve security beyond traditional passwords.

  10. Data privacy – The practice of protecting personal or sensitive data from unauthorized access or disclosure, in compliance with legal or regulatory requirements.

  11. Network security – The practice of securing a network from cyber threats, through measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and monitoring.

  12. Incident escalation – The process of escalating a security incident to higher-level management or security teams, based on predefined criteria or severity levels.

  13. Business continuity – The practice of maintaining critical business operations during and after a disruptive event, such as a natural disaster or cyber attack, through measures such as backup and recovery plans.

  14. Cyber insurance – Insurance policies that provide coverage for financial losses and liabilities related to cyber incidents, such as data breaches or business interruption.

  15. Security culture – The values, beliefs, and behaviors that promote a culture of security within an organization, through training, awareness, and accountability.