9 Cybersecurity Terms Everyone Should Know

By | 2016-09-26T12:00:47+00:00 September 26th, 2016|Business Value, Security|Comments Off on 9 Cybersecurity Terms Everyone Should Know

Here’s a refresher on all the latest buzzwords used in the cybersecurity sector.

Malware

For a long time, the phrase ‘computer virus’ was misappropriated as a term to define every type of attack that intended to harm computers and networks. A virus is actually a specific type of malware designed to replicate itself. Any software created for the purpose of destroying or unfairly accessing networks and data should be referred to as a type of malware.

Ransomware

Don’t let all the other words ending in ‘ware’ confuse you; they are all just subcategories of malware. One of the most popular is ‘ransomware,’ which encrypts valuable data until a ransom is paid for its return.

Intrusion Protection System

There are several ways to safeguard your network from malware, but intrusion protection systems (IPS) are quickly becoming one of the non-negotiables. IPS’s sit inside of your company’s firewall and look for suspicious and malicious activity that can be halted before it can deploy an exploit or take advantage of a known vulnerability.

Social Engineering

Not all types of malware rely solely on fancy computer programming. While the exact statistics are unknown, experts agree that the majority of attacks require some form of what is called ‘social engineering’ to be successful. Social engineering is the act of tricking people, rather than computers, into revealing sensitive or guarded information. Complicated software is totally unnecessary if you can just convince potential victims that you’re a security professional who needs their password to secure their account.

Phishing

Though it can rely on face-to-face interactions, social engineering also employs more technical methods. Phishing is the act of creating an application or website that impersonates a trustworthy, and often well-known business in an attempt to elicit confidential information. Just because you received an email that says it’s from the IRS doesn’t mean it should be taken at face value — always verify the source of any service requesting your sensitive data.

Anti-virus

Anti-virus software is often misunderstood as a way to comprehensively secure your computers and workstations. These applications are just one piece of the cybersecurity puzzle and can only scan the drives on which they are installed for signs of well-known malware.

Zero-day attacks

Malware is most dangerous when it has been released but not yet discovered by cybersecurity experts. When a vulnerability is found within a piece of software, vendors will release an update to amend the gap in security. However, if cyber attackers release a piece of malware that has never been seen before, and if that malware exploits one of these holes before the vulnerability is addressed, it is called a zero-day attack.

Patch

When software developers discover a security vulnerability in their programming, they usually release a small file to update and ‘patch’ this gap. Patches are essential to keeping your network secure from the vultures lurking on the internet. By checking for and installing patches as often as possible, you keep your software protected from the latest advances in malware.

Redundant data

When anti-virus software, patches, and intrusion detection fail to keep your information secure, there’s only one thing that will: quarantined off-site storage. Duplicating your data offline and storing it somewhere other than your business’s facility ensures that if there is a malware infection, you’re equipped with backups.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.