10 important cyber security terms everyone should know

During the days of Windows XP and Vista, the internet was less secure than it is today. While surfing online, you may have encountered terms like firewall, encryption, and two-factor authentication. It’s crucial to understand the meaning behind them. This blog will explain the ten most common terms in cyber security. 

The importance of cyber security terminology 

Understanding cyber security terms is crucial in today’s digital age. Basic knowledge about them enables experts to communicate better and create effective strategies. Moreover, it provides a common language for transmission between cyber security professionals and businesses. It helps them recognise and respond to potential threats.   

As technology advances, cyber security terms and concepts are evolving. Therefore, learning them is vital to maintain effective measures against cyber threats like phishing emails, viruses, and ransom demands. 

Ten frequently used terms 

As we strongly advocate cyber security awareness, we compiled a list of 10 terms you should know

  1. Firewall

    A firewall decides whether to allow incoming and outgoing traffic based on predefined security rules. It can allow or block different types of network traffic, such as web browsing, email, or file transfers.

    Firewalls have been in use for over 25 years, which is a long time in the Internet era. They are a protective barrier between the internal network (considered secure and trustworthy) and the outside world (which can pose potential security threats).

  2. Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

    An IDS is a security tool that monitors network traffic and alerts administrators of potential attacks or security breaches. It detects attacks like denial-of-service (DoS), malware, and unauthorised access attempts.

    IDS helps organisations identify and respond to security threats in real time, minimising the damage caused by cyber attacks. It also enables companies to comply with regulations and standards related to cyber security.

  3. Endpoint security

    This approach protects endpoints like laptops, mobile devices, and servers from cyber threats. It involves deploying security measures at the device level to prevent unauthorised access and malicious attacks.

    Examples of endpoint security solutions include antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. They’re often the entry points for cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information.

  4. Encryption

    Encryption is a method used to safeguard data by making it unreadable to anyone without a key to unlock it. It functions as a secret code that trusted individuals can only decipher.

    Businesses should use encryption to protect sensitive data from breaches during internet transmission or cloud storage. It ensures that even if hackers access your data, they can’t read it without the key.

  5. Vulnerability in cyber security

    A vulnerability in cyber security is a weakness or mistake in systems or device code that hackers can exploit to access sensitive data. Hackers can gain unauthorised access, steal data or disrupt services by taking advantage of these vulnerabilities.

    Company owners should regularly secure and update their systems to prevent data breaches and stay alert for potential vulnerabilities.

  6. Patch

    A patch is a software update that fixes security vulnerabilities and other problems in a system or application. Regularly updating systems with the latest patches is crucial for businesses to prevent security breaches and protect sensitive data.

    It’s crucial to prioritise the installation of patches to ensure systems remain secure and up-to-date. If you don’t, your systems are vulnerable to attacks leading to data breaches and other security issues.

  7. Two-factor authentication (2FA)

    Enabling 2FA adds an extra layer of protection to your login process. It requires users to provide a second form of authentication, such as a fingerprint scan or text message code.

    Two-factor authentication can prevent unauthorised access to your data and keeps your systems secure. We highly recommend implementing security measures for businesses.

  8. Incident response

    This process identifies, investigates and resolves security incidents that threaten an organisation’s information systems or data. It requires teamwork among IT, security teams and management to minimise impact and prevent their recurrence.

    Incident response plans typically involve procedures and guidelines to follow in case of a security breach or incident. The primary goal is a structured approach to respond quickly and effectively.

  9. Botnet

    A botnet is a network of devices infected with malware and controlled remotely by a hacker. These devices can include computers, smartphones, and other internet-connected devices. Once infected, a device can launch distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), send spam emails, or steal personal information.

    Businesses must use strong password policies and learn to recognise and avoid phishing attempts. These are often the initial infection passage for botnet malware.

  10. Cyber security framework

    A cyber security framework provides guidelines and best practices to help businesses manage and reduce cyber security risks. It includes standards and procedures to assess and manage these risks.

    The framework helps companies identify, protect, detect, respond to, and recover from cyber security incidents. A cybersecurity framework can improve a company’s security posture and reduce the likelihood of successful cyber attacks. 

Master your cyber security lingo 

As technology continues to evolve, so do cyber threats. It’s more important than ever to be aware of the terminology in cyber security. You can bookmark this page to navigate the terms quickly. 

Read our online safety blog to discover methods that prevent malicious cyber activity.