If you monitor news with any regularity, you will have noticed that almost every week we hear of a new cybersecurity breach somewhere in the world. While they may all sound the same, there are a host of different cyberthreats lurking out there. Here is a glossary of basic cybersecurity terminology:
Anti-Malware — Software that prevents, detects and eliminates malicious programs on computing devices.
Antivirus — Software that detects and eliminates computer viruses.
Botnets — A group of Internet-connected devices configured to forward transmissions (such as spam or viruses) to other devices, despite their owners being unaware of it.
Cybercrime — Also known at computer crime or netcrime, cybercrime is loosely defined as any criminal activity that involves a computer and a network, whether in the commissioning of the crime or the target.
DDoS — “Distributed denial of service” attack. An attempt to interrupt or suspend host services of an Internet-connected machine causing network resources, servers, or websites to be unavailable or unable to function.
Malware — An overarching term describing hostile and/or intrusive software including (but not limited to) viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, spyware, adware, and others, taht usually take the form of executables, scripts, and active content.
Phishing — An attempt to acquire sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious purposes by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in a digital environment.
Ransomware — A type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.
Rootkit — Trojans that conceal objects or activities in a device’s system, primarily to prevent other malicious programs from being detected and removed.
Social Engineering — Non-technical malicious activity that exploits human interaction to subvert technical security policy, procedures, and programs, in order to gain access to secure devices and networks.
Spyware — Software that enables a user to obtain covert information about another’s computer activities by transmitting data covertly from their hard drive.
Trojan — Malicious, non-replicating programs that hide on a device as benign files and perform unauthorized actions on a device, such as deleting, blocking, modifying, or copying data, hindering performance, and more.
Zero-Day Vulnerability — a security gap in software that is unknown to its creators, which is hurriedly exploited before the software creator or vendor patches it.