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Cybersecurity Terminology: 25 Terms You Should Know

The cybersecurity realm covers a wide range of technical innovation areas, and the terms can sometimes get confusing, misused, or misunderstood. Following, you’ll find a terminology list of 25 words related to cybersecurity, information privacy, and data security that you should know and understand to set up the most secure network system for your business enterprise and to understand the innovative developments being reported in cybersecurity news.

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Cybersecurity Terminology

1. Cryptography: The science of securing communication by converting plain text into an unreadable format (ciphertext) using encryption algorithms.

2. Data Breach: Unauthorized access, disclosure, or exposure of sensitive information to an individual or group outside of the intended recipients.

3. Data Classification: The process of categorizing data based on its sensitivity and assigning appropriate security controls and protection measures.

4. Data Retention: The practice of storing data for a specified period to meet legal, regulatory, or business requirements.

5. Denial of Service (DoS) Attack: An attack that floods a target system or network with excessive traffic or requests, rendering it inaccessible to legitimate users.

6. Encryption: The process of encoding data or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access and understand it.

7. Endpoint Security: Measures and technologies implemented to secure endpoints, such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, from various threats and unauthorized access.

8. Firewall: A network security device that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic, acting as a barrier between trusted and untrusted networks.

9. Incident Response: The process of detecting, responding to, and mitigating the impact of a security incident, including investigating, containing, and recovering from the event.

10. Information Security Policy: A document that outlines an organization's objectives, standards, guidelines, and responsibilities for protecting information assets and managing security risks.

11. Intrusion Detection System (IDS): A security system that monitors network traffic for suspicious activity or policy violations and alerts administrators.

12. Malware: Malicious software designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems or data.

13. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): An authentication method that requires users to provide multiple forms of identification, such as a password, fingerprint, and security token.

14. Patch: A software update released by developers to fix security vulnerabilities or improve functionality in an application or operating system.

15. Penetration Testing: Also called, pen-testing, an authorized simulated attack on a system or network to evaluate its security and identify vulnerabilities before they are exploited by malicious actors.

16. Phishing: A cyberattack where fraudulent emails, messages, or websites are used to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information.

17. Privacy by Design: An approach to system design that considers privacy and data protection principles from the early stages of development.

18. Privacy Policy: A statement that outlines how an organization collects, uses, stores, and protects personal information of individuals.

19. Ransomware: Malicious software that encrypts a victim's files, demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.

20. Social Engineering: The use of psychological manipulation and deception to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information or performing certain actions.

21. Social Media Engineering: The use of social media platforms to gather information about individuals or organizations for targeted attacks or unauthorized access.

22. Two-factor Authentication (2FA): A security measure that requires users to provide two different forms of identification (such as a password and a unique code) to verify their identity.

23. VPN (Virtual Private Network): A secure network connection that allows users to access private networks or the internet securely, often used to protect sensitive data and maintain privacy.

24. Vulnerability: Weaknesses or flaws in a system's design, implementation, or configuration that can be exploited by attackers.

25. Zero-Day Exploit: An attack that takes advantage of a software vulnerability unknown to the vendor or the public, giving no time for a patch to be developed.

These terms cover many important concepts in the cybersecurity and information privacy field, providing a foundation for you to understand and navigate the potential risks and challenges.

Here’s a bonus term!

26. Quantum Security. Read about how quantum technology works in this informative post and learn how Gold Comet is integrating this innovative technology into our secure data storage, data sharing, and messaging solutions.

As experts in the field of information privacy, Gold Comet stands ready to help you navigate the intricacies of setting up a quantum-secure system for your business enterprise. Contact us at to get started.


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