top of page

Cybersecurity Terminology: Top 30 Cybersecurity Terms Cyber Professionals Should Know

The field of cybersecurity is rapidly changing every day. New techniques, new technologies, new ways to use them all, whether for productive or wrong purposes. So, it’s important to stay updated with the latest cybersecurity terminology to protect and defend against cyber threats effectively and to build the most secure and efficient system possible - with all its moving parts!

Picture of moving parts - gears and cogs - circle-4868498_1920

Cybersecurity Terminology

This listicle provides a comprehensive glossary of the top 30 cybersecurity terms every cyber professional should know and understand. From understanding the fundamental cybersecurity meaning to mastering specific terms related to cyber resilience and web security, this guide will enhance your knowledge and proficiency in cybersecurity.


 1. Cybersecurity

The practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks that aim to access, change, or destroy sensitive information, extort money, or interrupt normal business processes.


 2. Cyber Resilience

The ability of an organization to continuously deliver the intended outcome despite adverse cyber events. Cyber resilience encompasses cybersecurity, business continuity, and organizational resilience factors.


 3. Malware

Malicious software which is deliberately designed to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. Common types of malware include viruses, worms, trojans, and ransomware.


 4. Phishing

A technique used by cybercriminals to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. Phishing continues to be the number one method cybercriminals use to infiltrate private data.

Read our posts: 

 5. Firewall

picture of wall of flames - firewall

A network security device that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. Think of it as a towering fence that keeps bad elements out while protecting what’s confined behind the wall.


 6. Encryption

The process of converting data into a code to prevent unauthorized access. Encryption ensures data confidentiality and integrity during transmission and storage. Gold Comet’s platform is built on 256-bit object level encryption, currently the highest data encryption standard.

Read our posts:


 7. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

A security process in which the user provides two different authentication factors to verify their identity. This adds an additional layer of security beyond just a password. Gold Comet deploys MFA – multi-factor authentication – which requires additional factors and levels up the data protection strength.


 8. Zero-Day Exploit

A vulnerability in software that is unknown to the vendor. Cybercriminals exploit these vulnerabilities before the vendor has a chance to issue a patch.


 9. DDoS Attack

Distributed Denial-of-Service attack aims to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming it with a flood of internet traffic.


 10. VPN (Virtual Private Network)

picture of satellite communications across the globe

A service that encrypts your internet connection and hides your online activities, ensuring privacy and security on public networks.


 11. SIEM (Security Information and Event Management)

A system that collects, analyzes, and reports on security-related data from across an organization’s IT infrastructure in real-time.


 12. Penetration Testing

A method of evaluating the security of a system or network by simulating an attack from malicious outsiders as well as insider threats.


 13. Threat Intelligence

Information that helps organizations understand the threats that have, will, or are currently targeting them. This data is used to make informed security decisions, develop security response plans, and mitigate threats proactively.

Read our posts: 


 14. Insider Threat

picture insider threat - eggs in a cartoon

A security risk that originates from within the targeted organization, typically involving a current or former employee, contractor, or business associate who has “god account” access to the system’s most sensitive information. Gold Comet mitigates insider threat by disallowing god accounts with patented prevention against single administrators being able to complete certain functions without concurrence from one or more additional administrators.


 15. Botnet

A network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners' knowledge, often used to send spam or conduct DDoS attacks. This is one of the most sophisticated methods for cybercriminal activity.


 16. Ransomware

A type of malware that locks the victim’s data or system and then demands payment (ransom) to restore access. One ransom payment is not always the end of the story – a cybercriminal may continue to make additional demands in the form of money or other assets, still with no guarantee that the ransom demands will stop, or the access be restored.


 17. Social Engineering

women socializing -social engineering - priscilla-du-preez-nF8xhLMmg0c-unsplash

A tactic used by cybercriminals to trick individuals into revealing confidential information. It relies on human interaction and often involves manipulating people into breaking normal security procedures. This approach is often used via phishing attacks through online accounts and social media.

Read our posts: 


 18. Incident Response

A systematic approach to managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also known as an IT incident, computer incident, or security incident. It’s important to have a thorough security plan in place so response can be rapid with effective use of threat intelligence to monitor anomalies and mitigate damage proactively.


 19. Patch Management

The process of distributing and applying updates to software. These patches are often necessary to fix vulnerabilities and improve the functionality of the software. Cybercriminals maintain knowledge of system vulnerabilities and seek out those which have not yet been patched as targets.


 20. SOC (Security Operations Center)

A centralized unit that deals with security issues on an organizational and technical level. The SOC monitors and analyzes an organization’s security posture on an ongoing basis.


 21. APT (Advanced Persistent Threat)

A prolonged and targeted cyberattack in which an intruder gains access to a network and remains undetected for an extended period. This term underscores the importance of consistent threat intelligence monitoring. The longer the threat goes undetected, the more damage is done and the more difficult the remediation.


 22. Data Breach

An incident where sensitive, protected, or confidential data is accessed, disclosed, or stolen by an unauthorized individual. Mitigating breach of your data is Gold Comet’s number one priority!


 23. IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection System/Intrusion Prevention System)

Systems that monitor network or system activities for malicious activities or policy violations and report or take action against them.


 24. Cyber Hygiene

Practices and protocols for computer system administrators and users to improve their cybersecurity and better protect their systems and data.


 25. Whitelisting

A cybersecurity strategy that approves a list of entities (such as IP addresses, email addresses, applications, etc.) that are allowed access to a system or network. Also known as Privileged Access Management (PAM), Gold Comet uses a patented whitelist feature which only allows communication within the system between co-authorized users. This feature prevents phishing and emails and spam from entering the system because unauthorized messages are disintegrated at our proprietary cloud wall.

Read our posts: 


 26. Dark Web

A part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and requires specific software, configurations, or authorization to access, often associated with illegal activities.


 27. Endpoint Security

endpoint security - picture of device cable

A strategy to ensure that endpoints or end-user devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices are secured to protect against potential cyber threats.

Read our posts: 


 28. IAM (Identity and Access Management)

A framework of policies and technologies to ensure that the right individuals have the appropriate access to technology resources.


 29. SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security)

Protocols that provide secure communication over a computer network, commonly used in web security to protect data transfers.


 30. Cybersecurity Framework

A set of guidelines and best practices designed to help organizations manage and reduce cybersecurity risk. Popular frameworks include NIST, ISO/IEC 27001, and CIS Controls. For example, Gold Comet’s secure data storage, sharing, and messaging platform conforms to current CMMC security requirements for data integrity and protection.

Read our posts: 



These are just a few terminology definitions that are important in the cybersecurity realm. Developing an understanding of these essential cybersecurity definitions and terminologies is crucial for building a robust cybersecurity strategy.

woman studying - cybersecurity terminology

This glossary serves as a fundamental resource for cyber professionals, especially for those just getting started in the field, to enhance your knowledge and stay ahead in the dynamic field of cybersecurity. For more in-depth information, explore the nuances of these terms within a cybersecurity context to further enhance your expertise and build experience.


bottom of page