Cyber security is something that every business, regardless of size, must address. But, cybersecurity is full of jargon that can be difficult to understand and implement.
From DDoS attacks to phishing, infections to ransomware, cybersecurity is equal parts confusing lingo and terrifying statistics. But this shouldn’t stop us from taking action to protect ourselves and our data.
Cybersecurity protects systems, networks, and data from malware, hacks, phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, denial of service (DoS) attacks, and other malicious activity. Threat intelligence is the process of gathering, organizing, and refining information about threats and attackers to help organizations better defend their businesses against attack.
Actionable threat intelligence combines strategic and operational intelligence, allowing security teams to understand an attack’s nature, motive, timing, and methods. This helps protect against future attacks and enables them to respond faster and mitigate incidents when they occur.
Technical threat intelligence, sometimes called “indicators of compromise,” is evidence that an attacker has penetrated your organization, such as IP addresses or domain names used by command and control servers, malware hashes, suspicious file downloads, or unusual login behavior. This kind of intelligence is often produced automatically and is aimed at a technically proficient audience to allow them to identify and remove specific threats from their network. Strategic threat intelligence is less technical and provides a high-level overview of trends and risks to inform decisions by executives and other decision-makers in an organization.
Cybersecurity is complex, yet the threat landscape has never been more terrifying. This blog is intended to shed light on this complex and dangerous landscape, demystifying the jargon to understand cyber security terms and terminologies that often feel like impenetrable code.
A gateway is where networks with different transmission protocols meet, converting information from one format to another. A typical example is your Wi-Fi router. A gateway also controls what data is allowed in and out of an organization’s network. A hacker is someone who accesses a system without permission for malicious reasons. Hackers can be black-hat hackers or white-hat cybersecurity professionals.
A security professional analyzes and interprets data to detect suspicious activities, ideally before they turn into incidents. This includes monitoring network traffic, detecting anomalies, and understanding the behavior of malware and cyber threats. The goal is to make your organization as safe as possible, both online and offline. The best way to do that is by removing barriers to knowledge. When employees cannot comprehend the complexity of cybersecurity, they cannot adequately protect themselves or their organizations against cyber attacks.
Regarding cybersecurity, keeping up can be like learning a whole new language. New terms are thrown around weekly as cybercriminals develop creative ways to breach systems and steal sensitive data. Similarly, defensive technologies must rapidly evolve to combat new threats. The cyber security glossary can be a helpful reference, but maintaining it must remain a challenge – with new terminology being added almost daily.
Thankfully, many terms IT professionals use can be explained relatively simply for the non-technical user. By understanding the basic vocabulary, you can avoid being taken advantage of by shady cybercriminals. Participate in panel discussions and technical demonstrations to get the whole picture. Then, you can make informed decisions about protecting your digital assets. The most important thing to remember is that no system is perfect, and even the best-prepared organizations can fall victim to a sophisticated attack.
As cyber threats evolve, organizations must invest in continuous security monitoring. The risk to the business and reputation of the organization is enormous if a cyberattack succeeds. It is not enough to have policies or an incident response team ready to respond if an attack happens; the business must actively manage risk, especially since attacks are becoming more sophisticated and often successful.
Continuous security monitoring consists of real-time or near-real-time detection of events and activities within the IT infrastructure. This is usually done through a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) or log management tool. It also includes verification that the controls in place to protect the organization are working correctly by looking for activity that violates security policy.
The CISO needs to understand that continuous security monitoring is not only a best practice but a necessity in today’s cybersecurity landscape. It can only be utterly secure by continuously monitoring your IT environment and third-party vendors. Implementing a third-party risk management tool is vital to any cybersecurity program.
Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their attacks and defenses. Even the best-prepared organizations learn hard lessons after a significant cyber attack. This means cybersecurity must be less about process and compliance and more responsive.
For example, a company must respond quickly when it detects a potential threat to limit the damage and mitigate the risk. This requires that all employees are educated and updated on the latest threats to recognize an attack when it occurs. This involves awareness webinars that are jargon-free and easy to understand.
No list of cyber security terms would be complete without mentioning black hat hackers (or “crackers”). These cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities to access unauthorized systems and data. White hat hackers (“penetration testers”) use technical expertise to find and fix these weaknesses, whereas black hat hackers intentionally exploit them.
A firewall is a software or hardware that protects a network against cyberattacks by allowing specific incoming and outgoing network traffic while blocking others. Every business needs to have a robust firewall solution in place.