Glossary Of Cyber Security Terms

A

Antivirus – Software that is designed to detect, stop and remove viruses.

Authentication – Verifying that someone is who they claim to be when they access a computer or online service.

B

Backing up – Making a copy of data stored on a computer or server in case the original data is damaged or lost.

Bring your own device (BYOD) – When personally owned mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets are authorised for use in the workplace.

Broadband – High-speed data transmission system capable of transporting multiple traffic types.

C

CEO fraud – When a fraudster purporting to be a senior member of an organisation emails the firm’s cashier or an employee responsible for finance, requesting them to make a bank transfer to a third party. The fraudster may email from a look-a-like email address, so the employee assumes it is a genuine instruction.

Cloud – Where shared resources are stored and accessed, usually online instead of locally.

Cyber – A broad term encompassing the technological elements of modern society, from computers and emails to websites and smart devices

Cyber-attack – An attack on the technology used by an individual or organisation, using technical and social engineering techniques to gain unauthorised access to data and systems.

D

E

Encryption – The conversion of data into a code in order to prevent unauthorised access.

F

Firewall – Hardware or software designed to act as a barrier between a trusted network and an untrusted network by controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic.

G

H

Hacker – Someone who violates computer security to gain unauthorised access to data.

Hard disk – Permanent storage medium within a computer.

 

I

Identification – The process of recognising a particular user of a computer or service.

Invoice fraud – A fraudster obtains details of a firm’s suppliers (for example, IT suppliers) and emails the finance department, purportedly as the supplier, asking for invoice remittances to be sent to a new bank.

Internet service provider (ISP) – Company that provides access to the internet and further services.

J

K

Keyboard logger – A virus that records keystrokes to secretly capture confidential information (such as credit card details).

L

Local area network (LAN) – Communications network linking multiple computers within a geographical location such as an office building.

 

M

Macro virus – Malware that infects common applications (eg word processing programs) and causes a sequence of actions to be performed when the application is started.

Malware – Software intended to infiltrate and damage computers (abbreviation of malicious software).

N

No hang-up – Fraudsters purporting to be trustworthy may suggest you hang up and ring your bank or the police immediately on a trusted number. However, they don’t disconnect the call, so when you dial the genuine phone number you are still connected to the fraudster or an accomplice who pursues the scam.

O

 

P

Phishing – The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from a trustworthy source in order to induce individuals to reveal sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and payment card numbers, online. Phishing is often associated with spam emails.

Q

R

S

Smart device – A device that has internet connectivity and the ability to run computer programs or apps. Includes smartphones and tablets.

Spyware – Malware that secretly passes on information about a computer user’s activities to an external party.

T

Trojan – A type of virus disguised as legitimate software that can be used to hack into the victim’s computer.

Two-factor authentication – Obtaining evidence of identity by two independent means, eg knowing a password and receiving a pass code via a mobile phone.

 

U

V

Virus – A piece of code loaded onto a computer without the user’s knowledge, capable of copying itself and causing damage or disruption.

Vishing – Using telephone calls to dupe someone into providing personal details (abbreviation of ‘voice phishing’). It is often accompanied by knowledge of transactions gained during phishing.

W

Wide area network (WAN) – Communications network linking computers across different geographical locations.