Tag Archives: firewall

14 cybersecurity terms you need to know


Taking a proactive approach to your online security can help you avoid becoming a victim. Start by familiarizing yourself with these computer security terms. Understanding them can help you recognize a cyber threat — and can also help you protect your computer from one.

1. Adware

Adware is software that displays advertisements on your computer. It can take various forms, but is often a popup ad or an ad displayed in a sidebar in your browser. Typically, adware is more of an annoyance than a security risk, but in some cases it could be monitoring your online browsing activities and relaying that data to a third party.

2. Antivirus software

Antivirus software monitors your computer to find and block malicious programs like viruses. McAfee and Norton are two popular antivirus software packages. To protect your computer against new viruses, it’s important to regularly update your antivirus software.

3. Encryption

Encryption transforms plaintext (readable data) into ciphertext — which is unreadable without an encryption password. Once the user enters the correct encryption password, the text is decoded. Consider using a secure email service like GhostMail to encrypt the content of your sensitive messages.

4. Firewall

A firewall creates a barrier between the internet and your computer to help block hackers, viruses and other threats. Many security suites — like Symantec, Norton, Security Premium and Bitdefender Total Security — include firewall protection.

5. Hacker

A hacker is any unauthorized user who gains access to private data. While hacking can be used for many purposes, some criminal hackers purposefully disrupt or permanently damage an individual computer or an entire network of computers. Hacking attacks cost the average American company more than $7 million per year.

6. Keylogger software

Keylogger software is a type of spyware that records information about your computer keyboard activities — such as your internet browsing, emails, and instant messages — and then sends the data to a third party.

7. Malware

Short for “malicious software,” malware is an umbrella term used to describe software or code that’s designed to damage a computer or collect information from it. Adware, Trojans, and spyware are examples of malware.

8. Phishing

Phishing is a scam where cyber criminals send victims an email that appears to be from a legitimate business or organization. The email convinces the victim to disclose sensitive information such as their date of birth or account numbers, which the criminal often uses to steal their identity. SMiShing is a fraud that’s similar to phishing, but the victim is baited through bogus text messages rather than through email.

9. Security patch

A security patch is used to fix software or operating-system vulnerabilities that hackers could use to infect computers with a virus or another type of malware. It’s best to set up your computer to check for security patches automatically, but you can also go to the software maker’s website and manually download them.

10. Spyware

Spyware is a type of malware that’s used to monitor your activities, collect specific data, and communicate this information to a third party. Spyware can capture everything from screenshots to passwords and emails.

11. Secure Sockets Layer

SSL is a network security protocol that secures information traveling over the internet. Websites that start with “https” use an SSL connection to help keep user information safe.

12. Trojan

A Trojan is a type of malware that appears legitimate or useful — but once it’s installed, a Trojan can allow cyber criminals to do things like delete or modify your data, steal sensitive information, or disrupt your computer’s performance. Most Trojans are delivered through emails, online services, and downloads such as free games and music.

13. Virus

A virus is a self-replicating type of malware designed to corrupt or modify your computer’s programs and files. In some cases, a virus can slow your computer’s performance or stop it from working altogether. Viruses are spread in various ways, but one of the most common is through infected email attachments. Before opening any email attachment (even one from someone you know), contact the sender and confirm its legitimacy.

14. Personally identifiable information

PII, also referred to as sensitive personal information , is any information that can be used on its own — or in tandem with other information — to identify, locate, or contact a person. Driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, and home addresses are a few examples of PII that are often used to perpetrate identify theft. Use extreme caution when providing PII online, and, for extra security, disable auto-fill settings on your web browser.



Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these terms, protect yourself further by following basic computer security practices and learning about current online threats and scams.


Six Strategies for Achieving Connected Security


A Holistic Approach is Critical for Securing Your Network

But a holistic approach is probably most critical when it comes to securing your network. Just when you think you have your network secured, there is always another threat — from outside or from inside. These threats have many names: spear phishing, botnets, zero-day threats, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, insider threats and former employees. They are determined to exploit disconnected security — security tools, processes, user profiles and information that are separated in silos, leaving dangerous gaps in between.

The increasing complexity of IT environments only increases these gaps, providing attackers with many new opportunities to exploit. Consider the number of operating systems you are now slated to secure and the number of BYO devices that are a normal part of your organization’s operation, from smartphones and tablets to network-connected devices such as printers, scanners and kiosks. Yet BYOD is still in its infancy — just 24 percent of organizations say that BYOD is widely used and supported. And the Internet of Things (IoT) promises complexity on a scale that’s difficult to fathom, with analysts predicting that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, and that the number will swell to 20.8 billion by 2020.

There’s no turning back. Your users want the mobility and flexibility BYOD provides, and your organization needs to remain agile and attractive to both current and prospective talent. But neither can you ignore the security threats that continue to grow in both number and sophistication.

6 Strategies for Achieving Connected Security

By abolishing technology tunnel vision and adopting a holistic, connected approach to security, you can embrace BYOD and new technologies while also protecting your IT network and systems from attackers. Here are the six key strategies:

  1. Discover and inventory all devices — Establish a complete and accurate inventory of all connected devices and keep it current with IT asset management software. You can’t secure what you don’t know about.
  2. Keep software up to date — Make sure that you are patching your operating systems and applications regularly. Using the latest versions of software is the starting point for eliminating vulnerabilities. Gartner, Inc., reports that nearly a third (30 percent) of system weaknesses can be resolved through patch management.
  3. Maintain antivirus software on all endpoints — Antivirus software was once considered the only line of defense against attackers. Although today you need other strategies as well, it’s still imperative that current antivirus software be in force on all of your managed systems.
  4. Deploy a modern firewall — Next-generation firewalls are no longer just for larger organizations. They offer critical new technologies that provide added protection and peace of mind, and they can be both affordable and easy to manage for organizations of any size.
  5. Conduct regular IT security audits and vulnerability assessments — With OVAL and SCAP scanning, you can get ahead of the curve in finding and remediating security holes in your IT endpoints.
  6. Encrypt your data — Security from the data level to the cloud is today’s mantra. Start with endpoint data encryption, which provides a solid defense against data loss from lost or stolen devices.