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A Guide to Cyber Security Terminology

23 January 2017

Speaking the Same Language:
We understand that often there are some specialised terms used by cyber security experts or other members within the technology industry which persons external to the industry may struggle to understand. It can be counter-productive and unhelpful to suffer such restraints due to a lack of language familiarities. Which is why we have created a terminology list of frequently used terms:

Access Control

This relates to the restriction and the authorisation to a location. This is a security measure to ensure that only persons with certain accessibility rights are able to see certain pieces of information/go to certain locations.

Administrator

A person who manages the operation of a computer system and therefore possesses certain privileges.

Administrator Password

The unique pass code to manage the operations of a computer system. If a system is reset it requires the administrator’s password to log into the system as a method of security.

Anti-virus

Installable security software designed to detect and remove/quarantine computer viruses before they can infect the system.

Anti-spyware

Software to prevent and detect unwanted spyware program installations and to remove those programs if installed.

Archive Folder

A folder that collects multiple archive files together which provides benefits for accessibility and storage. Archive files are documents that are not used often but may be of use in the future.

Anti-virus (AV) test files

A program designed to test cyber security. They should be detected as malware by anti-virus software. If they are not detected or blocked then they don’t actually maliciously attack or infect the system.

Bring your own device (BYOD)

An IT policy where employees are allowed to use their personal mobile devices to access enterprise data and systems. This policy can raise serious security issues. If a device is infected or vulnerable, bringing it into a secure environment on the same network connection could lead to the malicious software quickly spreading between devices in the workplace, which can lead to a wealth of problems for the organisations performance.

Backdoor

This refers to the means of accessing a computer program by bypassing security mechanisms. Hackers sometimes detect existing back doors or install their own backdoors as part of their attack. If a backdoor is already present, this is because the programmer may have created it for troubleshooting or other purposes.

Backup

A virtual copy taken of information which is held on a computer in case the original copy is damaged or something happens to it and as a result loses stored information.

Basic Authentication

This is where in order to gain access onto a network or a computer system a simple user name and password is required – hence the word basic.

Biometrics

This refers to the cyber security of a system, whereby the method of authentication relies on checking against physical characteristics. For example analysing an individual’s fingerprints.

Botnet

Unbeknown to the owner, this is where a network of private computers are infected with malicious software and controlled as a group.

Brute Force

A trial and error approach to decoding encrypted data such as passwords. This method attempts to guess the password combination by guessing every possible password combination. This starts with shorter potential passwords and then this time increases as potential combinations grow greater in length and complexity.

Boundary Firewalls

The firewall restrictions in place to prevent external attacks from accessing your system by monitoring, identifying and blocking unwanted network traffic that could be harmful to your computer, systems and networks

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