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Top 50 Cyber Security Terms You Should Know in 2024

25th Apr, 2024
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    Top 50 Cyber Security Terms You Should Know in 2024

    With the rapid growth in technology and increasing numbers of cyber-crimes, the cyber security domain is taking the industry by storm. The enormous and most advanced organizations are falling victim to cyber-attacks due to weak cyber security strategies and awareness. For example, highly confidential and sensitive data such as social security numbers were later stolen in the Equifax hack, affecting over 145 million people. 

    Unfortunately, as long as computers exist, there will be a risk of having digital identity and data compromised and exploited. However, living in the digital generation is not particularly scary, especially if you know how to drive this car and starting this journey by learning cyber security terminology is the best way. Grasp how your digital surroundings work is not as formidable as it sounds. Good training on curated Cyber Security course content will give you enough knowledge to safeguard you in this digital life. 

    What is Cybersecurity Terminology?  

    In simple words, the terminology is the breakdown of terms and their usage. Terms are words and compound words that in specific meanings in specific contexts meaning that the meaning of the same word could be different in another context according to the given situation in everyday language. The continuously transforming world of cybersecurity can leave you longing for an understanding of today's modern threats due to a lack of cybersecurity vocabulary words. 

    The best way to get familiar with cyber security is to have one-on-one hands-on training by choosing the best hacking course for your needs. This article will take you through some of the cyber security terms. 

    Top 50 Cybersecurity Terms to Get Started in Cyber Security  

    1. Authentication 

    This is one of the common cyber security terms. Authentication is the process of identifying someone's or something's identity, making sure that something is true, genuine, or valid. This can be carried out either by a PIN/password, retina scan, or biometric scan, sometimes even a combination of these things. 

    2. Botnet 

    A combination of the words “robot” and “network”, a botnet is a network of devices (computers, routers, etc.) that have been infected with a malicious code and can be operated continuously to create malicious security operations. These attacks can be of any type including click fraud, Bitcoin mining, sending spam e-mails, and Dos/DDoS attacks. 

    3. Data Breach 

    A data breach is one of the basic cybersecurity terms that is the result when a hacker successfully attacks the Business, government, and individual, gaining control of its network, system, server, or database and exposing its data, usually personal data such as Credit Card numbers, Bank Account numbers, Username passwords, Social Security numbers, and more. 

    4. DDoS 

    DDoS is short for Distributed Denial of Service, and this attack makes the availability disappear from the CIA triad. This malicious attack utilizes multiple sources to generate a lot of traffic to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted service, server, or network. The overwhelming Internet traffic to the target or its surrounding infrastructure locks up the system and forces it to temporarily stay unavailable. 

    5. Encryption 

    Encryption is the technique by which any kind of information can be converted into a secret form that conceals the actual meaning of the information. It helps protect confidential information and sensitive & critical data and can improve the security of communication. 

    6. Exploit 

    An exploit is a code or program developed to find and take advantage of a security flaw or vulnerability in an application, network, or computer system, typically for malicious purposes such as installing malware. 

    7. Firewall 

    Firewalls can be in the form of software or hardware, monitors, and filters inbound and outbound network traffic based on an organization's created security policies. 

    8. Malware 

    Malware is the short form for “malicious software”, describing a wide variety of malicious software or code used to infect and/or damage a system. It comes in all shapes and sizes. For example, Ransomware, worms, viruses, and trojans are all considered malware and can be in the format of Images, documents, pdf, or multimedia and can be delivered through any channel like spam email, SMS, the man-in-the-middle attack, etc. 

    9. Man in the Middle Attack 

    A man in the middle (MITM) attack is a widespread term for when an adversary positions himself in a conversation happening between a user and an application or even between a computer and router and listens to all the data transmitted between them and in most cases, the adversary is also able to crack the encryption. 

    10. Phishing 

    Phishing is a sort of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It happens when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, deceives a victim into clicking on an email, instant message, or text message. 

    The recipient is then tricked into clicking a malicious link, which can lead to the installation of malware, the freezing of the system as part of a ransomware attack, or the revealing of sensitive information. 

    11. Ransomware 

    This term is used in cyber security to represent a kind of malware. It is a type of malware that is designed to restrict access to the files on your system by encrypting the files. It stays restricted to access until you send money (ransom) to unlock everything. 

    12. Spoofing 

    Spoofing is when someone or something pretends to be something else to gain a victim's trust, get access to a system, steal data, or spread malware. 

    13. Spyware 

    It is also one type of malware designed for a specific purpose to spy on you and your computer activities. If any device, including a mobile device, or computer. With an infected device, an adversary can access your text messages, read the file system, redirect your phone calls, access your webcam, and even track down where you are with your geographical location. 

    14. Trojan Horse 

    Yet another type of malware, this one is a misleading computer program that looks innocent but contains malicious code or program within that allows the bad actor to hack into your system via a backdoor, allowing them to compromise your computer. 

    15. Virus 

    A computer virus is a class of malicious software, or malware, that circulates between computers and causes damage to data and software. Computer viruses strive to disrupt systems, cause significant functional issues, and result in data loss and leakage. In some circumstances, a virus can cause physical damage. 

    16. VPN 

    VPN is an acronym standing for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is a technique of connecting two or more computers and devices in a private encrypted network, with an individual user’s IP address being replaced by the VPN’s IP address. VPN users obtain Internet anonymity by encrypted connection and new IP address, making it difficult for hackers to compromise. 

    17. Worm 

    A computer worm is a type of malware that can reproduce itself and spreads copies to other computers in the network. A worm can replicate itself without any human interaction, and can slow down a system by eating up resources, or by committing exploits such as installing back doors or stealing data and it does not need to attach itself to a software program. 

    18. Rootkit 

    This one is another type of malware that permits cybercriminals to remotely control your computer. Rootkits are particularly damaging because they are difficult to detect, this malicious program allows administrator-level access and can stay on your computer for a prolonged duration. 

    19. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) 

    Bring your device (BYOD) refers to the trend of employees utilizing personal devices to connect to their organization's networks and access work-related servers and sensitive or confidential data. Personal devices could include personal computers, smartphones, tablets, or USB drives. 

    IT departments should be decisive on whether or not to allow employees to download non-work apps onto their devices as malware often is found in the garb of innocent-looking programs on the app store. 

    20. Pen-testing 

    Pen-testing or PT is Short for “penetration testing,” this method is an approved simulated attack executed on a computer system or devices to assess its security. Penetration testers use the same tools, techniques, and processes as a bad hacker would do to execute attacks. 

    21. Social Engineering 

    This technique includes psychologically manipulating human minds and breaking standard security procedures and best practices to gain unauthorized access to systems, networks, or physical locations or for financial gain. 

    22. Deepfake 

    Deepfake is the process of developing audio, image, or video clip that has been edited and manipulated to appear real or believable. The most damaging effect of the popularity of deepfakes is that they can smoothly convince somebody into believing a particular story or theory that may result in user behavior with a bigger impact on political or financial. 

    23. Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 

    An advanced persistent threat (APT) is an all-around term used to express an attack movement in which an intruder, or team of intruders, establishes an illegal, long-term presence on a network to excavate overly sensitive data. APTs are usually run by nation-state threat actors desiring to cause powerful disruption and damage to a nation's economic and political stability. 

    24. Brute Force Attack 

    A brute force attack abuses the trial-and-error method to guess login info, encryption keys, or find a hidden directory adversary work through all potential combinations hoping to guess correctly. 

    25. Business Continuity Plan 

    A Business Continuity Plan is an organization’s document for how to operate in an emergency, like a natural calamity or massive cyberattack. The business continuity plan delivers safeguards against a disaster and summarizes the strategies and action plan on how to continue business as usual. 

    26. Crypto-jacking 

    Crypto-jacking is a type of cybercrime where an adversary compromises and secretly uses a victim's computing power to generate or “mine” cryptocurrency. Mining can be accomplished by installing a malicious program on the target computer or through various fileless malware. 

    27. Cyberbullying 

    Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means primarily messaging and social media platforms. 

    28. Dark Web 

    The dark web is the undercover collective of internet sites that are only unrestricted by a specialized web browser called TOR. It is operated to maintain internet activity anonymous and private, which can be useful in both legal and illegal activities. 

    29. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) 

    Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), also known as endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR) are tools for protecting computer endpoints from potential threats. EDR platforms incorporate software and networking instruments for detecting suspicious endpoint activities, usually via constant monitoring. 

    30. Fileless Malware 

    Fileless malware is a variety of malicious activities that utilize native, legitimate tools constructed into a system to execute an attack. Unlike conventional malware, fileless malware does not need an adversary to install any code or program on a target's system, this makes it hard to detect as well. 

    31. Identity and Access Management (IAM) 

    Identity and Access Management (IAM) is the methodology used by an organization to grant or deny access to a certain system. This is a framework of business strategies, procedures, and technologies that enables the management of electronic or digital identities. 

    32. Insider Threat 

    An Insider Threat is when an authorized internal user, usually an employee or contractor, poses a danger to an organization because they have authorized access to inside information and therefore bypass the most perimeter-based guard. 

    33. Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) 

    An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is a network security system created to control and prevent network penetration by malicious actors. 

    34. Keylogger 

    A Keylogger is spyware software, or you can say malware, that records every keystroke pressed by a user on a compromised computer’s keyboard. It can capture everything a user types, including messages, emails, credentials, and other sensitive data. 

    35. Malvertising 

    Malvertising is the process of using online ads to spread malicious programs. Adversary embeds a malicious script in a banner or redirects users who click on an ad to a page containing code for downloading malware. In some circumstances, visitors do not even need to click on a fake ad; the code executes when the ad is displayed. 

    36. Patch 

    A Patch delivers additional, revised, or updated code for an operating system or application. Excluding open-source software, most software vendors do not publicize their source code. 

    37. PII 

    Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is a type of data that identifies the unique identity of an individual. Many organizations collect one's name, email address, phone number, bank account number, and government-issued ID number. When these data are leaked, people may become victims of identity theft. 

    38. Sandbox(ing) 

    A sandbox is the setup of an isolated environment on a network that simulates end-user operating conditions. Sandboxes are utilized to safely run suspicious code without risking harm to the host device or network. 

    39. Security Operations Center (SOC) 

    An Information Security Operations Center (ISOC or SOC) is a facility where enterprise information systems, including all important assets, are monitored, assessed, and defended by SOC analysts. 

    40. Threat Hunting 

    Cyber Threat Hunting is a dynamic cyber defense exercise where cybersecurity professionals vigorously search networks to detect and mitigate advanced threats that bypass existing security solutions. 

    41. WAF 

    A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a specific arrangement of application security systems that filters, monitors, and blocks HTTP traffic inbound and outbound web service. Examining HTTP traffic can prevent attacks exploiting a web application’s known vulnerabilities. 

    42. Zero-day Exploit 

    Zero-day Exploit is used to define exploit code that has been written to take advantage of a vulnerability before the vendor knows about the vulnerability and can release a patch for it. 

    43. Honeypot 

    This technique diverges or diverts adversaries by offering false prey, such as a computer, server, device, or data. 

    44. Shadow IT 

    Any IT systems, software, or devices being utilized in an organization without the authorization of the IT division. 

    45. Cookie 

    Cookies are little pieces of plain text shipped to your browser by a website you visit. This is sent by a server to the browser and is returned to the server every time it accesses the website. This is utilized to identify the user or track their access to the server. 

    46. Metadata 

    Harmless impersonal data, like how many times a user clicked, refreshed the page when visiting a website, date created, date modified, and file size. 

    47. Script 

    A simple structure of code for software that can be written in text editors. 

    48. Deep Web 

    The deep web (non-indexed internet) is an alike concept to the dark web but has a less shady character unlike the dark web, the deep web does not require its users to use a particular special browser and is not hidden by sophisticated methods; all you need is to know the address of the resource you want to access and sometimes the credentials. 

    49. Digital Signature 

    A digital signature is a method used for the encrypted, electronic stamp of authentication on digital information such as documents, emails, macros, or digital content. A digital signature assures that the information or data originating from the signer has not been altered. 

    50. Intellectual Property 

    IP short for Intellectual Property, is intangible property that is the result of creativity, such as patents, copyrights, etc. Cyber theft of Intellectual Property (IP) is also one threat. Cyber theft of IP means stealing copyrights, trade secrets, patents, etc., using the internet and computers. 

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    This article took you through the 50 cybersecurity terms that are popular and extensively used in cybersecurity, and going through all key terms will make a sturdy base to gain knowledge of cybersecurity. Also, it will further smoothen the process of learning about cybersecurity extensively. This article will especially prove helpful for people who are planning to move to cybersecurity and ethical hacking domain. Here, you can get extensive information on cybersecurity basics and fundamentals in KnowledgeHut's Cyber Security course content

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What basics do I need to learn cyber security?

    For learning cyber security, the prerequisites are basic. If you have a good computer background and can perform a regular everyday operation on computers and having a bit of networking knowledge will always be helpful. Coding is not needed initially, but if you want to learn advanced hacking or cyber security, then coding will also be required in the future. 

    2What are the key terms of cyber security?

    Terms, Vocabulary, Glossary, and Terminologies are the type of words that give you the idea of the cybersecurity language and help you understand better, and working on the same domain helps you learn faster.

    3Which cybersecurity course is best for beginners?

    The best cybersecurity course comprises a mixture of networking, cyber security, ethical hacking and defense. CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA CySA+ are some of the best cybersecurity certifications for entry-level people. At KnowledgeHut Cyber Security course, you can find all things blended and curated together for better learning.


    Vitesh Sharma

    Blog Author

    Vitesh Sharma, a distinguished Cyber Security expert with a wealth of experience exceeding 6 years in the Telecom & Networking Industry. Armed with a CCIE and CISA certification, Vitesh possesses expertise in MPLS, Wi-Fi Planning & Designing, High Availability, QoS, IPv6, and IP KPIs. With a robust background in evaluating and optimizing MPLS security for telecom giants, Vitesh has been instrumental in driving large service provider engagements, emphasizing planning, designing, assessment, and optimization. His experience spans prestigious organizations like Barclays, Protiviti, EY, PwC India, Tata Consultancy Services, and more. With a unique blend of technical prowess and management acumen, Vitesh remains at the forefront of ensuring secure and efficient networking solutions, solidifying his position as a notable figure in the cybersecurity landscape.

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