Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. But you don’t need to be an IT expert to know how to protect yourself from a cyberattack. Here are helpful terms cybersecurity terms you need to know so you’re not left in the dark.
For a long time, the phrase “computer virus” was used to define every type of attack that intended to harm your computers and networks. In actuality, a virus is a specific type of attack, or malware. Whereas a virus is designed to replicate itself, any software created for the purpose of destroying or unfairly accessing networks and data should be referred to as malware.
Don’t let all the other words ending in “ware” confuse you; they are all just subcategories of malware. One of the most popular of these is “ransomware,” which encrypts valuable data until a ransom is paid for its return.
Intrusion protection system(IPS)
There are several ways to safeguard your network from malware, but IPSs are quickly becoming one of the non-negotiables. IPSs sit inside of your firewall and look for malicious activity before it can take advantage of a known vulnerability.
Not all types of malware rely solely on fancy computer programming. Experts agree that the majority of attacks require some form of “social engineering” to be successful. Social engineering is the act of tricking people, rather than computers, into revealing sensitive information. Complicated software is totally unnecessary if you can convince potential victims that you need their password to secure their account.
Despite often relying on face-to-face interactions, social engineering does occasionally employ more technical methods. Phishing is the act of creating an application or website that impersonates a trustworthy site in order to elicit confidential information. Just because you received an email that says it’s from the IRS doesn’t mean it really is. You should always verify the source of any service requesting your personal data.
Antivirus software is often misunderstood as the be all and end all to secure your computers and workstations. These applications are just one piece of the cybersecurity puzzle and can only scan the drives on which they are installed for signs of well-known malware variants.
Malware is most dangerous when it has been released but not yet discovered by cybersecurity experts. When a vulnerability is found within a piece of software, vendors will release an update to amend the gap in security. However, if cyberattackers release a piece of malware that has never been seen before, that exploits one of these holes before the vulnerability is found, it is called a zero-day attack.
When software developers discover a security vulnerability in their programming, they usually release a small file to “patch” this gap. Patches are essential to keeping your network secure from the vultures lurking on the internet. By checking for and installing patches as often as possible, you keep your software protected.
When antivirus software, patches, and intrusion detection fail to keep your information secure, there’s only one thing that will: quarantined off-site storage. Duplicating your data offline and storing it somewhere other than your business’s workspace ensures that if there is a malware infection, you’re equipped with backups.
We aren’t just creating a glossary of cybersecurity terms; every day, we’re writing a new chapter to the history of this ever-evolving industry. And no matter what you might think, we are available to impart that knowledge on anyone who comes knocking. Get in touch with us today and find out just how we can help you with your IT woes.