Every industry has its own lingo, and the technology sector is no different – in fact, it’s flooded with acronyms. As the necessity for prioritizing cybersecurity increases so does the need to become familiar with its terminology. No need to subtly search tech terms on your phone during your next meeting. We’ve created a list of key acronyms, so you’ll be able to navigate the vast cybersecurity landscape with ease the next time you head into a security focused conversation. How many acronyms do you know?
Cybersecurity Terms 101:
- AES – Advanced Encryption Standard
AES was established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is used in software and hardware globally to encrypt classified information and other sensitive data. Today, AES has become the encryption standard for protecting the transfer of online data. A few examples of AES encryption usage include mobile apps, cloud computing storage, internet browsers, virtual private networks, Wi-Fi and the use of secure file transfer protocols such as FTPS.
- APT – Advanced Persistent Threat
An APT is a targeted and lengthy cyberattack where a sly cybercriminal gains unauthorized access to a computer network and goes undetected for a long period of time. The main purpose of an APT attack is for intruders to gain continuous access to the compromised system.
- AV – Antivirus
Antivirus is a software designed to prevent, scan, detect and remove computer viruses. It monitors the behavior of programs, searching for threats and flagging unusual behavior.
- CMMC – Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification
CMMC is a standard for implementing cybersecurity across the defense industrial base and was launched by the Department of Defense to protect sensitive national security data. Any contractor or vendor that does business with the Department of Defense is required to obtain a CMMC certification.
- CVE – Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures
CVE is a list of publicly known information on security threats and vulnerabilities.
- DoS / DDoS – Denial of Service / Distributed Denial of Service
A DoS attack makes a server unavailable by flooding it with traffic to the point where the system crashes. In a DDoS attack, a hacker uses multiple machines to disrupt normal traffic on a network or server, making it unavailable to its users.
- DFARS – Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement
DFARS is administered by the Department of Defense (DoD) and applies to any company that wants to contract with the Department of Defense or that generates DoD-related revenue. The primary goal of DFARS is to protect sensitive government data.
- DLP – Data Loss Prevention or Data Leak Prevention
DLP software detects and prevents data breaches and is designed to prevent sensitive data from being destroyed and misused by unauthorized personnel. It also helps control the data users are able transfer outside the corporate network.
- DNS Attack – Domain Name System
A DNS translates a domain name that’s readable by humans (for example, www.ironedgegroup.com) into an IP address on the internet that’s readable by machines (seen as a series of numbers). In a DNS attack, threat actors exploit vulnerabilities in the domain name system. In this type of attack, cybercriminals replace an authorized IP addresses of a legit website and redirect users to a fake website.
- EDR / ETDR – Endpoint Detection & Response / Endpoint Threat Detection and Response
EDR, also known as ETDR, is an endpoint security solution that works to monitor, detect and protect devices from sophisticated cyber threats across your environment. Its goal is to wipe out the threat before it can spread across your network.
- IAM – Identity and Access Management
IAM is a feature that manages digital identities and user permissions so the right users can access the technology resources they need at the right time for the right reasons.
- IDS / IPS – Intrusion Detections System / Intrusion Prevention Systems
IDS is a software monitoring system that monitors your network traffic, detects malicious activity and alerts you when violations are found. An IPS network security tool is designed to actively analyze and report malicious activity to the network manager. IPS goes one step further to block the intrusion from occurring.
- IoT – Internet of Things
IoT refers to physical devices that are connected to the internet. On the cybersecurity side of things, they can pose a threat if devices are not properly secured.
- MDR – Managed Detection and Response
MDR is a managed cybersecurity service designed to protect your critical data with continuous monitoring, incident response and threat detection to reduce the impact of a data breach.
- MFA / 2FA – Multi-factor Authentication / 2 Factor Authentication
MFA and 2FA are security tools that add an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring users to provide two or more methods of verification when logging in. Answering a security question, security tokens, login PIN numbers and codes sent via text message or phone call are all part of the multistep verification process.
- NGAV – NextGen Antivirus
NGAV offers an advanced endpoint security and is designed to prevent all types of attacks whether known or unknown.
- NIST – National Institute of Standards and Technology
NIST is a non-regulatory government agency housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its goal is to develop security standards for IT systems and help businesses keep sensitive information secure.
- NOC – Network Operations Center
A NOC is a centralized location where IT teams can continuously monitor and manage a company’s network. The NOC team supports the IT infrastructure, resolves issues and ensures all systems are protected and backed up.
- SIEM – Security Information and Event Management
SIEM is a security software tool that monitors, logs and detects threats through collecting and analyzing security events across an array of cumulative data. It combines Security Information Management (SIM) technology to collect and analyze data from log files and reports threats with Security Event Management (SEM) to carry out system monitoring and notify security teams of any complications.
- SOC – Security Operations Center
A SOC is an IT security team that focuses on threat prevention, incident detection and response and monitoring security incidents. The unit carries out the overall cybersecurity strategy and works around the clock to protect the organization’s network and enhance security.
- SSO – Single Sign-On
SSO is an authentication tool that allows a user to log in once with a single set of credentials to access multiple applications, services and websites.
- VPN – Virtual Private Network
A VPN will encrypt your website traffic so hackers can’t see the sites you’re browsing—making you a harder target for hackers who are looking for an easy victim. It allows users to connect to their corporate network remotely as if they were working in the office.
- ZTNA – Zero Trust Network Access
ZTNA is an IT security solution that enables remote users to access internal applications securely on a case-by-case basis. It’s the technology that supports a zero-trust model that many companies are embracing today and is an alternative to using a VPN.
Behind the cybersecurity jargon is a framework of tools designed to safeguard individual users and businesses alike. With proper knowledge and understanding of their significance you’ll be on your way to fortifying your critical data. After all, there’s always something new brewing on the horizon for cybersecurity teams as advanced security tools emerge to defend against sophisticated threats.