Are you flummoxed by Firewalls, flustered by Phishing and mixed up about Malware? Here are some of the most commonly used terms.  

If there are any terms that don’t appear here, but that you would like explained, contact Net Primates and we’ll run through the terminology with you. 

If you want more information on Cyber Security, the risks associated with it, and how to avoid them sign up for one of our Cyber Security Seminars by emailing [email protected] 

Name  Explanation 
Cyber Attack  Deliberate attempt to breach the information system of an individual or organisation without authorisation. An umbrella term that encompasses many different types of attack. The attack may steal, alter or destroy a specified target. 
Dark Web  The dangerous underbelly of the Internet, consisting of anonymous marketplaces where criminal activity is carried out. It’s here where Cyber Criminals liaise, selling stolen data such as Passwords, Credit Card details, or Intellectual Property, organising cyber attacks and sharing tips. Not a good place to be, or have your data! 
Decrypted  Process of converting electronic information or signals that were stored, written or sent in a secret code, back into a form that is understandable.  Basically getting your data back after it’s been held to ransom! 
Encrypted  Process of encoding a message or information so that it cannot easily be deciphered by unauthorised parties. Encryption is becoming more and more vital to prevent data from being accessed and used for criminal gain. 
Firewall  Computer network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It’s designed to prevent unauthorised access to or from a private network. Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) provide vastly superior protection over a traditional firewall, by layering reputational lookups, intelligent content scanning, and virus protection to their solution. 
Hacker  Skilled computer expert that uses their skills to overcome a problem. The term has become synonymous with ‘security hackers’ who use their technical knowledge to break into computer systems in order to carry out criminal activity. 
Imposter Email  An email that appears to be from one person or organisation known to the recipient, but is from a Cyber Criminal. Can also be called Impersonation Fraud / Fraudulent Email / Colleague Impersonation / Phishing / Spoofing. Recipients can be fooled into providing information that they wouldn’t ordinarily give away to an unknown person or organisation. 
Malware  Software that has been intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server or network. There are many types of Malware including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and ransomware. 
Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)  Method used to prove the identity of a computer user. Access to computer systems will only be allowed once two or more pieces of evidence (factors) are presented. This can include displaying knowledge that only the user can know, the user being in possession of a particular piece of hardware and inherent factors such as the use of a fingerprint. 
Password Manager  Assists in generating and retrieving passwords, storing them in an encrypted database behind a single Master Password (and MFA!). Available as a Cloud Service or traditional software program, a Password Manager makes using secure passwords easy for everyone, prevents people re-using passwords on multiple sites, and negates the excuse ‘I can’t remember secure passwords’. 
Password Policy  Set of rules to enhance computer security by employing strong passwords that help maintain cyber security. The policy can be simply advisory, providing information to users on how they should use their passwords, or computer systems can be in place to enforce rules.  
Phishing  Email, social media and instant messaging attacks where a Cyber Criminal sends a message pretending to be from a known source, with the intention of tricking the recipient into giving away information that can ultimately be used for monetary gain. 
Ransomware  Type of Malware that threatens to publish a victim’s data, or block access to data, unless a ransom is paid. This can involve encrypting data, making it inaccessible to the data owner. 
Security Breach  Occurs when an unauthorised 3rd party gains access to an organisation’s systems and data. Also referred to as a Data Breach.