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Cyber security has quickly become a priority for consumers and businesses alike. For the past seven years, data security has been a top concern for IT departments, according to Global Knowledge. However, if you're not tuned in to the cybersecurity world, you may be a little confused by some of the terminology. To help decode the difference between things like IPS and VPN, here's a basic list of terms and their definitions to get you started.



AuthenticationThe process of verifying a person's identity when trying to gain access to a computer or files.
APT, advanced persistent threatA high-level, complex attack aimed at obtaining sensitive data over a long period of time. Read more about What is APT and APT Warning Signs.
Back upStoring copies of your files on a server, hard drive, computer or removable drive to access in case of loss.
Cloud computingComputing services from remote servers.
Cyber SecurityThe strategic act of protecting information and communications through a variety of sophisticated tools, policies and processes.
Data breachUnauthorized access of data.
EncryptionTransforming data to conceal or hide it.
Endpoint securitySecuring devices at the endpoint of a network; these include mobile devices (tablets, laptops) employees use.
Enterprise risk managementA comprehensive approach to protect a company's assets by identifying risks, implementing countermeasures and responding to threats in real time.
FirewallHardware or software designed to keep unwanted users out of your network.
HackerSomeone who violates security to access data for a malicious reason.
ISP, internet service providerA company that supplies a connection to the Internet.
IPS, intrusion prevention systemA program that detects and blocks hackers from accessing your computer or data.
Keystroke loggerSoftware or a hardware device that records keystrokes to secretly capture information like passwords.
MalwareSoftware intended to carry out unauthorized and harmful actions on a computer
PhishingEmail scams sent by hackers meant to obtain sensitive information like banking information or passwords.
Risk assessmentThe process of identifying potential risks that your specific company and network face.
SpywareMalware that monitors activity or information on your computer without consent and sends it to another person.
VPN, virtual private networkA safer way to access the Web by routing your connection through a server that conceals your location. Read more about What is VPN.
VirusMalware designed to self-replicate.
WormMalware that installs itself once on a computer and copies itself to other computers.

For many people, managing cybersecurity is a task best left to experts. An effective cyber security company can help you assess your risks, implement proactive solutions and handle threats that arise.

The Basics: Need-to-Know Cyber Security Terms

Cyber security has quickly become a priority for consumers and businesses. Check out the list of basic cyber security definitions you need to know.
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