Cybersecurity Glossary

Cybersecurity and IT in general is packed with jargon, and my Cybersecurity Glossary aims to provide a synopsis of each of the key terms that you need to know. In an era dominated by cyber threats and evolving security landscapes, knowledge is your first line of defense. Our cybersecurity glossary and cybersecurity dictionary is designed to demystify the terminology surrounding cybersecurity, empowering you to make informed decisions, fortify your digital assets, and stay ahead of potential threats.

Parrot OS

Parrot OS is a Debian-based Linux distribution specifically designed for penetration testing, forensic analysis, ethical hacking, and cybersecurity research. It comes with a wide range of pre-installed tools and utilities for various security tasks, including network analysis, vulnerability assessment, digital forensics, and privacy protection. Parrot OS offers a lightweight and customizable environment suitable for both beginners and experienced security professionals. It emphasizes privacy and anonymity, providing tools for secure communication and anonymity online.

Windows 7

Windows 7 is an operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and became generally available on October 22, 2009. Windows 7 succeeded Windows Vista and introduced several improvements, including a more streamlined user interface, faster performance, improved taskbar functionality, and enhanced security features. It quickly became one of the most popular versions of Windows due to its stability and user-friendly experience. However, it reached its end of life on January 14, 2020, meaning Microsoft no longer provides security updates or support for the operating system, making it vulnerable to security threats.

Microsoft Powershell

Microsoft PowerShell is a robust command-line shell and scripting language developed primarily for system administration tasks within Windows environments. It provides administrators with a powerful toolset to manage and automate various aspects of IT infrastructure, from managing system configurations and services to executing administrative tasks across multiple machines remotely. PowerShell’s flexibility and extensibility make it a valuable tool for both day-to-day operations and complex automation workflows.

Spyware

Spyware is malicious software designed to secretly collect information about a user’s activities without their knowledge or consent. It can monitor keystrokes, capture screenshots, record browsing habits, and gather sensitive data such as passwords or personal information. Often installed without the user’s awareness, spyware poses a significant threat to privacy and security, as it enables unauthorised parties to access and misuse sensitive information for various malicious purposes. Users are advised to employ robust cybersecurity measures, including reputable antivirus software, to detect and remove spyware from their systems.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who, in 2013, leaked classified information revealing widespread global surveillance programs. His disclosures ignited a global debate on privacy, government surveillance, and digital rights. Snowden is seen by some as a whistleblower and by others as a traitor, highlighting the complex ethical and legal issues surrounding mass surveillance and whistleblowing in the digital age.

Allow List

An allow list, also known as a whitelist, is a cybersecurity measure that specifies a list of trusted entities, applications, or actions that are explicitly permitted or allowed to access a particular resource, service, or network. Allow lists help organisations enforce security policies by restricting access to only approved entities or activities, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorised access, malware infections, and other security threats. Compared to deny lists, which specify prohibited entities or actions, allow lists provide a more proactive and granular approach to access control and security enforcement.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

AES is a widely used symmetric encryption algorithm that is employed to secure sensitive data in various applications, including data storage, communication, and digital signatures. AES uses a block cipher to encrypt and decrypt data in fixed-size blocks (128, 192, or 256 bits) and is considered one of the most secure encryption algorithms available today. It is used by governments, organisations, and individuals worldwide to protect confidential information and ensure data confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity.

Administrative Account

An administrative account is a user account with elevated privileges and permissions within a system or network. These accounts typically have access to sensitive resources, configurations, and administrative functions necessary for managing the system or network infrastructure. Due to their elevated privileges, administrative accounts are prime targets for attackers, and thus, they require strong security measures such as multi-factor authentication, regular auditing, and strict access controls to prevent unauthorised access and mitigate potential security risks.

Ad Hoc Network

An ad hoc network is a decentralised type of wireless network in which devices communicate directly with each other without the need for a central access point or infrastructure. Ad hoc networks are often formed spontaneously and temporarily, allowing devices to establish direct peer-to-peer connections and share resources such as files, printers, or internet access. While ad hoc networks offer flexibility and convenience, they can also pose security challenges due to the lack of centralised control and the potential for unauthorised access or interception of communication.

Accreditation

Accreditation in cybersecurity refers to the formal evaluation and approval of information systems, networks, or organisations to ensure they meet specific security standards and requirements. Accreditation typically involves assessing the security posture of the system or organisation, identifying vulnerabilities and risks, implementing security controls, and obtaining official certification or accreditation from a recognised authority or regulatory body. Accreditation demonstrates that the entity has implemented adequate security measures to protect sensitive information and mitigate cybersecurity risks.

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Aitken Security is a UK Cybersecurity Company specialising in offensive and defensive security.