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In light of recent global events, there is a heightened risk of cyber-attacks. We urge local organisations to exercise additional vigilance when monitoring IT infrastructure. Please report suspicious activity to us via our Cyber Concerns Reporting Tool.

Familiarising yourself with these terms is a great starting point to better understanding some of the work that goes into securing your accounts and devices, and the threats that cyber security specialists (and you) have to face every day.

Cyber Safety Terms

Anti-virus - Anti-virus software is used to monitor a computer, device or network to detect and remove or neutralise threats such as malicious software (malware).

Authentication - Authentication is the process of verifying the identity or other attributes of a user, process or device.

Certificate - A digital certificate is a form of digital identity verification that allows a computer, user or organisation to securely exchange information.

Cryptography - The study of encoding. Also, the use of code/cipher/mathematical techniques to secure data and provide authentication of users, devices and data.

Cyber Security - A collective term used to describe the protection of electronic and computer networks, programs, systems and data against malicious attacks and unauthorised access.

Encryption - The use of a cipher to protect information, making it unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the key to decode it.

Firewall - A virtual boundary surrounding a network or device that is used to protect it from unwanted access. Can be hardware (physical device) or software (computer application). 

Patching - The process of applying updates to firmware or software, whether to improve security or enhance performance.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) - The use of two or more different components to verify a user’s claimed identity. Also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Cyber Threat Terms

Botnet - A collection of infected computers and devices which can be remotely controller by a cyber-criminal.

Brute-Force Attack - The use of computer programs to try and identify a password allowing unauthorised access to a system or device.

Software Bug - A software bug is an error, flaw or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways.

Cyber Attack - Deliberate and malicious attempts to damage, disrupt or gain access to computer systems, networks or devices, via electronic means.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) - An attack launched on a system, usually by a network of computers called a Botnet, which causes disruption to a computer or website.

Exploits - Exploits are designed to take advantage of a flaw or vulnerability in a computer system, typically for malicious purposes such as installing malware.

Phishing Emails - A virtual boundary surrounding a network or device that is used to protect it from unwanted access. Can be hardware (physical device) or software (computer application). 

Ransomware - This is a type of malware (malicious software) that denies you access to your files or computer until a ransom is paid. Some may also exfiltrate private data and threaten to release it publicly.

Zero-Day - Recently discovered vulnerabilities (or bugs) in systems and software, not yet known to vendors or antivirus companies that hackers can exploit.