Cybersecurity 101: Terminology
Written by Jaxine Kurniawan
The digital era has transformed our way of life. If you use a technological device (yes, this includes your smartphone), you must be aware of how dangerous the internet may be. From phishing to scam calls, the hacking possibilities are endless. So, whether you're a tech wiz or someone who spends most of their time on TikTok, you should have a basic understanding of cyber lingo. Without further ado, here are some cybersecurity terms that everyone should be familiar with.
If you've had your email for a while, you've probably received at least one phishing email. Phishing is a technique used by scammers to acquire a victim's personal information by impersonating a corporation or institution. This is accomplished by sending fraudulent emails, messages, phone calls, or other forms of communications that appear authentic to targets, then instructing them to perform a specific action in order to get access to data such as passwords, bank accounts, and other sensitive information. Spear phishing, vishing, and email phishing are all examples of phishing. Spear phishing is done when cybercriminals already have basic information of the victim. This may include their entire name, email address, residence, and other general personal information. This information is then utilized to scam people by impersonating a friend or family member. The term vishing, on the other hand, is derived from the words “voice” and “phishing.” Vishing refers to phishing by phone calls, whereas email phishing is done via email. Take a Certified Cybersecurity Specialist course to learn more about phishing and other related scamming tactics.
If you're thinking of the Greek Trojan Horse, you're not too far off. In case you're unfamiliar with the legend, the Trojan Horse was a large wooden horse sent by the Greeks to the city of Troy in order to take down the city from within. The large horse was equipped with the strongest Greek troops inside who snuck out at night to unlock the gates of Troy and attack the city, resulting in their triumph. The Trojan Horse virus operates in a similar manner. A Trojan Horse virus, according to Fortinet, is “a type of malware that downloads onto a computer disguised as a legitimate program.” The virus, like the Greek Trojan Horse, disguises itself as an app or software, or as a game. Once you download the program, you are instructed to download files and data from the program. You are effectively unlocking the gates of Troy, or in this case, your smartphone, by downloading the data. This infects your device with malware and allows hackers to remotely access your device. Trojan Horse viruses are typically found in pop-up advertisements or on linked websites. So, if you come across a suspicious file on a dubious website, don't download it; instead, delete it. Check out our CPD webinar recording on how to defend yourself against cyber threats here.
When a product is first manufactured by a company, it has to go through a series of tests to identify flaws and determine whether or not it meets a given standard. This is commonly referred to as product testing, and most businesses ensure that their goods go through this process to guarantee that they give the highest value in their brand. A similar strategy is used in the realm of cybersecurity to guarantee that their systems are hack-proof. Pen testing, also known as penetration testing, is a cyber-attack launched by cybersecurity specialists in order to identify any vulnerable sectors in a device. A pen test is ideally performed by someone who has little to no familiarity with a device's system, so that any vulnerabilities in a computer device can be properly exposed. A CompTIA PenTest+ Prep Course will teach you that a pen test has five stages: planning, scanning, gaining system access, persistent access, and analysis and reporting. Cybersecurity professionals prepare their attack first, then scan the device to analyze and identify any flaws. From there, specialists penetrate the system and attempt to hold on as long as possible. After the test, a complete report is generated for the client to help them improve their device.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Though the new technological era has presented many new opportunities for cybercriminals, it has also brought many benefits to all of us. We may have been isolated during the last two years due to the pandemic, but technology has enabled us to communicate with one another online. With great power, however, comes great responsibility. It is our job to protect ourselves and our information from cyber criminals, whether through our own research or by taking IT courses online and cybersecurity training.
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