Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and digital information from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. As technology continues to evolve, so do the threats against it. Therefore, it is important to understand the basic terminology of cybersecurity to effectively protect digital assets. In this article, we will discuss some of the essential terms that form the foundation of cybersecurity.

Basic terminology

  1. Vulnerability – A vulnerability is a weakness in a system or application that can be exploited by a threat actor. Vulnerabilities can be caused by software bugs, misconfigurations, or design flaws.
  2. Exploit – An exploit is a piece of code or software that takes advantage of a vulnerability in a system or application to execute malicious actions, such as gaining unauthorized access or stealing data.
  3. Malware – Malware is a type of software that is designed to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to a system or network. Malware can take many forms, including viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware.
  4. Phishing – Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that attempts to trick users into giving away sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Phishing attacks are often delivered through email or instant messaging.
  5. Social Engineering – Social engineering is a technique used by threat actors to manipulate people into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that can lead to a security breach. Social engineering attacks can take many forms, including phishing, baiting, and pretexting.
  6. Firewall – A firewall is a network security device that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predefined security rules. Firewalls are essential for preventing unauthorized access to a network.
  7. Intrusion Detection System (IDS) – An IDS is a network security device that monitors network traffic for signs of potential security threats, such as unauthorized access attempts or suspicious activity. IDS systems are designed to alert security personnel of potential security incidents.
  8. Encryption – Encryption is the process of converting data into a coded or encrypted form that can only be read by authorized parties. Encryption is an essential tool for protecting sensitive data in transit or at rest.
  9. Two-factor authentication (2FA) – 2FA is a security mechanism that requires users to provide two forms of identification to access a system or application. This can include something the user knows, such as a password, and something the user has, such as a token or smart card.
  10. Access control – Access control is the practice of controlling who has access to a system or application and what actions they are allowed to perform. Access control is essential for preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  11. Incident Response – Incident response is the process of responding to a cybersecurity incident, such as a data breach or malware infection. The goal of incident response is to minimize the impact of the incident and to restore normal operations as quickly as possible.
  12. Patching – Patching is the process of updating software or firmware to address known vulnerabilities. Patching is essential for maintaining the security of systems and applications.
  13. Zero-day vulnerability – A zero-day vulnerability is a previously unknown vulnerability in a system or application that can be exploited by threat actors. Zero-day vulnerabilities are particularly dangerous because there is no known patch or mitigation strategy.
  14. Denial-of-service (DoS) attack – A DoS attack is a type of cyber attack that attempts to disrupt or deny access to a system or network by overwhelming it with traffic. DoS attacks can be launched using a variety of techniques, including flooding a network with traffic or exploiting vulnerabilities in a system.
  15. Cyber threat intelligence – Cyber threat intelligence is the collection and analysis of information about potential cybersecurity threats. This can include information about threat actors, their tactics and techniques, and the vulnerabilities they are likely to target.

Security Threats and Safety Measures

With the wide spread use of internet, networks and computers have become increasingly susceptible to threats. These threats destroy data as well the programs that computers use. The objective of these threats is to destroy the data and to steal the vital information stored in computers. This information is used by the attackers for their benefit.

Security threats are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s digital age. Cyber criminals are constantly developing new techniques and strategies to exploit vulnerabilities in technology and infiltrate systems to steal sensitive data or disrupt operations. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the different types of security threats and to take appropriate safety measures to protect your digital assets.

Here are some common security threats and safety measures that you can take to mitigate them:

  1. Malware: Malware refers to any malicious software designed to cause harm to a computer system, network, or mobile device. Malware can be spread through phishing attacks, malicious downloads, or infected email attachments.

Safety measures: Install antivirus and anti-malware software on all devices and keep it up to date. Only download software from trusted sources and avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments. Regularly update software and operating systems with the latest security patches.

  1. Phishing: Phishing is a form of social engineering where attackers use fraudulent emails or websites to trick users into revealing sensitive information such as passwords or credit card numbers.

Safety measures: Educate yourself and your employees about the dangers of phishing attacks. Always double-check the sender’s email address and be wary of unexpected or urgent requests for sensitive information. Use two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.

  1. Password attacks: Password attacks refer to attempts to guess, steal, or crack passwords to gain unauthorized access to a system or network.

Safety measures: Use strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess or crack. Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords. Use multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.

  1. Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks: A DoS attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic.

Safety measures: Implement a firewall to filter traffic and block any suspicious traffic. Configure your network to limit traffic from specific sources, particularly those known to be vulnerable to DoS attacks. Use a content delivery network (CDN) to mitigate large-scale DoS attacks.

  1. Ransomware attacks: Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s data and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.

Safety measures: Regularly backup all data and store it off-site or in the cloud. Use antivirus and anti-malware software to protect against ransomware attacks. Never pay the ransom as it does not guarantee the return of your data and may encourage further attacks.

  1. Insider threats: Insider threats refer to malicious actions by employees or contractors who have access to sensitive information or systems.

Safety measures: Conduct thorough background checks on all employees and contractors before granting access to sensitive data or systems. Implement access control policies to limit access to sensitive data based on job responsibilities. Monitor employee behavior and use of company resources for signs of suspicious activity.

  1. Physical security threats: Physical security threats refer to threats that exploit vulnerabilities in physical security measures, such as theft or vandalism of hardware.

Safety measures: Implement physical security measures such as access controls, security cameras, and alarms to protect against theft or vandalism. Secure all hardware with strong passwords and encryption. Backup all data and store it off-site or in the cloud.

In conclusion, by being aware of the different types of security threats and implementing the appropriate safety measures, you can protect your digital assets from potential cyber attacks. Stay vigilant, keep your software up-to-date, educate yourself and your employees about the latest threats, and take proactive steps to protect your data and systems.

Viruses:

It produces copies of itself and inserts them into other programs or files, in turn destroying the data and performing other malicious actions.

A computer virus is a type of malicious software (malware) that replicates itself by modifying other programs or files on a computer, often without the knowledge or consent of the user. Viruses can be spread through various means, including email attachments, infected software downloads, and USB drives.

Once a virus infects a computer, it can cause a range of problems, such as slowing down system performance, corrupting or destroying files, stealing sensitive information, or hijacking the system to launch attacks on other computers or networks.

There are several types of viruses, each with its own characteristics and methods of infection. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. File infectors: These viruses infect executable files, such as .exe or .dll files, and modify them to include their own code. When the infected file is executed, the virus code is also executed, allowing it to spread to other files on the computer.
  2. Boot sector viruses: These viruses infect the boot sector of a computer’s hard drive, which contains essential code that is executed when the computer is started up. Once the virus is activated, it can spread to other parts of the hard drive and infect other computers that use the same disk.
  3. Macro viruses: These viruses infect documents, such as Microsoft Word or Excel files, that contain macros or scripts. When the infected document is opened, the virus code is executed, allowing it to spread to other documents on the computer.
  4. Polymorphic viruses: These viruses have the ability to change their code to avoid detection by antivirus software. Each time the virus replicates itself, it creates a new variation of its code, making it more difficult to detect and remove.

To protect your computer from viruses, it is essential to have antivirus software installed and to keep it up-to-date. Antivirus software scans files and programs for signs of infection and removes or quarantines any threats. Additionally, you can take the following steps to minimize your risk of infection:

  1. Be cautious when opening email attachments or downloading files from the internet. Only download files from trusted sources.
  2. Keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest security patches.
  3. Use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication when possible.
  4. Backup your data regularly and store it in a secure location.
  5. Use a firewall to block unauthorized access to your computer or network.
  6. Be vigilant for signs of infection, such as slow system performance, unusual error messages, or unexpected pop-ups.

By taking these precautions, you can reduce your risk of infection and protect your computer from the damaging effects of viruses.

Macro viruses

Macro viruses can corrupt data, create new files, move text, flash colors, insert pictures,send files across the Internet, and format hard drives. Macro viruses are increasingly used as transport mechanisms to drop off even nastier bugs. Macro viruses modify registries,forward copies of it through emails, look for passwords, copy documents, and infect other programs

Example of macro Virus is Wazzo, W97M etc.

WormS

Worms are very similar to viruses in the manner that they are computer programs that replicate copies of themselves (usually to other computer systems via network connections)

Some examples of the worst Worms that impacted the web are as follows:

Jerusalem is one of the earliest worms that spread in 1987

In 2007 Storm Worm hit the computers. Once hit, your machine becomes part of a large botnet which performs automated tasks that range from gathering data on the host machine, to sending infected emails to others.

Since Worms spread mostly through the email attachments, the best ways to avoid them is using caution in opening emails. If the email is from an unidentified source, it is always best to delete it. Most of the time worms attach themselves to email

Trojan Horses

The Trojan program does not attach itself to the files like a virus nor replicate itself like a worm but it does provide unauthorized access to user’s computer.

They are mostly spread through internet downloads and online gaming programs.

This software is capable of taking over the functionality of your computer. An infected computer will begin to operate slowly and will exhibit pop-ups from time to time

The best way to avoid the Trojans is to adopt safe download practices.

Spyware

A Spyware as the name suggest is a program used to spy on the computer system. This program will try to get all the confidential and sensitive information such as your bank account numbers, passwords etc. Then this confidential data is misused to access user’s accounts. Spyware can also change the configuration of your computer, generally without obtaining your consent first

Once installed, the Spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.

SpyWare have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors

Some of the common Spywares are CoolWebSearch, Internet optimizer and Zango

Malware

Malware is short for “malicious software.” Malware is any kind of unwanted software that is installed without your adequate consent. The intent of the malware is to damage the data or functionality of the computer or network. In fact all the threats mentioned above such as virus, Trojans etc are examples of Malware

Spams

The term “spam” refers to unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or unsolicited bulk email (UBE). It is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it.

The most commonly seen spam includes the following:

Phishing scams, a very popular and dangerous form of email fraud

Foreign bank scams or advance fee fraud schemes

Other “Get Rich Quick” or “Make Money Fast” (MMF) schemes

Hackers and Crackers

Hackers were the gifted programmers who gain access to the systems or network to show case the security loop holes to the administrators.

Cracker was coined for such activist who had intentions of doing malicious activities.

Anti Virus tools

Anti Virus tools are the software programs that help us detect the virus in emails or files and hence protect our computers. These tools can detect virus, worms, Trojans as well as spyware and adware. They block us from visiting unsafe websites, and also downloading unsafe programs from such websites. They protect us from identity thefts and threats from phishing websites. There are several commercial antivirus software available such
as Norton, Mcafee, K7, Quickheal etc.

Ethical Hacking

Hacking is nothing but taking unauthorized access of Data into the System or into the Network. Everybody knows that there are three types of hackers .Black Hat,White Hat,Gray Hat.now we know what hacking is ,now lets understand the Term Ethical ,its nothing but being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct practice, So here we can Say Ethical hacking is practice done by Ethical Hackers with the permission of Organization or Authority which can be useful to avoid the Future Hacking of System and Network for malicious purpose.

WIFI Hotspot

It is the public Place where many users can have access to free internet access  .

BotNet

Now Lets understand what is Botnet? A Botnet is a network of computer infected with Malware that response to an attacker to perform any activity they want. These infected Computers also known as Zombie. So How does it Spread and Why? it spread through viruses ,Trojan horse .it can be used for commit crimes ,financial fraud, malware distribution ,identity theft,mass mailing of spam,storing illegal content,Collapse the websites through massive attacks on network. With Single Botnet Cyber Criminals connect to many computer in a second and make use of users sensitive data ,Even users don’t know that they are infected.

Now the Question is How we can Protect our-self from Botnet?

1. Have Firewall Active.

2.Download Software or any Digital content from trusted Resources .

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