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Cybersecurity Glossary

Defining the key cybersecurity terms you need to know

Deepen your knowledge with definitions, explanations, and overviews of the most important terms and concepts in cybersecurity.

ARCTIC WOLF GLOSSARY

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A
B

Botnet

What Is a Botnet?  A botnet is a network of bot-compromised machines that can be controlled and used to launch massive attacks by a bot-herder.…

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Brute-Force Attack

What Is a Brute-Force Attack? Brute-force is a hacking method that uses trial-and-error password guessing. It relies on software to automatically go through millions of…

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C

Cryptojacking

What Is Cryptojacking?  Cryptocurrencies have become more popular and edging towards the mainstream, the mining of these digital currencies—which uses computing power to solve complex…

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Cyber Attack

What Is a Cyber Attack?  A cyber attack is any attempt – successful or otherwise — by cybercriminals to access a cloud or computer network…

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Cyber Threat Intelligence

What Is Threat Intelligence? According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), threat intelligence refers to “threat information that has been aggregated, transformed,…

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D

DDoS Attack

What Is a DDoS Attack?  A DDoS attack consists of multiple compromised systems attacking a target on your network, such as a server or your…

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E

Endpoint

What Is an Endpoint?   It may seem like a simple question, but the answer is complicated — not because of the tech industry, but rather…

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I

Incident Response

What Is Incident Response?   Incident response (IR) is a set of processes and tools used to identify, contain, and remediate cyberattacks, and to restore the…

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Initial Access Brokers

What Are Initial Access Brokers?  Initial access brokers are threat actors that sell cybercriminals access to corporate networks. They are highly skilled in their field…

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M

Malicious Apps

What Are Malicious Apps? Malicious apps are a method of manipulating users into downloading malware that allows cybercriminals to steal personal information, including login credentials…

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Malware

What Is Malware? Malware, a portmanteau of the words malicious and software, is any software or program that is designed to disrupt and damage a…

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MTTD and MTTR

What Is MTTD? Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) is the average time it takes a team to discover a security threat or incident.  What Is…

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P

Pen Test

What Is a Pen Test?    A penetration test, also known as pen test, is an authorized and simulated cyber attack performed on an IT system…

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Phishing

What Is Phishing?  The most common social engineering attack, phishing is, simply, a ruse tricks a user into giving access, data, or money to bad…

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R

Ransomware

What Is Ransomware?  Ransomware is a type of malware that freezes a system or data, preventing users from accessing them. The idea behind the attack…

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Ransomware-as-a-Service

What is Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)? In recent years, threat actors have begun collaborating with each other in a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model to infiltrate organizations. The RaaS…

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S

Shadow IT

What Is Shadow IT? Shadow IT is the unauthorized use of any apps, devices, services, technologies, solutions, and infrastructure without the knowledge, approval, and support…

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Social Engineering

What Is Social Engineering? Essentially, social engineering uses psychology to manipulate a person into taking an action. This could be anything from revealing sensitive data…

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Spear Phishing

What Is Spear Phishing? Spear phishing is a specific kind of phishing attack where a threat actor targets a specific person or organization with a…

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Spoofing Attack

What Is Spoofing?  Spoofing is when bad actors impersonate another person or company. The attacker’s goal is to gain the confidence of the potential victim…

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Supply Chain Attack

What Is a Supply Chain Attack? A supply chain attack is when an organization, or multiple organizations, is attacked through a third-party vendor. A third-party…

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T

Threat Actor

What Is a Threat Actor? A threat actor is an individual, or group of individuals, who conduct malicious activities on the internet such as cyber…

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Threat Hunting

What Is Threat Hunting? Threat hunting is the proactive search through the full spectrum of environmental data to identify advanced threats while developing additional detection…

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Trojan Horse

What Is a Trojan Horse?  A Trojan Horse is malware that comes in disguise. Designed to look like a legitimate piece of code or software,…

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U

UEBA

What Is UEBA? UEBA stands for user and entity behavior analytics. It’s a type of cybersecurity solution that uses machine learning algorithms to detect suspicious…

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V

Vishing

What Is Vishing? Vishing is a cybercrime combining voice calls with phishing attacks. So-called “voice phishing” uses multiple tools and strategies, such as social engineering,…

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W

Whaling

What Is Whaling?  It’s a great question. The answer, however, relies on the proper context. Before we get into what whaling is, let’s take a…

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Wire Transfer Fraud

What Is Wire Transfer Fraud?  The term comes from the original version of this crime which used wire transfers, or the transfer of funds between…

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Z

Zero Trust

What Is Zero Trust?  Zero Trust is a cybersecurity strategy that eliminates implicit trust within a network or system. In short, it means, “trust no…

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Zero-Day Exploit

What Is a Zero-Day?  A zero-day is a vulnerability in a piece of hardware or software that was previously unknown to the vendor, meaning they…

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Additional Resources For

Cybersecurity Beginners