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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 - Z
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

Dark Web Monitoring

What Is Dark Web Monitoring?  Dark web monitoring is the scanning of the dark web for employee credentials and confidential company information. Dark web monitoring…

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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?   An endpoint is any physical device that resides at the end point of a network connection and can communicate on that…

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H

Hypervisor (VMM)

What Is a Hypervisor (VMM)?   A hypervisor is another term for a virtual monitoring machine (VMM), a device that is able to manage multiple virtual…

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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 cyber attacks, and to restore…

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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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Internet of Things (IoT)

What Is IoT?   “IoT” is short for “Internet of Things,” which is the network of internet-enabled and connected devices. Since the term was first coined…

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K

Keylogger

What Is a Keylogger? A keylogger is a program that monitors user keystrokes on a device. This can be used for both illegal and legitimate…

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L

Lateral Movement

What Is Lateral Movement? Lateral movement is when a threat actor navigates through a breached environment, gaining new access and user privileges as they go.…

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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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N

Network Segmentation

What Is Network Segmentation? Network segmentation is the division of an organization’s network architecture into subnets. Each of these subnets is its own, albeit smaller,…

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P

Password Fatigue

What Is Password Fatigue?  Password fatigue is a feeling of stress and/or frustration stemming from the creation and maintenance of passwords for the multitude of…

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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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Polymorphic Virus

What Is a Polymorphic Virus?  A polymorphic virus is malware that can adapt, or “morph,” to avoid detection and circumvent security tools.   The polymorphic virus…

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Pretexting

What Is Pretexting?  Pretexting is a social engineering tactic used by threat actors to gain trust, data, or access to accounts using a fabricated story,…

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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

Security Awareness Training

What Is Security Awareness?  Security awareness is a standardized process that provides employees, contractors, vendors, and other third-party stakeholders with cybersecurity education. Security awareness training…

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Security Operations (SecOps)

What Is Security Operations (SecOps)? Security operations refers to the people, processes, and technology that all work together to create and manage a security architecture…

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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 a Spoofing Attack?  A spoofing attack is when bad actors impersonate another person or company. The attacker’s goal is to gain the confidence…

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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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Vulnerability Management

What Is Vulnerability Management? Vulnerability management is the ongoing process of identifying, assessing, and remediating vulnerabilities within your network or systems.   The four stages of…

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W

Whaling

What Is Whaling?  Essentially, whaling is a spear phishing attack aimed at a high-value target, such as executives, IT department heads, finance department heads, or…

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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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X

XDR

What Is XDR? Extended Detection and Response (XDR) consolidates the data and tools necessary to provide enhanced visibility, analysis, and response for all system risks…

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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