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Network security

Terms related to network security, including definitions about intrusion prevention and words and phrases about VPNs and firewalls.

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  • snooping - Snooping, in a security context, is unauthorized access to another person's or company's data.
  • Snort - Snort is an open source network intrusion detection system (NIDS) created by Sourcefire founder and former CTO Martin Roesch.
  • social engineering - Social engineering is an attack vector that relies heavily on human interaction and often involves manipulating people into breaking normal security procedures and best practices to gain unauthorized access to systems, networks or physical locations or for financial gain.
  • social engineering penetration testing - Social engineering pen testing is designed to test employees' adherence to the security policies and practices defined by management.
  • soft token - A soft token is a software-based security token that generates a single-use login PIN.
  • spear phishing - Spear phishing is a malicious email spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • spim (instant messaging spam) - Spim is spam delivered through instant messaging (IM) instead of through e-mail messaging.
  • SPIT (spam over Internet telephony) - SPIT (spam over Internet telephony), sometimes known as vam (voice or VoIP spam), is unsolicited bulk messages broadcast over VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to phones connected to the Internet.
  • SS7 attack - An SS7 attack is a security exploit that takes advantage of a weakness in the design of SS7 (Signaling System 7) to enable data theft, eavesdropping, text interception and location tracking.
  • SSL (secure sockets layer) - Secure sockets layer (SSL) is a networking protocol designed for securing connections between web clients and web servers over an insecure network, such as the internet.
  • stack overflow - A stack overflow is a type of buffer overflow error that occurs when a computer program tries to use more memory space in the call stack than has been allocated to that stack.
  • stateful inspection - Stateful inspection, also known as dynamic packet filtering, is a firewall technology that monitors the state of active connections and uses this information to determine which network packets to allow through the firewall.
  • stealth virus - A stealth virus is a computer virus that uses various mechanisms to avoid detection by antivirus software.
  • stingray (IMSI catcher) - A stingray is a mobile surveillance device also known as an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catcher or a cell site simulator.
  • storage encryption - Storage encryption is the use of encryption/decryption of backed-up and archived data, both in transit and on storage media.
  • storage security - Storage security is the group of parameters and settings that make storage resources available to authorized users and trusted networks -- and unavailable to other entities.
  • stream cipher - A stream cipher is a method of encrypting text (to produce ciphertext) in which a cryptographic key and algorithm are applied to each binary digit in a data stream, one bit at a time.
  • strong cryptography - Strong cryptography is used by most governments around the world to protect communications.
  • strong password - A strong password is one that is designed to be hard for a person or program to guess.
  • Stuxnet - The Stuxnet worm is a rootkit exploit that targets supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
  • SWIFT FIN message - SWIFT FIN is a message type (MT) that transmits financial information from one financial institution to another.
  • SYN flood attack - A SYN flood attack is a type of denial-of-service (DoS) attack on a computer server.
  • SYN scanning - SYN scanning is a tactic that a malicious hacker can use to determine the state of a communications port without establishing a full connection.
  • TCP Wrapper - TCP Wrapper is a public domain computer program that provides firewall services for UNIX servers.
  • tcpdump - Tcpdump is an open source command-line tool for monitoring (sniffing) network traffic.
  • TDL-4 (TDSS or Alureon) - TDL-4 is sophisticated malware that facilitates the creation and maintenance of a botnet.
  • third-party cookie - A third-party cookie is a cookie that is placed on a user's hard disk by a website from a domain other than the one a user is visiting.
  • threat actor - A threat actor, also called a malicious actor or bad actor, is an entity that is partially or wholly responsible for an incident that impacts – or has the potential to impact -- an organization's security.
  • threat intelligence (cyber threat intelligence) - Threat intelligence, also known as cyber threat intelligence (CTI), is information collected from various sources about current or potential attacks that threaten an organization.
  • threat intelligence feed (TI feed) - A threat intelligence feed (TI feed) is an ongoing stream of data related to potential or current threats to an organization's security.
  • threat intelligence service (TI service) - A threat intelligence service (TI service) is a provider of information about current or emerging threats that could negatively impact the security of a customer’s organization.
  • threat modeling - Threat modeling is a procedure for optimizing application, system or business process security by identifying objectives and vulnerabilities, and then defining countermeasures to prevent or mitigate the effects of threats to the system.
  • token - In general, a token is an object that represents something else, such as another object (either physical or virtual), or an abstract concept as, for example, a gift is sometimes referred to as a token of the giver's esteem for the recipient.
  • tokenization - Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols that retain all the essential information about the data without compromising its security.
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) - Transport Layer Security (TLS) is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard protocol that provides authentication, privacy and data integrity between two communicating computer applications.
  • Trojan horse (computing) - In computing, a Trojan horse is a program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.
  • trusted computing base (TCB) - A trusted computing base (TCB) is everything in a computing system that provides a secure environment for operations.
  • tunneling or port forwarding - Tunneling is the transmission of data intended for use only within a private, usually corporate network through a public network in such a way that the routing nodes in the public network are unaware that the transmission is part of a private network.
  • two-factor authentication (2FA) - Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes referred to as two-step verification or dual-factor authentication, is a security process in which users provide two different authentication factors to verify themselves.
  • Twofish - Twofish is a symmetric-key block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and variable-length key of size 128, 192 or 256 bits.
  • unauthenticated security scan (logged-out secuity scan) - An unauthenticated security scan, sometimes called a logged-out scan, is the process of exploring a network or networked system for vulnerabilities that are accessible without logging in as an authorized user.
  • unified threat management (UTM) - Unified threat management (UTM) describes an information security (infosec) system that provides a single point of protection against threats, including viruses, worms, spyware and other malware, and network attacks.
  • URL manipulation (URL rewriting) - URL manipulation, also called URL rewriting, is the process of altering (often automatically by means of a program written for that purpose) the parameters in a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
  • user account provisioning - User account provisioning is a business process for creating and managing access to resources in an information technology (IT) system.
  • user profile - In a Windows environment, a user profile is a record of user-specific data that define the user's working environment.
  • virtual honeypot - A virtual honeypot is software that emulates a vulnerable system or network to attract intruders and study their behavior.
  • virtual local area network hopping (VLAN hopping) - Virtual local area network hopping (VLAN hopping) is a method of attacking the network resources of a VLAN by sending packets to a port not usually accessible from an end system.
  • virtual machine escape - Virtual machine escape is an exploit in which the attacker runs code on a VM that allows an operating system running within it to break out and interact directly with the hypervisor.
  • virtual private cloud (VPC) - A virtual private cloud (VPC) is the logical division of a service provider's public cloud multi-tenant architecture to support private cloud computing.
  • virus hoax - A virus hoax is a false warning about a computer virus.
  • virus signature (virus definition) - A virus signature (also known as a virus definition) is a file or multiple files that are downloaded by a security program to identify a computer virus.
  • voice logger - A voice logger is a device or program used to record audio information from telephones, radios, microphones and other sources for storage on a computer's hard drive or removable media.
  • voice squatting (skill squatting) - Voice squatting is an attack vector for voice user interfaces (VUIs) that exploits homonyms (words that sound the same but are spelled differently) and input errors (words that are mispronounced).
  • VPN appliance - A VPN (virtual private network) appliance is a network device equipped with enhanced security features.
  • VPN Reconnect - VPN Reconnect is a feature of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that allows a virtual private network (VPN) connection to remain open during a brief interruption of Internet service.
  • vulnerability and patch management - Vulnerability management is a pro-active approach to managing network security.
  • vulnerability disclosure - Vulnerability disclosure is the practice of reporting security flaws in computer software or hardware.
  • vulnerability management planning - Vulnerability management planning is a comprehensive approach to the development of a continuous and repetitive system of practices and processes designed to identify, analyze and address flaws in hardware or software that could serve as attack vectors.
  • WannaCry ransomware - The WannaCry ransomware is a worm that spreads by exploiting vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system.
  • war driving (access point mapping) - War driving, also called access point mapping, is the act of locating and possibly exploiting connections to wireless local area networks while driving around a city or elsewhere.
  • web server security - Web server security is the protection of information assets that can be accessed from a Web server.
  • What is a private cloud? - Private cloud is a type of cloud computing that delivers similar advantages to public cloud, including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture.
  • What is cyber hygiene and why is it important? - Cyber hygiene, or cybersecurity hygiene, is a set of practices individuals and organizations perform regularly to maintain the health and security of users, devices, networks and data.
  • What is cybersecurity? - Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.
  • What is multifactor authentication and how does it work? - Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security technology that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify a user's identity for a login or other transaction.
  • What is steganography? - Steganography (pronounced STEHG-uh-NAH-gruhf-ee, from Greek steganos, or "covered," and graphie, or "writing") is the hiding of a secret message within an ordinary message and the extraction of it at its destination.
  • What is zero trust? Ultimate guide to the network security model - Zero trust is a security strategy that assumes all users, devices and transactions are already compromised.
  • white hat hacker - A white hat hacker -- or ethical hacker -- is an individual who uses hacking skills to identify security vulnerabilities in hardware, software or networks.
  • Wi-Fi (802.11x standard) - Wi-Fi is the popular term for high-frequency wireless local area network (WLAN) technology and a standard that has gained acceptance in many companies as an alternative to a wired LAN.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) - Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is a security standard for computing devices equipped with wireless internet connections.
  • Wiegand - Wiegand is the trade name for a technology used in card readers and sensors, particularly for access control applications.
  • wildcard certificate - A wildcard certificate is a digital certificate that is applied to a domain and all its subdomains.
  • WIPS (wireless intrusion prevention system) - A wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) is a dedicated security device or integrated software application that monitors a wireless LAN network's radio spectrum for rogue access points and other wireless threats.
  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) - Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a security protocol, specified in the IEEE Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) standard, 802.
  • Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) - Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) is a security level for the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), specifically for the applications that use WAP.
  • wiretapping - Wiretapping is the surreptitious electronic monitoring of telephone, telegraph, cellular, fax or Internet-based communications.
  • WPA3 - WPA3 is a security certification program developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to ensure Wi-Fi related products meet a common standard.
  • Z-Wave - Z-Wave is a wireless communication protocol used primarily in smart home networks, allowing smart devices to connect and exchange control commands and data with each other.
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