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Cybersecurity Terms Glossary

Wikipedia says computer security, cybersecurity, or information technology security protect computer systems and networks from theft or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data and from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. Homeland security says cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or unlawful use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Most of us in the information security industry agree that cybersecurity refers to the technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access.

Offensive Cybersecurity FAQs

Organizations need an information security program for the same reasons we need locks on our doors and windows, to protect resources from bad actors both outside and inside the house. You may have locks on kitchen cabinets and covers on electric outlets inside the home, or you might have a safe or a fireproof box for your critical assets. You need to have the right security for the threats and risks that exist at that time. The same applies to any organization. You need to protect your technology assets and physical space and ensure your employees are involved in your information security program to deter attacks, recognize potential breaches and make appropriate notifications in the case of an attempted breach.

Best practices in vulnerability management include regular vulnerability scanning of internal and external networks and any web applications or mobile applications in your organization regardless of where hosted, the automated updating of workstations and servers with patches, developing and maintaining a robust information security program. This includes enforced policies and procedures used and held, such as a disaster recovery plan that provides recovery-time-objectives for systems and applications, an incident response plan, user training, and a regular plan with milestones for maintaining adequate security.

Cybersecurity threats are increasing at an extraordinary rate, and so are the concerns of experiencing a breach. 68% of business leaders feel that their cybersecurity risks are increasing. Software quickly becomes obsolete and not supported, and new patches are not provided to protect against newly found or created vulnerabilities. Cyber threats also continue to evolve and appear in many forms, including phishing emails, phone calls or texts, malicious devices (i.e., USB drives), and exploiting system vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity threats often mirror current events, which are also rapidly changing in today’s world.

Having a solid and tested incident response plan ensures that everyone understands the decisions that need to be made, who needs to be involved, and the criteria for those decisions. It also helps alleviate the stress in a complicated situation so organizations can focus on resolving the incident rather than figuring out the following steps to take, who should be notified, or what resources have the skills needed.

Yes. Cybersecurity should be understood as an inherent cost of doing business and a component of every budget, whether it is the cost of updating systems, staffing, or vulnerability scanning, pen testing, training, or phishing activities. All of these activities reduce the risk of exposure to the company and ultimately minimize long-term costs. If you assume the cost per personal record of a breach is $242, it doesn’t take long to understand the cost avoidance value. For those in regulated industries, funding information security is simply part of the normal budgeting activities. These companies understand the requirements they have to meet and the costs associated with compliance, and the strict penalties for non-compliance.

Criminal adversaries of DoS and DDoS attacks most commonly target sites or services hosted in high-profile industries. Industries such as banking, credit card payment gateways, and political organizations are common targets for these types of attacks.

The most significant barriers to addressing cybersecurity are; a lack of understanding of the risks and the impact on organizations. A lack of knowledge of the current threat landscape leads to insufficient resources to manage the security program and assist with system patching and software/hardware upgrades and keep up with password complexity and encryption standards. While it can seem inconvenient to implement secure working practices like multi-factor authentication (MFA) or pursue continual staff training, it might mean the difference between an attempted breach and a successful one.

In these types of attacks, the attacker is unable to see the responses to the forged attacks. The attacker benefits if they can change the users’ credentials or information in a way that allows them to leverage the account. These types of attacks will be successful if session verification/management is handled through cookies. There is an action that the user can perform that the attacker benefits from, and the attacker knows all the parameters needed to complete the request.

A successful CSRF exploit can compromise end-user data and operation when it targets a regular user. If the targeted end-user is the administrator account, a CSRF attack can compromise the entire web application leading to full data disclosure and sometimes full system access.

The most effective way to protect against CSRF vulnerabilities is to include a CSRF token within relevant requests, for example, a parameter in a hidden form field. This additional token should contain sufficient entropy and be generated using a cryptographic random number generator. It is not feasible for an attacker to determine or predict the value of any token issued to another user..

This token should be a nonce (one-time use) value that changes for each request sent. The server should also check this value to ensure the expected value is sent. A method should also be implemented to ensure that the CSRF token is valid for its associated session.

A bring-your-own-device policy for any company brings about a few apparent risks, including IoT device misconfiguration, mixing work and personal activity on the same device, , and lack of security precautions on the physical device.

Security teams need to work with user departments and third-party providers to develop, implement, and maintain their security testing program. Everybody involved needs to prioritize security as a non-negotiable functional requirement at the start of a project. Just as important, stakeholders need to ensure they maintain their vigilance throughout the project’s lifetime. A business that has already relied upon an application for years doesn’t offer assurance against new security threats.

Organizations and individuals usually rely upon off-the-shelf software that performs virus scans to protect their computers, data, and networks. Typical virus-protection software looks for signatures of known threats but may not provide enough protection against sophisticated threats. Luckily for computer users, security professionals know how to stay a step ahead of malicious hackers. They employ a couple of methods to detect and prevent all sorts of digital attacks before they can do any damage.

Training your employees is one of the most cost-conscious and cost-effective security solutions to reducing risk. Not only should employees know how to identify social engineering attacks, but they should also know what steps to take if they do suspect one. Hiring an outside organization to perform simulated phishing campaigns or social engineering engagements is a great way to test how prepared your organization is in the event of a real social engineering attack.