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Cyberattacks are nefarious attempts to get into, damage, or disable a network or computer system. Financial loss or the theft of private information, including personal and medical records, can result from cyberattacks. Because of these attacks, your company’s reputation and employee safety may be at risk.

Familiarizing yourself with cybersecurity concepts can help you recognize and shut down an attack in its early stages or prevent it altogether. Cybersecurity entails preventing, spotting, and responding to cyberattacks that significantly and negatively impact businesses,  organizations, people, the community, and the country. The following are just a few cybersecurity-related terms you need to know:

Attacks: An attack (or cyberattack) is an attempt to undermine system integrity or obtain unauthorized access to system resources, services, or data. It is a deliberate attempt to circumvent one or more information system security features or safeguards.

There are two types of cyberattacks: active attacks and passive attacks. An active attack is when a threat actor maliciously assaults a system, its resources, data, or operations. A passive attack is when a threat actor tries to get information from a system or use it for its own purposes without trying to change the system’s resources, data, or activities.

Breach: A data breach occurs when confidential information is moved without authorization or is revealed to an unapproved party, typically someone outside the firm. As noted in the IBM report “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022,” the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $9.4 million USD.

Computer Network Defense: Computer network defense is a strategy deployed to defend computer networks against illegal activity.

Denial of Service: An assault known as a denial of service prevents or blocks the authorized usage of information system resources or services.

End-to-End Encryption: End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a secure communication method that makes it impossible for third parties or outsiders to access data while it is transferred from one device or end system to another.

Firewall: A firewall is a hardware/software device or application that restricts network traffic per a set of rules defining what access is and is not permitted or authorized.

Graylist: A list of email addresses or domain names that have not yet been determined to be benign or malicious is called a “graylist” (sometimes spelled “greylist”). A graylist can be used by a spam filter to find suspected spam. Suppose a message comes in from a domain or address on the list. In that case, it will be quarantined and only given to the subscriber if the sender makes another effort to send the message within a specific time. A sender’s address is removed from the list once it has been verified as valid, allowing future communications from that sender to get through the filter without being blocked.

Hackers: Unauthorized persons who try to access an information system or succeed are known as hackers. There are three types of hackers: black hat, white hat, and gray hat.

Criminals that intentionally breach computer networks are known as black hat hackers. They might also spread malware that steals passwords, credit card numbers, and other private information, damages files, or takes over systems.

White hat hackers are sometimes called “ethical hackers” or “good hackers.” These security experts are either salaried staff or independent contractors. They are the opposite of black hat hackers because they use computer networks or systems to their organization’s advantage to find security holes and recommend fixes. 

Gray hat hackers straddle the line between white hat and black hat hackers by deploying a combination of white hat and black hat hacking tactics. Gray hat hackers frequently scan systems for vulnerabilities without the owner’s knowledge or consent. If problems are discovered, they notify the owner and may occasionally demand a modest fee to resolve the issue.

Incident Response: Incident response refers to the activities that address an adverse incident’s immediate, short-term effects, such as a data breach or malware attack. An incident response expert may also support initial recovery efforts.

Jailbreaking: By removing a manufacturer’s limitations from your phone or other devices, or “jailbreaking,” you can gain root access and perform unauthorized upgrades and customizations. According to Hexnode, a device’s security features are disabled and its vulnerability increases after jailbreaking, making it more open to hacker attacks and data leaks.

Knowledge Management: In the cybersecurity universe, “knowledge management” refers to the methods and technologies that allow an organization to recognize, record, and access intellectual capital and information. 

Link Jacking: Link jacking is changing a link’s destination from the site it was originally intended for to a middleman, an aggregator, or another location.

Malware: Malware is any code engineered to harm, reveal information, or otherwise compromise the stability or security of a system. Malware is a broad term for harmful software like ransomware, worms, viruses, Trojan horses, backdoors, logic bombs, Remote Access Trojans (RAT), rootkits, and spyware/adware.

Network Resilience: Network resilience refers to a network’s capacity to maintain continuous operation (i.e., to be highly resilient to disruption and capable of operating in a degraded mode if damaged), recover effectively in the event of a failure, and scale to meet high or fluctuating demands.

Operational Exercise: An operational exercise is a situation-based training exercise where participants practice responding to a cyberattack or other unfavorable incident using their knowledge of established plans, procedures, roles, and responsibilities.

Phishing: Phishing is a modern-day social engineering technique that tricks people into divulging private, sensitive data. A recent IRONSCALES survey revealed that since March 2020, 81% of organizations worldwide have experienced increased email phishing assaults.

Qualitative Risk Analysis: In qualitative risk analysis, threats (or opportunities) are identified together with their likelihood of occurring and any associated effects. Typically, a ranking matrix for probability and impact is used to display the results. Risks will also be categorized in this manner, either by source or by effect.

Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of software that, usually through strong encryption, holds a victim’s or organization’s data hostage, often shutting down operations. To restore control of the computer or network to the rightful owner, the user is asked to pay a ransom in Bitcoin or another untraceable digital currency.

When ransomware attacks paralyze an organization, the impact can ripple far beyond that one company. For example, a ransomware attack against refined oil products pipeline Colonial Pipeline caused a jet fuel shortage for multiple airlines, induced “panic buying” of gasoline in the southeastern United States, and led to regional spikes in gas prices.

Social Engineering: An attack strategy called “social engineering” targets people over technology. This psychological assault seeks to access information or a physical environment. A social engineering attack could be used to get into a building by getting a worker to help a delivery person hold the door open, to get into a network by fooling a user into giving their account information to fake technical support staff, or to get copies of data files by convincing a worker to copy and paste private information into an email or social media post.

Trojan Horse: A computer virus known as a “trojan horse” contains a hidden, possibly harmful function that evades security measures. It may do this by taking advantage of the legitimate authorizations of a system entity that calls the program. The world’s most damaging cyberattack was caused by the ILOVEYOU Trojan horse virus and caused $8.7 billion in losses in 2000.

Unauthorized Access: Any access that deviates from the declared security policy is known as “unauthorized access.”

VPN (Virtual Private Network): To provide a secure, private, and isolated communication channel, a VPN links systems or networks. A VPN link is typically encrypted.

Worm: A “worm” is a type of malware that concentrates on replication and dissemination. A worm is a malicious program that can run on its own and tries to spread to other systems by copying itself. A worm usually only does indirect damage because its replication and spread use up the system’s resources. A worm can install further malware on any system it comes across.

XDR (Extended Detection and Response) Technologies: XDR (extended detection and response) technologies can find, analyze, track, and fix cyberthreats that target data that is visible across networks, clouds, apps, and endpoints. XDR gathers and correlates data to provide visibility and context for complex threats and prevents data loss. 

YANG (Yet Another Next Generation): YANG is a data modeling language for the definition of data transmitted across network management protocols. The configuration and status data of network nodes can both be modeled using the data modeling language. The language can be converted into any encoding format (like XML or JSON) that a network configuration protocol allows because it is protocol independent.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is an IT security solution that gives safe remote access to an organization’s applications, data, and services. It is based on clearly defined criteria for access control. In contrast to virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow access to the entire network, ZTNA only allows users access to particular services or apps. As more people use remote access technologies from their homes or other places, ZTNA solutions help to reduce the attack surface and close security holes in other remote access technologies.

Guard the Avenues into Your Network Now

As noted in “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022,” 83% of organizations studied have experienced more than one data breach. IBM also reported that the average amount of time it takes to identify and contain a data breach is 277 days.

It is possible to recover from a cyberattack, but isn’t it better to prevent an incident in the first place?

By making time to learn more about cyberthreats and how to counter them, you can improve your cybersecurity posture, and develop a stronger, more secure infrastructure. At VirnetX, we can help you build your defenses against bad threat actors. Our software and technology solutions are designed to facilitate secure communications and provide the security platform required by next generation Internet-based applications.

Gabriel Collaboration Suite is a secure way to communicate, share files, and collaborate with your team while maintaining complete control of your data. It works on any device, including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Matrix enforces access policy controls and enables real-time network management to protect cloud or on-premises applications from threats. The platform safeguards applications and contemporary remote workforces from sophisticated hackers and mitigates threats by enabling corporate applications to be invisible to unauthorized users.

War Room is an encrypted construct only visible to authorized users and combats threats and hackers from invading video meetings. Built with a Zero Trust philosophy and backed by VirnetXOne – VirnetX’s proprietary Gabriel technology.

For more information, please visit

About VirnetX

VirnetX Holding Corporation is an Internet security software and technology company with patented technology for secure communications, including 4G LTE and 5G security. VirnetX’s software and technology solutions, including its secure domain name registry and Gabriel Connection Technology™, are designed to facilitate secure communications and to create a secure environment for real-time communication applications such as instant messaging, VoIP, smartphones, e-readers, and video conferencing. The Company’s patent portfolio includes over 200 U.S. and foreign granted patents, validations, and pending applications. For more information, please visit