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January 19, 2022 •
Can’t get enough of the Wordle craze? Neither can we!
Wordle, the online word game that challenges players to guess a five-letter word in six tries, has captured attention worldwide, and some of us at Cyphercor have not been immune.
The game has users stretching their deductive reasoning skills and learning a few new words in the process. In the spirit of the game, we decided to make a glossary of every cybersecurity-related five-letter word we could think of. Who knows, some of these might end up in your Wordle guesses soon!
Alert: A notification that something, often an attack or a vulnerability, has been detected on an organization’s systems. To use it in a sentence: “I just got an alert on our monitoring system that our firewall is down.”
Allow: In a cybersecurity context, to “allow” access into something is to run the proper checks in the system to ensure that the person trying to access that thing, be it a database, asset, or otherwise, has the proper authorization to do so.
Asset: An asset more generally could be anything that an organization possesses, but here at Cyphercor we often refer to assets as something you can add two-factor authentication onto. “A customer wants to add MFA to their RD Web Access asset.”
Cloud: In the cyber world, clouds aren’t just in the sky — they’re all around us. Cloud computing allows users and organizations to access servers all around the world to save documents to, use services on, access resources from, and more: anytime, anywhere. One of the great inventions of the 21st century, but also very susceptible to cyber attacks. You should always protect access to your cloud services with proper authentication controls.
Cyber: Anything related to computer, information technology, or this virtual, online world we all exist and operate in. Cybersecurity is the industry that seeks to protect that cyber world.
(En)crypt: We know, we’re cheating with this one. To “encrypt” something is to encode messages or information by converting them into secret ciphers, which can only be decrypted with the right key or code. Encrypt is too long for Worlde, but “crypt” might show up!
Event: We mostly use “events” in the cybersecurity world to talk about incidents where an organization’s systems are being attacked. “This organization experienced a cyber event when they were hit with the WannaCry ransomware attack.”
Guard: A guard is something that mediates between two systems of differing security levels, ensuring that the one with higher security protocols doesn’t get exposed via the lower level one.
Logic: The word logic comes up in a couple places within the cybersecurity world. “Logical cybersecurity” is the process of identifying what secure processes should be in place for your organization to properly protect your systems, whereas a “logic bomb” is a type of malware that waits patiently on your system until a specific set of conditions are met before detonating.
Macro: A macro is a program that’s used to perform bulk functions easily, and are more often than not good things. However, if left unprotected, cyber criminals can also utilize macros to infect your computer with malware.
Patch: When the recent Log4j vulnerability was discovered, we all rushed to check if our systems were affected, and if so, “patch” those holes in the system. A patch is a new piece of code introduced into software that fixes, updates, or changes that system or application. You should always stay up to date with any new patches that have been released for software that you use, and always test updates before implementing them.
Phish: The fact that “phish” is in the Wordle word list really is a sign of the times. Phishing is when an attacker sends you a malicious link, most of the time through email, that when opened can allow that hacker to gain unauthorized access to your network and systems. You should always be on the lookout for phishing.
Risky: Risk is what the foundation of cybersecurity is built on, and knowing your risk level and how to reduce it is key to protecting your network, applications, and systems from malicious actors. To use it in a sentence: “Using Remote Access without implementing two-factor authentication is pretty risky.”
Proxy: Some may recognize this five-letter word from Wordle puzzle #213. In cybersecurity terminology, when we talk about a “proxy” we’re most likely referring to a “proxy server”, which is a server that sits between your computer and the web pages you visit to hide your IP address and protect your identity and information from possible malicious actors.
Spoof: “Spoofing” is when a user pretends to be something they’re not, often faking their IP address, email address, or some other identifier in order to gain unauthorized access somewhere, or fool you into clicking on links in a phishing email.
Theft: Theft in the cybersecurity world is usually about data theft. Sometimes hackers attack networks just to cause a disturbance, but sometimes they want to exfiltrate and sell your data and information — that’s when you can become a victim of data theft.
Virus: Just like physical viruses, a computer virus is something that infects a computer without permission and replicates itself, causing damage and destruction in its wake. Viruses spread from one computer to another often without knowledge of the users.
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