Cybersecurity Lingo Everyone Should Know

  • By Steven
  • Aug 25, 2022

The language of cybersecurity has changed in the years following the dot com boom. We've rapidly transitioned from America Online (AOL) dial-up internet service through modems connected to landline phones to lightning-fast wireless internet available across nearly the entirety of the globe. 

Let's look at some of the top cybersecurity terms everyone should know, regardless of their professional title or occupation. We also delve into some of the most notable web attacks of note in the month of July.

Accidental Exposure in Plain English

If you hear about an accidental cybersecurity exposure, you may not be as flustered or confused if you understand what the term means. Accidental exposure is a form of data breach that results from human error or insufficient digital security protections. 

Anonymous FTP misconfigurations, stolen or missing computers, defaults, databases in the cloud, and simple mistakes all fall under the umbrella of the overarching term of accidental exposure. Even a smartphone used for work purposes that is lost or stolen, allowing access to job-related information, is viewed as an accidental exposure.

Data Breaches Explained

There will inevitably come a time when usernames, passwords, medical records, and financial records are mistakenly made available or disclosed. Data leaks and hacks have the potential to occur by mistake and intentionally. Breaches typically lead to the sale of data on shady online forums to fellow digital criminals.

The Difference Between Incidents and Other Cybersecurity Attacks

The word "incident" has different meanings according to context. Incidents are when businesses have vulnerabilities yet lack reassurance that hackers stole no data. Incidents are eventually resolved, yet they have the potential to linger until a digital security team can perform an analysis.

July’s Notable Online Attacks

According to Constella Intelligence, more than 1,400 breaches occurred this past July alone. Miltor.ru was hit by an attack that resulted in the theft of millions of usernames, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, and other information. Wishbone.io suffered data exposure that has the potential to lead to the illegal access of nearly 50 million emails and passwords. 

July was an especially bad month for Epik.com, a site that suffered a breach resulting in the exposure of nearly 25 million names, email addresses, passwords, login usernames, USPS addresses, and more. It appears as though this breach occurred in September of 2021 yet was not reported until the summer of 2022.

Cybersecurity Statistics of Note

Incidents, accidental exposures, and data breaches are occurring at record rates. The war in Ukraine combined with the increase in computer use during the pandemic are two contributors to the increase in breach and attack frequencies. However, most people are naïve about the extent of online attacks and their frequency for a good reason. 

The mainstream media doesn't highlight attacks on the web as often as physical attacks partially because digital attacks are ubiquitous, meaning occurring at all times, 'round the clock throughout the year. If you have not updated your digital safeguards, now is the time to do so. Whether you strictly use a work computer, smartphone, or home computer, it is in your interest to protect your tech investment.

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