Cybersecurity Glossary – Definitions and Terms

As more businesses rely on online tools, cyber attacks are going to increase. As a new business owner, or if you are part of a team, understanding the all the terms and what it can mean for your business. Cyber security encompasses a range of tools and practices made to defend networks from any unauthorised access, modification or deletion of your data. This means that professional Cybersecurity solutions are going to become even more vital.

Here at HelpDesk Heroes we make IT security solutions easy for our clients. We always make sure that you are well informed and confident. Read on for our useful cybersecurity glossary for terms and definitions.

Here are some of the cybersecurity definitions related to the services we provide.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

An APT uses ongoing and sophisticated hacking techniques to gain access to a system. APTs are usually used to steal information from a specific individual or organization over time, rather than cause an immediate disruption to operations.


Antivirus is a type of security software to help you defend your computer against malicious attacks. It scans your computer for any signs of security risks. Our managed antivirus services protect you against threats to your computers and networks.


Antispam is a type of email software that protects your email communications from attack. At HelpDesk Heroes our top priority is security and defending our clients from spam.

Brute-force Attacks

Brute-force attacks is when a hacker gains access to your password and control of your account. A brute-force attack is when the hacker rapidly inputting as many passwords as possible in an attempt to find the right combination of characters.


This stands for denial-of-service attack. DOS is a cyberattack on a server or network in order to disrupt that network or servers normal operations. This type attack will typically flood servers or networks with traffic in order to overwhelm and incapacitate the system.


This means Domain Name System. the Internet’s system for converting alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses.


The transformation of data to hide its information content. We provide fully managed encryption services to businesses of all sizes.


A firewall is a security tool designed to prevent unauthorised access to a computer or network. A firewall is especially important for large organizations with large offices and lots of computers.


The General Data Protection Regulation covers EU law on the collection and processing of personal information of individuals. GDPR has been legal regulation since May 2018 and is important that UK businesses large and small are compliant.


Hacking is defined as any unauthorised intrusion into a computer or a network. Hackers attempt to gain access to your system and can copy or delete files and alter security features for malicious reasons.


Keylogging is a form of hacking. A Keylogger is either software or hardware that captures every keystroke. A keylogger could be either a software or a hardware that’s designed to capture and record keystrokes. Software versions of keyloggers are often included in viruses or malware packages to capture credentials for later use. The victim is typically unaware that their activities are being monitored.


Malware is a type of software which is designed to disrupt, damage or gain access to a computer system. Business owners need to ensure that all IT networks are protected and monitored for this type of threat.


MFA means Multifactor Authentication.


A patch is a file designed to address a vulnerability within a computer network or software.


Phishing is when fake emails are sent pretending to be from a legitimate company or organisation to try and trick individuals into revealing personal information.


Ransomware is a type of malicious software which is designed to block access to a computer system, with a ransom attached.


Spear-Phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organisation or individual, to elicit sensitive information. It’s targeted rather than random.


Spyware is a type of malware that records information about a computer user’s activities to an external or third party. Spyware is almost always malicious and is used to steal passwords, banking information and credit card details.

2FA – Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is when you provide proof of identity by two independent means. It helps to keep your online accounts secure by giving you an extra layer of protection. Rather than just using your user name and password, with two-factor authentication you can use your phone to receive the extra verification.


A Virus is malicious software that is loaded onto a computer and then run without the user’s knowledge or permission.


A worm is a type of malware that replicates itself so it can spread and infiltrate other computers within a network.

Zero-day attack

An attack consisting of malware that is entirely new or as yet discovered by cybersecurity experts

We hope you have found our Cybersecurity glossary useful.

Questions about Cybersecurity and your business?

Read the full IT Security Guide here


Cybersecurity for Business

Cyber Security is important for business of any size. Keeping staff and sensitive information save and secure is core.

Statistics show that More than half of British firms ‘report cyber-attacks in 2019’ (BBC News). The financial costs of a cybersecurity breach can be high in addition to the disruption caused.

Here at HelpDesk Heroes we pay close attention to your business IT security strategy. With a focus on protecting your networks and valuable business data.

We provide managed IT security services for small businesses (SME’s) as as well as larger offices that require a more complex solution. Our expert team will answer all your questions and give you the ideal solution for needs.

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