The Cyber Immunity Lexicon

Cyber attack. An attack on a computer or network usually initiated from another computer or multiple computers, but which may also be instigated by network insiders. Some cyber attacks attempt to gain access to a network’s data or secure information, and others are designed to disable a computer or network.  Cyber attacks can be mitigated or prevented altogether by a spectrum of cyber protections, such as those provided by cyber immunity, that automatically detect and proactively defend against them.

Cyber Awareness. The level of knowledge and understanding of cyber risk as reflected in an organisation’s prevention policies, including people, processes, and technology, and how effectively these policies are heeded and implemented by the Board of Directors, senior management, IT department, and workforce.

Cyber Contagion. The ability of malware, such as a virus, to spread from one part of a network to another, especially in the case of remote cyber environments and supply chains.

Cyber Containment. The use of software, technology, and human factors to limit the damage done by malware once it has compromised a network. The more quickly and effectively a cyber attack can be contained, the less harm done and the more quickly an organisation can rebound and resume normal operations.

Cyber Crime. Any illegal activity that is carried out through the use of technology. It refers both to crimes where a computer is used as the tool to commit the crime, as well as when the computer, or a network, is the object or victim of the crime. Cyber crime tends to peak in times of emergencies or other large-scale disasters or disruptions as people, often working remotely, seek information and guidance.

Cyber Health. The general condition and strength of an organisation in its ability to defend against cyber attacks, contain and successfully mitigate attacks that occur, and recuperate quickly and fully from those attacks, enabling the resumption of normal operations. Cyber health is also a measure of the extent to which an organisation has been compromised, and whether the organisation has taken steps to mitigate the infection or has yet to realise that the infection exists.  Cyber health is improved and maintained through periodic check-ups to determine existing contagion and deficiencies in defending against future compromise. Cyber health is also achieved through conducting tests to identify areas susceptible to attacks, adhering to cyber policies and regimens that build defenses and avoid intrusions, and receiving cyber inoculations that help deter attacks before they do harm or become contagious.

Cyber Hygiene. The practice of regularly taking precautions to thwart cyber attacks and cyber infections to ensure an organisation’s cyber security. Cyber hygiene may include vigilance in protecting passwords, awareness about phishing scams and other criminal threats, and enforcing policies that protect private and proprietary data. Practicing cyber hygiene on an ongoing basis, particularly controlling for human factors risks, can help to build overall cyber health.  

Cyber Immunity. The capability of an organisation to immediately detect and automatically defend against cyber attacks regardless of the type and point of intrusion. Cyber immunity includes the continuous monitoring and analyses of enterprise and supply chain digital processes and alerts IT specialists and senior executives to potential and emerging threats. The integrated cyber security services provided by the ACP ECSM® platform assures an organisation uncompromising cyber immunity, which assures comprehensive cyber protection and the best possible outcome in defending against a cyber attack

Cyber Inoculation. The implementation of an integrated regimen of cyber security services that provides cyber immunity to all or specific attacks. The ACP ECSM platform and its specific protections effectively inoculate an organisation against being compromised by cyber crime.

Cyber Perimeter. The outermost extent of an organisation’s digital exposure that may be subject to cyber attacks, compromising an entire system or network. A cyber perimeter is increasingly widespread, mobile, and difficult to defend due to remote working and increased network access outside of an office environment with cyber security safeguards.

Automatic cyber protection. The use of encoded software and technology to detect, identify, and defend against cyber threats and cyber attacks, typically by preventing users from performing tasks or transmitting information that could potentially compromise an entire network. This protection includes automated policy enforcement that manages the human factors risk of inadvertently disclosing confidential or proprietary data to cyber criminals. 

Camoware. An especially insidious type of malware that appears to be doing one type of harm while it is actually compromising a system in a different way. ACP Preemptive Detection software can help to identify and isolate camoware and mitigate its impact.

Cyber Recovery The ability of an organisation to rebound from a cyber attack and reestablish normal business operations. The more quickly an attack can be detected and contained, the better the chances for a quicker and fuller recovery. A commonly used synonym is “resilience.”

Cyber resistance. The ability of an organisation and its network to withstand a cyber attack. The higher the level of cyber awareness and cyber protections in place, the greater the resistance will be. Cyber immunity provides the highest level of cyber resistance.

Cyber risk or cyber threat. The chance that a computer or entire network will be hacked, resulting in the purposeful disclosure of personal or proprietary information, the misappropriation of funds and loss of revenue, and the implanting of malware that can gravely harm an organisation, including the potential to substantially curtail or shutter its operations. Working remotely, cloud storage, extensive supply chains, and lack of cyber awareness all contribute to cyber risk. Given the variety and changing nature of cyber risk, only complete cyber immunity can provide the level of protection that can contain and mitigate it.

Defence-in-depth. The multi-tiered layers of coordinated cyber protection that factors in people, policy, process, and technology and is designed to thwart a wide array of cyber attacks that can potentially gain entrance at any end point and quickly compromise an entire network.

Encrypted cyber policies. Software solutions embedded in an enterprise’s operating, IT, and communications systems that automatically detect and prevent the sharing of personal, proprietary and sensitive digital data with unauthorised third parties.

End-point cyber protection. The implementation of enterprise-wide software to defend all devices connected to a network, including home devices and appliances, against cyber attacks that could potentially compromise the entire network. Another term used for this concept is Endpoint Detection and Response, or EDR.

Hacking. An attempt to gain unauthorised access to a computer system or a private network inside a computer, almost exclusively for a malicious or illegal purpose. Hackers seek to compromise a digital network or system for personal gain by cracking codes or passwords, sometimes by using brute computer power, and sometimes by finessing information they glean from public sites, including social media. Hacking can often be deterred by a combination of cyber security safeguards, including password protection software and end-point cyber security protection.

Inoculation. The process of implementing within an organisation specific cyber security protections that are engineered to identify, mitigate, and proactively repel cyber intrusions. Each cyber inoculation helps to build an organisation’s cyber immunity and increases its resiliency in overcoming and recovering from malware and other cyber infections. 

Malware. Any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. A constantly expanding variety of types of malware exist, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, and adware. A combination of cyber security protections that help build cyber immunity can help protect individual computers and entire networks from existing and evolving types of malware. However, the introduction of new types of malware may challenge cyber immunity until the nature of the malware is understood and the appropriate type of inoculation can be deployed. 

Phishing. An attempt by third parties to deceive users into inadvertently revealing sensitive company information, or to open the door to malware that can compromise an entire digital network. Phishing attacks are frequently in the form of clickable links that appear to be valid to the user and increase dramatically in times of national emergencies when people are desperately seeking information or other remedies. Highly targeted phishing attacks against a specific individual are referred to as spear-phishing. The more time people spend working remotely, without the cyber security safeguards of their office environment, the greater the risk that they will be lured by a phishing scam. A specially designed package of automated and encrypted cyber security software can protect individuals and organisations from being compromised by phishing attacks.

Ransomware. A form of malware that works by encrypting the files on a computer, whether belonging to an individual or organisation. The victim must then pay a fee, usually in Bitcoin, to get the decryption key from the attacker. The attacker may also threaten to publish the victim’s data unless the ransom is paid. Ransomware often gains access to a computer through phishing scams when a user inadvertently clicks on a malicious link.  Automated and encoded software, combined with cyber awareness based on human factors, help prevent employees from clicking on dangerous links and stopping ransomware attacks before they can compromise a computer or network.

Spyware. A type of malware that secretly records actions on a computer and captures information like online browsing habits, e-mail messages, usernames and passwords, and credit card information.  While not always malicious, dangerous spyware can transmit personal or proprietary data that can then be used to harm the computer user or an entire enterprise. Adware, system monitors, and tracking cookies are common forms of spyware. Spyware can go undetected for long periods of time, feeding hackers and criminals a stream of information that they use to their advantage or to harm others. The total protection provided by cyber immunity can prevent spyware from compromising a computer or a network and can alert users to spyware already present in their system.