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Cyber Security

Helpful cyber security terms for 2020

By May 21, 2020November 2nd, 2020No Comments
Cyber Security Terms

Cyber Security Terminology to Know in 2020

The world is changing almost faster than we can keep up. This is especially true in 2020, the year of COVID-19. Even in a global pandemic—perhaps even more so in a global pandemic when we are relying largely on the internet for communication, connection, shopping, and more—it’s important to stay ahead of the latest terms, concepts, and trends in cyber security. There’s more than one way to keep yourself safe from a virus! 

As we conduct our lives over the internet more and more, few people prioritise their cyber safety. Knowing at least a little bit about what’s what on the digital security scene can ensure that your online life continues unheeded by scammers, hackers, phishers, and other cybercriminals. To that end, we have put together a quick guide to the most important cyber security terms in 2020. We have included both basic terms and some new trends in cyber security. 


Also called data encryption, this is an important cyber security measure that protects the data of organisations and individuals. When data is encrypted it is scrambled and made unintelligible, and can only be read using an encryption key. This means that even if a cyber attack is successful in obtaining the data, it cannot be used for nefarious purposes.

Social engineering

Social engineering attacks can take many forms including impersonating executive staff and forms of tailgating or convincing staff to gain physical access.

They could also be in the nature of calls to a help desk, or using social interactions to gain staff confidence and familiarity for manipulation at a later date.

Mixing psychology with cybercrime involves attackers using manipulation via email or other messaging. The end goal is to have victims disclose information which can then be

used to steal money or otherwise misused. Often, it’s our human behaviour that leaves us vulnerable. Stay vigilant and never give details to a site or person if you can’t determine their


Malware and anti-malware

Malware is a generic term that refers to any program installed in a computer with the intent to cause harm—corrupt files, damage a system, steal information. You may hear of different types of malware such as ransomware which encrypts a victim’s data with an encryption key known only to the attacker, spyware which gathers information about your browsing habits and sends it to a third party, or trojans which are programs appearing innocuous but serving as a vehicle for some kind of harmful code.

Anti-malware is a broad category of software that is used to combat various kinds of malware attack. It is a great tool in your cyber security arsenal but must be updated regularly to be effective. Expert advice can help to determine which anti-malware products would best suit your needs.


Bots or robots are pieces of software (in this case, malware) that run automated tasks. They are useful for applications such as web crawling or search engines, but can also be put to malicious use to automate attacks.

A botnet is a network of devices running bots, connected over the internet. The owner of the botnet can command the compromised devices and use them to perform various cyber attacks.

Synthetic identities

Identity fraud is common online. Cybercriminals can invent fake identities of synthetic identities using a mixture of real and fabricated details, often used to open credit accounts and make fraudulent purchases. 

Cloud computing and cloud security

Cloud computing and storage is becoming ever more popular for companies and individuals as a way to decentralise their digital storage, reduce dependence on their own hardware, and make it accessible from anywhere. Common applications such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and even Netflix are examples of cloud computing. It is a very helpful tool but can leave data vulnerable to attack.

With the rise of the cloud, cloud security is becoming more and more an essential aspect of cyber security in general. It consists of a range of practices and technologies aimed at deterring cyber threats against cloud users, and cyber security experts like the CANDA team can advise businesses and organisations how best to use cloud security tools to keep their own and their clients’ data and systems safe.

Denial of Service (DOS) attack

A specific type of cyber security threat that has become common is the Denial of Service attack. These effectively shut down the systems of an organisation and shut out legitimate users so they can no longer access things such as emails, websites, and user accounts. This result is achieved by flooding the site with traffic until it cannot respond or crashes entirely. There are many reasons a cybercriminal would want to make a site or system unavailable to its intended users, including monetary or political gain.

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack involves multiple devices or sources—often a botnet is used for this.

There are plenty more terms that make up the world of cyber security in 2020 but knowing those explained above will start you on the road to a better understanding. Take a look at the rest of the CANDA blog to learn more about the latest trends in cyber security as well as the best ways to keep yourself and your organisation safe. CANADA also offers cyber security planning and execution services, making it simple for businesses and groups to put together a holistic security program.