Glossary

Application Programming Interface (API)

A library of related programme code available for programmers to use.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

A TCP/IP protocol, used with the command line tool of the same name, to determine the MAC address that corresponds to a particular IP address.

Botnet

A network of computers, or bots, as they are sometimes referred to, which are infected with malware and can be controlled remotely to, for example, carry out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

CIA

CIA, or Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability, is a security model that can be used to guide an organisation's policies on information security. Also sometimes known as the CIA triad or AIC triad.

Ciphertext

Ciphertext is the result of plaintext being encrypted using an algorithm, known as a cipher.

Cron

A tool used by a number of Linux distributions for automatically running tasks at a scheduled time.

CRUD

CRUD is an acronym for Create, Read, Update and Delete, and refers to the possible ways to operate on stored data.

Darknet

An area of the internet that cannot be indexed by search engines such as Google and are not normally accessible via a standard web browser, but instead through specialist software. A Darknet can be used for harmless means, such as for a corporate website, as well as illegal means, such as hacking and file sharing forums where users wish to stay anonymous.

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

A DMZ, or perimeter network as it is sometimes known, is a physical or logical subnetwork that contains and exposes an organisation’s external-facing services to an untrusted network, such as the Internet. Its purpose is to add an additional layer of security to an organisation’s local area network (LAN). The untrusted network can only access what is in the DMZ, whilst the rest of the network is secured behind a firewall.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

An operating system and other software provided on a subscription basis. A provider of this type of service will use virtualisation technology to create virtual desktops on physical infrastructure within data centres. An end user will access a virtual desktop via their computer.

Doxing

The practice of researching and publishing private or identifiable information on the internet, regarding an individual or organisation.

Drive-by Download

A drive-by download is where something is downloaded from the internet to a computer without the prior knowledge of the user, or where a download is authorised by the user but the full consequences of the download are not understood.

Encryption

The process of converting plain text into ciphertext to prevent unauthorised access.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

A protocol that works at the application layer, which is used to transfer files over a network connection.

File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS)

A protocol that works at the application layer, which is used to transfer files over a network connection, using FTP over an SSL or TLS connection.

Firewall

A network security system, which monitors traffic to and from a computer network. It has the ability to allow or block traffic depending on a set of predefined rules. Firewalls can be implemented using software, hardware or a combination of the two.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

European Union law that specifies a broad set of rights and protections for personal information of EU citizens.

Honeypot

A computer system or portion of a network that has been set up purely for the purposes of attracting intruders. As there are no legitimate users in a system such as this, unauthorised activity is easy to spot.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

HTTP is a network protocol that facilitates the transfer of documents, such as web pages, on the web, typically between a web browser and a server.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)

HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP, that encrypts communications between a client and server, using SSL or TLS.

Immutable Object

A computer programming term used to describe an object whose state cannot be changed after it has been defined.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure, such as servers and storage, provided on a subscription basis. A provider of this type of service will use virtualisation technology on physical infrastructure within data centres.

Inheritance

In Object-Oriented Programming, Inheritance refers to the ability of an object to take on, or inherit, the properties of another object.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

An Integrated Development Environment, or IDE for short, is a piece of software that provides a means to create software and web applications. They generally include a source code editor, for programming purposes, a compiler where needed, for building an application and debugging tools, to aid in the resolution of bugs or problems with an application.

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)

A subscription based service, which provides tools to enable the integration of data, applications and processes hosted on different physical and cloud services.

Internet Protocol

A network layer protocol used by the Internet for routing packets across a network.

Kerberos

A network authentication protocol developed by MIT to enable multiple brands of servers to authenticate multiple brands of clients.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

A protocol used by a number of operating systems and applications to access directories.

Malware

Malware is the collective name given to software that has been developed to disrupt or damage data, software or hardware, as well as gain unauthorised access to computer systems.

Mutable Object

A computer programming term used to describe an object whose state can change after it has been defined.

Network Address Translation (NAT)

A way of converting a system's IP address into another IP address before sending it out to a larger network. A network using NAT provides the systems on the network with private IP addresses. The system running the NAT software has two interfaces, one connected to the network and the other connected to the larger network.

The NAT program takes packets from the client systems bound for the larger network and translates their internal private IP address to its own public IP address, enabling many systems to share an IP address.

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)

A programming paradigm based on the concept of “objects”, which may contain data, in the form of fields or attributes, and behaviours, in the form of procedures or methods. Computer programs created in this way are usually made up of multiple objects that interact with one another.

Open Source

Software that is said to be open source refers to the fact that the original source code used to create it is made freely available to view, modify, enhance and redistribute.

Phishing

An attempt to gain sensitive information, such as user account and bank details, for malicious reasons, via an electronic communication, such as email, purporting to be from a trustworthy source. This might be to steal someone’s identity, for financial gain, or both.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A subscription based service which provides a managed environment of hardware and software. This type of service is popular with application developers as it removes the need to maintain the complex infrastructure required.

Polymorphism

In Object-Oriented Programming, Polymorphism refers to the ability of a programming language to process objects differently depending on their data type or class.

Port

In Computing there are two types of port, hardware ports and networking ports.

A hardware port serves as an interface between a computer and peripheral devices, such as a monitor, printer, keyboard and mouse. A port is a part of a computer that these devices connect to.

A networking port is a communication endpoint. It is a logical construct that identifies a specific process or type of network service, at the software level, within an operating system. Ports have a port number associated with them and relate to specific transport protocols, for example, port 80 handles HTTP traffic.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

Protocol used for Microsoft's Remote Desktop tool.

Secure Shell (SSH)

An encrypted remote terminal connection program, used to remotely connect to a server. SSH uses asymmetric encryption, however, it generally requires an independent source of trust with a server, such as manually receiving a server key, to operate.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

SFTP uses SSH to provide the encryption for secure file transfer.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

A protocol developed for transmitting private documents over the internet. It works by using a public key to encrypt sensitive data. This encrypted data is then sent over an SSL connection and then decrypted at the receiving end using a private key. Deprecated by Transport Layer Security (TLS).

Single-Board Computer

A computer built on a single circuit board, which incorporates a processor, memory, input and output capabilities, along with many other features of a regular computer.

SMShing

An attempt to gain sensitive information, such as user account and bank details, for malicious reasons, via an SMS message, purporting to be from a trustworthy source. This might be to steal someone’s identity, for financial gain, or both.

Software Development Kit (SDK)

A collection of software development tools that facilitate the creation of software, which can include a software framework, compiler and debugger.

Social Engineering

The use of deception to manipulate an individual into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.

Spoofing

Spoofing is a fraudulent or malicious activity whereby a communication is sent from an unknown source disguised as a source that is known to the receiver. E-mail spoofing is a particular type of spoofing where the header of an e-mail is forged to appear as though it from a particular sender, but instead is from an unknown source.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

An encryption protocol that is used to securely connect between clients and servers, such as when a web browser securely connects to a website. This replaces Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Vishing

An attempt to gain sensitive information, such as user account and bank details, for malicious reasons, via the telephone, purporting to be from a trustworthy source. This might be to steal someone’s identity, for financial gain, or both.