Cybersecurity Glossary

Cybersecurity Glossary

A cybersecurity glossary of some of the most commonly used terms in the industry.


Active Directory (AD)

Active Directory (AD) is the proprietary directory service for Windows domain networks. It consists of a database and numerous services that connect users to network resources such as devices, data, folders, etc.

Advanced Threat Protection

Advanced threat protection is a type of cybersecurity dedicated to preventing pre-planned cyberattacks, such as malware or phishing. ATP combines cloud, file sharing, email, network, and endpoint security.

Anomaly Detection

Anomaly detection is the process of analyzing company data to find data points that don’t align with a company's standard data pattern. Companies use anomalous activity detection to define system baselines, identify deviations from that baseline, and investigate inconsistent data. In cybersecurity, ...

Application Gateway

What is an Application Gateway (App Gateway)? An application gateway is a security measure that protects web applications. They replace traditional web applications that require the same login credentials as the data center. Instead, users access application gateways through mobile apps and cloud ...

Attack Surface

Your organization's attack surface is a collection of all the external points where someone could infiltrate your corporate network. Think of your attack surface as any opportunity or vulnerability a bad agent can use to enter part of your IT infrastructure.

Audit Log

An audit log is a document that records what is happening within an IT system.

Authentication (Authn)

Authentication is the process of verifying a user or device before allowing access to a system or resources.

Bastion Host

A bastion host is a server used to manage access to an internal or private network from an external network - sometimes called a jump box or jump server.

Brute Force Attack

A brute force attack is a cyber attack where a hacker guesses information, such as usernames and passwords, to access a private system. The hacker uses trial-and-error until correctly guessing the credentials needed to gain unauthorized access to user accounts or organizational networks.


Software or hardware that is either hosted in the cloud or on-premises. It adds a layer of security between users and cloud service providers and often overlaps with secure web gateway (SWG) functionality.

CI/CD Pipeline

CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) is a collection of practices for engineering, testing, and delivering software. A CI/CD pipeline is composed of the tools that developers, test engineers, and IT operations staff use to execute these practices. CI/CD pipeline tools leverage automation to improve code quality and speed time to market.

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM, pronounced “kim”) is a category of specialized software-as-a-service solutions that automate the detection, analysis, and mitigation of cloud infrastructure access risk across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Cloud Workload Security

What is Cloud Workload Security? Cloud workload security is the practice of securing applications and their composite workloads running in the cloud. Examples of cloud workloads include applications, virtual machines, containers, databases, and services. It is necessary to protect all cloud ...

Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment (CARTA)

Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment (CARTA) is an IT security framework that goes beyond traditional role-based access control (RBAC). By adding attribute-based access control (ABAC), it enables continuous, context-aware security assessment in real time. Gartner introduced CARTA in 2010, building on its original Adaptive Security Architecture.

Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing is a type of cyber attack that occurs when a person or bot steals account credentials, such as usernames and passwords, and tries to use them to access multiple systems.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance, also called cybersecurity insurance or cyber liability insurance, is an insurance policy that covers the losses a business might suffer from a data breach or cyber attack.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a series of tools and practices that help companies recognize and prevent data exposure by controlling the flow of information within and outside of the organization.

Data Observability

Data observability is the ability to understand, diagnose, and manage data health across multiple IT tools throughout the data lifecycle. A data observability platform helps organizations to discover, triage, and resolve real-time data issues using telemetry data like logs, metrics, and traces.


What is Defense-in-depth? Defense-in-depth began as a military term for a layered approach to protection. The NSA has taken that military strategy and applied it to cybersecurity. Defense-in-depth means applying a multi-faceted approach to reducing risk while containing and eliminating threats. ...


Deprovisioning removes the access rights and deletes the accounts associated with a user on a network. When an organization offboards an individual, it’s important to terminate the access rights to applications, systems, and data. Neglecting to do so can result in “zombie accounts,” compromised security, or data leaks.

Directory Services

What are Directory Services? A directory service is a database containing information about users, devices, and resources. This information, such as usernames, passwords, and user preferences, allows system and network administrators to control access to applications and resources. Also known as ...


FIDO2 is the newest set of specifications from the FIDO Alliance. It enables the use of common devices to authenticate to online services on both mobile and desktop environments, using unique cryptographic login credentials for every site.


Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) means adhering to the rules and regulations that impact what, how, and when protected health information (PHI) can be shared, and by whom.


HITRUST is a non-profit company that delivers data protection standards and certification programs to help organizations safeguard sensitive information, manage information risk, and reach their compliance goals.


A honeypot is a phony digital asset designed to look like a poorly-guarded, valuable asset. The goal is to trick cyber attackers into targeting the vulnerable honeypot, which deflects attention away from critical assets, alerts companies to when and what type of attack is occurring, and enables them to mitigate the risk before important network security perimeters are compromised.

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Identity and access management (IAM or IdAM) is a framework containing the tools and policies a company uses to verify a user’s identity, authorize controlled access to company resources, and audit user and device access across their IT infrastructure.

Identity as a Service (IDaaS)

Identity as a Service (IDaaS) is an identity and access management (IAM) solution delivered in a cloud-based service that is hosted by a trusted third party.

Identity Governance and Administration (IGA)

Identity governance and administration (IGA), also called identity security, is a set of policies that allow firms to mitigate cyber risk and comply with government regulations to protect sensitive data. These policies help prevent breaches by ensuring that the right employees access data only as needed.

Identity Lifecycle Management

What is Identity Lifecycle Management? Identity lifecycle management is the process of managing user identities and access privileges for all members of an organization. It follows each user from onboarding to departure, provisioning, updating or revoking access to applications and resources as ...

Insider Threat

An insider threat is a threat to an organization that occurs when a person with authorized access—such as an employee, contractor, or business partner—compromises an organization’s data security, whether intentionally or accidentally.

ISO 27001 Compliance

ISO/IEC 27001, or ISO 27001, is the international standard that defines best practices for implementing and managing information security controls within an information security management system (ISMS).

Just-in-Time (JIT) Access

Just-in-time (JIT) access is a feature of privileged access management (PAM) solutions to grant users access to accounts and resources for a limited time when they need them.

Lateral Movement

Lateral movement is when an attacker gains initial access to one part of a network and then attempts to move deeper into the rest of the network — typically via remote desktop tools or remote administration tools (RATs).

Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attack

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack is a cyber attack in which a threat actor puts themselves in the middle of two parties, typically a user and an application, to intercept their communications and data exchanges and use them for malicious purposes like making unauthorized purchases or hacking.


Microsegmentation is a network security practice that creates secure zones within data center environments by segmenting application workloads into intelligent groupings and securing them individually.

Network Segmentation

Network segmentation (also known as network partitioning or network isolation) is the practice of dividing a computer network into multiple subnetworks in order to improve performance and security.


NIST compliance broadly means adhering to the NIST security standards and best practices set forth by the government agency for the protection of data used by the government and its contractors.


Observability is defined as a measure of how well the internal states of a system can be inferred from knowledge of its external outputs.

Passwordless Authentication

Passwordless authentication is a verification method in which a user gains access to a network, application, or other system without a knowledge-based factor such as a password, security question, or PIN.

PCI Compliance

PCI compliance—or payment card industry compliance—is the process businesses follow to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP)

‍In network security, least privilege is the practice of restricting account creation and permission levels to only the resources a user requires to perform an authorized activity.

Privileged Access Management

Privileged access management (PAM) encompasses the policies, strategies, and technologies used to control, monitor, and secure elevated access to critical resources for human and service accounts.

Privileged Session Management

What is Privileged Session Management? Privileged session management (PSM) is an IT security process that monitors and records the sessions of privileged accounts. When these accounts access servers, databases, and network devices, PSM captures activity, like screen output and keystrokes. ...

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Security

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Security? Robotic process automation (RPA) is software that mimics human actions to automate digital tasks. Having many RPA robots, or bots, in production poses a significant security risk by increasing the surface area for cyberattacks. Organizations can ...

Role-based access control (RBAC)

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a security approach that authorizes and restricts system access to users based on their role(s) within an organization.


SAML is a popular online security protocol that verifies a user’s identity and privileges. It enables single sign-on (SSO), allowing users to access multiple web-based resources across multiple domains using only one set of login credentials.

Secrets Management

Secrets management is a cybersecurity best practice for securing digital authentication credentials. It relies on various tools and methods to store, access, and manage these credentials.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

Secure Access Service Edge (more commonly known by the SASE acronym) is a cloud architecture model that combines network and security-as-a-service functions to deliver them as a single cloud-based service.

Security Incident Response Policy (SIRP)

A Security Incident Response Policy (SIRP) establishes that your organization has the necessary controls to detect security vulnerabilities and incidents, as well as the processes and procedures to resolve them.

Security Operations (SecOps)

Security Operations (SecOps) is a methodology that fuses IT operations and information security. Its goal is to reduce security risks and vulnerabilities in applications without compromising performance, uptime, or business agility and innovation.

Shadow IT

What is Shadow IT? Shadow IT is software or hardware in use in an organization without the knowledge of the IT department. Business units or individuals may adopt cloud services, software, or devices without informing IT to help boost productivity. Shadow IT can result in application sprawl, ...


SOC 2 stands for “Systems and Organizations Controls 2” and is sometimes referred to as SOC II. It is a framework designed to help software vendors and other companies demonstrate the security controls they use to protect customer data in the cloud.

Software-Defined Network (SDN)

With a software-defined network, networking devices directly connect to applications through application programming interfaces (APIs), making SDN programmable and independent from the hardware infrastructure.

SOX Compliance

SOX compliance is an annual obligation derived from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) that requires publicly traded companies doing business in the U.S. to establish financial reporting standards, including safeguarding data, tracking attempted breaches, logging electronic records for auditing, and proving compliance.


WebAuthn is the API standard that allows servers, applications, websites, and other systems to manage and verify registered users with passwordless authentication such as a biometric or possession-based device authenticator.

Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a modern security model founded on the design principle “Never trust, always verify.” It requires all devices and users, regardless of whether they are inside or outside an organization's network, to be authenticated, authorized, and regularly validated before being granted access.

Zombie Accounts

Zombie accounts: forgotten accounts that open the door to bad actors looking to insert malware, steal data, and damage your internal systems.
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