VA. Vulnerability Assessment. A formal, comprehensive, and documented review of a computer system or network to detect, identify, evaluate, and prioritise security risks, with the ultimate aim of recommending countermeasures to said risks, including further actions that strengthen overall security posture.
VAPT. Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test. A pair of tightly linked processes that helps organisations 1) meet compliance standards; 2) acquire an accurate picture of their overall security posture; 3) identify their weaknesses and level of exposure to specific threats; and, 4) gain expert recommendations on how to mitigate immediate risks and further strengthen their cybersecurity layers moving forward. In particular, vulnerability assessments help identify specific points of exposure to cyber threats while penetration testing actively exploits known vulnerabilities to simulate real hostile attacks and discover how strong (or weak) an organisation’s cyber defences are when it comes to a specific attack vector.
VDI. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. A technology that enables a desktop operating system that is managed in a remote datacenter to be delivered to an endpoint device, allowing the device user to use the remotely located operating system and its associated applications as if they were running locally. While VDI is extremely useful (especially in work-from-home environments), it also presents security risks related to network sniffing, ransomware, and insider threats.
VDP. Vulnerability Disclosure Program. A structured framework for the responsible reporting of security flaws and weaknesses in computer hardware, software, and systems. Well planned and executed VDIs are critical for the early detection of vulnerabilities, the prompt patching such vulnerabilities, and the readiness of entities that use vulnerable computer systems to manage attendant risks before malicious actors discover and exploit said vulnerabilities.
VLAN. Virtual Local Area Network. A digitally configured collection of devices, network nodes, or segments from one or more local area networks (LAN) that function and behave as if they are grouped and connected in a single physical LAN. VLANs are used by organisations with complex networking requirements, enabling these organisations to scale operations, upgrade security, and decrease data traffic collisions and latencies. While LAN uses physical cables, VLANs use wireless technology.
VM. Virtual Machine. A software-based emulation of a fully functional computer. Virtual machines reside on actual physical computers but they are partitioned separately and can run independently of the host computer’s primary operating system and environment. Having played a critical role in the development of cloud technology, virtual machines also provide IT security and disaster recovery professionals with a potent tool for creating sandbox environments for safely examining potential malware. However, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting virtual computing environments to execute malicious activities such as remote code executions.
VM. Vulnerability Management. The practice and process in cyber security that allows organisations to systematically evaluate their IT security posture, identify vulnerabilities, prioritise assets, address weaknesses, and improve the protective layers that secure their hardware, software, endpoint devices, networks, and users.
VML. Vulnerability Management Lifecycle. The key stages that constitute the cyclical and ongoing process of vulnerability management. These stages are:
- Assessment (Make an audit of assets and identify their respective vulnerabilities)
- Prioritisation (Rank the value of assets and potential impact when their respective vulnerabilities are exploited)
- Action (Take appropriate remediation efforts based on priorities)
- Reassessment (Review and verify the efficiency of the remediation efforts)
- Improvement (Perform continuous improvement of relevant cybersecurity component)
VMP. Vulnerability Management Program. A framework organisations use to implement the continuous monitoring, assessment, testing, and improvement of their IT security infrastructure, as well as the proactive mitigation of risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.
VNC. Virtual Network Computing. A graphic-based desktop-sharing system that enables remote access to a computer by transmitting instructions from input devices such as keyboards over a network between remotely located computers. Tech support teams use VNC to see the computer screens of their customers and troubleshoot their issues.
VoIP. Voice over Internet Protocol. A communications technology that enables the transmission of multimedia data (including voice signals) over a broadband Internet connection.
VPC. Virtual Private Cloud. A digitally isolated network within a host public cloud infrastructure that is configured to emulate the features, security levels, and capabilities of an actual private cloud. VPCs enable organisations to cost-efficiently acquire the stronger data protection mechanisms of a private cloud environment as well as the convenience and scalability of public cloud services.
VPLS. Virtual Private LAN Service. A type of VPN that is digitally configured to emulate the features of a local area network (LAN), enabling even geographically dispersed sites to share resources and a single bridged connection, often via pseudowires. In a VPLS, all provisioned services appear to be on the same LAN, regardless of where they are actually hosted. A valid endpoint user loggged on to the VPLS can also change location arbitrarily and still remain connected to the network.
VPN. Virtual Private Network. A service and a type of Internet connection that is digitally configured to enhance the security, privacy, and anonymity of users by disguising their identity, encrypting their data, and masking their location. A VPN can also circumvent geographic-based Internet censorship, allowing users to access web content that are banned by their government.
VPRN. Virtual Private Routed Network. A type of VPN (virtual private network) where data transmission from the main VPN system is channeled using Layer 3 VRF (virtual routing and forwarding) methods. VPRN is typically used in datacenters and back officces. Also called Layer 3 VPN (L3VPN).
VPS. Virtual Private Server. A virtual machine (VM) offered as a dedicated service to a customer to whom the service would seem to be a real physical server (capable of independently running its own operating system and set of appliccations) instead of an autonomous digital version of such, that is hosted on a single physical server along with other VPS offered to other customers. While built on software, a VPS is capable of performing nearly all the functionality of its hardware equivalent. Moreover, it is much cheaper and can be created and configured more easily. Also called Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS).
VR. Vulnerability Research. The field and process focusing on the close examination of an object (software, hardware, method, technology, etc) to find, analyse, understand, and/or exploit its vulnerabilities. In software development, vulnerability research may involve stress testing, code review, and reverse enginerring.
VSA. Vendor Security Assessment. A process and the associated document that provides organisations with critical information about specific vendors’ compliance profile, information security practices, data protection standards, and the potential risks that might arise from engaging said vendors.
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