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It’s 2023: How many new cybersecurity acronyms have you learned?

Let’s start with the basics.

2FA is short for Two-Factor Authentication. It’s a method that requires users to verify their identity using two different factors or criteria. ATM banking uses 2FA: your PIN (Personal Identification Number) serves as one factor while the actual physical ATM card serves as the other. Some security protocols use more than two criteria and all those — including 2FA – falls under the superset MFA, which stands for Multifactor Authentication.  

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. It’s a type of cyber attack that aims to restrict or completely negate the availability of a networked resource (such as a website) by overloading the resource with a massive number of malicious requests from many sources. Reportedly, the biggest DDoS attack so far targeted Google in 2017, with aggregate requests reaching 2.54 terabits per second. Experts attribute the attack to a nation-state hacker group identified with China. In 2007, Estonia suffered a highly disruptive DDoS attack on its financial institutions and media outlets. The attack – believed to be orchestrated by Russia – is considered the first act of cyber warfare.

EDR stands for Endpoint Detection & Response.  It’s a set of methodologies and solutions used in cybersecurity to continually monitor network endpoints (such as desktop computers, mobile phones, tablets, and IoT devices) for cyber threats and suspicious system activities or behaviour. Its purpose is to prevent, detect, counter, and mitigate cyber attacks.

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. As the term implies, this is the secure version of HTTP. Websites that implement https use encryption and signatures to authenticate messages (i.e., requests and responses) between client browsers and web/networked servers. For security purposes, it is much better to visit https-prefixed web addresses than those that only use http. In fact, you should be wary of sites that do not use the secure version of the protocol.

SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management. It’s a field in IT security and a suite of solutions focused on helping organisations detect and address real-time threats. It does so by rigorously collecting and analysing log information, security alerts, and contextual data from various sources.

To discover and learn more, feel free to explore Computer One’s interactive IT Security Acronyms Glossary. You can even start right away using this glossary grid:


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