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Cybercrime 101: A Glossary for Small Business Internet Security

Friday, June 1, 2018

More than two of every five small business owners fell victim to a cyberattack, according to a 2016 survey by the National Small Business Association. Like any other person or corporation, small businesses can suffer from hacked accounts and personal or company data breaches.

In fact, small businesses are prime targets because they have confidential information on consumers and employees but typically have lower security measures. But a lot of words get thrown around, and if you’re handling your company’s cybersecurity measures, you need to know what it all means before you can do anything about it.

Our Windstream Small Business team is kicking off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month with a glossary of key terms with regard to cybersecurity.

Hacker
A person who gains access to a computer or a network without authorization

Hacktivist
A person who gains access to a computer or a network without authorization for the purpose of promoting or protesting a cause

Virus
Infections within computer programs — including an infiltration of pop-up ads or data breaches — that can spread to other programs

Malware
A combination of two words: malicious software. It’s a general term used to group together threats, including viruses and spyware

Spyware
Software that allows a third-party, such as a hacker, to access information about you — like your web history — without your authorization

Keylogging or Keystroke logging
A method of tracking what you type that is typically used to steal passwords and other confidential information

Adware
Software that shows you advertisements on programs across your computer

Ransomware
Software that holds hostage your files, information or computer until you pony up a ransom

Identity Theft
When a person takes another person’s identifying information, such as a social security number, without authorization

Phishing
An attempt by phone or email to deceive you into providing personal information. Typically, these come in the form of emails in which hackers mimic legitimate companies and ask something of you (e.g., “your email has been compromised. Click here to change your password.”) on an illegitimate website.

Skimming
When a person steals credit or debit card information through devices hooked up to legitimate card transaction machines

Botnet
A network of compromised computers controlled by a hacker, who usually carries on denial of service attacks

Denial of Service
A type of cyberattack that can deny you access to your computer or website

Encryption
A solution to cybercrime in which information, whether confidential or not, is scrambled and, therefore, unreadable to those without an access code

Firewall
A hardware or software that blocks unauthorized access to networks or computers

Two-step verification or two-step authentication
A solution to help prevent unauthorized access to accounts by requiring two steps of identification. As an example, for an email address, you will type in your password and receive a text message with a one-time randomized code that allows you to log in

VPN
A virtual private network gives you a secure connection to share data by accessing a private network from a public internet connection

VDR
A virtual data room is a secure online depository that holds confidential information, such as financial transactions

Keep these terms in mind as we celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by giving you all the tips and tools you need to keep your small business protected.

Windstream Small Business offers various value-add packs, including a security pack, and a la carte services, such as internet security and online backup and remote IT.