Cybersecurity Terms and Their Definitions

Cybersecurity incidents contain several terms, ranging from exploit code to Distributed Denial of service (DDoS) attacks. This article covers a few of the standard terms and definitions. We’ll also discuss how to calculate impact curves, measure the length of time an attack takes from initial detection to initial response, and explain Phishing attacks. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll be more familiar with the basics of the cybersecurity glossary of terms – fortinet.

Exploit code

Known as a “shell” or an “exploit,” this malicious code tries to gain access to a computer system’s core functionality by exploiting a known security flaw. The term “shell” comes from its use in a command shell, but not all of these malicious code programs open a command prompt. To prevent malicious exploits, IT managers need to implement proactive exploit prevention technologies that detect and block attacks before they occur.

Cache poisoning

Cache poisoning in cybersecurity is a pervasive threat used to redirect visitors to fake websites. The attack tricks the DNS server into storing a bogus DNS entry, which can compromise critical information. Many times, this code is found in spam email messages. These emails prompt users to click on a URL, which takes them to a fake website that mimics a real one. In other cases, this attack can be a severe security threat.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

DDoS attack is a cyberattack in which a network’s resources are disrupted, and a domain becomes unavailable. DDoS mitigation involves applying fixes between the network and the threat actor. Load balancers, firewalls, and dedicated scrubber appliances are some solutions available.


If you’ve ever heard of the term phishing, it’s probably because of a social engineering attack known as phishing. These emails pretend to come from a trusted source, such as a bank, but in reality, they are merely scams. They try to trick people into providing sensitive information or downloading malware, which can harm their computers. This is why understanding phishing as a cybersecurity term is essential.


“authenticator” and “restricted authenticator” define two types of cybersecurity. A restricted authenticator cannot withstand an attack, putting the system’s validity in doubt. On the other hand, an authenticator that meets these criteria can be used to protect a network or system. 

Internet of Things (IoT)

Security experts have long warned about the dangers of many unsecured devices connected to the Internet. Since the concept was introduced in the late 1990s, countless attacks have involved the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, hackers have hacked refrigerators and TVs to send spam, and baby monitors have been infiltrated. However, most of these attacks don’t target the devices directly; they use the IoT devices as an entry point into a more extensive network.


A honeypot is a cybersecurity test device that resembles an actual computer system but contains simulated data used by hackers to identify an ideal target. For example, a honeypot may imitate consumer information by installing fake credit card numbers or passwords. Its decoy data can fool attackers into attacking the system. Admins can use the data collected to create stronger defense systems and prioritize security patches. Honeypots are essential to protecting sensitive systems.

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