Cybersecurity Glossary

To implement effective cybersecurity solutions built for the digital world, it’s important to understand common industry concepts and definitions. This glossary provides you with cybersecurity terms to be aware of as you look to protect your organization against cyber threats.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable machines to simulate intelligent human behavior as it relates to learning and decision making. Machine Learning algorithms learn to make observations, classify information, and uncover patterns. Over time, the insights gleaned from this process help algorithms become incredibly proficient at their respective tasks. Many email security programs rely on Machine Learning to perform real-time analysis of emails and protect against phishing attempts.

Mail-focused security orchestration, automation, and response (M-SOAR)

Mail-focused security orchestration, automation, and response (M-SOAR) is a subset of SOAR specifically for email. M-SOAR technology enables organizations to automate their incident response and streamline the workflow for triaging and remediating threats. M-SOAR relies on a combination of AI and human input to identify email threat intelligence and respond quickly to phishing, spear phishing, and malware attacks.

Malicious email attachments

Malicious email attachments contain hidden malware or viruses in an attempt to gain access to the recipient’s system and exploit them. Cybercriminals use convincing email content to deceive the reader into clicking the malicious email attachment, which often contains malware or phishing links. The best line of defense against malicious email attachments is advanced email security with automatic and assisted remediation and the ability for admins to inspect malicious attachments without risk of exposure.


Malvertising is the malicious use of online advertising to spread malware or phishing links, with the intent of infecting a user's computer with malware or stealing personal data. Malvertising can exploit users even when they don’t click it and result in drive-by downloads, redirects to malicious websites, and more.


Malware, short for malicious software, is any firmware or software that’s designed to infect or steal information from one or multiple computer systems.

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Man in the browser (MiTB) attack

Like man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks, man-in-the-browser (MiTB) attacks focus on intercepting calls between an executable application (EXE) and its libraries (DLL). MiTB deploys a Trojan Horse to capture and manipulate calls made from the browser to its security mechanisms. Most commonly, MiTB attacks are used to facilitate financial fraud and modify transactions without alerting the user.

Man in the middle attack (MitM)

A man in the middle attack (MitM) is when someone intercepts sensitive information or data by either eavesdropping on a conversation or data transfer between two parties or impersonating one of the parties. A person carrying out a MitM attack may be undetectable to the legitimate participants, which enables them to obtain sensitive information or pass on malicious links without triggering any red flags.

Managed security service provider (MSSP)

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is a type of managed service provider specializing in cybersecurity. MSSPs manage and monitor all facets of cybersecurity for organizations, replacing the need to manage network security in-house. 

Managed service provider (MSP)

Managed service providers (MSPs) are third-party organizations hired by companies to manage one or more of their IT functions. MSPs offer a range of services, including IT consulting, cloud services, remote monitoring and management of information systems, and security services. Managed security is one of the fastest growing service areas for MSPs, as cyberattacks on businesses continue to sharply rise.

Message transfer agent (MTA)

A message transfer agent (MTA) is software that is responsible for delivering email from the sender’s device to the recipient’s. MTAs deal with the complexities of deliverability at scale from scheduling, queuing, bouncing and more. In the past, MTAs were mainly managed by third-party vendors but the newer, customizable MTAs give service providers complete control over the process and eliminate the need to outsource MTAs.

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