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.

What is 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.

What is 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.

What are 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.

What is malware?

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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What is a 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.

What is a 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. 

What is a 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.

What is a 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.

What is multi-factor authentication (MFA)?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security measure that uses at least two different login methods to verify a person’s identity. As opposed to logging in via username and password, MFA uses tools such as security questions, unique codes sent to phones or email addresses, or fingerprint technology to further secure an individual’s account. MFA helps organizations protect individual corporate accounts and defend against unauthorized access, data breaches, and more.

What is an MX record?

A mail exchange (MX) record exists within your DNS (Domain Name System) and is responsible for the delivery of emails to your email server. The MX record establishes which mail server to route emails to on behalf of a domain. MX records are an important security vulnerability with traditional email security solutions. Secure email gateways (SEGs) require you to update your MX records to match that of the SEG. Because MX records are publicly visible, this alerts cybercriminals to the type of email security you are using—making you more vulnerable to a bypass attempt by hackers.

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