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IT Security: Your Guide to Common Terms


In this final blog post of our 5-part series, we’re discussing all things IT security. Need to catch up on the rest of the series? Read about password management, Identity and Access Management, cyber threats, and cybersecurity in our previous posts on common terms.

With more and more breaches showing up in the news, organizations and their people are taking a closer look at IT security. Here are a few key terms you’ll come across often in the security space.

Blockchain: A distributed, unchangeable, typically public ledger or database that’s shared among different computers in a peer-to-peer network for the purpose of recording transactions and tracking assets. Since there’s no central authority, transactions are authenticated using cryptographic keys and then authorized (or validated) by the computer nodes.

BYOD (bring your own device): The practice of employees using personal devices to connect to their corporate network and access work-related systems and applications, either with or without permission and oversight by the IT department.  

Deprovisioning: A part of the employment lifecycle that ensures your employees’ access to IT systems and applications is revoked when they change roles or leave the company. Deprovisioning may involve changing access or deleting accounts and user identities altogether.

Integration: The ability to connect different systems, applications, and other IT resources seamlessly so they can work together as a cohesive unit. For software, the most common integration mechanism is APIs (application programming interfaces), an intermediary layer that sits between applications to enable them to communicate.

IoT (Internet of Things): A network of internet-enabled devices, machines, and other objects (often called smart or connected devices) that have unique identifiers (called UIDs), as well as embedded sensors, software, and processors that enable them to collect and exchange data with each other without requiring human interaction (called machine-to-machine or M2M communication). IoT subsets include IIoT (the Internet of Industrial Things) in the manufacturing and industrial sectors and IoMT (the Internet of Medical Things) in healthcare. A newer term is Internet of Everything (IoE), which in addition to “things” also includes people, processes, and data that are intelligently connected together.

Provisioning: The process of deploying and configuring IT infrastructure and resources, ranging from networks and servers to user accounts. For employee access, provisioning includes steps such as creating new user accounts and configuring access based on established policies.

SaaS (Software as a Service): Web-based software and applications delivered through the cloud rather than installed locally on each device. Typically, SaaS services require subscription on a “pay-as-you-go” basis and include regular updates from the vendor.

Shadow IT: Employee use of IT resources—from devices and applications to services and systems—without the IT department’s permission and knowledge. Any unsanctioned use of technology, whether on personal or corporate devices, is considered shadow IT.

Sync: Short for synchronizing, the process of copying data from one device to another, so the same information is available consistently on multiple devices. In the case of SaaS, the data typically syncs automatically through the cloud so that you can access your account and information from anywhere.

As you work to secure your personal and business logins, one thing remains true no matter where you are: your passwords can make or break your security. It’s critical to make sure every password you create is random, long, complex, unique, and safely stored. And Dashlane makes it easy to do all of the above.

Learn more about other common cybersecurity terms and topics in our Essential Guide to Common Cybersecurity Terms.

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