Cybercrime – learn the lingo

Mon Oct 30 2017

You’ll have heard a lot about cybercrime, with some odd words and phrases often used. But do you know what any of it means?

If so then great, you’re at least half way there to protecting your business from cyber attacks. If not, don’t worry. But do pay attention. Many people turn away from dealing with cybercrime because the terminology can seem baffling.

So with that in mind, I wanted to use this post to explain some of the terms often used. And whether it’s a malware definition, a hacking definition or an explanation of vishing, they really aren’t as complicated as they seem.

Cybercrime – the basics

Phishing – this is an email sent from someone pretending to be someone else. It might ask you to send information, or it might ask you to click on a link (which will then install a piece of dodgy software on your machine). Don’t bite!

Vishing – similar to phishing, this is when someone calls you pretending to be someone else and asking for confidential information.

Malware – this is a piece of software that gets installed on a computer that captures data. That could be a key logger (which monitors all the keystrokes to get confidential data) or it could just be scanning for information. That data then gets sent to a third party, who uses it for dodgy purposes.

DoS, DDoS – These stand for Denial of Service or Distributed Denial of Service attacks. They attack a specific URL, flooding it with requests and making it unavailable to genuine users. They tend to be for the big guys to worry about rather than smaller businesses, but worth being aware of nonetheless.

Hacking – when someone is trying to electronically break into your computer systems.

Cyber fraud – This is when someone has got hold of card details that don’t belong to them, and they are trying to use them online.

Back door – This refers to an unguarded way in to your systems. It might come from a software vulnerability, or it might be from malware installing code that does nothing else but allows access to that computer. It’s like someone putting a toe in the door.

Data breach – Quite simply, this is when an unauthorised party gets access to sensitive data after breaching your systems.

PFI – This stands for Payment Forensic Investigation, and it’s what we do if we get notified of a data breach at one of our customers. We do it to find out how the data was lost and to stop it happening again.

And if there’s one thing I’d advise you to be really aware of?

PCI-DSS – This is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and everybody that takes card payments online should comply with it. But it’s a bit of a mouthful, people don’t know what it means and they often ignore it. Don’t.

I think that the easy way to think about all this is that, while the terminology can seem complex, when it comes down to it it’s all about looking after your customers’ data. And if you work with us, we have a variety of tools that can make it all quite simple.

Speak to us today to find out how we can help your business –  0800 0466814

Please note that the views expressed in this article are personal opinions. Barclaycard cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this article or any of the information set out in it.

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