Cyber security refers to the technologies and processes designed to protect computers, networks and data from unauthorized access, vulnerabilities and attacks delivered via the Internet by cyber criminals.
The field of cyber crime has rapidly developed and evolved, leaving some unsure of what it encompasses and the meaning of some common terms that relate to cyber crime. One definition is at crime where a computer is either the target or the tool used to commit a crime. In addition, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Director Denise O’Donnell provides this explanation:
“The term cyber crime is frequently used to cover a wide range of criminal activity and sometimes creates confusion. The term cyber can encompass identity theft and fraudulent schemes; cyber bullying and stalking; computer hacking; system intrusions; denial of services; and even espionage and terrorism.
Because the term is so broad, experts have suggested using the term cyber with appropriate modifiers to differentiate the type of crime or intrusion and the required law enforcement response or action, such as cyber investigation and forensics, cyber infrastructure protection, cyber intrusion, and so forth.
The use and consistent application of relevant terms would help everyone better understand the various dimensions of the cyber crime challenge and help us speak a common language in coordinating our activities. As we enhance our national capability to respond to the cyber challenge, speaking a common language is only one challenge; building expertise and capacity through training and technical assistance and coordinating our nation’s resources and law enforcement response is another.”
In this section of the website, we have collected a number of useful resources that include a set of Frequently Asked Questions, a figure depicting the Cyber Attack Lifecycle, a list of Commonly Used (Cyber) Terms, and a full Glossary of Terms.