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The 33 IT Terms and Definitions You Need to Know

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The 33 IT Terms and Definitions You Need to Know

Read Time: 7 minutes Published: January 14, 2022

Due to their size, small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) are often faced with more IT challenges than larger businesses. Additionally, embracing new technology opportunities requires business leaders and employees to familiarize themselves with various terms and abbreviations used in IT. This article gives you an insight into the most common IT terms and definitions used in the business technology world.  

The 33 Most Important IT Terms and Definitions

IT Security Terms

Cybersecurity is an increasingly common threat to SMBs. Being aware of the various IT security terms and definitions is the first step in improving cyberattack awareness in your organization. Below is an IT security terms list to familiarize yourself with:

1. Authentication

In computing, authentication refers to a process of validating that a person is who they claim to be when accessing an online service or device. Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), which involves more than one login step, is considered a cybersecurity best practice.

2. Antivirus

Antivirus refers to software used in scanning files, devices, or networks for malicious threats. It also alerts you to, and helps in neutralizing, threat code. Computer malware like botnets, worms, viruses, keyloggers, spyware, etc., can easily be detected, scanned, and removed from a system with the help of an antivirus.

3. Backup

A backup is a virtual or physical copy of data that helps recover it if it is lost or deleted. It is one component of a data loss prevention plan.

4. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD refers to a company security policy that allows employees to use personally owned computers or mobile devices in a secure way while working.

5. Botnet

Botnet refers to a network of computers compromised to perform malicious acts, cyberattacks, and scams.

6. Bug

Bug refers to an error, defect, flaw, or fault in any peripheral device or information system. It can result in your device producing unexpected results or behaving abnormally. 

7. Behavior Monitoring

Behavior monitoring software is responsible for observing user activities, processes, information systems and measuring activities against the company’s policies and rules.

8. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is an activity or process of protecting sensitive information and critical systems from internet threats and attacks.

9. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing refers to delivering various services through the internet, including servers, networking, data storage, analytics, and software.

10. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

DDoS is a form of malicious attack attempting to disrupt the regular traffic of the target server or network by flooding the target or surroundings with internet traffic.                                           

11. Encryption

Encryption is a process of securing data through encoding that gives access to the information through a specific key.

12. Firewall

A firewall is a defensive technology that secures your computer from attacks and threats. 

13. IP Address

IP stands for Internet Protocol. An IP Address is a unique home address for your computer identifiable when communicating over a network. 

14. Malware

Malware is a general term used to refer to all forms of malicious software whose intentions are to infiltrate and damage or disable your computer. 

15. Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that deliberately locks you out of files on your computer. Ransomware works by encrypting files and will require a fee to decrypt or recover your data.

16. Sandbox

A sandbox is an environment used in running programs that are isolated for independent evaluation, testing, or monitoring. 

17. Spyware

Spyware is a form of malware secretly or surreptitiously installed on your device or system without your knowledge or permission. It functions as a spy on user activity, collecting keystrokes and harvesting data. 

18. Zero Trust Architecture 

Zero Trust Architecture is a strategic approach to curb cyber attacks by eliminating implicit trust and providing continuous validation of information in each stage of digital interaction.

IT Infrastructure Terms and Definitions

IT infrastructure comprises several components that play a role in the overall IT and IT-enabled functions of an organization. Below are some of the most common IT infrastructure terms and definitions:

19. Software

Software is an application used by a company for running internal operations and serving customers. Business software may include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), web servers, operating systems (OS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and productivity applications. For example, there is CRM that offers a range of software solutions.

20. Hardware

Hardware refers to the physical component of IT infrastructure, and consists of all necessary elements in supporting the basic functioning of a device. Hardware includes storage and data centers, hubs and routers, and equipment such as cabling, power, and housing. 

21. IT Infrastructure

IT infrastructure is a system of software, hardware, network, and service components required for the operation and monitoring of a business IT environment.

22. Network

A network is a collection of servers, computers, mainframes, peripherals, and other device connections necessary in ensuring security, network enablement, firewall, and internet connectivity. A network is also responsible for giving access to stored and transferred data through strictly controlled access points. 

23. ITIL

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) combines various best practices or set protocols to ensure efficient and effective delivery of IT services. Despite IT being complex, learning the core functions of ITIL in an enterprise is crucial in integrating automation and better services. 

24. ITSM

IT Service Management (ITSM) comprises all activities and processes to create, support, design, and manage IT services. ITSM consists of regular maintenance, fixing systems after breakdown, and monitoring systems. 

25. SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a method of software delivery that involves a subscription to an external provider.

IT Network Terms and Definitions

The IT network is chock full of terms and acronyms. A basic understanding of this jargon is vital for both executives and end-users. Not only does it offer basic knowledge, but it is essential in running online services smoothly. So, let’s define some standard networking terms you will likely encounter.

26. LAN

A Local Area Network (LAN) is a network limited to a particular geographical radius or a portion of a network limited to specific devices on the internet. It can be within your office space or home, connecting various peripheral devices. 

27. WAN

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network with a bigger radius and is more expansive than LAN. Typically, WAN is a collection of computers and peripheral devices connected to a single communication network over a wider geographical radius. 

28. Network Management

Network management comprises network protocols that outline various processes and policies necessary for managing a network. 

29. Ethernet

Ethernet is the standard wired network technology and the first network to offer carriers a sense of multiple access. Today, Ethernet is considered the most reliable and fastest network solution. 

30. Server Management

Server management refers to the process of monitoring a server to ensure optimized and safe performance. This IT activity helps keep the servers and systems in a good and consistent state.

IT Audit Terms and Definitions

An IT audit comprises tests and evaluations of an enterprise’s information technology, data management, infrastructure, operational processes, and applications against established policies and standards. Read on for some of the terms you may come across when performing an IT Audit.

31. Compliance

IT compliance is the process of securing information to a high standard to meet local and national laws and regulations. 

32. Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting is the process of identifying, planning, and resolving a fault, error, or problem within a piece of software or a system. An error can occur on your computer, requiring troubleshooting to enable repair and restoration.

33. IT governance

Information technology governance refers to the leadership, structure, and process that ensures an organization’s IT can sustain and support business strategies and objectives.

Access Expert IT Knowledge

Whether it’s managing applications, ensuring device-level security, or preventing system breaches, Electric is here to support your business. Our IT solutions include security management, real-time support, device and inventory management, network server management, and application and cloud management. Contact us now to learn more. 

Jessica Farrelly

Jessica is a content writer with more than 8 years of experience covering SaaS and the tech industry. She has worked with both B2B and B2C publications across North America, Europe, and APAC and currently writes about IT Solutions or Electric.

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