8 Common Cyber Security Buzzwords You Should Stop Using Today

Cybersecurity is a complex and dynamic topic that can be hard to stay on top of. To protect your company, you need to be fully informed about the issues at hand. There are a lot of cyber security buzzwords out there that people use because they are trending. Sadly, they don’t really know what these words actually mean. What’s worse, if you use the wrong words to describe cybersecurity incidents, you can lose credibility and make your company less secure.
If you are a business owner or work in cyber security, you are probably familiar with the acronym SIEM. But do you know what SIEM really means? You are not alone. Most cybersecurity[1] professionals are not even aware of the full meaning of this acronym but they still use it repeatedly. Sadly, this is not the only word. There are many buzzwords like it.  In this article, Anti-Dos will highlight eight cybersecurity buzzwords that you should stop using right now.

8 Cyber Security Buzzwords That You Should Stop Using

Here are eight cybersecurity buzzwords you should stop throwing around.

1. Digital Transformation

One term which has been thrown around quite frequently is Digital Transformation. When you ask the person that is using these terms regularly about what digital transformation really means, you will come to the realization that they did not know the real meaning of the word either or fully understands the core concept behind it.
Experts believe that digital transformation is nothing new and has been going around for many decades now. Since, everything is constantly evolving, which brings the word transformed into the mix. Meanwhile, the shift to digital technologies is also not new either. So, it’s high time we stop using digital transformation and jump off the digital transformation bandwagon. The root of these terms can be found in the early 1900s when Henry Ford used his knowledge of emerging technologies and transformative leadership to change the way we work. It was a big leap forward after the industrial revolution and that did change our lives for the better. So, the next time someone tells you about digital transformation, don’t get too impressed as it has been around for many decades.

2. Ransomware

No one can doubt the popularity of this particular type of cybersecurity attack but what if I tell you that the definition you have learned about ransomware is not correct,  is no longer relevant, or fits the purpose? What if I tell you that the real meaning of ransomware is getting lost in translation? It is basically malware that makes your data inaccessible and asks the victim to pay the ransom to regain access to your data.
This makes it extremely difficult to differentiate between malware that encrypts your data, malware that steals your data or malware used by ransomware attackers. It is basically a form of extortion. Cyber Criminals target businesses, hold their data hostage and demand them to pay extortion. That is why experts suggest that instead of calling it ransomware, you should call it cyber extortion because it clearly defines its current form.

3. Zero Trust

If you follow cybersecurity, I can bet you might have heard this one before. Zero trust, as its name suggests, is an approach to security where you don’t trust anyone by default. Even though the term has been around, it has really become a buzzword with the exponential rise in remote work and urges to secure remote network access.
According to cybersecurity experts, zero trust is quite amorphous and does not have a clearly defined shape and form so it is hard to know whether you have reached zero trust status or not. The problem with zero trust is that the term is used extensively yet underdelivers. Even when the term is thrown around, most of the time it is done without context. You should think of it as an ideology that governs people’s processes and technology. More importantly, you should stop looking at it as a product.


SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management. The term is made up of two different words, “security information” and “event management”. When you look at both through the security lens, it is a set of software and products that fuses security information management with security event management.
According to Allie Mellen, security and risk analyst at Forrester, “SIEMs are now focused on threat detection and response, incorporating security user behaviour analytics (SUBA) and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) to address each step of the incident response lifecycle. At Forrester, we call them security analytics platforms to better represent what they do: perform security analytics on data and serve as a platform with connections to third-party offerings for response”

5. AI-Powered Security

With cybersecurity making its mark on every industry you can think of, cybersecurity is no exception. While experts are still debating the use of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity by both hackers and defenders, many have started pushing the term AI-powered security forward.
Not only that, many IT vendors and service providers have also started mentioning that their product is either compatible with AI and machine learning or can seamlessly integrate with it. Sadly, they don’t even understand how their services and solution integrate with AI let alone offer that functionality to users. What’s even worse is that you won’t find anything else related to AI on their product and service pages apart from that single line.

6. Whitelist and Blacklist

Probably these are the oldest buzzwords[2] on this list as they have been around as long as cybersecurity. White refers to a safe and allowed whale the black colour symbolizes prohibited and insecure. These are basically two lists of users one of them is allowed to access while others are not. Even though the concept is pretty similar, the problem is that it has racial connotations so it needs to be replaced immediately, according to some cybersecurity professionals.

7. Cybersecurity Awareness

Ask any IT leader about what are their top 10 priorities and one of them would be to increase the cybersecurity awareness of their employees. They don’t want their employees to fall victim to social engineering attacks. That is why they are investing heavily in the training and development of their employees.
Instead of solely focusing on increasing awareness, businesses should update their cybersecurity strategies according to changing times. Instead of calling it cybersecurity awareness, the focus should be on cybersecurity vigilance. This will help businesses deal with cyberattacks in a more efficient manner just like a DDoS protected dedicated servers would.

8. Cyber Kill Chain

As the lines between physical and digital continue to blur even more, we have started seeing an influx of military-inspired terms in cybersecurity. The cyber kill chain is the best example in this regard. The term refers to different stages of cyberattack and is usually associated with advanced persistent threats. This is basically a tactic to make dull topics more interesting. Military terms do not make sense when you are asked to define a cybersecurity project in front of civilians. Which of these cybersecurity buzzwords do you use regularly and why? Share it with us in the comments section below.
Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton is a writer and digital marketer with over 10 years of experience. I'm passionate about using my skills to help people learn and grow. My blog, The News Columnist, covers a variety of topics, including Business, Finance, and technology and many more. I'm also a regular contributor to several online publications.
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using this website you agree to our Data Protection Policy.
Read more