skip to main content

Cookies you can’t eat, clouds you can’t see, and other cyber security terms you need to know

colorful circuit board

Keeping your business running smoothly can be a challenge, especially if you operate online (and who doesn’t these days?). Understanding key cyber security terms is an important first step toward keeping your business cyber-safe. Here’s a handy list.

Botnet – Short for “robot network,” a botnet is a group of computers that are coordinated to perform a task. In the hands of cyber criminals, botnets can be used to transmit malware or spam, or to steal data.

– The cloud is a global network of servers that are connected and operate as a single ecosystem. This technology allows you to store, access, and deliver files and services through the Internet from anywhere in the world. To keep your information safe in the cloud, make sure your employees update their passwords regularly, opt for two-step verifications, and encrypt your files.

 – A computer cookie is a small data file that a website puts on your computer when you are browsing. Cookies can keep track of your visits and activity, and are often used to enable websites to recognise whether you are logged in, have items in your shopping cart, or provide a customised experience.


DDoS attack – DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, a form of cyberattack in which a website is flooded with malicious traffic or data from multiple sources in an attempt to make the site unusable.

 – This defensive technology can be software or hardware-based and is designed to block hackers and other bad actors from getting into your network or computer.

IP Address
 – This is the address of your computer. When you operate over a network or connect the Internet, your IP address is your computer’s unique identifier.

 – Short for “malicious software,” malware is a program specifically designed to damage or gain unauthorised access to your computer. It can take many forms—these are two of the most common:

  • Ransomware – A form of malware that prevents you from accessing files on your computer, basically holding your data hostage by encrypting your files so that cyber criminals can demand that you pay a ransom for the decryption key.
  • Trojan horse – Allows hackers to gain remote access to your computers by masquerading as a benign application—for example, a fake advertisement or email attachment. Clicking on a Trojan horse may allow attackers to access your personal information or download a virus onto your computer.


To keep malware from affecting your business, put a multi-level network protection strategy in place, ensure your operating systems and virus software are updated, use firewalls, and avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments.

Open Wi-Fi
 – Open Wi-Fi networks are unencrypted, meaning they’re not protected and anyone can access them. This may allow potential hackers to see the sites you visit, your login passwords, and your personal data. The best way to avoid hackers is to only log on to encrypted Wi-Fi, which requires a password.

Phishing – 
These scams pose as emails from an organisation or person that you know, and typically include a malicious link or attachment, that, if clicked on, will download malware onto your computer or system. The easiest way to avoid these scams is to never click on a suspicious link or attachment.

VPN – 
(Virtual Private Network) – A VPN is an encrypted Internet connection often used by businesses. It allows you to connect safely into a network to conduct work remotely and transmit sensitive data.

This content is brought to you by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited (“Chubb”) as a convenience to readers and is not intended to constitute advice (professional or otherwise) or recommendations upon which a reader may rely. Any references to insurance cover are general in nature only and may not suit your particular circumstances. Chubb does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and any insurance cover referred to is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions set out in the relevant policy wording. Please obtain and read carefully the relevant insurance policy before deciding to acquire any insurance product. A policy wording can be obtained at, through your broker or by contacting any of the Chubb offices. Chubb makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content. Readers relying on any content do so at their own risk. It is the responsibility of the reader to evaluate the quality and accuracy of the content. Reference in this content (if any) to any specific commercial product, process, or service, and links from this content to other third party websites, do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by Chubb and shall not be used for advertising or service/product endorsement purposes. ©2020 Chubb Insurance Australia Limited ABN: 23 001 642 020 AFSL: 239687. Chubb®, its logos, and Chubb.Insured.SM are protected trademarks of Chubb.

Contact us
Contact us

Have questions?

Contact a broker today.