Glossary

Scroll to find a term by category or search (hit Ctrl+F on your keyboard) to find a term.

Computing & Connectivity
Term Definition
Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be transmitted in a specific timeframe, or how fast data can be transmitted. Typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps). See also Latency.
Blockchain
Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that relies on shared verification without a single authoritative version. See our extended definition and how it relates to the legal profession here.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Employees use their own devices (e.g. laptops, smartphones, tablets) in the place of work-designated devices. Employers may offer a range of devices to choose from at a discount, or set minimum requirements from employee purchased devices. BYOD is often used in conjunction with SaaS and maintained by MDM.
Co-location
Multiple private clouds stored at a single physical location. Each private cloud is held on separate infrastructure from another. Other maintenance requirements, like physical space, power, cooling, and physical security, are shared. Think of all the IT elements as being maintained privately and separately, with other infrastructure maintained collectively.
Hybrid Cloud
A mix of on-premises, off-premises, public and private cloud solutions. Essentially a combination of solutions to provide an efficient solution, rather than forcing a one-size-fits-all approach.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Back-end IT infrastructure is virtualised. This means hardware and software is hosted and maintained at an off-site location. These resources are then utilised through endpoint devices such as desktop PCs, laptops, printers and scanners.
Latency
The time delay of data being sent to a different location. Typically measured in milliseconds (ms).
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Software that controls the capabilities and restrictions of devices used in a BYOD environment.
Private Cloud
A service used exclusively by one client on hardware that is not shared. Can be managed off-site by a secure provider, or hosted locally.
Public Cloud
A service used by the public-at-large on shared hardware. Typically covers well known cloud services like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Office 365, OneDrive for Business, or iCloud.
Remote Desktop Server (RDS)
A server that hosts personal computer interfaces like your Windows Desktop (also called virtualisation). It can be hosted on or off-premises in a cloud solution. Benefits include lower-cost PCs (they only need the capability to connect to the server to run) and secure working environments.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Rather than perpetually licensed software on local hardware that has to be paid for initially and when updated, SaaS runs on a monthly per-user subscription basis with the software hosted and accessed over the internet, e.g. Office 365 or SalesForce.
Thin client & Fat client
Thin clients are bare-bones PCs designed specifically to connect to cloud servers. It generally relies on having a suitable connection and more powerful computing hardware hosted elsewhere in order to properly function.
Fat clients are often fully featured desktop PCs that connect to a remote server. They are significantly more powerful than thin clients.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A private network accessible over the public Internet. Devices within the network are able to share data securely via a “virtual tunnel”. For a user, a VPN means they are able to securely access their intranet and other services wherever they are located, in the same way they typically would in their office.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
Operates much like a local area network (your office network) but over greater geographical distances. Multiple offices can be on the same WAN. Your organisation maintains the physical hardware, including the lines and routers, connecting these locations.
Security
Term Definition
Anti-malware email filtering
Blocks malware from being able to infect your device via email. Generally works by preventing suspicious attachments, links and images from being opened.
Anti-spam email filtering
Blocks spam email from entering your inbox. Flagged emails are typically re-directed to your Spam folder.
Malware
Or malicious software – an umbrella term to cover anything harmful to your device, it’s data and your personal information. This includes, viruses, worms, spyware, etc. It is often found in emails.
Phishing
Are emails that attempt to gain your personal information. They often try to appear as legitimate entities, like Australia Post or Telstra, and typically contain a link to a fake website. Users are then often tricked into entering login details, bank details or asked to download malware.
Ransomware
Data on a users device and network are encrypted, usually after the user has opened a malicious email attachment. Users are then presented with a ransom screen, usually containing details on an amount to be paid to decrypt their files. Cryptolocker and Cryptowall are key examples.
Spam
A general term for unsolicited (and unwanted) emails, often sent in bulk to users. Spam is usually commercial in nature – trying to sell you something (granted not something you’re likely to need or want), but not necessarily trying to rip you off. Emails containing phishing scams or malware are often disguised as spam, hence controlling the amount of spam that makes it to your inbox goes hand-in-hand with overall IT security.
Spyware
Are software that create a ‘back-door’ into your device so it can be remotely controlled. Trojan-infected devices are often used to send spam emails in bulk to other users, to host malicious software and part of denial of service (DoS) attacks.
Trojans
Data on a users device and network are encrypted, usually after the user has opened a malicious email attachment. Users are then presented with a ransom screen, usually containing details on an amount to be paid to decrypt their files. Cryptolocker and Cryptowall are key examples.
Viruses
Are destructive software that attempt to spread throughout the programs and data on your device and other networked devices. They typically attempt to destroy the functions of your computer.
Updated on May 2, 2019

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Can't find an article?
Suggest a topic

Leave a Comment