Cyber security has never been more important in business today, both in the United States and throughout the world. Just recently, the records of up to four million federal employees were stolen by hackers who some people believe were from China. In 2011 alone, the U.S. reported 535 major data breaches that compromised the records of over 30 million consumers! Our private information, both in business and at home, have never been more accessible because of the Internet. On the other hand, they’ve never been more vulnerable either.

To better protect yourself against hackers and malware, it’s always good to know about basic concepts in networking and data loss prevention solutions. Here are a few key terms you should familiarize yourself with:

  • Encryption: Encryption is the process of masking information by using algorithmic schemes that writes the original text (known as “plaintext”) into an unreadable version (known as “ciphertext”). One of the basic tenets of any cyber security, encryption comes in two major forms: symmetric (or “secret key”) and asymmetric (or “public key”).
  • Network Protocol: A network protocol is a method in which data is transferred from one user to another. There are several kinds of protocols, each with its own set of rules and security features. Some major network protocols are File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), and perhaps the most famous, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
  • Proxy: A proxy is a server that acts as an intermediary between different servers and clients for sending information. Proxy servers are used extensively by Internet providers, security firms, businesses — really, any client that uses the Internet. There are three major kinds of proxies: a tunneling proxy server, a forward proxy server, and a reverse proxy server.

There is much more to data delivery services than those three terms, of course. Data delivery methods can get very complicated. For more information about reverse proxy servers, encryption codes, or other key concepts, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.