Terms you may encounter in some of our cybersecurity training programs.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam

A scam that targets a victim by pretending they are someone of authority (typically a boss, finance, IT, or HR department) They attempt to gain access to information, or get intermediary victim to direct funds, gift cards etc, to rip off an organization.

Cloud computing

The use of remote servers hosted on the Internet. Cloud computing allows users to access a shared pool of computing resources (such as networks, servers, applications, or services) on demand and from anywhere. Users access these resources via a computer network instead of storing and maintaining all resources on their local computer.


The intentional or unintentional disclosure of information, which adversely impacts its confidentiality, integrity, or availability.


The ability to protect sensitive information from being accessed by unauthorized people.

Critical infrastructure

Processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets, and services essential to the health, safety, security, or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government. Critical infrastructure can be stand-alone or interconnected and interdependent within and across provinces, territories, and national borders. Disruptions of critical infrastructure could result in catastrophic loss of life, adverse economic effects, and significant harm to public confidence.


The study of techniques used to make plain information unreadable, as well as to convert it back to a readable form.

Cyber attack

The use of electronic means to interrupt, manipulate, destroy, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system, network, or device.

Cyber incident

Any unauthorized attempt, whether successful or not, to gain access to, modify, destroy, delete, or render unavailable any computer network or system resource.

Cyber threat

A threat actor, using the internet, who takes advantage of a known vulnerability in a product for the purposes of exploiting a network and the information the network carries.

Data loss

When data is lost through a system failure, a ransomware attack, destructive viruses, fire, or flood.