Cybersecurity glossary

An attack consists of unauthorized actions targeting information systems and their users by cybercriminals leveraging techniques and software to obtain access to information, impair the normal functioning or availability of systems, or to steal, alter, or delete information.

A combination of factors and circumstances that create the risk of information security compromise. Cyberthreats are considered in terms of the actions of malefactors in cyberspace who attempt to breach an information system in order to steal money or data, or with other intentions potentially causing harm to government, business, or individuals. Attacker actions may be directed against the target's IT infrastructure, workstations, mobile devices, other equipment, or at people as a factor in cyberspace.