You see and hear this word almost everywhere now, from the presidential campaign to social media to grumpy cat memes. But do you really know what it means?

The numbers show thousands of people are searching “what is cybersecurity?” on the Internet every minute.

Archer News asked security consultants from Archer Security Group—Archer News’ parent company—to get you the info you are looking for. And just in time for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October!

The basic answer—cybersecurity is protection of all that is cyber.

“Cybersecurity is the modern-day castle or fortress we build to protect our digital information and the digital components that manage our real physical lives,” said Bob Beachy of Archer Security Group.




‘Grumpy cat’ meme about cybersecurity, from Meme Generator.


It’s not just protecting data, like your medical records or your bank account number.

“Cyber may also include that new washing machine you just bought that has a Wi-Fi connection, or the new set of headphones you bought that gets firmware updates via USB connection,” said Archer Managing Partner Stacy Bresler.

“In industrial businesses such as food automation and the energy sector, cyber includes those mechanical-looking devices that perform certain tasks—-such as a robot arm placing caps on bottles as they pass by, or Remote Terminal Units (RTU) at a generation plant triggering a critical action to take place,” Bresler added.

See also “What is cybersecurity?”, “What is a DDoS?”, “What is IoT?“, “What is malvertising?“, “What is a password manager?“, “What is encryption?” and “What is a firewall? from Archer News.


Electronic communication

Cyber is also electronic communication, like your Bluetooth. 

“It’s generally thought of as a term associated with Internet connectivity, but it also includes other electronic communication paths like direct radio communication—Bluetooth, private telecommunications lines, dial-up access, etc.,” said Archer Security Group’s Jim Feely.

“It’s a common term because so many things are being connected together now, creating new ways for the connectivity to be abused,” he added.



‘Most interesting man’ meme about cybersecurity from Meme Generator.


How to spell it

You may see people spelling the word in different ways, such as “cyber security” or “cybersecurity.”

Merriam Webster has declared it to be one word—cybersecurity.

The term ‘cyber’ came from ‘cybernetics’—derived from an ancient Greek term meaning ‘helmsman’ or steersman’—and was first used between 1985 and 1990, according to

“In the past, people used it as a “new and sexy synonym for the old term ‘information assurance,’” Feely said. 

But the definition is evolving over time, he added.

“You’ll see that the U.S. government has a hard time coming up with a standard definition,” Feely said.



Twitter comments on the presidential candidates and cybersecurity.


Feely offers this blog post and this “more reader-friendly” post as background reading about the change from ‘information assurance’ to cybersecurity.

If you don’t want to delve into the background, you may want to stick with this, Leonard Chamberlin’s one-sentence definition of cybersecurity:

“The practice of using policies, procedures, tools, and training to protect computerized assets, infrastructure, and data,” Chamberlin of Archer Security Group said.


You will hear more and more about cybercrime and cybersecurity, now that our world is getting more connected.

Some European countries report they may be receiving more cybercrime reports than reports of traditional crime, according to Europol’s just-released Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment for 2016.

That means you may have a better chance of falling victim to an Internet crime than a home burglary.

You probably lock the door when you leave your house for school or work. Cybersecurity is trying to find ways to keep the bad guys out of your digital house while you’re gone—or even while you are right there using it.

See also “What is cybersecurity?”, “What is a DDoS?”, “What is IoT?“, “What is malvertising?“, “What is a password manager?“, “What is encryption?” and “What is a firewall? from Archer News.

The Archer News “What is…?” series will continue with more answers to your questions. If you want to know more about a cyber term, send your question to @KerryTNews on Twitter or submit your question through this link.