Managed Services Speak: A Guide to the language of IT
Whether you’re an IT pro, an MSP, a business owner, or just looking to learn more about managed services, this dictionary is for you.
Here, you’ll find a comprehensive glossary of technology words, terms, and phrases that cover everything from the basics of managed services to more advanced topics like cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) – A dynamic solution that uses both artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies integrated within endpoint protection and firewall security services to defend against phishing efforts, ransomware threats and other cyberattacks.
Advanced Threat Management (ATM) – A dynamic solution that uses both artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies integrated within endpoint protection and firewall security services to enable more rapidly identifying and more intelligently responding to phishing efforts, ransomware threats and similar cyberattacks.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) – An Amazon subsidiary providing on-demand cloud computing services that assist organizations in collecting, storing, analyzing and processing data and information including via distributed applications.
Application Programming Interface (API) – A connection between computers, services or applications that permits applications, services or devices to meaningfully exchange information with one another.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Technology that permits computers to think like humans and mimic human response.
Backup as a Service (BaaS) – A data protection strategy operated and maintained by an outside provider that backs up and archives selected data to a cloud server.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) – Processes, techniques and services that assist an organization in planning and executing data backups in a way that permits facilitating restoring operations in the event of a disaster.
BEC (Business Email Compromise) – A technique whereby malicious actors work via fake email messages that appear to be real that trick an employee into transferring funds via a fraudulent transaction the employee believes to be legitimate.
Cat 5, 5e, 6 – Different standards of twisted-pair cabling the connects computer and network components, with the various category grades possessing different performance characteristics, requirements and costs.
Client – In computer parlance, a client system is typically a tablet, desktop or laptop computer that does not provide services to other users.
Client Access License (CAL) – A software license commonly required to connect a user to shared services, such as those provided by Microsoft Server 2022.
Cloud Computing – Computer and network technologies that provide on-demand availability of computing and data storage services via the Internet without requiring the user’s direct active management of those resources.
Cloud Services – Technology infrastructure or systems hosted by a provider that typically perform via the Internet a variety of tasks, such as email hosting or data backups, for users.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – A software platform that assists managing and administering an organization’s customer relationships, interactions and communications.
Cyberattacks – A malicious attempt to compromise, infect or otherwise damage computers, systems, network components, networks, applications or data.
Cyberinsurance – Special insurance, separate from general liability or umbrella policies, designed to provide coverage and protection from losses or damages resulting from computer-, information technology- and Internet-related risks.
Cybersecurity – The application of software, hardware, services, policies, tools, strategies and systems designed to protect information technology-related assets from vulnerabilities, threats, risks and compromise.
Data Center – A dedicated facility designed to safely house, connect and protect telecommunications and information technology systems, including network gear, computers, servers, storage arrays and data storage.
Desktop – In computer parlance, a desktop is typically a smaller client computer designed to be placed and used on top of a desk.
Disaster Planning – The application of software, hardware, services, policies and strategies designed to prepare for, mitigate, manage and recover from crises, disasters and other adverse events.
Disaster Recovery – The application of software, hardware, services, policies and strategies designed to recover standard operations following a crisis, disaster or other adverse event.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) – A cloud computing service in which a third-party provider protects an organization’s applications and/or data from natural, accidental or intentional disruption by enabling full recovery using a cloud-based solution.
Endpoint Protection – A cybersecurity approach to securing individual client devices from exploitation that typically involves using a centralized software solution to administer and manage individual endpoint protection. Also known as Endpoint Security.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) – A cybersecurity technology that continuously monitors network nodes for cybersecurity threats and responds to cyberattacks. Also known as endpoint threat detection and response.
Endpoint Security – A cybersecurity approach to securing individual client devices from exploitation that typically involves using a centralized software solution to administer and manage individual endpoint protection. Also known as Endpoint Protection.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) – A software platform that assists managing and administering an organization’s primary business processes and activities.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR) – A security technology typically powered in part by cloud services that monitors, detects and mitigates response to cybersecurity threats by connecting multiple resources, such as email filtering tools, endpoint protection platforms and cloud-based security services, in order to more quickly identify and arrest cyberthreats.
Firewall – A network security device that monitors and controls inbound and outbound network traffic based on preprogrammed access rules, security policies and network parameters.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) – A suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure Google uses to power its own products that organizations can leverage to collect, manage, analyze and process information, perform machine learning tasks and fulfill other common information technology functions, such as data storage, database management and content delivery.
Google Workspace – Previously known as Google Apps and G Suite, a collection of subscription-based cloud computing, office productivity applications, collaboration services and data collection and processing services.
Hosted Exchange Email – An email service in which a provider creates and maintains Microsoft Exchange services on a server administered and maintained by the provider.
Information Technology (IT) – The user of computers, networks and systems to create, process, store, access, secure and update electronic data and information.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – A cloud computing service in which a provider offers and maintains the underlying software and hardware required to power essential computing, data storage and networking resources on demand.
Internet of Things (IoT) – Describes a multitude of objects—from automotive sensors and digital wearables to smartphones and manufacturing equipment—that can be networked together and connected to the Internet to share and exchange data and information.
Intrusion Detection System (IDS) – A device or system that monitors network activity for malicious or suspicious actions or behaviors that violate preprogrammed norms, typically generating alerts when such conditions occur.
Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) – A device or system that monitors network activity for malicious or suspicious actions or behaviors that violate preprogrammed norms and that takes action to prevent exploitation or infection when such conditions occur.
Local Area Network (LAN) – A smaller computer network consisting of interconnected systems within a limited, local area typically consisting of a single location.
Low-Voltage Cabling – Electrical cabling capable of supporting digital computer and networking technologies. Also known as structured wiring.
Machine Learning (ML) – An artificial intelligence technology that permits software programs to learn from previous events and become more accurate predicting results.
Malware – Software intentionally designed to damage, destroy, exploit or otherwise compromise a computer, server, network or data.
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) – A cybersecurity service strategy in which a provider continuously monitors, detects and responds to cyberthreats.
Managed Services – The practice of outsourcing the procurement, planning, project management, administration, maintenance and/or support of telecommunications and information technology services for the purposes of achieving higher efficiencies, lower costs, reliable operations and greater range of expertise.
Managed Service Provider (MSP) – A business that provides other organizations with managed telecommunications and information technology services.
Microsoft 365 – Previously known as Office 365, a wide-ranging collection of subscription technology services, office productivity applications, collaboration capabilities and data collection and processing services provided by Microsoft Corporation.
Microsoft Azure – A cloud computing, infrastructure and networking service provided and maintained by Microsoft Corporation that assists organizations in collecting, storing, analyzing and processing data and information including via distributed applications.
Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) – A Microsoft cloud subscription application and corresponding services and connectors that assist interactively viewing and visualizing data, creating business intelligence dashboards and producing reports.
Microsoft Defender – Originally released as a free antispyware program (known as Windows Defender), Microsoft Defender has grown to include the enterprise-compatible Microsoft Defender for Endpoint solution, which provides advanced next-generation protection against both traditional and evolving threats.
Microsoft Dynamics – A Microsoft cloud subscription application that provides both enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management functionality.
Microsoft Office Suite – A collection of Microsoft office productivity tools—including applications for email, documents, spreadsheets, notes, presentations, publishing, diagramming, project management and desktop database management—available by subscription-based license, shared-computer activation, device-based license or unattended license.
Microsoft Power Apps – A Microsoft cloud subscription application and corresponding services, connectors and data management platform offering a rapid low-code development environment that assists creating custom applications to meet specific business and operational needs.
Microsoft Power Automate – A Microsoft cloud service that assists subscribers in creating automated workflows using a variety of applications and services.
Microsoft SharePoint – A Microsoft cloud service hosted by Microsoft that provides businesses with a collaborative platform that can be used to store and share files and news and coordinate resources and activities.
Microsoft Teams – A member of the Microsoft 365 cloud-based subscription platform, Microsoft Teams enables business communications and collaboration, virtual meeting and conference capabilities, business chat, file storage and direct application integration.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) – A technology solution that assists deploying, administering, managing and securing mobile devices including smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and similar equipment.
Network – Two or more computers or devices that are interconnected to permit communication and resource, service and data sharing.
Network Operations Center (NOC) – A dedicated facility that provides technology teams with a centralized location for continuously monitoring a network’s health and performance.
Network Switch – A hardware device that connects network nodes and manages their communications via the processing of the data packets the nodes send and exchange.
Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) – Antimalware technology that extends beyond matching malicious file signatures by also using artificial intelligence, behavioral and event detection and machine learning to more rapidly and effectively detect and prevent viruses, spyware and other malware and even fileless malware threats.
Node – Any device, endpoint or connection present on a network that receives, sends and/or resends data transmissions.
Office 365 – The old name, occasionally still used for some legacy solutions, for the wide-ranging collection of Microsoft 365 subscription technology services, office productivity applications, collaboration capabilities and data collection and processing services provided by Microsoft Corporation.
Operating System (OS) – System software that manages a computer’s hardware components, resources and applications and provides and manages the computer’s shared services.
Personal Computer (PC) – A multipurpose standalone physical computer typically used by an individual user and commonly powered by a Microsoft Windows operating system.
Phishing – A form of social engineering in which a malicious actor sends a fraudulent email message to an intended victim with the goal of tricking the victim into sharing sensitive information or inadvertently installing malicious software on behalf of the bad actor.
Platform as a Service – A cloud computing service in which a provider builds, maintains and offers via the Internet the underlying software and hardware components a customer requires to provision, run and manage development and deployment environments.
Ransomware – A type of malware in which a victim’s computer and/or data are encrypted and become unusable until a ransom payment is made and the hacker provides a required decryption key.
Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) – A strategy and software combination managed service providers and IT professionals use to remotely monitor and manage computers, servers and networks.
Rootkit – Typically malicious and difficult-to-detect software that provides unauthorized access to a computer or software.
Router – A hardware device that connects packet-switching networks and directs the corresponding network traffic.
Security as a Service (SECaaS) – A cloud computing model in which a provider embeds its security services within a client’s infrastructure to enable monitoring and mitigation of cybersecurity risks.
Security Event Management (SEM) – A cybersecurity strategy that emphasizes detecting, identifying, collecting, monitoring and reporting cybersecurity related events using software, hardware and services to better enable analyzing, responding to and managing cybersecurity design, policies and behaviors.
Security Information Management (SIM) – A cybersecurity strategy that emphasizes monitoring, capturing and analyzing computer and network security information, including data returned by individual security agents and captured by system log files, for the purpose of central collection and analysis.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) – A cybersecurity strategy in which security information management and security event management strategies and corresponding software, hardware, tools and techniques are combined to provide organizations next-generation cybersecurity detection, analytics and response.
Security Operations Center (SOC) – A dedicated facility that provides technology teams with a centralized location to proactively and continuously monitor and analyze a network’s security posture and status and coordinate response to cybersecurity incidents when they occur.
Server – In computer parlance, a server is hardware or software that shares services and/or resources with other programs or devices known as clients over a network.
Service Level Agreement (SLA) – An agreement that defines the parameters within which a provider will perform for a customer.
Smishing – A form of social engineering in which a malicious actor sends a fraudulent text message to an intended victim with the goal of tricking the victim into sharing sensitive information or inadvertently installing malicious software on behalf of the bad actor.
Social Engineering – A fraudulent technique whereby a malicious actor attempts to manipulate and trick a victim into performing actions or revealing information that assists the malicious actor in compromising or exploiting the victim’s computer, network or systems.
Software as a Service (Saas) – A cloud computing model in which centrally hosted applications and corresponding licenses are accessed by a customer via a subscription.
Spear Phishing – A form of social engineering in which a malicious actor sends a specifically targeted fraudulent email message to an intended victim with the goal of tricking the victim into sharing sensitive information or inadvertently installing malicious software on behalf of the bad actor by making the victim believe the information being shared or instructions being provided are from a trusted contact.
Structured Wiring – Electrical cabling capable of supporting digital computer and networking technologies. Also known as low-voltage cabling.
Tower – In computer parlance, a tower is typically a larger client computer designed to be placed on the floor or beneath a desk or workstations.
Value-Added Reseller (VAR) – A firm that adds value to third-party products—such as computers, servers, network components and other devices—by adding features and services for resale to customers.
Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) – A subnetwork that collects specific nodes within a separate logical network segment on a larger physical network that enables network administrators to prescribe separate performance and security requirements for those specific nodes without having to install a new and separate physical network.
Virtual Machine – A computer file, known as an image, that uses software to emulate a traditional physical computer thereby permitting multiple system guests to operate on a single chassis.
Virus – A malicious computer program that replicates by infecting other files and applications that can corrupt systems and destroy data.
Vishing – A form of social engineering in which a malicious actor telephones an intended victim with the goal of tricking the victim into sharing sensitive information or inadvertently installing malicious software on behalf of the bad actor by making the victim believe the information is being shared by or the instructions being provided are from a trusted contact.
Voice over IP (VOIP) – Voice over Internet Protocol is a telecommunications technology that uses the Internet to provide voice (telephone) and multimedia services.
Whaling – A form of spear phishing in which a malicious attacker impersonates and targets high-level executives.
Wide Area Network (WAN) – A larger computer network consisting of interconnected systems across a widely dispersed geographic area typically consisting of more than one location.
Windows 11 – Microsoft’s latest major release of its Windows NT operating system for workstations.
Windows Server – Microsoft’s latest major release of its Windows NT operating system for servers.
Wireless Access Point (WAP) – A network hardware device that extends LAN access wirelessly via radio.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) – A local computer network powered by wireless radio that permits interconnecting systems, including to a wired network and the Internet if so configured.
Workstation – A client computer; often a machine possessing greater capacity and performance than typical laptop, desktop or tower systems, such as might be required for fulfilling complex technical or scientific functionality.
Worm – A standalone malicious program that replicates itself, including without human interaction, by spreading to other computers on a network.