What is Threat?

Related definitions

Advanced Persistent Threat

An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a specific type of threat that is characterized by the attacker who has time and resources. Typically it is an ongoing threat, with the goal to finally infiltrate into a network.

Attackers who are part the APT, have usually the goal to seek information and to stay as long in the network as possible. For example to gain access to intellectual property (IP), financial data, or communications.


Adware is software that shows advertisements on your computer system. This may include banners, pop-ups, or other forms, often embedded in other software. While not always harmful, it can slow down your system or internet connection.

Adware can become a serious problem when no consent was given by the owner of the system. Especially if it hijacks software components like the internet browser. Typically it results in showing more advertisements and hard to remove from the system.

Buffer overflow

A buffer overflow happens when a software program stores too much information in reserved block of memory. Typically a program will overwrite other memory blocks, resulting in a crash, errors, or even make the software vulnerable to security problems.

Most buffer overflow attacks abuse this type of weakness to overwrite parts of the memory and store code of the attacker. By using memory jumps, the attacker tries to get the code to be executed. This may result in leaking data, create shell access, or simply crashing the system.

Data Loss

Data loss is the result of accidental behavior, resulting in no longer having access to some information. Opposed to deliberate data theft, it usually happens by losing a device containing data or the lack of well-tested backups.

Data theft

Data theft can originate from inside or outside the organization. In the first case, the insider has typically access to a lot of systems and data sources. He or she can leak data during employment, or use storage devices to store data and get it outside the company premises.

Outsiders typically break in via the network and might steal information like intellectual property. Sometimes they will ask the victim to pay a ransom. Another option is selling data to competitors or the black market.


A weakness that can be exploited.