O is for …


This term is used to describe equipment which is physically located in your offices. The alternative would be a third party hosted service such as those offered by cloud hosting providers.

Open Source Intelligence

The internet is full of many sources of information, many of which are free. This is known as Open Source Intelligence (commonly called OSINT).

The most well known sources of information are social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If users do not lock down their accounts, potential attackers can learn a lot about them just by trawling their details. For example, Facebook allows you to list family members, friends, schools, colleges and work places, all of which are invaluable to attackers.

Operating System

All computers need code to tell them how to interact with their components eg keyboards, mice, monitors etc. They also need code which tells them what to do when switched on, how to store files and how the file store is structured. All of these services are provided by the Operating System, or OS for short. The most common operating systems for desktop and laptop computers are Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Smartphones and tablet devices also have operating systems, the most common being Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

I is for…


Along with confidentiality and availability, integrity makes up what is known as the CIA triad, the three main pillars that Information Security is built on.

Integrity is all about making sure that data has not been changed or tampered with by unauthorised people. For example, if someone was able to access a hospital’s systems and change a medicine dosage from 30mg of a drug to 3g, it could have potentially fatal consequences: that’s a change to the integrity of the data.


Ok, I know we all use it (at least to visit this website) but what exactly is the internet? It’s a group of computers which are all connected through a variety of technologies. Crucially, the Internet specifically refers to computers which are not on the same local network (your business computers within one office building are probably on the same local network) and are not within the same business.

The internet is the way that unrelated computers are connected to each other: it’s what allows you to browse to this website, to use Google or Bing (or other search engines) to find information that interests you not only in the Surface Web, but also in the Dark Web and the Deep Web.

Internet of Everything

The IoE, Internet of Everything, is exactly what it suggests. It’s used to refer to anything that is connected to the internet, irrespective of whether it’s a traditional computer, smartphone or one of the devices that make up the Internet of Things.

Internet of Things

There are many things other than your PC, laptop or server which are connected to the internet. Commonly referred to as the IoT, the Internet of Things is made up of all the other connected devices, such as your smart TV, your smart energy meter, some toys, perhaps your CCTV so you can check who’s in your house when you’re away, but also industrial control systems like the heating controls for office blocks, pumping stations on pipelines etc.

These are all connected so that people don’t physically have to be present to monitor and operate the controls: they connect to the Internet and make whatever changes are necessary remotely.


An intranet is a network used to provide information within an organisation. It most likely include sections with HR documentation, IT support contacts, social events, marketing information, policies and procedures, health and safety and news about the company among other things. It’s not intended to be viewed by anyone other than employees, hence it is not available to the wider world.


This is the Operating System used by Apple mobile devices like iPads and iPhones. It’s the software that allows applications on the devices to “talk” to the device itself. It means that developers don’t have to write code to talk directly to the device, but instead use a common platform with a common set of instructions which talk to the device on their behalf.