There are lots of acronyms and abbreviations of networking terms that are often used by IT professionals. Sometimes, the networking short forms have some overlapping meanings and are used interchangeably. So, it is essential to understand the meanings of these networking acronyms and their technical significance.
Here is the list of 10 networking abbreviations that you should know:
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a security solution that helps users to access private networks over public networks by establishing a secure and protected network connection. It’s based on perimeter-based security, creates encrypted portals or tunnels through secure network perimeters, and allows remote employees access to network resources and assets.
It creates a secure wide-area network for businesses and organizations and is considered an affordable solution for organizations to link their remote workforce to central computing resources.
Here are some VPN advantages that make businesses use it:
- Sends remote user data and information through encrypted tunnels.
- It’s a scalable solution that meets the needs, security policies, and budgets.
- Finding a compatible VPN solution that integrates with your network’s security and administrative systems is easy.
ZTNA is a commonly used computer network abbreviation that stands for Zero Trust Network Access. It is one of the most popular and widely used models and implementation of the Zero Trust Access architecture. The ZTNA architecture provides users access to network systems and assets only after proper authentication and verification.
Furthermore, it’s based on the isolation and micro-segmentation of the networks. As a result, it’s an excellent VPN replacement—allowing users to access different devices and locations from any remote location without having to depend on the corporate networks.
ZTNA is an outstanding solution for IT managers—providing a quick and easy solution for their employees.
- SD WAN
SD WAN ( Software Defined Wide Area Network) is a software approach to manage wide area networks. It is an overlay to existing network infrastructure and leverages any combination of transport services such as MPLS, VPNs, Wireless, and broadband internet to help users connect securely to corporate applications.
A traditional WAS rely on a physical router which connects remote users to applications. The router has a separate data and control plane. The data plane holds the information and the control plane contains logic where the data will flow. SD WAN provides a software interface to have better control and management functionality. Network administrators can configure policy and logic to manage data flow.
SASE is a popular abbreviation in computer networks that stands for Secure Access Service Edge and is pronounced as ‘sassy’. This next-generation security network concept was first proposed by Gartner in its report ‘The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud’ in the year 2019. There the Gartner defines SASE as a solution that is cloud-based that is successful in offering “comprehensive WAN capabilities with comprehensive network security functions such as CASB, SWG, FWaaS, and ZTNA support the dynamic secure access needs of digital enterprises.”
To simplify SASE, it connects various entities like machines and users (individuals/organizations) to their desired systems and applications even if their locations are far spread.
SASE is essentially the next evolutionary step to securing WAN. It takes the optimized network routing capabilities of Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) and infuses a full security stack. The security parameter is available as a cloud-native solution. This means companies that regularly deal with data stored in the cloud infrastructure can also benefit from the same.
A Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) is a modern cybersecurity approach that addresses the weak inherent traditional security approaches.
The traditional castle and moat model protects the network resources with a secure perimeter around the network. However, it fails to protect the resources inside the network—making the network infrastructure vulnerable, expensive, visible, and increasing the attack surface.
SDPs eliminate these vulnerabilities as they rely on user authentication and segmentation instead of hardware that creates a protective boundary. In addition, it employs the least privilege model to restrict user access and makes it easy for you to customize and automate security policies.
Hence, instead of defending a physical network—SDP focuses on protecting the company’s logical network—only providing access to users after strict authentication and authorisation.
MFA is the networking short form for Multi-Factor Authentication. It is an authentication and security method requiring users and employees to provide and pass multiple verification factors to gain access to specific network resources and applications.
It’s one of the core and important components of the Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy. Hence, besides simply requiring users or employees to enter credentials like usernames and passwords—MFA requires more additional verification factors, minimising the risks and chances of identity theft, cyber-attacks, or other online threats.
So, even if one authentication factor gets compromised by a hacker—the risk of other factors getting compromised is low, ensuring a higher level of security assurance.
SSO or Single Sign-on is a login authentication method that allows users to log in to their website accounts or applications using a single set of credentials. Thus, users can access independent applications with a single user ID and password.
It’s one of the essential Identity and Access Management (IAM) platforms to control access. One of its major benefits is its streamlined approach, allowing users to access multiple applications and services without entering new login credentials.
One of the most common examples of SSO is Google’s set of services. With a single login, Google allows you to easily access your Gmail account, drive, documents, calendar, Google Meet, maps, photos, and more applications.
Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is a networking acronym for Security Assertion Markup Language. It's an open standard based on XML for exchanging identity information between two parties: an identity provider (IdP) and a service provider (SP). Identity Provider - Performs authentication and provides the service provider with the user's identity and authorization level.
Trusts the identity provider and authorizes the provided user to access information. It's one of the protocols that allow users to access applications with a single sign-on (SSO) experience. OAuth and OpenID are the other two widely used open standards.
IAM (Identity and Access Management) is an important framework that manages digital identities security discipline. The primary objective of such a framework is to authenticate identities and authorise (or de-authorise) access to any important resource or action.
There are some fundamental components that an IAM system works on. These are the security policies that organisations define and impose to extend or restrict access over to personnel within or outside the group. These components are defined as:
- Protection of sensitive information and other areas within an organisation
- Identifications of users and roles they are assigned
- Management of the level of access and controls that individual users get over the data, information and the overall system
- Management of database of users, adding or removing them from the system
- Allowing or revoking the right to access or roles allocated to users
IPS is a widely-popular computer network abbreviation that stands for Intrusion Prevention System. It is a network security and threat prevention mechanism that analyses network traffic flows so as to detect and prevent vulnerability exploits. These vulnerability exploits can be in the form of malicious inputs to a target application or service to disrupt and take control of the application or machine.
Firewalls, anti-virus software, and anti-spoofing software are all examples of intrusion prevention systems. An IPS can also be used by organizations for other reasons, such as detecting issues with security policies, tracking existing threats, and discouraging people from breaking security policies. In today's organizations, intrusion prevention systems (IPS) have become a critical component of all major security infrastructures.
The main feature of an Intrusion Prevention System is to detect any suspicious behavior and either enable (IDS) or prevent (IPS) the attack. The attempt is recorded and reported to network administrators or Security Operations Center (SOC) personnel. We hope our comprehensive network abbreviation list helped you to understand the most common acronyms in networking. You can visit the InstaSafe website today to learn more about Zero Trust products and solutions.