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Top 25 Cybersecurity Acronyms You Should Know in 2023

With such an overwhelming number of these contracting terms in existence, we’ve prepared a top-25 list to help you get ready for next year.


Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA) is a term coined by Gartner in 2022 and is one of the emerging trends in the information security industry. The purpose of CSMA is to help businesses move toward a more scalable and interoperable approach to security. It has even been predicted that by 2024, organizations that have adopted CSMA will have decreased the financial impact of security incidents by an average of 90%.


DAST stands for Dynamic Application Security Testing. It is a method of assessing the security of an application by testing it

DAST stands for Dynamic Application Security Testing. It is a method of assessing the security of an application by testing it in a live environment via dufferent techniques such as penetration testing. It involves actively probing the application by sending malicious requests to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. In 2022 DAST has continued to be a leading method for detecting vulnerabilities.


Great news, penetration testing, and acronym enthusiasts! Pentesting has an abbreviation of its own that has been gaining popularity. PT is short for pen testing or penetration testing. Want to learn more about PT? Check out our guide to the different types of pen testing.


CSPM stands for Cloud Security Posture Management and is a process used to monitor, detect, and protect cloud infrastructure from threats and vulnerabilities. The process involves continuously monitoring the security posture of the cloud environment and taking corrective action when any security flaws or vulnerabilities are detected. CSPM is an important component of cloud security strategy and can be used to identify potential threats and take corrective action before they cause damage.


HUMINT is short for Human Intelligence, which is intelligence gathered by humans rather than technology. It includes information gathered by espionage, interviews, and other sources of information. Even with the rise of AI technology, HUMINT is still considered the most valuable type of intelligence gathering.


As some people say, everything is about the cloud these days! CNAPP stands for Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform and is yet another cloud-related acronym to know. CNAPPs integrate all cloud security capabilities into a single cloud-native solution.


As the cybersecurity industry continues to face a significant skills shortage, with millions of positions unfilled worldwide, managed security services such as MSSP have gained popularity. MSSP stands for Managed Security Service Provider. It is a service provider that specializes in managing and monitoring customers’ security systems and networks. MSSPs offer security services such as network security, intrusion detection, antivirus protection, vulnerability management, identity and access management, and compliance management.

8. MDR

MDR is another type of managed security service. Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is a service offered by a security provider to monitor and detect any potential security threats to an organization’s IT infrastructure. The provider can then respond quickly to any potential threats, either by providing advice or taking the appropriate actions to prevent any damage to the organization. MDR services can help organizations detect malicious activities, identify and address vulnerabilities, and take steps to protect their data.

9. FWaaS

Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) combines two recent trends: cloud services and managed services. As you can probably imagine, FWaaS is a cloud-based service that provides an extra layer of security to protect customer data in the cloud. It helps to block malicious traffic, keep out hackers, and prevent data breaches. FWaaS allows organizations to protect their data, applications, and networks from unauthorized access and malicious attacks. It provides a comprehensive security solution that can be used to monitor, filter, and control network traffic. FWaaS is a cost-effective solution for organizations that

don’t have the resources or expertise to manage their own firewalls.

10. CSNS

Cloud Service Network Security (CSNS) is yet another cloud-related acronym, a key component of effectively securing cloud environments, and one of the three key components of CNAPP.

CSNS offers cloud network security capabilities tailored to the ever-changing boundaries that come with cloud-native workloads. It offers granular segmentation and safeguards for network traffic. Popular CSNS features include: Next-generation firewall (NGFW), Load balancers, Denial of Service (DoS) protection, Web Application and API protection (WAAP), and SSL/TLS inspection.

11. CIA

CIA may be a bit of a “back to the basics” acronym for many but it has never lost importance in the security field. CIA stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.

12. DFIR

DFIR stands for Digital Forensics and Incident Response. It is a process of identifying, preserving, analyzing, and reporting on digital evidence to discover the source of a security incident and mitigate potential risks. It involves the use of specialized tools and techniques to identify, collect, and analyze evidence from computer systems and networks.

13. IAM

IAM stands for Identity and Access Management. It is a service from AWS that allows users to securely control access to AWS services and resources. It enables organizations to

create and manage user identities and assign permissions to users to access AWS resources.

14. CVSS

CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) is a framework for rating the severity of computer system security vulnerabilities. It assigns a numerical score to a vulnerability, based on a range of factors, including how easy it is to exploit, the potential impact of an exploit, and the likelihood of an exploit being used in the wild. CVSS scores are used to rate and prioritize vulnerabilities for patching and mitigation. With more reported vulnerabilities reported in 2022  than in any other year before in history, this term is becoming more relevant than ever.

15. XDR

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is a security technology that provides comprehensive detection, investigation, and response capabilities by collecting and correlating data from multiple sources. XDR combines the capabilities of traditional endpoint detection and response (EDR), network detection and response (NDR), and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions to provide a single, unified view of security threats across an organization’s entire IT environment. XDR solutions are designed to detect and respond to advanced threats, providing real-time visibility into the security posture of an organization.

16. WAF

WAF stands for Web Application Firewall. It is a security system that provides protection against malicious attacks targeting web applications and websites. WAFs detect and block malicious traffic, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other attacks, before they reach the web application.

17. SAST

We talked about Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) earlier. SAST is the static variation of application security testing. SAST, or Static Application Security Testing, is a type of software security testing that examines an application’s source code and artifacts for potential security vulnerabilities. It is used to detect security vulnerabilities in applications before they are deployed into production. SAST is often used in conjunction with DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) to provide a comprehensive view of an application’s security posture.

18. CWPP

Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) solutions make it possible for organizations to implement security measures early on and throughout the application development cycle. CWPPs provide discovery of workloads within cloud or on-premises infrastructures, scans to detect security flaws, and security functions such as runtime protection, network segmentation, and malware detection for workloads.

19. SCA

Software Composition Analysis (SCA) is a process used to identify and track open source components and other third-party code used in software applications. SCA helps to ensure that the software is secure and compliant with industry standards and regulatory requirements. It also helps to identify any potential security vulnerabilities due to outdated or vulnerable components.

20. SSRF

SSRF (Server-Side Request Forgery) is a type of attack that exploits the server-side application to send malicious requests on behalf of the user. This attack can be used to access internal network resources, steal access tokens and more. SSRF has made it to the OWASP Top 10 2021 list due to to its growing incidence.

21. CDR

Content disarm and reconstruction (CDR), or Threat Extraction, is a unique security solution that proactively safeguards against known and unknown dangers found in documents by taking out executable content, rather than depending on detection like most security systems.

22. SSPM

SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) is a set of processes, technologies, and tools that enable organizations to identify, assess, and mitigate risks associated with their public cloud-based applications and services. It provides visibility into the security posture of cloud environments and allows organizations to quickly identify and remediate risks, such as misconfiguration, vulnerabilities, and user errors. SSPM also provides real-time alerts and detailed reports to help organizations better understand and manage their cloud security posture.

23. CIEM

Content disarm and reconstruction (CDR), or Threat Extraction, is a unique security solution that proactively safeguards against known and unknown dangers found in documents by taking out executable content, rather than depending on detection like most security systems.

24. NGFW

A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a network security system that combines a traditional firewall with other network device filtering technologies such as an application firewall and an intrusion prevention system. NGFWs are designed to give better protection from modern cyber threats, by providing deeper inspection of network traffic and more granular control over network traffic flow. NGFWs also provide visibility into applications that traverse the network, allowing for better enforcement of security policies.

25. WAAP

Web Application & API Protection (WAAP) is a security solution that provides comprehensive protection against malicious attacks targeting web applications and APIs. WAAP provides multi-layered defenses to protect against attacks such as application layer DDoS, brute-force attacks, SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and other web application vulnerabilities. It also provides advanced analytics and reporting capabilities to help organizations monitor and respond to suspicious activities.


If you’ve read this far and still want to know about more security acronyms, check out our resources:


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