Encryption turns plain text into ciphertext that cannot be interpreted by anyone other than the intended user. It looks like a series of random numbers, letters, and characters to an unauthorized user who intercepts encrypted data or steals it from a company’s network and prevents attackers from using the data in any meaningful way. However, some data encryption algorithms are weak or have been cracked, and poorly encrypted data may be decrypted by malicious actors.

Exploit (or Exploitation)

An exploit is a code, command sequence, or program that takes advantage of a security flaw or vulnerability to gain access to an application or network. Hackers use exploits to steal data, install malware, or cause other unintended behavior.


An exposure is a misconfiguration or a flaw in a software application that enables threat actors to gain unauthorized access to an application or network.