What is Cybersecurity?

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We’ve all heard the term Cyber security. But many don’t even know what this term means. Don’t believe me? Just ask around and prepare to be surprised. This blog is an attempt to simplify the term and raise awareness of this phenomena that so many people are unaware of. So let’s get down to the basics of what is cybersecurity.

The term ‘cyber’ as described in dictionary.com is a prefix that means computer or computer network, as in cyberspace, the electronic medium in which online communication takes place. Cambridge dictionary calls it a prefix involving, using, or relating to computers, especially the internet. What is cybersecurity then on the basis of these definitions? Well, we can conclude that cybersecurity is the security or protection of technology that includes computers, networks, devices, systems and programs that house valuable information.

Information technology is indispensable in today’s times. We rely on technology for pretty much everything from researching basic information, to education, to banking and anything and everything you can think of. We access information from several channels such as computers, laptops, cell phones, smart watches, smart TVs etc. One can only imagine the massive amount of data and information that is out there and it will only keep multiplying.

Access to information brought in an influx of security issues. Valuable financial and personal information online gave birth to cyber criminals who were targeting and attacking everything from bank accounts to social security numbers including government and political information. With so much value locked up in technology, cybercrime grew in numbers and prominence and is now the fastest growing crime in the U.S.

In some high-profile cyberattacks in the recent past, cyber criminals have methodically gained access to business IT environments, damaging systems and reputations of well-known companies. Not to mention, personal information of millions of customers had been compromised including thefts of logins, passwords and other identifiable sensitive data.

Forms of cyberattacks

Typical forms of cyberattacks used by attackers to get control of technology include the following:

Malware: These include viruses and worms that multiply and damage files and systems.

Spyware and Trojans: These are generally used to gain access to data fraudulently.

Ransomware: These are malicious software that block access to a computer until money is paid.

Phishing: These are fraudulent emails and messages convincing users to download and install malware and release other sensitive data.

Social Engineering: These use techniques to get employees to divulge and share sensitive information such as logins and passwords.

Clearly, damages due to cybercrimes are escalating and it’s becoming increasingly important to protect and safeguard against growing cyber threats. This has made way for cybersecurity that involves security measures to defend networks, systems, and devices from malicious attacks. Businesses today are also being proactive instead of reactive in protecting their IT infrastructure from invasions.

Cybersecurity categories

Cyber security measures are used in a wide discipline by IT professionals in order to actively manage security risks. Although these disciplines keep evolving over time, we discuss some common categories below.

Information/Data security – protection of data integrity and privacy.

Application security – protection of data or code within apps in devices and software.

Network security – protection of securing IT networks and frameworks from malware and other forms of attacks.

Cloud security – protection of cloud platforms spanning, private, public and hybrid cloud environments.

Operational security – protection of data assets through operational safety such as password management and social media sharing.

Vulnerability management (VM) – proactive investigation and scanning of vulnerable systems and implementing protection solutions.

End-user training – protection against threat by educating end-users about social engineering and other personal attacks.

Privileged Access Management (PAM) – governing and regulating privileged access for users to systems, accounts and applications.

Emergency planning and recovery – drafting plans and policies in order to manage cyberattack emergencies and keep business continuity throughout the recovery phase.

To conclude…

No IT landscape is immune to a cyberattack. The most difficult challenge in cyber security is the ever changing and evolving nature of attacks. Cybercrime has become organized over the years. Every organization, big and small should not only be prepared for an attack, but should be proactively safeguarding their IT infrastructure. The shift is now toward continuous monitoring and real-time evaluation of IT ecosystems.

Cyber Chasse can help you with your cybersecurity planning and provide you with realistic solutions that will suit your security needs. For more information, contact us today.