What is cybersecurity?
Network security is about protecting the computer network from intruders, whether they are targeted attacks or opportunistic malware.
Application security is about protecting software and devices from threats. A corrupted application could provide access to the data it is supposed to protect. A reliable security system can be recognized at the design stage, long before a program or device is deployed.
- Information security ensures the integrity and confidentiality of data, whether stored or in transit.
- Operational security includes the processes and decisions related to data processing and protection. User authorizations for network access and the procedures that define the storage and location of data fall under this type of security.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity specifies how an organization responds to a cyber security incident or any other event causing a loss of operations or data. Disaster recovery policies govern how an organization recovers its operations and information to return to the same operating capability as before the event. Business continuity refers to the plan that a company relies on while trying to operate without certain resources.
- End-user training focuses on the most unpredictable factor: people. Anyone can accidentally introduce a virus into a normally secure system by not following good security practices. Teaching users to delete suspicious attachments and not to plug in unidentified USB keys is essential for a company’s security.
Types of Cyber Threats
There are three threats to cybersecurity:
- Cybercrime includes individual actors or groups that target systems for financial gain or to cause disruption.
- Cyber attacks often involve the collection of information for political reasons.
- Cyberterrorism aims to undermine electronic systems to cause panic or fear.
But how do these malicious actors gain control of computer systems? Here are some common methods used to undermine cybersecurity:
Malware refers to malicious software. Malware, one of the most common cyber threats, is software created by a cybercriminal or hacker to disrupt or damage a user’s computer. Often spread via an unwanted email attachment or a seemingly safe download, malware can be used by cybercriminals to make money or in politically motivated cyber attacks.
An SQL (Structured Query Language) injection is a type of cyber attack used to control and steal data from a database. Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in data-driven applications to insert malicious code into a database via a malicious SQL statement. In this way, they gain access to sensitive information contained in the database.
Phishing refers to the act of cybercriminals sending emails that appear to come from a legitimate company to request sensitive information from their victims. Phishing attacks are often used to trick users into giving out bank details and other personal information.
Middle man attack
A Middle Man attack is a type of cyber threat that involves intercepting communication between two individuals to steal data. For example, on an unsecured wifi network, a cybercriminal could intercept data passing between the victim’s device and the network.
Denial of service attack
A denial of service attack is when cybercriminals prevent a computer system from responding to legitimate requests by overloading networks and servers with traffic. This renders the system unusable, preventing a company from performing most of its tasks.
User protection, or endpoint security, is an essential aspect of cybersecurity. After all, the fault often lies with someone (the end user) who accidentally downloads malware or other forms of cyber threats to their desktop, laptop or mobile device.
So how do cyber security measures protect users and systems? First, cyber security relies on cryptographic protocols used to encrypt emails, files and other sensitive data. This not only protects the information that is transmitted, but also protects against loss or theft.
Second, user security software scans computers for malicious code, quarantines them, and then removes them from the machine. Security programs can even detect and remove malicious code hidden in the Master Boot Record (MBR) designed to encrypt or erase data from the computer’s hard drive.
Electronic security protocols also focus on real-time malware detection. Many people use heuristic and behavioral analysis to evaluate the behavior of a program in addition to its code, thus protecting against viruses or Trojans capable of changing shape with each execution (metamorphic or polymorphic malware). Security programs can confine potentially malicious programs in a virtual bubble separate from a user’s network to analyze their behavior and learn how to better detect new infections.
These programs continue to develop new defenses as cyber security professionals identify new threats and new ways to fight them. To get the most out of end-user security software, employees must be trained in its use. Keeping them activated and updated frequently is essential to protect users from the latest cyber threats.
Cyber security tips: Protect yourself from cyber attacks.
How can businesses and individuals protect themselves from cyber threats? Here are our best cyber security tips:
- Regularly update your software and operating system with the latest security patches.
- Use antivirus software.
- Use strong passwords.
- Don’t open email attachments from strangers – they could be infected with malware.
- Do not click on links from unknown users or sites in emails – this is a common method of spreading malware.
- Avoid unsecured wifi networks in public places.