What is Cybersecurity?

Living in a digital age can be stressful. We rely so heavily on networks and devices in daily life—everything from paying our bills to accessing our healthcare information. Even if you consciously try to avoid social media, and the constant barrage of news, ads and information that comes with it, there is still an aspect of our digital dependence that can haunt you. Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as software, hardware and data from cyberthreats. The practice is used by individuals and enterprises to protect against unauthorized access to data centers and other computerized systems.

A strong cybersecurity strategy can provide a good security posture against malicious attacks designed to access, delete, alter, extort or destroy an organization’s or user’s systems and sensitive data. Cybersecurity is also instrumental in preventing attacks that aim to disable or disrupt a system’s or device’s operations. The world of Cyber Security revolves around the industry standard of confidentiality, availability, and integrity, or CIA.

Privacy means data can be accessed only by authorized parties; integrity means information can be added, altered, or removed only by authorized users; and availability means systems, functions, and data must be available on-demand according to agreed-upon parameters. Cybercrime is any unauthorized activity involving a computer, network or a device. The three types are computer-assisted crimes, crimes where the computer is incidental to the crime rather than directly related to it and the crimes where the computer itself is a target. Today’s cyber security industry is primarily focused on protecting devices and systems from attackers.

Cyber security is important because government, corporate, military, financial, and medical organizations collect, process, and store unprecedented amounts of data on computers and other devices.
A significant portion of that data can be sensitive information, financial data ,personal information, whether that be intellectual property, or other types of data for which unauthorized access or exposure could have negative consequences. This can be sensitive data, governmental and industry information, personal information, personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property, and protected health information (PHI). Cyber security is important because it encompasses everything that relates to protecting our data from cyber attackers, who want to steal this information and use it to cause harm. For effective cyber security, an organization needs to coordinate its efforts throughout its entire information system.

Elements of cyber encompass all of the following:

  • Network security: The process of protecting the network from unwanted users, attacks and intrusions.
  • Application security: Apps require constant testing and updates to ensure these programs are secure from attacks.
  • Endpoint security: Remote access is a necessary part of business, but can also be a weak point for data. It is the process of protecting remote access to a company’s network.
  • Data security: Protecting company and customer information is a separate layer of security. Inside of networks and applications is data.
  • Identity management: Essentially, this is a process of understanding the access every individual has in an organization.
  • Infrastructure and Database security: Everything in a network involves databases and physical equipment. Protecting these devices is equally important.
  • Cloud security: So many files are in digital environments or “the cloud”. Protecting data in a 100% online environment presents a large amount of challenges.
  • Security for mobile devices: Cell phones and tablets involve virtually every type of security challenge in and of themselves.
  • Disaster recovery/business continuity planning: In the event of a security breach, natural disaster or other event data must be protected and business must go on.

A cyber security threat is a malicious act to access, steal or damage data. The most difficult challenge in cyber security is the ever-evolving nature of security risks themselves. Cyber attacks can come in a variety of forms that can be devastating to an individual, a society, and business as a whole. Some examples of cyber security threats are malware, phishing attacks, data breaches, and computer viruses.

Companies need cyber security to keep their finances, data, and intellectual property safe. In the case of governmental organizations or public services, cyber security helps to ensure that the community can continue to rely on their services. Cyber security is one of the most important aspects of the fast-paced growing digital world. If it targeted a bank, it could steal from hundreds of thousands of people. The threats of it are hard to deny, so it is crucial to learn how to defend from them and teach others how to do it too.