The term cyber security can be defined as the protective measures that are taken in order to protect different systems connected to the internet. This could include all sorts of computer hardware, software, and precious data. These components need protection from any form of unauthorized access which would damage or harm the organization’s interests.
If company information gets into the wrong hands, the damage might often be too great to recover from. For example, if your organization is working on a new product that has the potential to completely disrupt the industry, you want to make sure that no one from your competition has any idea what is going on.
At a human level, you can ensure that people don’t say anything by means of a non-disclosure agreement but a computer system needs safeguards in place to prevent theft.
By having a comprehensive cyber security strategy, you are protecting your organization or yourself from any attempt to infiltrate, change, remove, or eliminate sensitive data or systems.
Importance of Cyber Security
We live in a world where there are a slew of connected devices around us. There are a multitude of applications and systems in modern organizations that have the capacity to generate immense amounts of data and store it. With the rapid evolution in modern computing, there has also been an evolution in the complexity of cyber attacks and the ways in which they are carried out.
As an organization, you want to ensure that confidential and important information and systems are protected from these attacks. This is made possible thanks to different measures taken to bolster cyber security. Let us explain how cyber security works:
Elements of Cyber Security
Cyber security is a rather vague term that encapsulates many different areas. Each of these different areas of computing is all imperative for the modern organization and needs to be dealt with accordingly. These elements include, but are not limited to:
- Physical Security
- Network Security
- Cloud Security
- Operational Security
- Application Security
- Data Security
- Infrastructure Security
- Disaster Recovery
The cyber security infrastructure is a constantly evolving landscape because, with each passing day, new threats arise. To keep ahead of all this, it is important to have a proactive cyber security system that makes it easier for you to keep track of all that is happening. You don’t want something bad to happen for you to get up and do something. Instead of waiting for trouble to enter the fold, make sure you don’t let it arise to begin with.
There was a time when organizations would allot tough security measures to higher priority resources and often leave lower value resources undefended. This might have worked at the time but this is no longer a sustainable model to follow. An organization needs to make sure they have taken every preventive measure that there is in order to ensure their data is protected.
With the extensive interconnectivity that exists in modern systems, getting access to one system is more than enough to get into the entire network. This begs the question – what benefits does cyber security offer?
Threats to Cyber Security
To better understand cyber security, we must know what sort of threats exist to keep an eye out for.
Types of Cyber Attacks
Different types of cyber attacks include:
This is a form of cyber attack where the attacker will lock a user out of their own data and then demand a certain amount to relinquish control. The attacker will generally do this via powerful encryption that only the attacker has the key for. Once the ransom has been paid, the attacker will then let the user back in, if they choose to honor their agreement.
This is a form of cyber attack where harmful software such as viruses or spyware will infiltrate your computer system and become a menace. This can include corruption of your data and can also cause certain functionality to stop working.
Similar to its namesake, phishing involves baiting an individual or organization and then stealing sensitive data from them. One way of doing this is by sending emails or text messages posing as a reputable individual or organization and then using that name to get login information or credit card details. This is one of the most common scams that exist nowadays, especially targeting older individuals who aren’t the most tech-savvy.
Distributed denial-of-service or DDoS involves using multiple entry points to target and disrupt a server or website in an effort to limit its functionality. This involves sending a multitude of messages, and connection requests, and slowing the system down in an attempt to limit any traffic that might be going to it.
For example, this can disrupt business activity and transactions for online stores by making it impossible for the payment gateway to do its job. The retailer doesn’t get their money and the customer isn’t able to place an order.
These five are the most common types of cyber attacks that an organization may be hit with. Besides them, there are also Advanced Persistent Threats or APTs and Man-in-the-middle or MitM attacks. These are more consistent and advanced attacks done on an organizational system but are less common compared to the others mentioned above.
Benefits of Cyber Security
Think of security in your homes such as doors and locks. Your house can survive without them but then again, it would make it incredibly easy for anyone to walk in and steal something. In an organization, cyber security is the preventive system that ensures that your system is kept safe.
Among the many benefits of cyber security, the following are the most important:
- Data protection
- Network protection
- Prevention of data breaches
- Continuity of business activities
- Keeping unauthorized users out of the system
- In the event of a breach, it is easier for you to recover data.
- Stakeholder confidence thanks to an unshakable stance on data protection.
As someone hoping to do business with an organization, these benefits stand out quite well. They show that this organization has its priorities in order and does what needs to be done to ensure that important resources are protected.
Any stakeholder that has any interest vested in such an organization will be able to rest assured that there will rarely be any form of cyber attack that could compromise their interest in the organization.
Tools Used in Cyber Security
There are a variety of tools that are used in the field of cyber security. These include different products and services that include:
- Endpoint detection
- Vulnerability scanners
- Data loss prevention
- Identity and access management
- Virtual private networks