Cybersecurity means the body of processes, practices, and technologies that are specifically designed to protect data, programs, devices and networks. Typical threats include unauthorised access, vandalism, and data encryption and exfiltration. Sometimes it is referred to as information technology security.
If you want to understand what the true scope of this body is, just think of all the things that today actually rely on computers and the Internet. First things in mind are medicine, shopping, transportation, entertainment, and communication. But the list goes on as you think of anything related to computer usage. If that’s not impressive, just think how much your own daily life relies on technology. How much do you have your own personal information stored on any devices like your own computer, smartphone, tablet, or someone else’s device?
Why Cybersecurity Is Important
The sole fact of GDPR’s existence proves the importance of cybersecurity. Not only this but in all fifty states of the United States also exist data breach laws that regulate data breach incidents. GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is Europe’s data privacy and security law that includes hundreds of pages of legal regulations concerning not only companies inside the EU, but those beyond it. The regulation was brought into effect on May 25, 2018. Companies that ignore the rules receive fines of a sensible size.
What Is Cybersecurity Threat
A cyber or cybersecurity threat is a malicious act that aims to infer damages like gaining unauthorized access, stealing any form of sensitive data, or disrupting the work of a computer network. Examples of cyber threats will include data breaches, computer viruses, Denial of Service (DoS), and other attack vectors. The source of cyber threat can come from within organizations or from some remote third party of the remote location.
What Are The Most Common Cybersecurity Threats
You can find a much more complex list of possible cybersecurity threats. I decided to show you the most common threats.
- Trojans. With the help of a Trojan attacker creates a backdoor and gets an access to confidential information or takes control of victim’s machine;
- Wiper Attacks. During a wiper attack, a special form of malware completely wipes the targeted hard drive of the infected computer;
- Advanced Persistent Threats. In an advanced persistent cyber threat an unauthorized user gains access to system or network and remains there for much prolonged time without being detected;
- Ransomware. A type of malware that encrypts victim’s files and as a result demands a ransom to be paid for the successful restoration of them;
- Zero-Day Exploits. A Zero Day exploit is a flaw in firmware, hardware or software about whose existence those responsible for patching don’t know yet;
- Phishing Attacks. With phishing cyber criminals aim to get their hands on credit and banking card details and passwords or various personally identifiable information (PII) like, for example, social security number;
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks. When threat actors do this kind of an attack they literally flood the targeted system with fake requests preventing the real one being processed;
- Man-in-the-Middle Attack. This is an attack when some third party interferes in the communication line between two legitimate others. This attack often happens when you use unsecured public wifi and someone doing the attack on you might catch the info you currently transmitting to some website;
- Spyware. A form of malware that hides on a targeted device and provides the attackers real-time monitoring of the victim’s actions;
Where Do Cyber Threats Come From
Cyber threats may come from numerous sources. Most of them appear as a result of intentional activity. However, some cases are just bad code designs, which should not have any maliciousness by design.
- Hackers. Often they would take advantage of some zero-day exploit to gain unauthorized access to data. In the past, it required a high level of skill to be one of them. These days, automated attack scripts and protocols became way easier to handle. Even people with low skills will easily master these mechanisms.;
- Hacktivists. Hacktivists are people whose interests lie in a support of some political ideas or issues. The most know example will be when hacker group Anonymous expressed their support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian invasion;
- Terrorist Groups. Now the terrorists also don’t need guns to threaten governments or nations. Though they are usually less developed in terms of cyber attacks efficiency, with a more technologically skilled people joining their ranks the success of their cyber attacks is increasing;
- Hostile Nation-States. This is a whole another level of organized cybercrime.The main aims of attacks are critical infrastructures like gas control valves and electricity grids or classified networks; all in order to disrupt the national security of the targeted country;
How Can You Protect Yourself From Cybersecurity Threats
For you as an individual user a good and decent cyber security hygiene should do a thing to prevent some major unpleasant moments living in a digital world. Use the following tips to ensure you have safe and secure environment on the Internet:
- Passwords. Having a strong and different for each account password ensures much more robust protection against numerous cyber threats. Also changing them often eliminates the possibility for threat actors to use your somewhere compromised password;
- Wifi Security. If your device is connected to a network it has a fifty percent chance of getting infected with something. Protect your WiFi with secure password and other needed wifi security means;
- Backup your data. Make a backup of any important information you have stored on your device. In case of an attack you will have a chance to have your data secured and saved;
- Install a Firewall. A firewall is a much needed component of building today’s own security. A tool will counteract any brute force attacks made on your network or systems before further damage could be done;
- Keep your software and systems updated. The timely update of your systems and software ensures you receive all the available patches for vulnerabilities found in them and leave threat actors with no available options to exploit.