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What Is Cybersecurity?

What Is Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity means the body of processes, practices and technologies that is specifically designed to protect data, programs, devices and networks from attacks, unauthorized access and damage. 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. The list will start with medicine (medical records, medical equipment), shopping (credit cards, online shopping), transportation (navigation systems), entertainment (apps, social media, interactive video games), communication (tablets, smartphones, email) and the list goes on.

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 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 the 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.

Those companies who don’t meet the requirements of the regulation will face significant charges reaching up to tens of millions of euros.

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.

The 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 remote location.

What Are The Most Common Cybersecurity Threats

The most common cyber threats include:

  • 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 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 doesn’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 (MITM 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 victim’s actions;
  • Malware
    A malicious software that performs malicious tasks like corrupting data or taking control of a system.
  • Where Do Cyber Threats Come From

    Cyber threats may come from a numerous threat actors including:

  • Hackers
    Often they would take advantage of some zero day exploit to gain unauthorized access to data. In the past it required high level of skill to be one, but with today’s automated attack scripts and protocols you can download from the internet even sophisticated attacks became easier to conduct;
  • 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, but with a more technologically skilled people joining their ranks the success of their cyber attacks is increasing;
  • Hostile Nation-States
    This is a whole nother level of organized cybercrime.The main aims of attacks are critical infrastructure 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.
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