Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive
information from digital attacks. Also known as information technology (IT)
security, cybersecurity measures are designed to combat threats against networked
systems and applications, whether those threats originate from inside or outside of
Cybersecurity is a part of information security that relates to the protection of computers, networks, programs and data against unauthorized access. As cybersecurity includes the protection of both company and personal data, the fields of cybersecurity and data protection overlap. The security objectives of confidentiality, integrity and availability are of paramount importance to both elements of information security
1. Critical infrastructure security
Concerns the protection of systems, networks and assets whose continuous operation is deemed necessary to ensure the security of a given nation, its economy, and the public’s health and/or safety. Examples include hospitals, electricity grids and traffic lights.
2. Application security
A set of best practices, functions and/or features added to an organization’s software to help prevent and remediate threats from cyberattacks, data breaches and other sources. Examples include antivirus programs, firewalls and encryption programs that prevent unauthorized access.
3. Network security
Works to act against unauthorized intrusion of internal networks. It protects the internal infrastructure by inhibiting access to it. Examples include extra logins, new passwords and monitored internet access.
4. Cloud security
Protects cloud platforms, services and data against unauthorized access and disruption through access management, network security and secure cloud configurations. Examples of security in cloud include encryption and disaster recovery.
5. Internet of Things security
Internet of Things (IoT)—networks of connected devices, appliances and machines embedded with software and sensors that can send and receive data through the internet—offers new opportunities and impressive growth potential, but it also creates new vulnerabilities. IoT security requires innovative ways of thinking to defend the enterprise and its customers against attackers and data abuses.
Cybersecurity is important because it protects all categories of data from theft and
damage. This includes sensitive data, personally identifiable information (PII),
protected health information (PHI), personal information, intellectual property,
data, and governmental and industry information systems.
Without a cybersecurity program, your organization cannot defend itself against data breach campaigns, which makes it an irresistible target for cybercriminals.
Both inherent risk and residual risk is increasing, driven by global connectivity and usage of cloud services, like Amazon Web Services, to store sensitive data and personal information. Widespread poor configuration of cloud services paired with increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals means the risk that your organization suffers from a successful cyber attack or data breach is on the rise.
Business leaders can no longer solely rely on out-of-the-box cybersecurity solutions like antivirus software and firewalls, cybercriminals are getting smarter and their tactics are becoming more resilient to conventional cyber defences.
Cyber threats can come from any level of your organization. Workplaces must not
include cybersecurity awareness training to educate staff about common cyber threats
like social engineering scams, phishing, ransomware attacks (think WannaCry), and
other malware designed to steal intellectual property or personal data.
The proliferation of data breaches means that cybersecurity is not just relevant to heavily regulated industries, like healthcare. Even small businesses are at risk of suffering irrecoverable reputational damage following a data breach.
To help you understand the importance of cyber security, we've compiled a post explaining the different elements of cybercrime you may not be aware of.
If you're not yet worried about cybersecurity risks, you should be.
Malware is malicious software such as spyware, ransomware, viruses and worms. Malware is activated when a user clicks on a malicious link or attachment, which leads to installing dangerous software. Cisco reports that malware, once activated, can: