What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data, from cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing or destroying sensitive information for extorting money from users or interrupting normal business processes.
In a computing context, security comprises cybersecurity and physical security -- both are used by enterprises to protect against unauthorized access to data centers and other computerized systems. Information security, which is designed to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data, is a subset of cybersecurity.
Users must understand and comply with basic data security principles like choosing strong passwords, being wary of attachments in email and backing up data. Organizations must have a framework for how they deal with both attempted and successful cyberattacks. It explains how you can identify attacks, protect systems, detect and respond to threats, and recover from successful attacks.
Technology is essential to giving organizations and individuals the computer security tools needed to protect themselves from cyberattacks. Three main entities must be protected: endpoint devices like computers, smart devices, and routers; networks; and the cloud. Common technology used to protect these entities include next-generation firewalls, DNS filtering, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions.
Why is cybersecurity important?
In today’s connected world, everyone benefits from advanced cyber defense programs. At an individual level, a cybersecurity attack can result in everything from identity theft, to extortion attempts, to the loss of important data like family photos. Everyone relies on critical infrastructure like power plants, hospitals, and financial service companies. Securing these and other organizations is essential to keeping our society functioning.
Types of cybersecurity threats
Ransomware is a type of malicious software. It is designed to extort money by blocking access to files or the computer system until the ransom is paid. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that the files will be recovered or the system restored.
Malware is a type of software designed to gain unauthorized access or to cause damage to a computer.
Social engineering is a tactic that adversaries use to trick you into revealing sensitive information. They can solicit a monetary payment or gain access to your confidential data. Social engineering can be combined with any of the threats listed above to make you more likely to click on links, download malware, or trust a malicious source.
Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent emails that resemble emails from reputable sources. The aim is to steal sensitive data like credit card numbers and login information. It’s the most common type of cyberattack. You can help protect yourself through education or a technology solution that filters malicious emails.