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What is Cybersecurity? A Comprehensive Overview

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Ottun Odunayo

June 22, 2023

Cyber Security is the application of processes, methods, and technologies needed to protect electronic devices and data from cyber-attacks, which are a major threat becoming more rampant and increasingly causing harm in the digital world. We can interpret it as bullying in the physical world, where what you own is taken away by force or by stealing.

As we progress, we'll learn about the importance and categories of Cyber Security, types of cybersecurity attacks, challenges faced, and how to overcome them. This article would help you learn how to prevent any attack that might be launched by cybercriminals.


OVERVIEW

  • What is Cyber Security
  • Importance of Cyber Security 
  • Categories of Cyber Security
  • Types of Cyber Security Attacks
  • Cyber Security Challenges
  • How to overcome these challenges


What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security (also known as Information Technology Security) is the process by which electronic systems and data are protected from threats by cybercriminals. 

It is an intentional effort by individuals and organizations to combat known or unknown threats from inside or outside the organization. 

The prevalence of Cyber threats has continued to rise, and more security measures are being carried out against these attacks. It has been found that nearly 53.53 million US citizens were affected by cybercrime and had their accounts breached. 


Importance of Cyber Security

We are in a digital age; thus, most people rely on the Internet to do work. As a result, there is a need to protect data and reduce breaches. Cyber Security is needed to ensure the detection of attacks and quickly respond to them for business continuity. 


Categories of Cyber Security

Cyber Security can be categorized into the following

  1. Information Security: It helps protect data confidentiality by preventing unauthorized access.
  2. Network Security: It involves protecting a computer network from attacks by intruders. 
  3. Application Security: It protects software and its applications from threats. It is important to prevent these attacks by establishing good security at the initial design stage.
  4. Cloud Security: This involves protecting systems and their data stored in the cloud. There are different cloud platforms which include Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Read more on the common types of Cyber Security. 


Types of Cyber Security Attacks

A cyber attack is an action performed by threat actors to gain access to a computer system and its information with the sole aim of causing damage. These attacks launched can bring about damage and cause a huge loss to the business. 

Cyber attacks can come in the form of scams, malware attacks, and theft of passwords. These attackers target the data of customers and businesses, login credentials, and other personal data to extort money or disrupt the information system of a business. 

Common attacks include


  • Malware

Malware is a malicious software used by cybercriminals to cause damage to a computer. Malware is commonly used by these criminals to make money. There are various types of malware which include; trojan, virus, adware, spyware, and ransomware.


  • Phishing

Phishing is a form of social engineering. In phishing, cybercriminals send text messages or emails that resemble one from a reliable source. Users are tricked into giving personal information about themselves, and very sensitive information( for example, credit card details) are gotten. 


  • Inside threats

Inside threats are caused by humans, anyone who has, at a time, had access to these networks and systems. They are often negligible and, as a result, can be hard to detect by security solution systems. 


  • Man-in-the-middle attack

This is an attack in which an attacker eavesdrops and interrupts communication between two targets. The attackers, being in the middle of the two targets, pretend to be a legitimate party and steals data.


  • Denial of Service(DOS) attack

Here, cybercriminals overflood the server and network with traffic leading to slowing down and crashing of the system. This thus renders the system unusable and prevents the organization from completing its assignments. 


  • Advanced Persistence Threats

In advanced persistent threats, an attacker infiltrates the system and stays undetected for long periods. They do this to get enough information about the organisation and steal relevant data. 


Cyber Security Challenges 

There are many challenges related to cybersecurity. As a result, security is needed to ensure that systems and data are preserved. The challenges faced by businesses and end users include


  • Ransomware Evolution

Ransomware is a form of malware and has become a common way cyber attackers extort money from their victims. A business's data is accessed and locked, and money is demanded before access is returned to its victims. Some ransomware groups also deploy Denial of Service(DOS) attacks to propel their victims to meet their demands. Due to the drastic increase in ransomware evolution, there is a need for tight security.


  • IoT Threats

IoT( Internet of Things) is a network of objects. IoT links devices together and has a unique ID that allows data transmission without human and computer interactions. IoT devices are vulnerable to denial of service attacks, phishing attacks, and data pilferage. IoT threats can lead to ransomware attacks, thus causing large amounts to be extorted from their victims. One of the most remarkable risks to the security of IoT is that default passwords are known, thus making it simple for cyber criminals to compromise these systems. 


  • Serverless Apps Vulnerability

Attackers gain access to data on serverless apps through vulnerabilities such as leaked credentials and information from insiders. Serverless apps do nothing to keep these criminals from gaining access to data. 

Serverless apps are cloud computing systems in which there is no need for infrastructure management. As a result, businesses focus more on their purpose than administrative tasks.


  • Attacks on Businesses

Cyber threats are problems that are becoming rapid on a global scale. With an increase in the information and data age, there are likely more attacks as attackers devise new ways and plan to carry out these threats.


How to overcome these challenges

  1. Make use of very strong passwords and always safeguard your passwords.
  2. Increase your security safety measures. Security analysts should devise various measures to ensure that the information and data of a business are kept safe.
  3. Regular training of employees so that they do not fall victim to the threats used by these bullies and have enough information about the potential problems they can cause.
  4. Always back up your data. This is very important to restore data that has been taken away from you. It is the best defense against malware and thus helps to prevent cyberbullies from taking money from you since you already have a copy of the data.
  5. Always keep your software updated. Cyber attackers take advantage of software that are not updated and use this to gain access to networks.
  6. Use a multi-factor authenticator. It is more like a two-factor verification that a phone uses to prevent access to a device. A multi-factor authenticator requires two or more factors to access a user identity before access is granted. It is even more reliable than a password. 


Conclusion

Cyber Security has become necessary for users and businesses to help safeguard and keep businesses from running out due to threats and demands from cyber bullies. Hence, adequate measures should be set in place from the planning stage up to the development stage. All efforts should also be made to ensure that these threats are eliminated as soon as possible. 

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