Cybersecurity is a security practice for protecting computers and servers, electronic systems, mobile devices, data and networks against malicious attacks. It can also be called technology security, information security or electronic information security. The term can be applied in a variety of contexts, ranging from business to mobile computing, and can be divided into the following common categories:
- Network security, which is the practice used to protect a computer network against intruders, your network is safe from any intruder, be it opportunistic malware or targeted intruders.
- Application security, your focus is on keeping software as well as devices safe from threats. A compromised application is vulnerable to providing information about the data it intends to protect.
- Information security is focused on protecting the integrity and privacy of data, contained in storage or in transit.
- Operational security is responsible for the security of processes and decisions for the treatment and protection of data files.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity are what define how an organization will respond to a Cyber Security incident or any other event that may cause loss of operations or data. Disaster recovery policies control how the organization will restore its operations and lost information, to return to the same operational capacity it had before the event. Business continuity is the practice in which the organization tries to operate without the necessary resources.
- End-user education, this category covers the most unpredictable cybersecurity factor, which is people. Since, any user can insert a virus accidentally or for lack of knowledge, even if it is in a safe system if it fails to follow all recommended security practices. Passing on some information to users, such as deleting suspicious email attachments, not connecting unidentified USB drives, and several other important lessons is essential for the security of any type of organization.
Learn about the scale of the virtual threat
The virtual threat continues to evolve worldwide, at an accelerated pace, and with a number of data breaches growing steadily each year. A report made by RiskBased Security revealed an impressive number, there are about 7.9 billion records that were exposed in some way by data breaches, this number is relative only in the first nine months of 2019. This number managed to be more than double (112%) the previous year’s record in the same period of time.
The targets most affected by this practice were medical services, public entities and retailers, and malicious criminals are responsible for most of the incidents. Some of these sectors are the ones that attract the most attention from cyber criminals, as it is possible to collect financial and medical data, but in addition to the categories mentioned, any company that uses networks is subject to attacks on its customers’ data.
In view of the fact that the scale of virtual threat is increasingly increasing, the International Data Corporation decided to make a survey, and with that it informed that, it forecasts that the worldwide expenses invested in Cybersecurity solutions will reach about 133.7 billion of dollars until the year 2022.
In the USA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has set up its own Cyber Security structure. To try to fight head on and fight the proliferation of malicious codes, in order to assist in early detection, that is, to detect malicious codes before it causes any damage.
There are 3 main types of virtual threats, and they are all combated by cybersecurity, see what they are:
- Virtual crime consists of the participation of individuals or groups that aim to invade systems seeking to obtain financial profits or even cause interruptions in the complete system or only in its security.
- Cyber attack, the best known cases are the involvement of political movements to collect information.
- Cyber terrorism, this malicious practice has as main objective to invade electronic systems in order to cause panic or fear.
Do you want to know how malicious agents manage to invade and control computer systems? There are a few ways to do this, such as SQL Injection, Phishing, Man-in-the-middle Attacks and Denial-of-service Attack, in addition to the dreaded malware that will be shown below:
Malware means malicious software. This is one of the best known virtual threats, malware is software created by a hacker or cyber criminal, with the intention of harming or damaging the computer of a common user or of companies. This threat is often passed through an unsolicited email attachment or camouflaged in legitimate-looking downloads, the malware can be used by cyber criminals to make money or in politically motivated cyber attacks. There are many different types of malware, including:
- The Virus works with an automatic replication program that “infects” a clean file and from there it begins to spread throughout the computer system, infecting the files by inserting malicious code in them.
- Trojan horses is a type of malware that always acts in disguise as legitimate software. Cybercriminals use users to transfer cloaked Trojan horses to their computers, causing damage or collecting their data.
- Spyware acts as a program with the purpose of secretly recording everything a user does, so that cyber criminals have more information about you, to make use of that information with criminal actions. Spyware can discreetly collect data and all the details of a credit card.
- Ransomware is malware that has the action of blocking a user’s files and data, thus threatening to delete them, unless a ransom is paid.
- Adware was developed as advertising software that is used in some situations to spread malware.
- Botnets are used by criminals to operate online tasks on computer networks already infected with malware without the user’s permission.
Cyber Security Tips to Keep You Safe
What can companies and individuals do to protect themselves from the feared cyber threats? Check out the main cybersecurity tips below:
- Keep your software and operating system up to date. With this you will always have security patches updated and improved.
- If not, start using antivirus software. These types of programs offer security solutions, with their function of detecting and removing threats. Try to keep your software up to date, so that you have the best level of protection.
- Make use of strong passwords, trying to ensure that your passwords are not very easy to discover.
- Do not open email attachments that are from unknown senders as they may be infected with one of the malware listed above.
- Make sure not to click on links sent by e-mails sent by strangers or on sites considered unknown, especially if you are offering very low value offers. Because through links it is a very common way of spreading malware.
- Avoid using local public Wi-Fi networks that you don’t know are secure, because unsecured networks leave you and your data vulnerable to “man-in-the-middle” attacks.