These days both small and big companies are susceptible to attacks. Their information system and data is at risk all the time. Therefore, to stay protected from these threats one needs to understand the basic steps involved in cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is essential for risk assessment, it helps organizations to know what steps should be involved to deal with threats and other malicious attacks.
What is Cybersecurity?
It is the technique of guaranteeing integrity, privacy and accessibility of information. Cyber security protects computers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized access, threats and helps to recover from unforeseen accidents like hard drive failures, power outages, and other advanced persistent threats (APTs).
Security should be of utmost importance for enterprises, and for senior management it should be mandate. We all know the world we live in today, is fragile in terms of information security thus making cyber security a must, need of the hour.
Senior management needs to take the burden of security on their shoulders, they need to ensure that all systems have built in security and certain set standards are followed. Apart from this, proper training should be given to the employees to cut down the chances of human errors. Nothing is foolproof , therefore we need to be careful. App developers should especially be extra cautious as they are humans and can make errors. One mistake and all our data can be at risk.
Need of Security Training
Humans are no God they tend to make errors, and are therefore the weakest link in any security program. Therefore, to make cybersecurity strong, employees, developers and senior management should be made aware it and its importance.
All companies sooner or later will fall prey to a cyber-attack, due to zero-day exploits. Even if they have the strongest security system there are chances that a flaw will allow attackers to take advantage of it for their own benefit.
By performing basic tasks like washing hands before eating food we attain “personal hyenine” similarly by performing basic cybersecurity task “cyber hygiene” can be attained. Enterprises should maintain strong certification, and should avoid storing sensitive data on public servers or where they can be accessible easily by all.
Strategy for Good Cybersecurity
A basic security system can only protect from entry level threats, whereas a good cybersecurity strategy will help go beyond basics. Sophisticated and advanced hackers can easily bypass basic defense system in different ways – by exploiting connected devices (cars, power plants, medical devices). Also with new systems like IoT devices, cloud service, the risk has increased. Therefore, we need to take cybersecurity seriously.
Recently, European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has strengthened rules to safeguard individual’s privacy because of which, demand for cybersecurity has grown. Organizations are hiring security professionals to handle cybersecurity as the risk of attack is increasing.
Areas Where Cyber Security is a Must
The scope of cyber security is vast but there are certain areas that need to be secured as without them working properly we can’t perform any task.
Essential infrastructure includes systems like electricity, water, traffic lights and hospitals. If anything happens to these systems our lives become unmanaged. Nowadays, as everything is online, these systems too are getting connected and thus becoming vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Therefore, we need to look for a solution and the way they can be secured is by executing due diligence because it will help the companies to understand the vulnerabilities and how to deal with them. It’s not that only companies need to work, others too need to help them by assessing and understanding how an attack on critical infrastructure might affect them and how much of a help a contingency plan will be. Therefore, organizations to be helped to develop it.
Network security is indispensable as it stands between your data and unauthorized access. It protects your important data from getting affected by malicious code. But many a times to secure it different tools are used that generate huge data due to which real threats are ignored. Therefore, to manage network security and to keep a check on it, security teams should start using machine learning as it helps to fill the gap that exists. Many companies have already started to use this technique to ensure that a stronger cybersecurity is executed.
With enterprises moving their data onto cloud, new security challenges are faced by them. 2017 was not a great year in terms of security of the data stored on cloud. Weekly data breaches were faced by companies due to poorly configured cloud security. That is the reason why cloud providers need to create security tools and help enterprise users secure their data, but the bottom line is: Moving data is not a solution when it comes to data security. If we perform due diligence and build right strategies cybersecurity can be attained.
Apart from human’s, applications especially web applications are weakest technical point of attack. But fewer organizations realize this fact therefore, they need to start paying attention to app security and should keep coding errors at par for this they can use penetration testing.
Internet of things (IoT) Security
IoT refers to interconnected systems, as we see a rise in the usage of IoT devices the risk of attacks is increased. IoT developers did not foresee how their devices could be compromised and they shipped the devices with little or no security thus posing threat not only to the users, but also to others on the Internet. These devices are often used as a botnet. They are a security challenge for both home users and society.
Types of Cyber Threats
Cyber threats most commonly fall under three general categories, that are explained below:
Attacks on Privacy
Cyber criminals steal, or copy victim’s personal information to perform various cyber-attacks like credit card fraud, identity theft, or stealing bitcoin wallets.
Attacks on Integrity:
Commonly known as sabotage, integrity attacks are designed to damage, or destroy data or systems. Integrity attacks are of various types they can target a small organization or a complete nation.
Attacks on Accessibility :
These days data ransomware is a very common threat. It prevents victim from accessing data and in addition to this DDOS attacks are also rising. A denial-of-service attack, overloads the network resource with requests, making it unavailable.
But how are these attacks carried out this is the question. To understand it let us read further.
These days social engineering is used to design ransomware attacks, the reason? Easy availability of personal information! When cyber criminals can hack a human why would they spend time in hacking a system. Social engineering is the no.1 method used to trick users into running a Trojan horse program. The best way to stay secure from these attacks is to be cautious and have knowledge about them.
It is the best way to steal someone’s password. Cyber criminals design mails in such a manner that a user reveals password of their financial and other accounts. The best defense is two-factor authentication (2FA)
You cannot blame a company if an attacker installs a zero-day exploit against you as this has happened due to the failure to perform due diligence. If an organization doesn’t apply a patch even after disclosure of a vulnerability, then it is your duty to ask for it and get it implemented.
Social Media Threats
Crafting an attack to target a special sect of individuals is no more difficult. Attackers use social networking sites be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any popular site to strike up a conversation and then making them a target based on their profile.
Advanced Persistent Threats
Speaking of which it is a network attack in which an unauthorized person gains access to the network and stays hidden for a long duration. The purpose of such attacks is to steal your data and cause damage to the network or organization while playing hide and seek.
Careers in cybersecurity
As organizations have started to notice the importance of cybersecurity, avenues are getting opened in terms of career. With the implementation of GDPR in European countries, search for professionals in this field have increased. As they help in building a strong cyber security strategy.
Never before has the demand of cybersecurity professionals been this high. But as companies are starting to understand its importance they are looking for cybersecurity experts rather than security analyst. A penetration tester has become a must to enforce more strictness and strong security.
Chief information security officer (CISO) is senior level executive within an organization. He is responsible for establishing and maintaining the strategy to ensure information assets and technologies are protected.
A person who detects and prevents cyber threats to infiltrate organization’s network. He/she is responsible to identify and correct flaws in the company’s security system. Typically, the following responsibilities are to be taken care by a security analyst:
- Plan, implement and upgrade security measures
- Protect digital files and information systems from unauthorized access, modification or destruction
- Maintain data and monitor security access
- Conduct internal and external security audits
- Manage network, interruption detection and prevention systems
- Analyze security breaches to determine their root cause
- Define, implement and maintain corporate security policies
- Coordinate security plans with outside vendors
This person is responsible for maintaining company’s security. They think like a hacker to anticipate the moves and plan strategy to secure computer system from getting hacked.
It is the front line of defense. A person with strong technical, organizational and communication skills is also preferred for this job.
All this clearly states how important cybersecurity is, in today’s interconnected world. If one fails to have a good cybersecurity system in place it is susceptible of being attacked. It doesn’t matter whether an organization is small or big what matters is that attackers want to get data. We all know no system is 100% full proof, secure but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to protect our data. All what is explained above will help you understand the importance of cyber security and areas it should be implemented.