What comes to your mind of when you hear the word “cyber security”?
It might sound way too technical to understand for a layman but no, it is not. Cyber security is an easy topic to understand. In its early days, it was simply called Information Security, and all that was required by an organization to protect their data was a strong firewall and antivirus program/software. But if you look at the trend in the IT industry, everything from computers to digital data have evolved, and the attackers have prepped up for hijacking the digital data with cunning methods.
Cyber security issues have become a constant source of worry for businesses. Recent research trends show a drastic upsurge in data breaches from commonly used IoT devices like laptops, mobiles, tablets, etc. Several other types of research show that many businesses still have unprotected data and are practicing poor cyber security methodologies that have become obsolete, making them vulnerable to data breaches.
You must be thinking about what actually is cyber security? Let’s take a closer at it, step by step:
Cyber security definition
Cyber security is the process of securing digital data, computer systems, networks and servers from manipulation of any sort: be it through an external source or internal. We all know what kind of data we want to protect: contact information, login credentials, debit and credit card numbers, bank account credentials, medical records, and other personal information.
The value of personal data holds in very dear to our hearts. We agreeably submit our data to businesses when we go for job opportunities. So businesses know it and hackers WANT to it. Unfortunately, as technology is progressing, the hackers are also getting smarter.
Why is cyber security important all of a sudden?
Cyber security was something for the IT professionals to worry about in the earlier days and this was not a very long time ago. Many organizations had defined it to be the responsibility of their IT department solely. Many of us thought in the start that is only about the right firewalls, encryption tools, and antivirus programs, but cyber security is much more than that.
We believe that you’re aware of the importance of cyber security, it is something which will make you pay if left ignored. You must be aware of the data breaches incidents that took place in the cyber history (unless you are hibernating…. Just kidding). It has affected almost every sector and business size. Many newspapers have a dedicated section for IT in which they publish about cybercrimes and other IT related news, but some of the data breaches attacks were so huge, that they were featured on the first page.
Cyber Security Data Breaches
Let’s look at a few data breach incidents:
- 3 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked in 2016, this is one of the greatest data breaches in the history.
- 412 million user accounts were hacked from Friendfinders’s sites in the year 2017.
- Equifax breach that took place in 2017, had affected more than 147.9 million consumers.
- Over 982 million email addresses were leaked by Verifications.io in one of the biggest email database breaches in the cyber security history in 2019.
- In 2019, the credentials of over 145 million Flipboard users were breached.
6 Cyber Security Terms Everyone Should Be Aware Of
We are briefly jotting down the 6 basic terms in cyber security which you might have word very often. There’s so much more to know, but we can only cover a few for you:
1. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPN basically hides the user’s identity by masking the IP address. It hides the location and encrypts the traffic.
Malware is a broader term used for all types of malicious software. It is used to breach private data by infiltrating the systems and networks.
3. Data Breach
We are talking about data breaches from the very start of the article. In a data breach, private and sensitive information is accessed by an unauthorized source.
A defense technique with the primary function of restricting malware. They can be hardware or software-based. It has a set of prescribed security rules according to which the traffic is filtered.
A form of malware that holds your data hostage, which means that you cannot access your own data that too on your own system. It basically encrypts the data and then demands a ransom to decrypt it.
When attackers are up to a cyber-attack, they look for the vulnerabilities in your system. Hackers take full advantage of the weaknesses, SQL injections, weak passwords, etc.
How to stay protected?
After knowing the importance of cyber security, you must be thinking about the countermeasures to protect your data. Here are some suggestions:
1. Stay current on the latest threats and trends
You cannot expect your IT team to look for every cyber security solution. Majority cyber-attacks are triggered by human error. People neglect basic advices and fall prey to these attacks. Staying up-to-date on the latest cyber security trends and threats will help you prevent potential damage.
2. Cyber security insurance
The cyber security insurance is much more than protecting yourself against financial risk. If your business is affected by a data breach, there are so many other things apart from data recovery for which you may need experts only your insurer could provide.
3. Antivirus is no god
Antivirus software installation is the basic step towards security but it’s not the only requirement. Different tools and resources are required apart from antivirus to ensure system security.
4. The flow of data matters
A breach can be caused by a hacker or an employee, but the breach caused by an employee is as dangerous as the beach caused by a hacker. Therefore, it is necessary to keep an eye on the data flow in your company. Who is authorized for what kind of data? Where is the data stored? All these questions must not be neglected.
5. Backup and recovery
If your company’s data backup and recovery system is strong, then you need not worry about ransomware who hits every company in every 40 seconds. You can recover your data in fewer efforts and you don’t have to pay any ransom for the data breach.
If you’re thinking about becoming a pro in cyber security, then you can look for cyber security certifications like CompTIA Security +, CCNA, CISSP, etc. These certifications will help you learn a lot, also, they will help you climb the career ladder effectively.