Learn Online Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking
Computer security, cybersecurity or information technology security is the protection of computer systems and networks from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.
Cyber security refers to the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. Cyber security may also be referred to as information technology security.
IMPORTANCE OF CYBER SECURITY
Cyber security is important because government, military, corporate, financial, and medical organizations collect, process, and store unprecedented amounts of data on computers and other devices. A significant portion of that data can be sensitive information, whether that be intellectual property, financial data, personal information, or other types of data for which unauthorized access or exposure could have negative consequences. Organizations transmit sensitive data across networks and to other devices in the course of doing businesses, and cyber security describes the discipline dedicated to protecting that information and the systems used to process or store it. As the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks grow, companies and organizations, especially those that are tasked with safeguarding information relating to national security, health, or financial records, need to take steps to protect their sensitive business and personnel information. As early as March 2013, the nation’s top intelligence officials cautioned that cyber attacks and digital spying are the top threat to national security, eclipsing even terrorism.
CHALLENGES OF CYBER SECURITY
For an effective cyber security, an organization needs to coordinate its efforts throughout its entire information system. Elements of cyber encompass all of the following:
Network security:The process of protecting the network from unwanted users, attacks and intrusions.
Application security: Apps require constant updates and testing to ensure these programs are secure from attacks.
Endpoint security: Remote access is a necessary part of business, but can also be a weak point for data. Endpoint security is the process of protecting remote access to a company’s network.
Data security: Inside of networks and applications is data. Protecting company and customer information is a separate layer of security.
Identity management: Essentially, this is a process of understanding the access every individual has in an organization.
Database and infrastructure security: Everything in a network involves databases and physical equipment. Protecting these devices is equally important.
Cloud security: Many files are in digital environments or “the cloud”. Protecting data in a 100% online environment presents a large amount of challenges.
Mobile security: Cell phones and tablets involve virtually every type of security challenge in and of themselves.
Disaster recovery/business continuity planning: In the event of a breach, natural disaster or other event data must be protected and business must go on. For this, you’ll need a plan.End-user education: Users may be employees accessing the network or customers logging on to a company app. Educating good habits (password changes, 2-factor authentication, etc.) is an important part of cybersecurity.
The most difficult challenge in cyber security is the ever-evolving nature of security risks themselves. Traditionally, organizations and the government have focused most of their cyber security resources on perimeter security to protect only their most crucial system components and defend against known treats. Today, this approach is insufficient, as the threats advance and change more quickly than organizations can keep up with. As a result, advisory organizations promote more proactive and adaptive approaches to cyber security. Similarly, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued guidelines in its risk assessment framework that recommend a shift toward continuous monitoring and real-time assessments, a data-focused approach to security as opposed to the traditional perimeter-based model.
Types of cybersecurity threats
The process of keeping up with new technologies, security trends and threat intelligence is a challenging task. However, it's necessary in order to protect information and other assets from cyber threats, which take many forms. Cyber threats can include:
Malware is a form of malicious software, which any file or program can be used to harm a computer user, such as worms, computer viruses, Trojan horses and spyware.
Ransomware attacks are a type of malware that involves an attacker locking the victim's computer system files -- typically through encryption -- and demanding a payment to decrypt and unlock them.
Social engineering is an attack that relies on human interaction to trick users into breaking security procedures to gain sensitive information that is typically protected.
Phishing is a form of fraud where fraudulent emails are sent that resemble emails from reputable sources; however, the intention of these emails is to steal sensitive data, such as credit card or login information.
Adware: Advertising software which can be used to spread malware.
Botnets: Networks of malware infected computers which cybercriminals use to perform tasks online without the user’s permission.
SQL injection An SQL (structured language query) injection is a type of cyber-attack used to take control of and steal data from a database. Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in data-driven applications to insert malicious code into a databased via a malicious SQL statement. This gives them access to the sensitive information contained in the database.
Man-in-the-middle attack A man-in-the-middle attack is a type of cyber threat where a cybercriminal intercepts communication between two individuals in order to steal data. For example, on an unsecure WiFi network, an attacker could intercept data being passed from the victim’s device and the network.
A denial-of-service attack is where cybercriminals prevent a computer system from fulfilling legitimate requests by overwhelming the networks and servers with traffic. This renders the system unusable, preventing an organization from carrying out vital functions.
Dridex malware In December 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) charged the leader of an organized cyber-criminal group for their part in a global Dridex malware attack. This malicious campaign affected the public, government, infrastructure and business worldwide.
Dridex is a financial trojan with a range of capabilities. Affecting victims since 2014, it infects computers though phishing emails or existing malware. Capable of stealing passwords, banking details and personal data which can be used in fraudulent transactions, it has caused massive financial losses amounting to hundreds of millions.
In response to the Dridex attacks, the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre advises the public to “ensure devices are patched, anti-virus is turned on and up to date and files are backed up”.
In February 2020, the FBI warned U.S. citizens to be aware of confidence fraud that cybercriminals commit using dating sites, chat rooms and apps. Perpetrators take advantage of people seeking new partners, duping victims into giving away personal data.
The FBI reports that romance cyber threats affected 114 victims in New Mexico in 2019, with financial losses amounting to $1.6 million.
Emotet malware In late 2019, The Australian Cyber Security Centre warned national organizations about a widespread global cyber threat from Emotet malware.
Emotet is a sophisticated trojan that can steal data and also load other malware. Emotet thrives on unsophisticated password: a reminder of the importance of creating a secure password to guard against cyber threats.
Cyber safety tips - protect yourself against cyberattacks
How can businesses and individuals guard against cyber threats? Here are our top cyber safety tips:
1. Update your software and operating system: This means you benefit from the latest security patches.
2. Use anti-virus software: Security solutions like Kaspersky Total Security will detect and removes threats. Keep your software updated for the best level of protection.
3. Use strong passwords: Ensure your passwords are not easily guessable.
4. Do not open email attachments from unknown senders: These could be infected with malware.
5. Do not click on links in emails from unknown senders or unfamiliar websites: This is a common way that malware is spread.
6. Avoid using unsecure WiFi networks in public places: Unsecure networks leave you vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Careers in cybersecurity
As the cyber threat landscape continues to grow and emerging threats -- such as the threats on the landscape of the internet of things -- individuals are needed with the required skills and awareness in both hardware and software skills.
IT professionals and other computer specialists are needed in security jobs, such as:
Chief information security officer (CISO): This individual implements the security program across the organization and oversees the IT security department's operations.
Security engineer: This individual protects company assets from threats with a focus on quality control within the IT infrastructure.
Security architect: This individual is responsible for planning, analyzing, designing, testing, maintaining and supporting an enterprise's critical infrastructure.
Security analyst: This individual has several responsibilities that include planning security measures and controls, protecting digital files, and conducting both internal and external security audits.