The Shield Against Virtual Threats | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


Cybersecurity is a technology built to protect networks, servers, computers or other devices from the potential risk of being vulnerable to unknown sources or links which could harm your personal data and information. It is also popularly referred to as Information Technology or IT Security. The only difference between the two is that Cybersecurity protects against unauthorized access to the computer, wherein the latter focuses on guarding all types of information, whether digital or a hardcopy version. Born in the early 1970s, cybersecurity was introduced by Bob Thomas, while working on a research project ARPANET (The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).

CREEPER – The computer program created by Bob Thomas.

Although having been introduced at a rather early stage of the technology sphere, cybersecurity has come into play quite recently. Hackers around the world tend to crack into even the toughest of security systems. Thus, the increasing threat to sensitive data makes cybersecurity all the more in demand. Job openings for the same have increased exponentially making the above-mentioned need quite obvious. The various job roles are:

  • Ethical Hacker 
  • Malware Analyst
  • Security Engineer 
  • Chief Security Officer

It holds a versatile job responsibility, given that every industry requires a safety net from falling prey to all the hazardous computer bugs. Cybersecurity is also one of the few careers which is indeed indestructible because technologies are growing almost every day and with those, comes the danger of losing important digital material to the hands of a malicious hacker or malware. The government, military, finances, medical industries, etc. and the common man, all need the assurance that their highly sensitive data is protected thus making cybersecurity one of the few professions spread over the entire world as an in demand occupation.

Benefits

As stated by SearchSecurity :

  • Business protection against cyberattacks and data breaches.
  • Protection for data and networks.
  • Prevention of unauthorized user access.
  • Improved recovery time after a breach.
  • Protection for end users and endpoint devices.
  • Regulatory compliance.
  • Business continuity.
  • Improved confidence in the company’s reputation and trust for developers, partners, customers, stakeholders and employees.

Loopholes

Listed by Xinyicyber :

  • Firewalls can be difficult to configure correctly.
  • Incorrectly configured firewalls may block users from performing certain actions on the Internet, until the firewall configured correctly.
  • Makes the system slower than before.
  • Need to keep updating the new software in order to keep security up to date.
  • Could be costly for average user.
SOURCE: openaccessgovernment.org

The challenging steps

The advancements in technology seem to be never-ending. The pace is exceedingly rapid, bringing in many new complications with it. Also, the fact that cyber attacks go hand in hand with these advancements has made it all the more difficult to secure any confidential piece of information in a foolproof manner. Experts don’t see any fall in the number of attacks in the near future. Hence the data, if leaked, could cost heavy losses not only financially but could result in a damaged reputation as well.

It is very tough to keep up with the latest security systems and continuously update the previous confuguration, especially for small businesses (as they lack man force and resources) making them an easier target. There is always a newer version of the software available which also demands a newer model of cybersecurity and failing to do the same invites many threats into the system.

Organisations usually tend to collect various data sets from their users which increases the vulnerability of losing them to the wrong hands. This information is stored in the cloud backup which, if not guarded properly, can be breached.

Moreover, an employee might unknowingly bring malware into their own devices. A routine security training would help make them aware and attentive towards any cyber threat. Nonetheless, the problems still may arise due to a lack of qualified and experienced candidates in the profession.

Cyberattack v/s Security breach

Both these terms might trick anyone into thinking they’re the same, except that they aren’t. A cyberattack is an intentional attempt to stealthily get into a network and exploit any confidential information found. Security breach, on the contrary, is the successful theft of data and granting unauthorized access to the system. Hackers are always on the go for multiple cyber attacks hoping that one of them might turn into a security breach. So, a full cycle of a calculated cyberattacks could also be called a security breach.

This falls into the category of Business Continuity and Incidence Response (BC-IR), which is a useful tactic used to combat a security attack. Business Continuity helps organisations resume the functioning of their site while getting struck with a threat, whereas, Incidence response deals with the malware and recovery of the system.

Safety measures

According to Synopsys, there are a few major methods to prevent a breach:

  1. BC-IR plan
  2. Backup data
  3. Use encryption
  4. Secure password
  5. Risk assessments
  6. Software patch updates
  7. Periodic security reviews
  8. Principle of least privilege
  9. Vulnerability management
  10. Cyber security training and awareness
  11. Strong input validation and secure coding
  12. Design software and networks with security in mind

Importance of automation

The role of Artificial Intelligence is quite prominent when it comes to protecting a network from malicious attacks. There are broadly three main categories to do so:

  1. Human augmentation – automatic security alarming to alert the system.
  2. Threat response – quickly builds a wall to protect
  3. Threat detection – recognizes a potential virus

Where does India stand on cyber security?

According to a recent study in 2020, the UN has ranked India no. 10 on the Global cybersecurity index, leaving behind China! First on the list remains the USA followed by the UK and Saudi Arabia. To add to this milestone, India comes fourth in the Asian Pacific region.

Our nation has surely made some digital advancements by leaps and bounds over the past few years. India is now known to be an emerging IT country. The focus on improving and restricting the security walls is impreritive more so during the pandemic due to increased online and virtual activity.

India would soon be laying out its new cyber strategies, says the National Cyber Security coordinator Lt. Gen Rajesh Pant. The new agenda focuses on making holistic cyberspace advancements that is going to result in a safer environment for all. To ensure a trustworthy cyber hub, the government has taken major steps to reduce cybercrime and to promote its Digital India initiative.

The most awaited policy of 2021

Closing the cyber circuit

You’ve by now understood the impact of a well-built cybersecurity system. From the governance of businesses to the military, it is a vital component in every organisation. As a commoner, follow these simple instructions for a safer experience:

  1. Read all the specifications of a newly installed service on your devices and withdraw from allowing any unauthorized source or spam to enter the system.
  2. Make sure to keep all your passcodes strong and different from one another (try using a unique combination everytime).
  3. Your software and firewalls should always be up to date to prevent any malfunctioning.
  4. Keep a regular track of your bank statements and other transactions. Also, do not share the OTPs or pins anywhere unnecessarily.
  5. Never open or respond to suspicious messages or emails (they may carry a virus).
  6. Create a backup for all your data and don’t use public or any unknown wifi/internet connection (or even a charger for that matter). Ever!

Remember the above-mentioned hand tips and you’re good to go! Keep surfing (safely).

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