Lack of cybersecurity is a major risk to businesses today. We read all the time about companies that have been attacked, with a great cost to both the business and the customers. Cybersecurity really is a buzzword in this digital world. But what is the definition of this word? And why do I need to bother about cybersecurity and cyber-attacks?
The definition of cybersecurity
There are several definitions of the word cybersecurity but they all have in common that cybersecurity is comprised of an evolving set of tools, risk management approaches, technologies, training, and best practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attacks or unauthorized access.
“Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks”
Why is cybersecurity important?
The world relies on technology more than ever before. Businesses and governments store a great deal of data on computers and transmit it across networks to other computers. More and more systems are connected, and as the digitalisation continues this will certainly continue as well.
The digitalisation is not only positive, it also means that we get more vulnerable. Devices and their underlying systems have vulnerabilities that, when exploited, undermine the health and objectives of an organization. And the problem is that the vulnerabilities are being used for cyber-attacks.
Cybersecurity can be used to counteract three types of threats: cybercrime, where single people or groups attack systems for financial gain, cyber warfare, often related to information gathering and politically motivated, and cyber-terrorism, which is intended to undermine electronic systems and cause panic or fear.
Cyber-attacks are constantly increasing
Today cyber-attacks continue to evolve at a rapid pace despite record levels of security spending.
One example of a big spender is the US government that spends $ 13 billion a year on cyber security. Despite that, the city of Baltimore, USA, was hit by a ransomware earlier this spring. No files could be opened unless a huge ransom was paid.
To fight against the spread of malware and facilitate early detection, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommends continuous real-time monitoring of all electronic resources.
There are several different types of possible cyber-attacks:
- Malware – Malicious software such as computer viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, and keyloggers.
- Ransomware – Malware that locks or encrypts data until a ransom is paid.
- Phishing Attacks – The practice of obtaining sensitive information (e.g., passwords, credit card information) through a disguised email, phone call, or text message.
- Social engineering – The psychological manipulation of individuals to obtain confidential information; often overlaps with phishing.
How to work with cybersecurity?
To start with every business or organisation must identify which information that is most critical and thus worth protecting. As most systems today are interconnected it is difficult to have an overview of how many paths that lead to the most valuable information. By using a risk and security assessment, all loopholes can be detected.
However, it is neither practical nor economically justifiable to protect all information in the same way. To secure the most valuable information, strict network segmentation is the best solution to use. This means you create zones with different security levels.
When you have created you zones you should choose security solutions for operation, accessibility and adaptability based on the attacker’s perspective and the worst-case scenario. To be able to protect you most critical information, make sure to use professional high assurance solutions that are future-proof.
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