Cybersecurity is the process of protecting personalised hardware and software data, which are Internet-connected systems, from cyberthreats and unauthorised information disclosure. This is mostly practised by individuals, organisations and enterprises to minimise the information theft and misdirection of services which the individual or organisation provides.
In today’s world, the issue of cybersecurity has not only become a conscious issue among Internet users, but it has also had an increased warning concerning more ransomware attacks.
Cybersecurity is divided into the following categories:
Application security: This refers to the protective measures, carried out on the application level, to prevent data, source codes and valuable app details from being stolen or hijacked, to minimise app security vulnerabilities.
Information security: This refers to the process of protecting valuable organisational information against unauthorised use.
Network security: This refers to the process of taking preventive measures, both physical and software, to protect the existing or underlying networking organisational infrastructure from unauthorised disclosure, misuse or access, to create a properly protected platform for operating system users and their programs.
Operational security: This is the process that helps in the identification of critical information, which determines the level of organisation or individual friendly actions that can be monitored by a third party and to what level the information indiscriminately hijacked can be interpreted to carry out defensive measures that will help to minimise or drastically reduce exploitation of friendly critical information.
Operational security helps to safeguard sensitive information and preserve essential secrecy.
Spread and scale of cyberthreat
A data research report by RiskBased security has revealed a horrific record of 7.9 billion exposed data breaches that occurred within the first nine months of 2019. According to the report, the figure is more than twice (112 per cent), which is the number of records exposed in the same period of 2018.
With the unhindered increase in the scale and spread of cyberthreats, even the International Data Corporation has predicted that the cost for worldwide cybersecurity solutions will reach a massive $133.7bn by 2022.
Types of cyber security threats
Denial-of-service: This is a type of cyber attack that is set to flood your computer or network with issues in such a way that it can’t respond to requests. Although a distributed denial-of-service does the same thing, this attack originates from a computer network.
Emotet: This is an advanced, modular computer malware program originally developed in the form of a banking Trojan. This attack, aimed at intercepting online access, is to access foreign devices. It is one of the most prolific malware variants to have ever existed.
Malware: This is the collective name given to a group of malicious software variants, which includes virus, ransomware and spyware, which are access codes developed by cyber attackers to cause great damage to data and systems or to gain unauthorised access to a particular network or information.
Man-in-the-middle: This is an attack that occurs when info hijackers or hackers try inserting themselves into a dual-party transaction. To achieve this, they first interrupt the traffic, after which they filter and steal the desired data. This attack mostly occurs when visitors use an unsecured or verified public wi-fi network. The attackers get themselves between the network and the visitor and then use the malware software to instal and use data maliciously.
This is a cybercrime that involves the contacting of the prospective targets or target through telephone, e-mail or even text messages by someone who will pose as a representative from a legitimate organisation or institution to lure the individuals into providing the required sensitive data that will personally identify the individual, including secret passwords to credit and bank cards.
Having seen the different categories of cybersecurity, and the spread, scale and types of cyber threats, the essence of this article is to highlight ways in which we can further advance cybersecurity awareness in our world today.
Organising employee cybersecurity awareness
Over the years, it has been discovered that employee negligence has been one of the issues responsible for the worst cyber breaches that we have in history. Ninety per cent of all reported cyber attacks are caused by verified human error.
It is, therefore, essential that necessary steps are taken to improve employee cybersecurity awareness.
Create organisational restrictions and tolerances
It is important that organisations create the necessary access restrictions on their secret organisational information. This will help to ensure limited but careful access to such documents.
Defend your information assets
Try as much as possible to protect your organisational information assets. This can be done through thorough auditing of the organisation’s information assets.
You need to find out the location of the most valuable pieces of information and who has direct access to them. Then you seek ways to upgrade the security level of the assets by focusing on possible ways through which each information asset can be potentially compromised or accessed by external bodies to minimise casualty should hijackers gain access.
Focus on high-risk groups
Ensure that constant cybersecurity training is organised for high target departments that have access to major organisational data and information.
Get policy management up to date
Try as much as possible to constantly update your management policies, as they are highly important for the establishment of boundaries and restrictions for individuals, transactions, organisational processes and relationships.
Start preparing for a data breach now
It is always important to make prior arrangements in cases of unwanted circumstances and outcomes.
It is said that billions of confidential records have been exposed and, according to IBM, the global average cost of a data breach has risen to a staggering $3.92m.
With this increasing rate of system and information hacking, it is no longer a question of if or how your operating system will be hacked, but a question of when.
So, you will need to constantly run tests on the quality of your data breach response plan, to regularly identify recurring areas of weakness and know how to improve in them.
Although we might not be able to stop or control the unauthorised hijacking of information from organisational databases by system attackers, following the aforementioned guidelines will help to minimise its effect on our organisations.
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