An Introduction to Cybersecurity
Updated: Mar 8
A cybersecurity threat is a malicious act that seeks to steal data and disrupt digital life.
A significant portion of government, military, financial and medical organisations collect and store endless amounts of data on computers and devices. A large part of this is sensitive and personal information that should not be easily accessible - imagine what might happen if your bank details or medical history fell into the hands your worse enemy!
Cybersecurity is designed to protect networks and devices from attack and damage. As cyber-attacks grow, companies and organisations use cybersecurity in order to keep their personal information stored securely. Cyber security should be used by both small and large organisations for a safe online platform; although only large, important security breaches in large companies get publicised in the news, small organisations still have concerns with their security as they are often the target of viruses and hacking.
There are many different types of cyber security, some of these include:
Network security, one of the types of cybersecurity, aiming to protect any data that is being sent through devices to ensure that any information is not intercepted.
And information security, which ensures that both physical and digital data is protected from unauthorised access or modification.
Some common types of cyber threats are:
Software such as viruses and spyware.
A type of malware that encrypts data until a sum of money is paid to the hacker.
These include obtaining information such as passwords and credit card details through a disguised email or phone call.
Although we may be aware of these issues, many of us are unaware of how to safely deal with these attacks.
It is also essential that individuals stay cyber secure and there are multiple ways by which they can implement this. For example, people must:
Try to keep personal and private information to a minimum - if someone doesn't need to know your details, don't tell them!
Make sure all internet connections are secure
Choose strong passwords - these should be minimum 8 characters long, with a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters like * and !
Be aware of what you download
Only make purchases from secure websites - look for https in the domain name!
Keep all antivirus programmes up to date.
The most difficult challenge in cybersecurity is how security risks evolve very quickly. Threats are advancing and are changing quicker than organisations can keep up with. As a result of this, companies are having to be more proactive with their approach to cyber security. Therefore, it is important that companies are aware of how to adapt to these sudden changes and educating organisations on how to do this is the next step forward.
It has been made aware that cyber-attacks and digital spying are one of the top threats to national security. As individuals and as organisations, it is vital that we are aware of how to combat these issues.