Last update: 06.21.2019

Just like security is about staying safe in our world, cybersecurity is about staying safe in the computer world. There’s not much point in finding a definitive dictionary-like definition of it. Instead, we’ll aim this article at showing the types of cyber security that you should think about to cyber-avoid the cyber-dangers.

Cybersecurity is not all about the techie stuff. Even if you use next-gen hardware and software, one weak password (honestly, you’re also using it somewhere else, aren’t you?) ruins everything. Would you expect to find your house intact after a week if you wrote on your door that it’s unlocked and gave a timetable when nobody’s home? That’s why this article is not only about what you can buy and install, but first and foremost – what you can learn in order to not be the weak point in the line of software, hardware, and the internet.

Types of cybersecurity

Just like the antirabbit is the antonym of a rabbit, cybersecurity types are mostly antonyms of the corresponding cyber threats. It seems that cybersecurity experts didn’t spend much time thinking of fancy names and bailed themselves out with adding “anti-” to everything they create. But not take our word for granted – just look at these actual types of cybersecurity yourself!

Anti-malware

Anti-malware

Malware – this one has many subtypes and is probably best known since the 90s.

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Trojans
  • Bots
  • Adware
  • Spyware

Most of these can be detected using reliable and up-to-date anti-malware software. There may be times when anti-malware software is unable to detect malware, just like when you were unable to detect your now ex-wife cheating on you. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the following signs of malware:

  • A spike in your internet traffic
  • Browser’s homepage changes to something else
  • Your homepage now has strange clickable icons
  • Your anti-malware software gets disabled
  • Your friends inform you about getting spam-like messages from you

Anti-ransomware

Anti-ransomware

It’s a less common threat that doesn’t have a dedicated anti-ransomware cybersecurity solution. Nevertheless, it’s a dangerous type of malware that not coincidentally has a separate paragraph in this article.

Imagine that your computer is taken a hostage. Some of its programs or functions get blocked, and you receive a message asking to pay a hefty sum of money if you want things to be as they were. No amount of knowledge you gained from watching crime dramas with hostage situations will help your computer. But it can help you understand that paying a ransom doesn’t mean you’ll get your data back. That’s why every business should be training its employees in cybersecurity to avoid serious losses. Especially since the ransomware attack can be followed up by breaching the company’s internal servers using the stolen data.

Anti-social engineering

Anti-social engineering

Also known as “Not being gullible.” More often than not, the weakest link is not the system, but the person. Social engineering happens over the phone, straight in the office, or online when another person tries to extract information by posing as someone else. This means that one day you may get a call from a newbie intern who lost the password to the company’s CRM, get asked to hold a door to someone who forgot their ID card, or read an email from your boss stating there’s a need to change your logins.

To combat this, all employees should be aware of the most popular social engineering tactics. That way, you can recognize them and act accordingly. Unfortunately, top-level management is still not investing enough to train their employees who are the most likely to end up as the victims.

Anti-phishing

Anti-phishing

Phishing is usually a fraudulent email or another type of message that purports to be coming from a reputable source. The goal of phishing is to get sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details, or install malware on a victim’s computer. It’s crucial to learn how to recognize such attempts because ransomware attacks often start with phishing.

Imagine that you actually have the necessary pedigree to land a developer job at Google. One day, you get an email from your boss [email protected] asking every employee to change their Gmail passwords by following this link. Obediently, you click the link and change the password, and after some time notice that the email of your boss is wrong, using 1 instead of l. You start to feel that your career at Google is coming to an abrupt end.

There are four types of phishing attacks you must be aware of:

  1. Deceptive phishing – this is a type that cost you a hypothetical job in Google, as shown in the example above
  2. Spear phishing – targeting one person instead of a group to tailor the attack that looks more authentic
  3. Whaling – targeting one VIP person, such as a CEO of a company, which means it’s highly unlikely for you to experience such an attack
  4. Pharming – sending a person to a fake website by infecting their computer so that even a correctly typed web address redirects the unaware victim straight to the pharmer’s trap

Just like anti-social engineering, anti-phishing relies on education. In a business context, such training should include all employees and give a test of a possible phishing attack afterward to measure the level of the threat your company is facing. No current software or hardware can help you accurately detect all types of phishing attacks, but using anti-malware software reduces the risk posed by less genuinely crafted emails.

The role of VPNs in cybersecurity

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to surf the internet safely and anonymously. It encrypts your data to protect your identity and IP address. Assuming that the unencrypted network is unsafe and subjects you to the aforementioned cyber attacks such as phishing, it’s the recommended means of boosting your security online.

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For a more in-depth overview of the best VPNs on the market, check out our best VPNs list and pick one yourself.