The ideal cyber security definition is the protection of computer systems to prevent damage to their software, hardware, or electronic data as well as theft. It also expands into preventing the disruption of the services that they provide. This can be as a result of sabotage or malware attack. In other words, cyber security also ensures that the computer systems are protected from botnets, thereby ensuring that they are up to the task of providing the services that they are dedicated for.
The demand for firms dealing in cyber security has surged in recent times because of the spread of technology. In fact, since the advent of the new Millenium, the tech industry has grown immensely and there are quite a number of tech-companies listed in the world’s fortune 500 companies.
The invention of the smartphone which replaced the analog mobile phone devices has contributed to the need for internet security. Smartphones have Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity just like computers, but they are more vulnerable to attacks. This is why cyber security has become so vital these days. The evolution of smartphones has actually led to the development of some very spectacular phone models some of which have a high performance, that overshadows some computer models.
Nowadays, even such devices need an antivirus and extra security features some of which we shall discuss in depth.
Types of cyber security
To understand the various types of cyber security, we must first understand the forms of cyber attack that are prevalent in our society today. A cyber attack will occur for a myriad of reasons. But the most common is either to sabotage or garner information that is restricted. In the business world, having the better technological equipment, or rather, investing heavily in technology can sometimes give your business an edge over the rival groups.
In a competitive world such as the one we live in today, it is easier to stall, competitors progress by sabotaging their system. It can lead to a day’s worth of losses if not for the entire duration it will take to fix the problem.
The second most common reason for cyber attacks is to gather information, acquire sensitive details such as passwords, PINs, or even bank codes. A hacker will try to get your bank account details to commit fraud or even wipe your bank account clean leaving you with no money.
To effectively carry out such heinous acts, the perpetrator has to carry out a cyber attack, and the three probable ways to do this over the years, has been to; spread malware, Dos (Denial of Service) attacks, and Phishing. Below are the respective countermeasures which are types of cyber security put in place and have given new meaning to cyber security definition.
A malware is basically any software that is spread to damage computer systems. The first widely known of its kind was the 1999 Melissa Virus which was ideally released to cause mayhem in the IT world at the time. A virus is the most common type of malware because easily spreads and often causes a lot of damage.
Other forms of malware include worms and bots. The best way to prevent an attack is to install anti-malware software such as an antivirus on your computer. A Dos, on the other hand, is simply an attack that floods data to a server, thereby overwhelming it until it crashes. It is an effective form of sabotage, and the best way to combat this is to have enough bandwidth (extra bandwidth). You understand that a server is where an organization really conducts business from because it is the server that enables the website to run.
When you have extra bandwidth, it means that you have allocated enough space on the server, because you anticipate a Dos. If and when it happens, the extra bandwidth cushions the effect of the abrupt and sudden influx of external data. Phishing can simply be determined as a con man’s job albeit on an online platform. As a user, you are unknowingly deceived or compelled to give out sensitive details without really knowing that you are doing so. It might be a link sent to you that requires you to ‘log in’ and once you do, the perpetrator gets the login details to your online accounts.
Using your credentials, you can dupe people on your contact list to do the same. A two-factor authentication, where an access code is required to authorize a login, is one way to beat this trap. Bank websites and other secure online platforms also use captcha which verifies that you are a human and not a bot, before allowing you to access the login page. Some send confirmation codes to your email which you are required to click, after which they redirect you to a secure login page.
The role of VPN in cyber security
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to surf the internet anonymously, even bypassing security in most local networks (read the page ‘What is VPN‘ to find out more). It encrypts your data, which is a form of coding, to protect your identity and IP address. Assuming that the local network is unsafe and subjects you to the aforementioned cyber attacks such as Phishing, it is a recommended mean of boosting security for your online presence.
It is evident that as the global economy grows thanks to the input of technology, we will need cyber security firms to step up. They are constantly developing new ways of fighting cybercrime. The seem to have the full backing of everyone, including the governments because as it seems, even war has taken a turn and seems to have gone digital.
So, what is cyber security? Well with cases, nowadays, of governments pointing fingers at each other over damaging cyber attacks, it seems this is being redefined by such incidences because even the supremacy war has gone digital.
Most of all, it is important to invest in cyber security to avoid losing your valuable data on your computer. Be it old digital family photos, memos, work files, assignments, reports, and anything else that is dearly close to your and can be accessible via the internet.