Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks. Cybersecurity measures are designed to combat threats against networked systems and applications, whether those threats originate from inside or outside an organization.
Why is cybersecurity needed?
Cybersecurity is important because it encompasses everything that relates to protecting our data from cyberattackers who want to steal this information and use it to cause harm. This can be sensitive data, governmental and industry information, personal information, personally identifiable information, intellectual property, and protected health information.
Having advanced cyber defense programs and mechanisms in place to protect this data is crucial and in everyone’s interest. Everyone in society relies on critical infrastructure such as hospitals and other healthcare institutions, financial service programs and power plants. We require these to keep our society running.
At an individual level, cybersecurity attacks can lead to identity theft and extortion attempts, which can do serious damage to that individual’s life.
We all rely on the safety of our data and personal information. For example, when logging into an application or when filling in more sensitive data in digital healthcare systems. If these systems, networks, and infrastructures don’t have the right protection in place, our data might fall into the wrong hands. In this sense, we’re talking about protection in the form of technology and policies.
Let’s talk about cyber threats which can be faced by the society.
Such as ransomware, botnet software, Rats (remote access Trojans), rootkits and boot kits, spyware, Trojans, viruses and worms.
Backdoors allow remote access.
Form jacking inserts malicious code into online forms.
Crypto jacking installs malicious code into online forms.
DDoS is a type of attack which can flood servers, systems and networks with traffic to knock them offline.
DNS is a poisonous attack which can compromise the DNS to redirect traffic to malicious sites.
Now, let’s have a glance at types of cybersecurity in competence to cyber threats.
Critical infrastructure cybersecurity.
Critical infrastructure organizations are often more vulnerable to attack than others because SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems often rely on older software.
Network security involves addressing vulnerabilities affecting your operating systems and network architecture, including servers and hosts, firewalls and wireless access points, and network protocols.
Cloud security is concerned with securing data, applications and infrastructure in the Cloud.
IoT (Internet of Things) security.
IoT security involves securing smart devices and networks that are connected to the IoT. IoT devices include things that connect to the Internet without human intervention, such as smart fire alarms, lights, thermostats and other appliances.
Application security involves addressing vulnerabilities resulting from insecure development processes in the design, coding and publishing of software or a website.
The growth in the number of computer systems and the increasing reliance upon them by individuals, businesses, industries, and governments means that there is an increasing number of systems at risk. Let’s have a look at systems at risk.
The computer systems of financial regulators and financial institutions like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SWIFT, investment banks, and commercial banks are prominent hacking targets for cybercriminals interested in manipulating markets and making illicit gains. Websites and apps that accept or store credit card numbers, brokerage account and bank account information are also prominent hacking targets because of the potential for immediate financial gain from transferring money, making purchases, or selling the information on the black market.
Utilities and industrial equipment.
Computers control functions at many utilities, including coordination of telecommunications, the power grid, nuclear power plants and valve opening and closing in water and gas networks. The Internet is a potential attack vector for such machines if connected but the Stuxnet worm demonstrated that even equipment controlled by computers not connected to the Internet can be vulnerable. In 2014, the Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, investigated 79 hacking incidents at energy companies.
Desktop computers and laptops are commonly targeted to gather passwords or financial account information, or to construct a botnet to attack another target. Smartphones, tablet computers, smartwatches, and other mobile devices such as quantified self-devices like activity trackers have sensors such as cameras, microphones, GPS receivers, compasses, and accelerometers which could be exploited, and may collect personal information, including sensitive health information. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell phone networks on any of these devices could be used as attack vectors, and sensors might be remotely activated after a successful breach.
The aviation industry is very reliant on a series of complex systems which could be attacked. A simple power outage at one airport can cause repercussions worldwide, much of the system relies on radio transmissions which could be disrupted and controlling aircraft over oceans is especially dangerous because radar surveillance only extends 175 to 225 miles offshore. There is also a potential for attack from within an aircraft.