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The Importance of Cybersecurity

May 6, 2021 No Comments

Featured article by Aqib Ijaz, Independent Technology Author

lady2 300x200 The Importance of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity protects networks, data, applications, and the users behind those systems. Hackers try to infiltrate these systems to gain access to sensitive code and data.

Organizations must protect their data and code by putting the right cybersecurity measures in place. This prevents hackers from being able to access your applications and systems and stealing information that should remain confidential.

This post covers more about the importance of cybersecurity and why elements such as application security should be considered in today’s world for better protection.

Why Cybersecurity Is So Important

With the world becoming more reliant on digital devices, it becomes increasingly more important for companies to provide security to infrastructures that contain critical and sensitive information.

Most industries now use devices and networks to operate on a daily basis and to do so, they’re connected through the internet. While this is a superb way of doing business and keeping records organized, it also leaves companies more prone to cyber-attacks.

If hackers get a hold of sensitive information, they can use it for extortion, vandalism, or use it for social/political reasons. Companies around the world have reported data breaches thousands of times, which amounts to costs that run into the millions.

What Sectors Can Cyber Attacks Impact?

Finance

Financial establishments are a major target for hackers due to how they can gain access to credit cards and bank information to use it for their financial gain.

Digital Communication

Communication through texts, messaging apps, emails, and phone calls can provide hackers with a way to access your information and use it without your consent.

Transport

Many transportation systems nowadays include technology, such as smart road infrastructure, that can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Furthermore, cars that are connected to a network and traffic control systems can also be open to cyber threats.

Government Institutions

Government establishments are a big target for hackers as they try to gain access to information on private residents or confidential data.

Educational Establishments

Educational institutions that hold information on staff and students, as well as data gathered from research, are often under attack from cybercriminals as they can gain sensitive information and use it for their own benefit.

Healthcare

The healthcare sector is vulnerable to cyber attacks due to how they hold sensitive information about the health records of individuals.

Websites that receive heavy traffic are especially prone to coming under cyber-attacks and it’s important to ensure you’ve got security measures in place to prevent hackers from gaining your data and code.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

The sectors mentioned above are some of the most common areas that come under attack from cybercriminals. Here are some of the main ways they can attack and have a negative impact on companies.

Phishing

This involves cyber attackers sending emails or texts to people pretending to be from a legitimate organization. They then gain the trust of the recipient and be given information that allows them access to sensitive information.

Phishing can be used by cybercriminals to gain access to an entire system with which they can steal data and information.

Advanced Persistent Threats

Advanced persistent threats (APT) involve cybercriminals setting up their own campaigns to carry out cyberattacks over a long period. These attacks are specifically targeted against a certain organization. This can lead to data, funds, and sensitive information being stolen over time.

Malware Attacks

Cybercriminals use malware to attack desktops as they send harmful viruses which can damage systems. This can cause organizations to lose important information and data.

Ransomware is a form of malware that forces data to be encrypted and users can only gain access back to the data by giving the ransom. If organizations don’t have backups or plans for recovery, malware and ransomware can cause permanent damage.

Zero-Day Exploits 

This involves cybercriminals finding a security vulnerability and exploiting it within a desktop system. This can be a detrimental cyberattack as criminals are hacking vulnerabilities that companies don’t know about yet.

As a result, hackers could gain access to your system and cause major issues by stealing or using your sensitive data.

The Building Blocks of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is incredibly important for organizations as it protects their data and any other confidential information that they don’t want to get out. There are three building blocks to cybersecurity that include the following:

Confidentiality

This makes sure that only the people who absolutely need to see sensitive information and data are permitted to have access. By blocking access to everyone else, you can minimize the risk of cyberattacks.

Integrity

Integrity to your systems and data ensures that modifications that are accidental or purposeful can always be reverted. If these actions don’t have a system where they can be reverted, it can cause more issues when it comes to keeping sensitive data properly protected.

Availability

Having a system that makes it easy for the right users to have access to areas that they’re permitted to helps companies run their digital side more smoothly. This means making sure that systems can continue operating after cyber attacks.

Application Security Tactics

Application security is the system that ensures users can protect applications from cyber threats. There is a range of application security tactics with some of the main ones including the following:

Protection From DDoS

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a type of attack that includes a wide variety of devices that a cybercriminal has gained control over. This can lead to them using these devices to direct traffic directly to a website to overwhelm the system.

Having so much fake traffic coming your way can be difficult to deal with. Many organizations opt to use DDoS mitigation services that operate via the cloud. This allows the fake traffic to be redirected to servers for them to be scrubbed to remove the ones that include odd requests or malicious content.

Firewalls

Web application firewalls are used on the edge of a network and they observe incoming and outgoing traffic coming into an application. It works to filter out malicious content and the system features threat intelligence data which enables it to accurately know which information to allow access to an application and which information to remove.

Automated Program Protection

Automated programs often come in the form of bots that can have legitimate and illegitimate access to websites. Some bots are sent out with malicious intent while others can help automated processes within a website.

Knowing which bots to allow into a website and which ones to remove is becoming more manageable with bot protection programs. These programs carry out tests to assess whether bots coming to your website are from a real user or being sent to spread malicious malware or gain access to your system.

Conclusion

Now that you know a little more about cybersecurity threats, you can be sure to implement strategies to keep your organization protected from criminals. There are many tools and systems that can automated processes for you and help developers and security teams work more effectively and productively to minimize vulnerabilities and keep your sensitive data safe. 

SECURITY

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