Just recently we experienced A major data security breach at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Jamaica.
What is a Data Breach? A data breach is an incident where information is stolen or taken from a system without the knowledge or authorization of the system’s owner. This stolen data can have important documents, files, information such as credit card numbers, and so on.
With the world now using Technology now more than ever before, users become increasingly more vulnerable and susceptible to cyber attacks. If you use a tech device for whatever reason, then you’re highly likely to be exposed to a cyber attack. You’ll need to be protected, and that’s where cyber security comes in.
Cyber security is the protection of electronic data and information. It’s the defense of electronic systems on devices, like computers, cell phones, servers, and networks, from malicious attacks. Regardless of who you are, it’s important to keep your data safe from unauthorized access.
Just like you protect your home by locking your door when you leave, you should protect your network and computer with cyber security.
Here are some reasons why cyber security is crucial:
There Are Different Types Of Cyber Attacks
No one is safe from the threat of cyber attacks. These attacks include malware, phishing, man-in-the-middle, and drive-by attacks. Scary right? Wait till you hear about crypto-jacking. This is where criminals could compromise your computer and use it to steal resources, such as Bitcoins and other digital currencies. If they can get to your computer, then they could easily steal your data. You need cyber security if you want to stand a chance against these threats.
Increase In Cybercrimes
The fast development of technology, such as fast broadband, better gadgets, and cloud computing, has led to an increase in the number of connected devices. According to some surveys, there’ll be about 21.1 billion networked devices in the world in 2021. This, with the development of the dark web, has created a fertile ground for cybercrime activities. Cyber security can, nonetheless, minimize your exposure. This link explains some ways of reducing risk in organizations.
Tech Users Are Vulnerable
The fact that almost everyone on this planet is now more reliant on information and communication technology means, for cybercriminals, that there’s a booming criminal opportunity. Factors like the enhancement of cloud storage and social media growth have left many exposed to cyber-attacks. This makes cyber security more important than ever.
Cloud Storage Needs Protection
Sensitive information, like banking details and passwords, can now be stored on the cloud, increasing their risk of theft. Also,
The growth of social media has led to an increase in identity fraud. The truth is that whether you’re an individual, a small business, a large organization, or even a government, you’re at risk of being targeted for cybercrime. You may, therefore, want to consider cyber security.
It Could Save Millions Of Dollars
According to recent studies, the average cost of cybercrimes for an organization was about USD$13 million last year. Research also revealed a sharp increase in information breaches, including financial information, health records, trade secrets, personal data, and intellectual property. You’d rather pay a little for cyber security and save big on your organization’s protection than lose a fortune through industrial espionage.
Cyber-attacks often make online platforms, like websites, unpleasant or inaccessible. That could result in a bad reputation, which might be difficult to undo. Cyber security is, hence, important for the protection of your platform from such risks. It could also help protect customers from potential hackers.
Viruses Can Harm You Or Business
Computer viruses can spread like wildfire. These could cause severe problems for you and your business if not controlled. Computer viruses are capable of corrupting your files and systems. It’s essential, therefore, to take cyber security seriously as it could save your computer systems from viruses.
The Dark Web
The growth and development of technology haven’t left the dark web behind. The dark web is a secret collaboration of Internet sites and is only accessible through specialized web browsers. It’s mainly used for hiding Internet activities and keeping users anonymous and private.
The dark web can be utilized legally, but it has also been known for being the host of numerous illegal operations. Crimes, like drug and human trafficking, illegal weapons distribution, software distribution, illegal auctions, piracy, and many more unlawful activities, including the unthinkable, have been known to use the dark web.
As technology has developed, so has the dark web strengthened its sophistication. It has provided a haven for cybercriminals and resulted in an increased threat on surface Internet use. These vulnerabilities have heightened the significance of cyber security.
Parts of cyber security
The best cyber security solution will be all-encompassing and include:
Infrastructure and database security
It should also include disaster recovery or business continuity planning. Which outlines how the organization will recover from any cyber attacks in the future as well as preventative methods, such as educating employees.
Benefits of cyber security
By implementing security, businesses and individuals can protect themselves against the full range of cyber security threats outlined below, as well as the numerous others that exist.
With cyber security, companies do not have to worry about unauthorized users accessing their network or data. It helps them protect both their end-users and their employees.
Even in those rare cases that security does not prevent an attack or breach, it improves the recovery time afterward. In addition, companies will often notice that customers and developers are more confident in products that have strong cyber security solutions in place.
Types of cyber security threats
There are dozens of types of cyber security threats, but the following are some of the most common ones:
A DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service Attack is when cybercriminals overwhelm a network or its servers by sending too much traffic. This prevents the network from handling valid requests and makes the entire system unusable. It can completely stop organizations
This malicious software can include computer viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, and any other program or file that can harm the computer. Malware is commonly spread by downloads that seem legitimate or attachments in emails.
Within the category of malware, there are several types of cyber security threats:
Adware is advertising software that spreads malware.
Botnets are numerous computers infected with malware that form a network. Cybercriminals use them to perform online tasks without the permission of the devices’ owners.
Ransomware will lock data and files and threaten to leave the files locked or delete them unless the victim sends payment.
Spyware records the actions of a user, such as gathering credit card information.
Trojans are malware but disguised to appear as legitimate software. After being uploaded, they collect data or cause damage
Viruses are self-replicating. They attach themselves to a file, then spread it through the computer’s system.
This type of attack involves the cybercriminal intercepting conversations or data transmissions between multiple people. An example would be a cyber attack using an unsecured Wi-Fi network to intercept the data that the victim sends from their computer to the network.
This type of cyber security threat involves sending fake emails from seemingly legitimate sources to get information such as credit card details or passwords.
This type of attack tricks users to break security procedures by using human interactions. Cybercriminals commonly combine social engineering attacks with others, such as phishing, to increase the chances of the victim clicking on a link or downloading a file.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language. A SQL injection aims to perform actions on data in a database and potentially steal it. It involves inserting malicious code via SQL statements, taking advantage of data-driven applications’ vulnerabilities.
Challenges of cyber security
It is always evolving
Perhaps the biggest challenge of cyber security is the continuous growth in technology, which presents cybercriminals with an ever-growing list of potential opportunities to try to exploit. To make this even more challenging, cybercriminals constantly develop new methods of conducting cyber attacks.
The result is cyber security software and experts constantly create new solutions to close potential vulnerabilities only for cybercriminals to continuously discover other ways to conduct an attack. As such, cyber security is always evolving.
It tends to be incredibly challenging for organizations to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving nature of cyber security, and it can be costly as well. It requires constant attention to the security field as well as regular updates.
The Amount of Data
Another major challenge of cyber security is the quantity of data that most organizations have. The more data, the more attractive a target a company becomes. Especially when that data is sensitive information. Not only does this put the people whose data is stored by the organization at risk of having their information stolen, but it also puts the organization itself at risk of lawsuits if that information is obtained because of negligence.
The need for training and education
Yet another challenge is the fact that it is impossible to rely solely on cyber security software or other solutions; user education is also essential. Employees at a company need to understand what actions are risky. Such as opening links from unknown emails or accidentally bringing malware on their smartphones. This requires time off their normal tasks for training and the company to budget for that training.
Not enough cyber security professionals
On top of all the other challenges, there is currently a shortage in the field of cyber security. Some estimates indicate that there are as many as two million cyber security jobs around the world that are not filled. This challenge is somewhat overcome by machine learning and other technological advances, but it is still an obstacle.