The Basics of Cyber Security: What You Need to Know

Cyber Security is the practice of protecting computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from digital attacks, theft, and damage.

It is important because it helps to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information, which is critical to the proper functioning of organizations and societies.

Cyber Security involves protecting against a range of threats, including malware, ransomware, phishing scams, and more.

It also involves implementing measures such as encryption, access controls, and security protocols to protect against these threats.

 A Brief History of Cybersecurity

Cyber Security is the practice of protecting computer systems and networks from digital attacks. It has its origins in research, with the first computer “worm” called The Creeper being created in the 1970s.

The first antivirus software, called The Reaper, was created to chase and delete The Creeper. In 1988, a program called the Morris worm was written to test the size of the internet.

However, it was so aggressive that it slowed down computers and caused them to be unusable. This led to the creation of Cyber Security to protect against these types of threats.

The Challenges of Cybersecurity in the Digital Age

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field that poses new challenges for businesses, government agencies, and individuals.

While some people might think that Cyber Security is all about protecting computers from viruses and other types of malware using anti-virus software or other security programs, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s more common than ever for data breaches and cyberattacks to happen, and they’re not just affecting big corporations with lots of resources and sophisticated information security practices.

These days, small businesses and companies that operate online marketplaces or other e-commerce services are at risk too.

All it takes is one rogue user with access to a computer or mobile device to break into an organization’s network, steal confidential information, cause damage, and result in lost revenue and penalties for failing to safeguard assets.

They can also expose companies to liability risks. That’s why it’s so important for every organization to understand the basics of information security and why it’s crucial for their business.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a popular choice for many companies because it allows them to access information anywhere, anytime, and from any location.

But there are some risks associated with it, like the fact that some services are available to the public and can be accessed by third parties.

This makes it easy for hackers to hack into these services. In addition, cloud computing also poses a serious security risk of account hijacking.

When information in cloud accounts, like email, bank accounts, social media, etc., is not password protected, it becomes vulnerable to hackers who can access it and perform unauthorized activities.

Cybersecurity Tools and Technologies

Cybersecurity measures are the tools and technologies used to secure computer systems, networks, and data from cyber threats. Some common examples of cybersecurity measures include:

1. Encryption: A process that uses mathematical algorithms to encode data, making it unreadable to anyone without the correct decryption key. Encryption is used to protect sensitive information in transit (e.g., during online transactions) and at rest (e.g., when stored on a hard drive).

2. Access controls: Measures that limit who can access certain systems or data. This can include user authentication (e.g., passwords, biometric scanners) and authorization (e.g., permissions granted to specific users or groups).

3. Security protocols: Standards and guidelines for securing information and systems. Examples include the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol for secure web communication and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for protecting credit card information.

4. Firewalls: A type of network security system that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. Firewalls can be hardware-based (e.g., a dedicated appliance) or software-based (e.g., a program installed on a computer).

5. Intrusion detection and prevention systems: Tools that monitor networks and systems for suspicious activity and block or alert on potential threats.

6. Anti-virus software: Programs that detect and remove malware from computer systems.

Cybersecurity Pillars

The CIA Triad, is a model that helps companies and organizations create their security policies. In technical terms, cybersecurity involves protecting information from unauthorized access, modification, and deletion in order to maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

1. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is all about keeping data private and away from unauthorized parties. This includes trying to keep the identities of the people who handle and share data anonymous.

There are a few ways that confidentiality can be compromised, like when someone cracks poorly encrypted data, or performs a Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. It can also be compromised if sensitive data is accidentally or intentionally disclosed.

To establish confidentiality, there are a few standard measures that you can use. These include data encryption, two-factor authentication, biometric verification, and security tokens.

These measures can help to keep your data safe and private.

2. Integrity

Integrity means protecting information from being modified by unauthorized parties. It’s important that information and programs can only be changed in an authorized and specific way.

There are a few things that can threaten the integrity of information, like turning a machine into a “zombie computer” or embedding malware into web pages.

To make sure your information has integrity, there are a few standard measures you can use. These include cryptographic checksums, file permissions, uninterrupted power supplies, and data backups. These measures can help to keep your information accurate and reliable.

3. Availability

Availability is about making sure that authorized parties can access information when they need it. Data is only useful if the right people can access it at the right time.

There are a few things that can make information unavailable, like DDoS attacks, hardware failures, programming errors, and human errors.

To make sure your information is available, there are a few standard measures you can use. These include backing up data to external drives, implementing firewalls, having backup power supplies, and using data redundancy.

It’s important to understand the CIA Triad (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability) and how it’s used to create a strong security policy. These three aspects of cybersecurity work together to keep your information secure.

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