One of the largest challenges we are faced with on the Internet is cyber attacks. Threats to our economy, national security, online communities, and families depend on how effective we are at protecting ourselves from cyber attacks from Internet predators.
Cybercrime is an ongoing threat in recent years. You might think that the only form of cybercrime you have to worry about is hackers stealing your financial information. But it may not be so simple. There are far more concerns than just basic financial ones.
“Cybercrime continues to evolve, with new threats surfacing every year. When you hear and read about the range of cybercrimes out there, you might be tempted to stop using the internet entirely. That’s probably too drastic”.
Instead, it’s a good idea to know how to recognize cybercrime, which can be the first step to helping protect yourself and your data.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the state or process of protecting and recovering networks, devices and programs from any type of cyberattack. It’s also known as information technology security or electronic information security.
The importance of Cybersecurity:
Cybersecurity is important because the government, military, corporate, financial, and medical organizations collect, process, and store unprecedented amounts of data on computers and other devices.
A significant portion of that data can be sensitive information, whether that be intellectual property, financial data, personal information, or other types of data for which unauthorized access or exposure could have negative consequences.
“Organizations transmit sensitive data across networks and to other devices in the course of doing businesses, and cybersecurity describes the discipline dedicated to protecting that information and the systems used to process or store it”.
As the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks grow, companies and organizations, especially those that are tasked with safeguarding information relating to national security, health, or financial records, need to take steps to protect their sensitive business and personnel information.
As early as March 2013, the nation’s top intelligence officials cautioned that cyber-attacks and digital spying are the top threat to national security, eclipsing even terrorism.
What are the types of Cybersecurity?
It is the practice of securing a computer network from intruders, whether targeted attackers or opportunistic malware.
It focuses on keeping software and devices free of threats. A compromised application could provide access to the data which is designed to protect. Successful security begins in the design stage, well before a program or device is deployed.
It protects the integrity and privacy of data, both in storage and in transit.
It includes the processes and decisions for handling and protecting data assets. The permissions users have when accessing a network and the procedures that determine how and where data may be stored or shared all fall under this umbrella.
A software-based tool that protects and monitors your data in the cloud, to help eliminate the risks associated with on-premises attacks.
Disaster recovery and business continuity:
It defines how an organization responds to a cyber-security incident or any other event that causes the loss of operations or data. Disaster recovery policies dictate how the organization restores its operations and information to return to the same operating capacity as before the event. Business continuity is the plan the organization falls back on while trying to operate without certain resources.
It addresses the most unpredictable cybersecurity factor: people. Anyone can accidentally introduce a virus to an otherwise secure system by failing to follow good security practices. Teaching users to delete suspicious email attachments, not plug in unidentified USB drives, and various other important lessons are vital for the security of any organization.
Common types of cyberattacks:
Malware is a term used to describe malicious software, including spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms. Malware breaches a network through a vulnerability, typically when a user clicks a dangerous link or email attachment that then installs risky software.
Once inside the system, malware can do the following:
Blocks access to key components of the network (ransomware)
Installs malware or additional harmful software
Covertly obtains information by transmitting data from the hard drive (spyware)
Disrupts certain components and renders the system inoperable
Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent communications that appear to come from a reputable source, usually through email. The goal is to steal sensitive data like credit card and login information or to install malware on the victim’s machine. Phishing is an increasingly common cyberthreat.
Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, also known as eavesdropping attacks, occur when attackers insert themselves into a two-party transaction. Once the attackers interrupt the traffic, they can filter and steal data.
A denial-of-service attack floods systems, servers, or networks with traffic to exhaust resources and bandwidth. As a result, the system is unable to fulfil legitimate requests. Attackers can also use multiple compromised devices to launch this attack. This is known as a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
A Structured Query Language (SQL) injection occurs when an attacker inserts malicious code into a server that uses SQL and forces the server to reveal information it normally would not. An attacker could carry out a SQL injection simply by submitting malicious code into a vulnerable website search box.
A zero-day exploit hits after a network vulnerability is announced but before a patch or solution is implemented. Attackers target the disclosed vulnerability during this window of time. Zero-day vulnerability threat detection requires constant awareness.
DNS tunnelling utilizes the DNS protocol to communicate non-DNS traffic over port 53. It sends HTTP and other protocol traffic over DNS. There are various, legitimate reasons to utilize DNS tunnelling.
However, there are also malicious reasons to use DNS Tunneling VPN services. They can be used to disguise outbound traffic like DNS, concealing data that is typically shared through an internet connection.
For malicious use, DNS requests are manipulated to exfiltrate data from a compromised system to the attacker’s infrastructure. It can also be used for command and control callbacks from the attacker’s infrastructure to a compromised system.
What are the Cybersecurity challenges?
Today cybersecurity is the main component of the country’s overall national security and economic security strategies. In India, there are so many challenges related to cybersecurity.
With the increase of the cyber-attacks, every organization needs a security analyst who makes sure that their system is secured. These security analysts face many challenges related to cybersecurity such as securing confidential data of government organizations, securing the private organization servers, etc.
The recent important cybersecurity challenges are described below:
Cybersafety tips to protect yourself against cyberattacks:
How can businesses and individuals guard against cyber threats? Here are our top cyber safety tips:
Update your software and operating system: This means you benefit from the latest security patches.
Use anti-virus software: Security solutions will detect and removes threats. Keep your software updated for the best level of protection.
Use strong passwords: Ensure your passwords are not easily guessable.
Do not open email attachments from unknown senders: These could be infected with malware.
Do not click on links in emails from unknown senders or unfamiliar websites: This is a common way that malware is spread.
Avoid using unsecured WiFi networks in public places: Unsecure networks leave you vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Talk to your children about the internet: You can teach your kids about acceptable use of the internet without shutting down communication channels. Make sure they know that they can come to you if they’re experiencing any kind of online harassment, stalking, or bullying.
A career in Cybersecurity:
Today, we are facing a frightening shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the workforce. Specifically, this widening gap is expected to lead to 3.5 million jobs left unfilled, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, in the cybersecurity profession by 2021.
“The month of October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, and additionally, draw attention to careers in the field”.
The demand for dedicated cybersecurity skill is constantly increasing and seems like it won’t be decreasing for the next few decades. Many organizations are compelled to restrict their expansion possibilities because of the shortage of required talent.
To overcome the growing security gap, many organizations are opting for in-house skill development. While doing so, it is important to evaluate the skills of a potential candidate first.
Are you among those cybersecurity enthusiasts looking to get into cybersecurity? While the time is right and the industry is bright, what matters is how apt your skillset is for the industry.
Cybersecurity forms part of the IT industry as it serves an IT infrastructure. The main purpose of cybersecurity is to protect and defend IT systems, network, digital information, and every asset that form part of an IT infrastructure in an organization. Therefore, cybersecurity professionals are expected to have basic (if not advanced) IT knowledge.
Though all the job roles in cybersecurity are not based on IT skills, few jobs require exclusive technical skills like
Understanding architecture, administration, and operating systems
Soft skills or non-technical skills define the personal attribute of any individual looking to pursue a career in cybersecurity. These soft skills are mandatory for every cyber expert as they are expected to be dynamic and influential leaders. They are,
Passionate about learning
Collaborative and approachable
The growing cybersecurity threat landscape and shortage of skilled manpower supply have brought many cyber enthusiasts to learn and grow as leaders in the cybersecurity industry.
Symantec estimated a rise in demand for cybersecurity talent to 6 million globally by 2019 with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million and the field is open for both IT as well as non-IT professionals.
The current job postings in cybersecurity are up from 209,000 in 2015, which were already up by 74% over the past 5 years. Most organizations are seeking certified cybersecurity professionals with one or more credentials. Along with the required technical and nontechnical skills, credentials have become the base for hiring in many organizations.
With the growing usage of technology and advancements in the fields of devices and networks, security is sure to be a key risk factor. But should we not use it then? Definitely Not! There always will be security tools that will block and eliminate these security threats. But using these tools is also an important and learnable aspect. One cannot simply use it to avoid the threat and infection of one’s device on a network.
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