What Are The Basics Of Cyber Security: All You Need To Know

Oct 26, 2023

What is cyber security and why is it so important in today’s world? The answer is that cyber security is a process which helps the users to protect their data, systems, devices and network from digital threats. These threats include loss of data, unsafe systems, hacking, loss of financial means and cyberattacks. To protect yourself from these malpractices the users can implement certain measures such as encryptions, firewalls, multi-factor authentication systems, security audits, backups and recoveries, response plans and training of security policies.

History Of Cyber Threats

The history of cyber-attacks dates to the early 1970’s, when the first ever hacking incident took place. In this incident several individuals-initiated computers hacking to access data from the systems of other people. However, this hacking was not intended to malpractice, but just to conduct an experiment on the possibility of hacking into other people’s systems.

The second incident took place in the era of 1980’s, the most well-known incident occurred called as Morris Worm. In this hack, the hackers initiated a disruption on the world wide web. Later in the 1990’s, hacking became very famous in the internet community and hackers used the methods of sending viruses in the systems with the aid of emails and infected files. In recent times hacking has become very technologically very advanced. This advanced hacking is done through malpractice which is widely known as phishing. In this sort of malpractice, the hackers create a false link or website, as soon as you click or access the link all your information is accessible for the hackers. Lastly, the hackers in the modern world are incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the practices of hacking.

Key Concepts Of Cybersecurity

Concept 1. Threat Identification 

Threat identification is a significant part of cybersecurity, threat identification allows a user to identify the risks and threats which could affect the integrity of a digital assets. These digital assets can include personal information, valuable data, passwords and files. To ensure that the cybersecurity of a user remains intact, it is very important to understand and implement threat identification.

There are certain concepts which are linked with threat identification and these concepts includes:

Threat

The threats are categorized as any condition which can remain harmful for the data of any individual or a company. The threats are divided into two main types, these types include hardware failures and intentional failures. The hardware failures include any sort of malfunction in the components of the computer system such as RAM, ROM and motherboard. Whereas the intentional failures are commonly referred to the failures which were initiated by an intention of malpractice by the hackers.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments hold immense importance in keeping cybersecurity intact. Risk assessment allows individuals and organizations to identify the impact of certain threats which can affect the system the most. After identifying the organizations can work through to ensure that those threats are being kept in mind a solution is identified. This can help users to ensure that they can protect themselves from the major cyber threats.

Attack Vector

Attack vectors are the platforms which the threat actor might incorporate to attack the cybersecurity of an organization or an individual. The attack vector needs to be identified and researched to ensure that the eminent threat can be dealt with, the most common threat vectors in modern-day technology are phishing, artificial intelligence, and social engineering.

Concept 2. Keeping Information Safe

Keeping information safe holds immense importance for the users as the information leaks can result in significant losses for the users in terms of personal information, data, and financial loss.

Patch Management

The users should always ensure that their systems are up to date. This ensures that their data is not vulnerable to any cyber threat. The updated systems allow the operating system to fix the security bugs which might help the hackers to easily access the information through the already existing loopholes in the security systems.

Access Control

Access control allows the organization to restrict the access of valuable data to a number of people. This ensures that the inappropriate people are not able to access the information and do not try to leak the data or make cybersecurity vulnerable to malpractices. To incorporate access control, identity verification and access rights systems can be incorporated.

Data Classification

Data classification is a tool which allows the organizations to segregate their data according to its sensitivity and value, the valuable data needs to be prioritized and kept with most protection. This will ensure that even if there is cybersecurity breach, the valuable data remain out of the reach of the hackers and the breaches.

Concept 3. Detecting Intrusions And Attacks 

The detection of intrusions and attacks holds immense importance in the cybersecurity of the users as it allows the users to acknowledge malpractices or unauthorized attempts to the system in an efficient and more timely way. There are certain ways which can allow individuals and organizations to detect intrusions and attacks. These ways include:

Intrusion Detecting Systems

The IDS allows the organizations to monitor traffic of the network in real time. This allows them to identify the unsuited traffic, the identification helps them to identify the eminent threats in real time. Thus, they can avoid cyberattacks by blocking them. However, there are mainly two types of IDS.

Network Based Intrusion Detection System

This type of IDS allows the organization to identify and monitor network traffic.

Host-Based Intrusion Detection System

This type of IDS allows the organizations and cybersecurity departments to identify endpoints and unexpected behaviors.

Threats intelligence feeds: The threat intelligence feeds ensure the cybersecurity department has information regards all the modern-day emerging threats and attacks which can possibly become a threat in near future.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is an important tool in intrusion and attack detection. Machine learning and artificial intelligence allows us to analyze large numbers of logs and data. The analyzing of such mass number data allows the individuals and organization to identify the threats and intrusions in a timely manner.

  • Fact: It takes up to 200 days to identify a data breach in the system

Concept 4. Respond To Intrusions And Attacks

The post planning of intrusions and attacks is known as response to the intrusion and attacks. There are various ways in which intrusions and attacks can be responded to, these ways include:

Containment And Eradication

It is important to eradicate the affected data to ensure that the damage is being restricted to a certain amount of data. To ensure this eradication it is important to isolate and segregate the affected data. Moreover, the containment of the malpractice from a system can be eradicated with the help of software patches and software upgrades.

Documentation

Documentation holds immense importance as it allows the users to keep the incident on record to analyze it in the future. Once the documentation is done, cybersecurity can be protected in future because the organization or the user will be able to identify the patterns which were used in the malpractice.

Engagement With Law Enforcement

The law enforcement works towards eradicating online malpractices to ensure the safety and protection of the data on both organizational and individual levels. Thus, the affected party from the intrusion should report the incident to the law enforcement so legal actions are taken against the people who were involved.

Concept 5. Securing Email Communication

Email communication is one of the most widely used communication method which is used in the modern day. However, there are certain cybersecurity threats which can become a threat for internet community users.

These threats include:

  • Phishing
  • Malware attachments
  • Spoofing
  • Data breaches
  • Email interception

However, these cyber threats can be avoided with certain tools, these tools include:

End-To-End Encryption

The end-to-end encryption allows you to send the email with automated encryption, this encryption only allows the recipient to read the email. Thus, the chance of cyberattack decreases significantly.

Email Filtering

Email filtering is an in-built tool by the host. This allows the system to automatically move the unwanted or suspicious emails to the spam folder. Thus, the chances of you running into a scam or malpractices are decreased.

Secure File Attachment

The emails and sensitive data which you are looking forward to sending should always be encrypted. Moreover, to ensure improved security always send your sensitive data from a secure host.

Concept 6. Backups And Recoveries

Back-ups and recoveries are immensely important for data protection and conditions of cyber threats. The back-ups allow you to store the entire data of your devices on online clouds and local hard discs. This ensures that even if you experience a data theft or hacking situation, you can wipe off the data from your devices and then again download it from the other backups.

There are certain ways in which you can back up your data to ensure safety, these ways include:

  • External hard drives
  • Network attached storage
  • Cloud storage
  • Time machines
  • Version control systems
  • Mobile device backups
  • iCloud

Fundamentals Of Cybersecurity

What are the fundamentals of cyber security? A detailed answer is given below.

Fundament 1. Device Protection

Device protection is a vital aspect of cybersecurity. Device protection is a process which ensures that your device is safe from security breaches, malpractices, and hackers. There are different types of devices that are prone to these malpractices. Examples of these devices are computers, mobile phones, servers, and laptops.

To ensure that your device is well protected there are certain measures which can be taken, and these measures include:

Strong Authentication

The strong authentication allows you to put up strong and unbreakable password combinations which includes upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.

Software Updates

The frequent software updates allow the operating systems to fix the bugs and issues which already exist in the system. Thus, the frequent software upgrades allow you to fix these security bugs and keep your devices safe from the constantly evolving security threats.

Anti-virus

The installation of anti-virus is mandatory to ensure that your devices are safe, as the anti-virus allows the software to constantly look for unusual software and data which are present on your device. Once unusual items are detected in the device, the user can easily delete them.

Backup And Recovery

The backup and recovery allow you to ensure that your data is secure on the cloud. Once the unusual activities are identified, you can erase your entire data on the phone and later you can restore it from the backup from the cloud.

Fundament 2. Secure Online Connection

The securing of online connection is important because it allows you to ensure that online surfing is safe and does not propose any threat to your device or your data. There are different ways in which you can ensure that your online connection is secure.

The way of securing online connection includes:

Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication allows you to put an extra layer of security while using the internet. The multi-factor authentication ensures that there are two steps to access any of your account, the first step is to enter the password and second step is held via a verification code.

Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is a connection which is shared by multiple individuals simultaneously. The high number of users at the same time might propose an online security threat. To eradicate this threat, you should always use a virtual private network. This virtual private network will allow you to surf and use public Wi-Fi without any threat.

Secure File Sharing

When files are shared through a network, there are eminent chances that hackers might intercept the transfer and steal your valuable information. It is important to ensure that you always use encrypted and secure file sharing platforms which guarantee the safety of your data.

Browser Settings

The browsers of your devices have the tendency to ensure that your data and devices are not being tracked. To ensure this, restrict the data tracking and pop-ups in your browser settings to ensure that your data is safe from cyber malpractices.

Types of Cyber attacks

Type 1. Malware

Malware is software which is designed to gain access or harm your devise. There are 560,000malware cases detected every day, and approx. 1Billionprograms of malware is circulating on digital platforms.

There are different types of malwares which exists in modern-day technology. These types include:

Malware Type 1. Viruses

Virus is a type of a malware which is created to infect the system by duplicating other files and then spreading in the device. The virus tends to target different files and data on the devices to either damage it or completely destroy it.

Malware Type 2. Spyware

Spyware is a type of malware which enters the system to identify the personal information of the user. The main target area of this type of malware is browsing history, keywords, personal information, and data.

Malware Type 3. Ransomware

Ransomware is a relatively new type of malware which is designed to conduct financial malpractice. This type of malware enters the system and encrypts certain files and drives of the computer. Once the encryption is done, the hacker tends to demand a sum of money to decrypt it.

Fact: The total amount of Ransome which is being taken from people in terms of ransomware attacks is estimated to be $21 Billion.

Type 2. Phishing:

Phishing is a type of internet malpractice which involves scams and fraud. The hacker or frauds tends to send links via emails, messages, and websites, as soon as the user opens the links the hacker gets the personal information, passwords and credit card numbers of the users.

This type of scam has remained very popular till today’s date and many users of the internet community have fallen in the trap of such scams.

However, there are certain ways in which users around the globe can avoid these types of scams and malpractices. The ways to avoid such scams includes:

  • Verification Of Sender’s Information
  • Avoiding suspicious links
  • Avoid giving personal information
  • Two-factor authentications on accounts
  • Frequent software updates and patches
  • Anti-phishing tools
  • Website security
  • Email filters
  • Self-education

If you tend to follow these safety measures efficiently, the chances of you getting scammed will drop significantly.

Fact: The estimated daily emails which sent to the internet users for Phishing scams is up to 3.4 billion/per day.

Type 3. Social Media Cyber Attacks

Social media cyber-attacks have gained popularity significantly, the major reason behind this popularity is because the majority of users of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter share their personal information on their profiles. This allows the people to gather their information piece by piece and then use it against them.

Therefore, there are a number of ways in which the malpractices are being carried out with the help of social media in today’s internet world. These ways include:

Way 1. Account Takeover

The attackers tend to take over the user’s account by analyzing their personal information and then try to guess their passwords.

Way 2. Cyberbullying And Harassment

The attackers are constantly getting involved in cyberbullying and harassment. This type of behavior commenced by drooping hate speeches, false comments and spread of unethical information.

Way 3. Data harvesting

Data harvesting takes place by conducting false surveys. The attackers upload bogus surveys to gather information of the users.

This increasing trend of social media cyber-attacks has led to serious situations for individuals and organizations around the world. However, there are certain ways which can be implemented to ensure that these social media cyber-attacks are being avoided.

The ways which can be used to ensure social media safety includes:

  • Blocking unwanted people
  • Don’t share personal information publicly
  • Avoid random surveys
  • Avoid clickbait

Software Patches

80% cyber security attacks occurred due to unpatched software's. Software patches are the improvements which the operating system host provides to ensure that the bugs and security issues in the operating system are being addressed.

The software patches hold immense importance because the constantly evolving technology brings new types of cybersecurity threats every day. Thus, to ensure that the operating systems are also evolving with the same frequency, the host rolls out frequent updates to the existing software system.

The software patches ensure that the performance of the system remains up to the mark and provide the user with the best of the device experience. There are different types of software patches which are being released by the host on a frequent basis. These types include:

  • Security patches
  • Bug fixed patches
  • Performance patches

Best Cybersecurity Practices

In the constantly evolving technology, it is mandatory for you to get involved in the best cybersecurity practices. This will ensure that your data is secure, your personal information is secure, and your devices are also secure. Moreover, incorporating the best cybersecurity practices will ensure that you are safe from scams, and you do not suffer from financial losses.

The best cyber practices include strong passwords, using private networks, educating yourself, avoiding public Wi-Fi, using encrypted communication and using anti-virus.

Case Study

One prominent company that faced fraud due to inadequate cyber security is the retail firm known as Target. In 2013, the firm went through a huge data breach during a holiday. The scammers/hackers got access to the firm’s sale system via a third-party vendor, which compromised the debits and credits of approximately 40 million people. Moreover, this led to issues like a decrease in sales of Target, different lawsuits, and heavy government fines.

As well as that it harmed the firm’s brand image. Similarly, this issue also brought attention towards the significance of protection even from the vendors. Companies need to keep the systems segmented while identifying any harm. Now, it can be said that this incident showed how susceptible even the big firms can be to frauds and cyberattacks. So, it’s highly recommended to you to please be careful about cyberattacks and protect yourself!

Conclusion

So, to conclude this, we can say that the level of cybersecurity crimes is increasing day by day. It’s very important to consider this and evolve yourself with the new advancements. Also, you need to make sure that you don’t fall as a victim to any of these frauds or malpractices. Please educate yourself with any information present on the internet and from this article as it will help you understand the types of threats in regard to cybersecurity exists today and recommend ways to stay protected.

FAQs

Why is Cybersecurity Critical?

The Cybersecurity is Critical due to following:

For protection of data

To prevent financial losses

For personal safety of an individual

To prevent any data leaks

What Are The Five 5 Basic Principles Of Cyber Security?

The 5 basic principles of cyber security are:

  • Honesty
  • Readiness
  • Secrecy
  • Validity
  • Managing risks

What Are The Main Elements Of Cybersecurity?

The main elements of cybersecurity are data, processes, user and security.

Which Cybersecurity Principle Is Most Important?

The most important principle of cybersecurity is confidentiality. The reason behind this is that the information of the users is always deliberated as the most sensitive as well as vital factor.

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