Cybersecurity, computer safety or data security is essentially the protection of networks and computer systems from malicious computer attacks, data loss or alteration of their digital information, and the misuse or destruction of their services they offer. In the information age, it is not enough to be protected against viruses, worms and Trojans-our networks must also be protected against malware, spyware, and hackers. It is not enough to prevent a hacker in his tracks; he may not be after your data now, but tomorrow. Today’s cyber-criminals and malware are more sophisticated than ever, and they do not care if what they do is illegal or harmful to people; they just want the attention. And for that, they have got plenty!
To protect your network from malicious attacks and other issues, there are quite a few important factors to keep in mind. First, understand the nature of your business, and how it functions. This will help you determine what cyber security measures are required. If your network serves merely as a facility to house customer files, then it is unlikely that you need any serious measures against hackers. But if you are taking advantage of your network’s potential as a money-spinner by selling or trading confidential data, then you really should take cyber security very seriously.
The first step towards effective cyber security is a thorough understanding of both end-user threats and malicious attacks on end-user computers. By default, most end-users have been conditioned to click on a link whenever they access any website, whether they are intended to or not. In addition, malware authors and distributors regularly distribute their wares through websites, email attachments, video files, instant messaging platforms, chat rooms and bulletin boards.
Because of this habit of end-user behavior, it is easy for an unauthorized individual to gain unauthorized access to a company’s network or system and use that information to obtain confidential information. The same goes for an employee who accessed the company network and downloaded a virus into the company’s mainframe. Both of these situations present severe cyber security risks, because neither person has jurisdiction to provide legitimate security clearance. Thus, in order to protect networks and systems from these attacks, companies must rely on technologies that can provide authorized access, while allowing employers to monitor the activity on end-user computers as it occurs.
One of the most common cyber security threats is phishing. Phishing is when a website that looks legitimate offers customers some form of discount or payment link that actually gets them on to a fraudulent site that installs spyware and other harmful programs. Another common method of phishing is for an unknown party to create or issue statements or emails to multiple recipients, falsely suggesting that the messages are coming from legitimate business channels. These fake emails often contain links that spoof the appearance of legitimate banking or financial sites. Companies that do not closely monitor Internet activity are at the highest risk of being targeted by phishing campaigns.
Security solutions designed to prevent hackers from accessing company data and systems are able to stop attackers before they can do any harm. By monitoring Internet activity and displaying suspicious activities to authorized personnel, such as managers and IT staff, a company can easily detect and stop cyber security threats before they can compromise confidential data. These security measures also make it easier for network administrators to identify unauthorized access by quickly determining which users are allowed to enter restricted areas and what types of information they can access within those areas. For example, a company may apply a security shield to a network to ensure that any information that passes between a manager and network administrator is encrypted and protected.
Not all companies choose to implement cyber security frameworks or other measures to guard against cyber-security threats. Some companies have found that it is more cost effective to focus on prevention of actual attacks rather than responding to them after they happen. Companies that offer services that require a high level of expertise, such as application development, engineering services, IT support, or application testing, can also reduce their costs by avoiding having to implement expensive measures to defend against attacks. When choosing a job title, employers should consider how much time the position will require to address cyber security issues and what skills the person or team would need to accomplish this task. An experienced IT professional who specializes in vulnerabilities and patching can focus on vulnerabilities and patching quickly and without requiring extensive training.
When choosing a position that involves IT support, it is important to choose an area that will allow an individual to work with the different types of networks that are prevalent. Some professionals work with email networks, while others may focus on protecting larger networks, both internally and externally. Individuals who specialize in network security may be called on to test and repair servers, monitor bandwidth usage, and deal with the ramifications of a data security breach. Companies that focus on infrastructure security and other large-scale digital issues may use professionals to protect their intellectual property and provide incident response and recovery services. Regardless of the position selected, it is essential that a person have the skills necessary to effectively protect networks, data, and technology from attack.