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What is Cyber Security and why it is important

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Cyber Security means protecting your information, data, software, hardware, and systems from unauthorized access, attack, or damage also a motive to available the service when required.  It is the combination of two words: Cyber means systems (Information Systems) like processing data, storing the information, computing, transmitting, Whereas Security means protecting these systems include system, network, application, data, or information security. These systems can be PC/Laptops, Smart Gadgets, Web servers, Emails, IoT devices, Database, etc.

Today in this Digital Era, all we are able to access services easily online like if you want to do bank transactions, order your home materials, have to send information or file to other people through email etc. This information can be either stored in the system or can be accessed through the system so protecting this information using people, processes, devices from bad hands, called Cyber Security.

Why Cyber Security is important for an individual or for business-

In the digital era, all services operating online and can access from anywhere anytime through the internet. We also store our financial information, personal data, or other sensitive information into the systems. This information can be accessed through an unknown or unauthorized person which can lead to an organization’s reputation and financial lose, Lose trust among Customer, Intellectual property many more.

Cybersecurity plays a vital role to protect this information. I have heard a quote recently-

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it.”

~Internet

Impact of Cyber-Attack to an organization

A cyber attack can affect many in many areas of an organisation like

  • Financial Loss–  Identity Theft of information (Credit card info, Gain access to your bank account, misuse of your identity card etc), Sensitive information and the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is $3.86M – (IBM Report)
  • Reputation Loss– Loss of trust’s among client, Loss of investors, shareholder
  • Affect to the services– Cyber activist can disrupt the services to unavailable for the customer which impact the financial loss and trust between customers. Example like See this report.
  • Law regulatory– There are multiple laws and rules to protect personal data like HIPPA, GDPR, and CCPA Compliance. IF data got compromised then the organization can face huge fines, penalties. 
  • Damage to the infrastructure to recover– It will take huge efforts to restore the services include manpower computing services etc.

Major Cyber Threats 2020 and How Cyber Attack happens

There are multiple ways to enter in doors but majors are –

  • Email Phishing- Email is the easiest way to enter in your system and network. Nowadays phishing emails sending to the network which can lead to gain access, steal the information or install Malware on the victim system. Phishing is looking like a legitimate email but its fake which contains the malicious code, URL, attachment which can affect the system or network.
  • Distributed Denial of services- DDOS aims are to disturb the services by sending requests more than a system can accept.  DDOS does divert attention so a cyber criminal can install the malware or can steal the data behind this.
  • Bot- Bot is an automated software program or script which works on command and communicates to the back server called Command and control server (CnC). An infected system called Zombie and a group of zombies called Botnet which uses for DDOS attacks.
  • Deepfakes- Deepfakes derived from deep learning and called fake (part of AI). Creating a fake video by manipulating actual video. Like in the 2020 US election, deep fakes can be used for political benefits.
  • Cloud jacking- Everything is going on clouds after reliance launched Jio and cloud jacking is going to be a major threat where will possible to steal the information, business ideas etc.
  • IoT based attacks- Internet of things device like smart mobiles, smart car, smart door lock, fitness tracker, Home voice controller, Smart lighting system, Smoke alarm, Wifi Systems etc. These are connected to the internet and can easily find vulnerabilities because of less testing, less hardware computing power etc. (600% cyber-attacks increased against IoT).
  • Patching (Vulnerability)- If systems are not updated as per security released patch from the vendor then it can lead to a cyber-attack.
  • Zero Day exploits- A vulnerability exploited by cybercriminal and it is unknown by vendor or patch is not available.
  • Insider Threats- Verizon Data breach investigation report 2019 says, 34% involves insider threats.
  • Ransomware- Ransomware attack is a major concern for any business from the last couple of years. As its encrypt your data and asking for the financial gain to decrypt or access. A single Ransomware attack can damage to the organization and can lead to huge financial losses to recover the data.
  • Lake of Cyber Security Awareness- End users should be aware of cyber security and training program must be conducted in a specific time interval. Educating to end-user will play an important role to prevent from attack. A single click can lead to a cyber-attack.

How to prevent from a cyber-attack – Basic solutions-

Basic prevention as Defense in Depth-

Application security- Timely patching, Encryption of sensitive data, WAF protection etc.

Endpoint Security- Protection from Malware, DLP, Content Security, and Restrict unwanted services etc.

Network Security- Firewall, IPS/IDS, WAF, DDOS Protection, Sandboxing, VPN, DLP, URL filtering, Content filtering etc.

Physical Security- CCTV, Access Card, Fences etc.

Perimeter Security- Perimeter Firewall, IPS/IDS, DLP, Honeypot, DDOS Protection, Proxy, Secure DMZ etc.

Policy and Procedures- Monitor critical services, Incident Response, Audit and Assessment, Training and cyber security awareness

Cyber Safety Tips

  • Use a strong password.
  • Keep your software updated with the latest patch.
  • Do not share your confidential information with anyone without verifying.
  • Don’t use public /unknown networks on company devices even personal devices also.
  • Don’t visit malicious or unknown websites.
  • Verify the link before clicking.
  • Verify email details before clicking like sender name, subject, sender address, mail body, etc.
  • Backup your important data periodically.
  • Should know what to do if you become a victim.
  • Keep updated yourself or your team from the latest threat and prevention plan.
  • Use endpoint security tools and keep updated with the latest version.
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