As technology evolves and the world becomes more digitally connected, cybersecurity will play an increasingly important role in preventing attacks against our computers, networks, and systems. It is especially important for business owners.
Cyber attacks are growing, as businesses continue to grow, resulting in millions in damages across the board. This damage usually comes in the form of gaining access to sensitive information with the intent of changing, exploiting, or destroying it; extorting money via a ransom scheme; or simply disrupting the daily workings of the victimized business.
While the importance of cybersecurity is very apparent, executing effective cybersecurity programs can be quite challenging due to the sheer amount of information people share on a regular basis combined with the fact that attackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and innovative.
Elements of Cybersecurity
So, exactly what is cybersecurity? Effective cyber security programs are founded on a solid understanding of the different elements of cybersecurity, including:
- Network security
- Disaster recovery
- Operational security
Types of Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity threats come in different packages. To best protect your business against attacks, whether they’re coming from an external source or from within your organization, you should familiarize yourself with what some of the most common attacks look like.
- Malware: is a kind of software engineered to damage a computer or gain unauthorized access to a device. Common types of malware include viruses, adware, worms, Trojan horse viruses, and spyware.
- Social engineering: Attackers using social engineering tactics will try to trick you into disclosing sensitive information or data. Their goal is usually to acquire confidential data, like your social security number or bank account number, or even solicit a fraudulent monetary payment. Social engineering can be used on its own or combined with other threats like the ones included on this list to maximize their damage.
- Phishing: Phishing is the most popular form of cyber attack. In a phishing attack, a scammer sends a fraudulent email that is designed to look like an email from a trustworthy source. The attacker’s goal is to steal sensitive information like your login credentials, credit card numbers, and banking information. To best protect yourself against falling victim to a phishing scam, you should avoid clicking links or downloading attachments from unfamiliar senders.
- Ransomware: is a malicious program designed to prevent the user from accessing their computer system or specific files within the system until they pay a ransom. Its whole purpose is essential to extort money, although paying off the ransom doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get access back to your computer or files.
What Can Cybersecurity Prevent?
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is cybersecurity?” we can move on to discussing what cybersecurity is designed to prevent. The goal of cybersecurity is to anticipate and deflect attacks perpetrated by cybercriminals. Organizations that are best able to prevent or at least minimize cyber attacks typically have a robust incident response plan and a solid understanding of network security. A strong cybersecurity program will be able to safeguard against threats like unauthorized access to information that is sensitive or private, theft of data, and even identity theft.