Introduction to Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity deals with the protection of computer systems, networks, and data from cyber theft and damage to hardware, software, and information. Cybersecurity is equally important for companies as well as individuals.
Different versatile techniques are combined together to form defensive cybersecurity protection. Cybersecurity deals with techniques, processes, and technology blended together to prevent cybercrime. From a business perspective, the core components of cybersecurity include:
- Network Security
- Database Security
- Operational Security
- Application Security
- Information Security
- Sensitive Data Security
- Business Continuity plan
- Disaster Recovery
- Infrastructure Security
- Web Security
Why is Cybersecurity so Important?
Today, the world is communicating through the Internet. This is a double-edged sword since it also exposes you to potential security risks. Hackers employ newer sophisticated techniques to intrude into systems and organizations' networks. A weak cybersecurity plan can have several negative repercussions on the organization's reputation.
Some of the key reasons to employ cybersecurity are:
- Unknown Vulnerabilities: Cybercriminals use a variety of malware, ransomware and versatile hacking techniques to intrude into an organization's environment. Appropriate security measures help in tracking these vulnerabilities and preventing any security breaches.
Security scans such as penetration testing, vulnerability detection, and application static code scan help an organization to detect unknown vulnerabilities. Using well-defined cybersecurity controls can help organizations proactively detect and fix these vulnerabilities and create a robust infrastructure.
- Reputation: A security breach can expose an organization's sensitive information to the outside world. This leak of confidential information hampers the company's reputation and can have long impending repercussions.
Over the past, several top organizations have been victims of such data breaches, leaving them exposed to negative publicity. Some of the top companies exploited by the such cyber breaches include Yahoo, Equifax, Uber eBay to name a few.
- Organizational Policies: Adding controls over cybersecurity involves tightening the organization's security policies and infrastructural usage. It is important for organizations to align their security policies to maximize productivity and minimize risks.
As a practice, several organizations incorporate regular compliance checks. Some of the globally accepted standards include ISO 27001, NIST, PCI DSS and SOC 2.
- Expensive: A data and security breach can leave several negative reactions about the company. In many such cases, this has resulted in facing legal consequences and defamation of the company's image.
A security breach can impound an organization from its license to operate and in most cases, this results in incurring heavy expenses.
- Customer Trust: Effective implementation of cybersecurity protocols helps in building customer trust. A security breach shakes the customer's trust and the credibility of the company. Keeping abreast of the latest cybersecurity changes can work as a great way to protect the organization from a security breach.
- Competitor Advantage: Investing in cybersecurity plays a key role in building a good market position and adds an advantage over competitors. It not only builds customer trust but also acts as a catalyst to incorporate changes faster and in sync with security policies.
- Long-Term Failure: Past has given us several examples of companies crashing overnight owing to a security breach. More than the impact of the security breach, the after-effects of the breach are difficult to deal with.
Not only does this leave the organization in the negative limelight, but it takes organizations several months before they bounce back to normal business. Tightening controls post a security breach, is a complex process and cannot be implemented with immediate effect. This also leaves the company open to a re-attack.
- Overall Protection: Along with security breach concerns, appropriate addressing of cybersecurity policies can prevent malware, spyware, and other potentially harmful software. Cybersecurity allows for maintaining, the continuous and smooth running of the organization.
Fact and Figures about Cybersecurity
Cyber attacks including DDoS attacks have increased multifold over the years. One of the key reasons is not having updated software patches. Zero-day attacks, end up with organizations hurrying to fix an open vulnerability. In 2015 alone, every week a new zero-day vulnerability was detected with a total of 54.
Several top organizations have been victims of a data breach. Social media along with social engineering is the most commonly used channel to launch a cyber-attack. Different attacks such as click-jacking, phishing attacks, link-jacking, CRLF injection, and cross-site scripting are being employed by hackers.
In 2016, the US government spent $28 billion on cybersecurity. This is expected to rise every year. According to Microsoft, the overall cost of cybercrime to the global community is $500 billion and data breach alone will cost approximately $3.8 billion.
Ransomware attacks have increased by 36% in 2017 and the average amount demanded after a ransomware attack is $1,077. One in 131 emails contains malware. 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses. Every day more than 4000 ransomware attacks are executed.
In 2017, 6.5% are victims of identity fraud, resulting in fraudsters defrauding individuals of about $16 billion. Cybersecurity jobs are expected to reach 3.5 million by 2021. About 230,000 new malware samples are produced every day and this is expected to keep growing. Over the next 5 years, cybersecurity expenditure alone is likely to exceed $1 trillion.
It takes about 197 days for an organization to detect a breach on its network. 68% of funds are lost due to cyber-attacks and are left unrecoverable.
Organizations have become extremely alert towards security breaches and employ different techniques such as:
- Penetration testing
- Application Static code scan such as Veracode
- Acquire Compliance certificates related to security along with timely audits
- Employ professional ethical hackers to detect vulnerabilities
- Constant monitoring of network, infrastructure, logs, and detection of suspicious activities
- Most organizations have a bunch of security experts who are professionally qualified to deal with cybercrime.
- Tighten controls over policies, access, and management of employee roles by imposing restrictive exposure to resources
Owing to the consequences and risks of a security breach, organizations are willing to run the extra mile to implement every scale of cybersecurity.
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