Every year, we hear about a big data breach leaving millions victims of identity theft. With cyber threats evolving, private and sensitive information is more vulnerable than ever. If you are a business dealing with personal data and information, you must protect it from cybercriminals and hackers.
This post is a comprehensive guide for you to learn about cybersecurity, common threats, and tips to strengthen your cybersecurity protocols. Without further ado, let us dive right in.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a combination of processes and technology to protect your IT infrastructure, which includes devices and networks, against external threats and unauthorized access. Whether you are a small business, a multinational company or a government-associated contractor handling data and implementing cybersecurity measures is a must for you.
What are the different types of cybersecurity?
There are five different types of cybersecurity that every organization must explore.
This is the process of adding, testing, and developing cybersecurity features to your existing applications to prevent any security threats such as unauthorized modifications and access.
Critical Infrastructure Security
This form of cybersecurity deals with the protection of your IT assets, systems, and networks. Critical Infrastructure security is a must-have to ensure the cybersecurity of any country, its economy, and its citizens’ safety.
In 1998, the American Presidential Directive (PDD-63) defined a national program known as Critical Infrastructure Protection.
In cloud security, you implement a broad set of applications, technologies, controls, and policies to protect your online data, IP, services, and applications. Cloud security also prevents cloud computing infrastructure from possible data breaches and hacking attempts.
In network security, you deploy a set of processes, technologies, and strategies with a specific aim to protect our company’s network from internal and external harm and unauthorized access.
Internet of Things or IoT security
IoT security involves securing your internet devices within your organization as well as the networks your devices can connect to. This helps you prevent any breaches and threats by identifying and monitoring possible risks. This cybersecurity protocol helps fix vulnerabilities in the devices and networks that may pose a security risk to your entire organization.
The evolution of cybersecurity
The sophistication in cybercrimes and attacks has triggered an era of evolution in cybersecurity. Here is a list of a few systems that can help upgrade your organization’s cybersecurity status.
Continuous monitoring solution
If you are looking for a threat detection strategy to stay compliant while enabling comprehensive cybersecurity, continuous cybersecurity monitoring is a viable solution. This solution identifies all the vulnerabilities in your data, systems, networks, software, and devices.
For instance, an intrusion detection system (IDS) is an application that will continuously monitor your entire network for any malicious activities and policy violations. Different types of IDS are:
- Network IDS to analyze incoming traffic
- Perimeter IDS to detect any unauthorized access
- Host-based IDS to monitor critical operating system files
- Virtual machine-based IDS is a remotely deployed combination of network, perimeter, and host-based IDS.
Managed cybersecurity service
This evolution in cybersecurity extends to all IT and non-IT domains and operations of your organization. The three key features of managed cybersecurity service include the following:
IT security staffing
Seeking insight, assistance, and advice from industry experts to help you create a strong cybersecurity infrastructure
Security assessment and audit
This involves evaluating your organization’s current cybersecurity status to identify existing vulnerabilities in your systems, devices, and networks.
Development and implementation of strategic cybersecurity protocols specifically designed for your organization.
Whether you are a private firm or a federal organization, the cybersecurity framework helps secure your networks while staying compliant with laws and regulations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published cybersecurity guidelines for organizations to detect and identify potential cybersecurity risks.
The guidelines compel organizations to create a cybersecurity framework that can identify and detect possible threats, protect data and information, fight against the threat and/or recover from an attack.
What are the most common cybersecurity threats?
Every cybercrime or attack has a reason that makes the data and information of an organization lucrative assets for cybercriminals. Hackers can penetrate organizations’ systems and demand ransom from the officials. However, there can be other reasons for a cyberattack, such as causing financial and reputational damage, political maneuvering, etc.
The five common types of cybersecurity attacks are:
DDoS or Distributed Denial of services cyber attack disrupts the normal traffic flow to any target network, service, or server. This mainly involves directing a high volume of internet traffic towards the targeted network overwhelming its entire infrastructure.
MITM stands for “man in the middle.” In this type of cyber attack, an attacker secretly alters and relays the communication between two parties to gain access to the exchanged data and personal information. While both parties believe that they are communicating directly with each other, the attacker in the middle can alter and steal the information.
Email attacks are commonly known as phishing attacks. This is a form of social engineering that involves attackers sending fake, spoofed, deceptive, and fraudulent emails to unsuspecting victims. The idea is to trick the person into entering their personal information such as login credentials, passwords, and bank details.
Once the person enters the data, it falls directly into the lap of the cybercriminals to use for identity theft and other crimes.
In this type of cyber-attacks, cybercriminals use a broken authorization loophole in your system while using automatic password attack tools. These tools have the ability to speed up the process of guessing and decoding passwords.
Malware attacks use malicious software to execute unauthorized actions on your devices and system. This software can be a virus that commands and controls your devices or spyware that steals your data before noticing.
Ransomware is another type of malware attack where a fraudster will take control of your data and ask you for money to deliver the control back to you. However, there is no guarantee that you will get access and data back after giving in to the demands of the attackers.
Plus, they have already stolen your data and might have made a copy of it. So, even if you do get the access back, the data has already been compromised.
What are cybersecurity tips and best practices?
Here are some tips and best practices to enable foolproof cybersecurity for your organization.
- Always keep your software and hardware up-to-date
- Invest in a cybersecurity solution
- Train your employees about cybersecurity and avoid opening suspicious emails
- Enable secure file sharing and deploy an adequate solution for it
- Use anti-malware and anti-virus
- Always use a VPN to access your company’s data from private networks
- Check the legitimacy of the link before clicking on it.
- Pay through secure payment portals and check for HTTPS
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Avoid using public networks to access sensitive information
With an increasing number of cyberattacks, deploying a sophisticated cybersecurity infrastructure has become an obligation for all organizations dealing with data and personal information. For example, if you are a contractor working for a government organization, you must maintain a certain standard of cybersecurity or risk losing your contract.
Create a foolproof cybersecurity strategy to protect your organization’s system, networks, and devices.