What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is a term that refers to the processes and technologies used to protect computer systems, networks, software, and user data. Most of these threats are distributed via the Internet by cybercriminals, hackers, and terrorist groups.
Cyber security involves protecting your computers, devices, and network from modification and unauthorized access. Cyber attacks are used to access, alter, or delete sensitive information. Cybercriminals often use cyber attacks to extort money from unsuspecting individuals or interrupt business operations.
Types of Cyber Security
Cyber security can be categorized into the following:
- Application Security: Protects software applications that contain vulnerabilities from a flaw in the application's design, development, installation, maintenance, or upgrades.
- Information Security: Protects your personal information from identity theft or unauthorized access. Two examples of information security include cryptography and user authentication.
- Network Security: Protects the integrity, safety, and usability of a network that's associated with the data processed over the network. If the network is secured, threats are blocked from accessing that network.
Cyber Security Best Practices
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to use a firewall. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a firewall is a barrier placed between you and cybercriminals. In addition to the external firewall, you should install internal firewalls to provide additional protection.
The next thing you should do is document each of your cyber security policies. The FCC's Cyberplanner 2.0 can provide you with a template for documenting your protocols. The Small Business Administration also has the C3 Voluntary Program, which contains a toolkit for finding and documenting cyber security policies.
These cyber security practices shouldn't start and end with your computers. You should also create a plan for each of your mobile devices. It's important to include each of these devices in your policy. Your employees should be required to install and set up automatic security updates.
One of the best things you can do is to educate all of your employees on cyber security. Anyone who accesses the network at your workplace should be trained on these policies. These policies should also adapt and improve as cybercriminals become smarter. It's important to educate them on the updates on these improved protocols.
Don't forget to enforce stricter and safer passwords. Changing passwords is a pain, but 63% of data breaches happen from weak or stolen passwords. It's important that all employee devices are password protected. Require your employees to use a strong password with a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Types of Cyber Security Threats
There are a wide variety of cyber security threats. More are popping up every day. Here is a list of the most common types of threats.
- Browser Hijacker
- Data Breaches
- Identity Theft
- Password Attacks
- Phishing E-mails
- Spyware and Keyloggers
Common Cyber Security Threat Sources
There are various ways in which cyber threats can infect a computer or network. Some of the most common ways are included below.
- Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing is one of the most popular ways that cybercriminals access a network. This method allows users to share e-books, games, music, movies, videos, and other types of content online. Individuals make their files available to other users. File sharing over a P2P network allows users to share files from each other's computers. It's also been used for the distribution of malware and other shady practices.
- Shady Websites: Hackers will sometimes create websites to lure unsuspecting victims into downloading malware. They'll entice them with free money, games, or software. Even people who don't visit shady websites can still come across these links hidden on their computers. Malware from these websites can quickly circulate around the Internet and land on a user's computer by redirecting them to these websites.
- Torrent Downloads and Phishing E-mails: Many users love to download games and movies on the Internet. Torrent sites are the most common way to come across this type of content. These websites are also used by cybercriminals who have malware in their arsenal. The file you download could be a malware installer created by an advanced programmer. E-mail can attract malware when not used properly. If you open a phishing e-mail message that contains an attachment, it immediately collects your personal information and will send similar phishing e-mails to all of the people in your contacts list, spreading this virus.
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