Introduction to Cybersecurity

Salma Oussous

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What is Cybersecurity?
It is the processes, practices, and technologies designed to protect networks, computers, programs, and data from unauthorized access, attack, and damage. Protecting data is at the core of cybersecurity. Networks, servers, and computers are mere mechanisms that lead to stored, transmitted, or used data on an information system.

Effective cybersecurity is crucial to reducing cyber-attacks and protecting both organizations and individuals from malicious exploitation of networks, systems, and technologies. Gone are the days of simple firewalls and antivirus software being your sole security measures. Robust cybersecurity relies on three key components: technology, processes, and people. This triangular approach enables organizations to shield themselves from organized attacks as well as internal threats. As cyber threats evolve daily and attackers become more inventive, it is necessary to have a proper dive into cybersecurity fundamentals.

What Makes Cybersecurity Crucial?
In a predominantly digital world, adopting an unshakable security posture for computers, servers, networks, mobile devices and the data stored on these devices should be on the frontline of every organization’s digital intent. Listed below are some statistics to meditate on:

  • Global cybercrime damages are estimated to cost $6 trillion per year by 2021.
  • A hacker attack occurs worldwide every 39 seconds.
  • Malicious or criminal attacks are the cause of 48% of data breaches, human error accounts for 27%, and system glitch 25%.
  • 7 out of 10 organizations are ill-equipped to respond to a cyber attack.
  • Unplanned downtime can cost businesses from $926/minute (low end estimate) up to $17,244/minute (high-end estimate).
  • Cyber-attacks are becoming progressively destructive as cybercriminals are using more sophisticated ways.

Cybersecurity has without a doubt become indispensable drawing more focus on developing appropriate response plans to minimize damage by cyber attacks.

The CIA Triad
Confidentiality, integrity, and availability, also known as the CIA triad, is a model developed to guide companies and organizations to form their IT security policies.

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Cybersecurity Elements
All cyber-attacks can potentially threaten one or more aspects of the CIA triad. Ensuring cybersecurity requires the coordination of security efforts realized throughout an information system, including:

  • Information security: Malicious attacks target computer system data and hence methods and tools need to be developed to keep the data’s confidentiality, integrity, and availability secure.
  • Application security: refers to the process of enhancing applications’ security. It occurs both during the development phase until the application deployment. Application security is becoming more paramount as applications are becoming more prone to hackers attacks.
  • Network security: To keep a network away from hackers intents, only authorized users should be allowed to access. Network security intends to implement policies and controls within multiple network defense layers.
  • Operational security: also referred to as procedural security, is an analytical process of placing managers in the perspective of an adversary to determine how they could collect information regarding a specific operation and implement countermeasures to avoid data disclosure.
  • Disaster recovery/business continuity planning: When disruptive events – ranging from a simple power outage to a hurricane – occur, disaster recovery involves restoring organization vital support systems and bouncing IT operation back to normal in the shortest time possible.
  • End-user education: While tackling cybersecurity, the human element should not be dismissed. Matter fact, multiple human maneuvers could end up introducing viruses to secure systems. It has been the case with plugging unidentified USB keys or not getting rid of suspicious email attachments amongst other security endangering practices. Teaching users how to keep it safe is a must.

IX and Your Cybersecurity
Not only is the number of cybersecurity attacks increasing, but also the degree of these attacks. According to a PwC report, cyber-attacks are becoming progressively destructive and target a variety of information and attack vectors. Especially with remote work becoming the norm in the COVID-19 health concern, sensitive information lacks the proper protection it had in regular business settings. With this, the need to shield data from malicious actors is a concern at the highest levels of businesses. IX has combined the latest technology and techniques to offer support in every phase of the cybersecurity process and take it to the next level. By assessing and testing the cyber resilience of your systems in the face of cyber-attacks, IX offers a comprehensive data protection suite of solutions designed to identify and tackle many critical threats and vulnerabilities as they come.