Cybersecurity, computer network, or computer security is the protection of computer networks and systems from intrusion, loss of data, or destruction of their hardware, applications, or personal electronic data, and the intentional or unintentional disruption or misdirection of their services. The attacks may be done by hackers, spyware, malware, and viruses. Most of them are spread by hackers through hacking, a type of activity used cybersecurity protection to gain access to computers without authorization, usually by gaining password or account control. They either do this for criminal motives such as intrusions for illegal purposes or to cause malicious events like havoc, crashes, or even human errors such as employee fraud or service abuse. The latter is known as server downtime, a temporary decrease in service quality.
These issues have brought forth the need for increased awareness and education on how to protect ourselves and our valuable electronic systems from malicious attacks. Most importantly, we need to develop strong cybersecurity protection at all levels. All types of systems should be scanned regularly by qualified personnel using real-time protection features. Mobile devices should also be scanned regularly, especially if they are commonly used by employees to access company networks and files. Wireless and portable computing devices should also be routinely scanning to detect malicious attacks. With the onslaught of botnets, worms, Trojans, and other malicious programs that can compromise network security and send mass spam and other harmful materials to infected email attachments and attached files, it is imperative that all company networks and computer systems undergo thorough network security scanning.
To prevent these attacks from occurring, businesses should develop both proactive and reactive cybersecurity measures. Proactive end-user protection entails taking proactive steps to identify threats and take measures to mitigate them before they compromise an application or system. Examples of proactive measures include regularly scanning networks for virus, worm, Trojan, and malware infections; regularly updating software and installing patches on company-endorsed applications; and regularly monitoring network traffic to detect suspicious activity. On the flip side, reactive end-user protection is the ability to quickly detect, isolate, and remove malicious elements once they compromise a system. Examples of reactive measures include using email spoofing techniques to generate warning signs that hackers have compromised a system, developing intrusion detection and prevention capabilities to screen all network traffic, and implementing countermeasures for known or suspected malicious attacks.
One emerging challenge is preventing the occurrence and proliferation of what is called “cybercrime.” Cybercrime refers to any act of digitally fraudulent activity, including web hacking, data theft, spoofing, phishing, and other activities that compromise a network or online application. The threat of cybercrime has been increasing steadily as well. Several factors contribute to the increase in cyber-crimes, including an increase in online identity theft, the ease with which hackers can obtain and utilize confidential customer and financial information, and the increasing popularization of internet banking. In response to the rising threat of cybercrime, several states – including Florida, California, Illinois, and New York – have developed comprehensive cybersecurity legislation that seeks to mitigate the negative consequences of cybercrime.
While these state efforts are important, it is oftentimes very challenging for corporations to engage in the type of proactive measures that are necessary to protect themselves against cyber attacks. The primary obstacle to proper cyber activity security and prevention is a lack of understanding and appreciation of what makes an attack occur. Most people are quick to attribute a variety of different causes to a cyber attack – from employee negligence to infected programming files – but the actual cause of an attack is almost always something internal rather than external. Corporate leadership needs to develop an understanding of what drives cyber activity and develop measures to prevent it. By educating employees about the nature of the cyber activity, as well as the critical nature of protecting critical corporate data from attack, a large percentage of cyber threats can be prevented.
There are several ways to prevent a cyber attack from compromising your networks, including Implementing prevention methods for high-risk IT environments, patching all known vulnerabilities to cyber attack, and engaging IoT security teams in active cyber awareness training. It should also be understood that the internet is not only the number one medium of transmission for cyber attacks – email, instant messaging, and faxes are all also used by attackers – but those same networks are also highly vulnerable because they are often not patched or secured. By frequently and consistently maintaining awareness of the current status of your network’s security you will greatly increase your company’s overall cyber defense Taking the appropriate preventative steps will allow your company the opportunity to work as hard as necessary to protect itself and its vital information.