Cyber is a technical term that is related to and associated with computers and computer networks. It is especially more so, involved with operations that are done on the Internet. On the other hand, security, a common term used by individuals today, refers to a state or condition of freeness from dangers or threats.
What is cyber security?
With the definition of cyber and security above, cyber security can therefore be appropriately described as the protecting of computers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized and intended access that may result in modification or even destruction.
With the technological advancements of today’s society, it is realized that most people carry out their daily activities through a computer system. This can potentially be harmful as a result of the uprising of hackers and crackers. In addition, not only are individuals at risk, but large corporations are also. That is why they spend heavy sums of money on a yearly basis to ensure that they are secured on the Internet. There are even industries or companies that would hire skilled and professional computer users that are able to hack into different companies’ firewalls just to gain a competitive advantage. This in technical terms is referred to as industrial espionage.
Why cyber security is important?
An individual that is not technically inclined can think of several ways as to why they should be protected from threats on the Internet. Since the increase in threats on the Internet, ranging from data theft, target phishing scams, and other threats, individuals and companies alike need to be protected. Computers that are inclined to breach in security have no proper security controls in place. As such, their broadband connection can be compromised without effort. Since thousands of infected web pages are revealed everyday and new attacks are continuously launched, people need to get their data and system protected.
DOS (Denial of Service)
This attack on a computer system prevents the authorized functionality of networks and systems. Simply, a user who has legal access to a computer network will no longer be able to enter or access the network because of some interruption. DOS is usually a malicious act. In a situation where a government agency’s website is affected by a DOS, it affects many citizens who depend on information from that website. They will even be restricted from carrying out transactions. Can you imagine a DOS within an airport facility? This would in effect shut down the entire operations of the company. In addition, think about the shutdown of medical, financial and other institutions. Can you imagine what the damages would be like if they were at a halt for at least a week or even an hour?
Malware, worms and Trojan horses
These are common threats to online security. These at times are permeated by the sending of e-mails, instant messages, websites that were designed to be malicious in nature and other non-malicious websites that have been infected. Users of the Internet need to be very careful since some websites are actually programmed to download malware without the awareness of the user. This is referred to as a ‘drive-by’ download. Internet users need to also ensure that they do not download contents or files that are unsure of. To protect themselves on the Internet, users also need to be careful of what they download and where it is downloaded from.
These are just a few threats to the computer system and data.
In situations where your cyber security is broken, the act of cyber crime has been committed. Internet users can put measures in place to protect themselves from cyber crime.
How can we secure information?
Internet users can protect their information by following simple steps.
These steps include:
Companies need to ensure that they undergo some form of training for their employees. There are simple security practices and policies that the information technology department, if any, can establish with their employees. Employees should be encouraged to use strong passwords that are difficult to figure out.
- Internet users can protect themselves against cyber crimes by ensuring that their machines are clean. This does not refer to physical cleanliness. This simply means that users should utilize the most current security programs, browser and operating system. These can be used as a very effective measure against malware, viruses and other threats. Virus scans should be pre-scheduled to scan the computer after each update. Downloading recent updates can also be very beneficial.
- A firewall is very important to the security of your broadband connection. A firewall is a set of programs that are related. These programs are used to stop outside sources from accessing data that is on your network which is private. Your operating system’s firewall should always be turned on. This is especially critical for those employees that work from home.
- Companies normally have a backup of their files stored somewhere else. This is done as a contingency plan in the event that they should lose their data or it becomes inaccessible as a result of cyber crime. All the data on your computer should be backed up. These include word processing files, spreadsheets, financial files etc. You can store your information by using a cloud technology such drop box.
- Individuals and businesses should ensure that they provide proper passwords and authentication for different users. This method should especially be taken in situations where sensitive data is being handled.