With so much of our personal and business lives taking place online, it’s essential to keep our sensitive information safe and secure. That’s why we’re here to discuss different types of cyber security, their functions, and their features.
Cyber security is the process of defending internet-connected systems against malicious attacks. Sadly, these attacks are becoming more frequent and costly every year. According to Norton, more than half of consumers have experienced cybercrime, with around 1 in 3 affected in the past 12 months alone.
Cyber security protects computers, servers, mobile devices, and networks from data breaches such as malware, ransomware, and Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks. For the individual, cyber security means implementing measures such as:
Network security means protection from attacks both inside and outside of an online community. A firewall offers the most effective solution, keeping out potentially malicious users while giving safe access to authorized members.
Other common network security measures include:
More and more individuals and businesses are moving their data to the cloud, attracted by its convenience, speed, and low up-front costs. For security-minded users who prefer to host their sensitive information on a physical system, this trend might seem worrying.
However, with so much on the line, cloud vendors have invested heavily in the infrastructure of cyber security. Key features of cloud security include:
Cloud security is proving to be very effective. In fact, cloud service users are less likely to experience cyber security incidents than those who keep their data on-premises. Of course, risks still remain, so choose your cloud provider carefully and pay close attention to their cyber security features.
Application security is the process of keeping devices and software safe from threats by protecting sensitive data at the app level. This involves firewalls, 2-step authentication, strong passwords, and antivirus software.
These cyber security measures help to prevent unauthorized access to a computer or network via a compromised app. They are usually built-in to the application before it’s released, and constantly updated throughout its active lifetime.
Critical infrastructure refers to systems that society needs in order to function, such as water, electricity, and the internet. While governments and their affiliated private partners are usually responsible for this type of cyber security, it’s important to have contingency plans for your own systems in case critical infrastructure becomes compromised.
For example, how are your operations and data affected in the case of a power outage or if the internet goes down? While these events might seem unlikely, disaster recovery and business continuity planning are also cyber security issues and need to be addressed.
The most vulnerable aspect of any cyber security strategy is the human element. People aren’t always rational and are prone to mistakes, particularly when it comes to psychological cyber scams like phishing.
Teaching good cyber security practices like recognizing suspicious links, avoiding malicious email attachments, and using VPNs for privacy is essential. Not only will it help internet and other network users to protect themselves, but the organizations they belong to as well.
Effective cyber security comes in many different forms. With everything from computers to fridges connected to the internet 24/7, it’s important to understand some of the different ways that malicious actors can access our sensitive information.