Our reliance on technology has surged through the years that the world has come to a point where it’s almost as if humans are integrated with technology as one. It’s true that we seek the help of the Internet every day to get through even our most ordinary days. I bet the Internet even knows your secrets better than your best friend does.
Letting technology seep through our personal lives, as convenient as it sounds, can pose serious threats. And, the worst part is we might be completely oblivious about it. So, how do we protect ourselves from being robbed off our valuable information?
What is Cybersecurity?
Cyber security, as the name implies, involves a strongly crafted set of security principles and techniques that are used to protect and defend against various cyber attacks. These security standards help to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your data, applications, systems and networks. These attackers who deliberately try to disrupt the information can range from small kids who are wannabe hackers to criminal groups who operate with high confidentiality. A simple attempt of stealing someone’s login credentials to gain access to his/her account is what paved the way the for these hackers to get inspired and now, invaluable and irreplaceable information such as a nation’s political and military assets are at risk.
In order to get into the depths of Cyber Security, first, one needs to know what these security standards protect us from. Some of the common cyber attacks are listed below.
Malware is a piece of malicious software whose only aim is to harm your system and cause damage to the data. Common types of malware –
Ransomware: A ransomware has the capability to block access to your system which may contain important information and demands you to pay a ransom to release the resources. However, the chance of recovering the information after the payment of ransom is uncertain. One such ransomware, that has gained popularity by interfering with several organisations worldwide, is the Petya Ransomware.
Virus: Virus is a familiar biological term used to refer to an organism that can live hosts and spread diseases. Similarly, a computer virus attaches itself to a file or program and when that particular program is executed, it infects the computer as well as others in the same network.
Trojan: A Trojan is a software that is disguised to look like a legitimate version that contains malware and attacks your system.
Spyware: A spyware acts like a secret spy and covertly obtains important information stored in the system’s hard drive.
Phishing is one of the most common practices which involves sending of fraudulent emails similar to those sent by reputed sources. The main aim of this type of attack is to steal user valuable information such as login credentials, credit card information etc.
DENIAL OF SERVICE ATTACK
As you can infer from the name, a denial of service attack (DOS) is an attempt to prevent the authorized users from accessing the service. This is done by flooding the network with traffic and disrupting the communication which denies access to the required service.
Now that we have a clear picture of what an attack is, it’s time to learn how to protect ourselves against it.
This is one of the branches of cyber security that deals with protecting the application softwares from external threats. It includes detecting possible risks during the various stages of application development and preventing them. Application security is extremely useful for mobile applications since more and more users are switching to the use of smartphones.
Information security deals with protecting the information from unauthorized access and ensures integrity and privacy. Data can be protected by strong user authentication and authorization mechanisms, encryption of sensitive information etc.
Activities that are used to protect your network from disruptive hardware and software attacks contribute to the term Network Security. Network security is a must for organizations that deal with business transactions and communication.
Why Do We Need CYBERSECURITY?
We read about all these cyber attacks that have turned reputed organizations into victims but we use the Internet every day and everything seems just fine. What could possibly go wrong Cyber attackers don’t just target big shots, they can mess with you too.
All your valuable information that you store on the Internet including your personal details, contact information, card details are on the verge of being abducted without proper protection. Once you lose the details, they could be misused and your attacker may even demand you to pay a huge ransom to recover from it.
This is where the old popular saying “Precaution is better than cure” holds true. Investing in a good cybersecurity strategy takes up only a minuscule of your time and also, you don’t have to worry about spending a huge amount of money. FBI Director Robert Mueller firmly believes that no organization is safe from cyber attacks as he says,”There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be.” I’m pretty sure you would have come to know about the data breach that Uber had to face in the year 2016.
Two hackers managed to get the names, email addresses and phone numbers of 57 users and the driving license numbers of about 600,000 Uber drivers by getting access to Uber’s AWS account. This data breach caused suffering to Uber’s reputation and its valuation also dropped to $48 billion. It’s mandatory that one implements at least the most basic security measures as the cyber attackers are becoming more and more inventive each day.
As more and more ingenious cyber attackers are evolving every day with never-before-seen ideas and techniques, there is a dire need for people who can defend them. With a career in cybersecurity, you can feel more like a superhero saving the Internet world every day! People in this field need to have an adept in the growing technology era and use their quick minds to find effective solutions. The rapid changing world will force them to face new challenges every day so the chances of this work getting bored are very rare.
To grab a prominent place for yourself in this career field, the right certification can always help you with that. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is one such certification that trains the candidates in various hacking methods such that they will be able to protect the organizations from similar threats and perform legitimate services when in need. Information Security Certifications (ISC2) is a leading community of cybersecurity professionals that offers several certifications to support your career. ISACA also offers certifications for IT audit, Security, Governance and Risk. Cybersecurity is indeed the right field for innovative minds. Also, Payscale shows that the average annual pay for a Network Security Engineer and this is likely to increase with experience.