What is cybersecurity?
The technique of securing key systems and sensitive data from digital threats is known as cybersecurity. Cybersecurity measures, also known as information technology (IT) security, are designed to prevent threats to networked systems and applications, whether they come from within or outside of a company.
A data breach costs an average of USD 3.86 million globally in 2020, and USD 8.64 million in the United States. These costs include the costs of finding and responding to the breach, as well as the costs of downtime and lost revenue, as well as the long-term reputational damage to a company’s brand. Customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) – names, addresses, national identification numbers (e.g., Social Security numbers in the United States, fiscal codes in Italy), and credit card information – is targeted by cybercriminals, who then sell the information on underground digital marketplaces. Customer trust is often lost as a result of compromised PII, which can result in regulatory fines and even legal action.
The complexity of security systems, which is exacerbated by diverse technology and a lack of in-house expertise, can drive up prices. However, firms that implement a comprehensive cybersecurity plan based on best practices and automated using sophisticated analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning may more successfully combat cyberthreats and limit the lifetime and impact of breaches when they occur.
Dangerous cybersecurity myths
The number of cybersecurity events is increasing around the world, however, misunderstandings persist, such as the belief that:
Outsiders are cybercriminals. In truth, hostile insiders, working for themselves or in collaboration with outside hackers, are frequently the source of cybersecurity breaches. Insiders can be members of well-organized groups with the support of nation-states.
The dangers are well-known. Thousands of new vulnerabilities have been reported in both old and new applications and devices, indicating that the risk surface is still growing. Human error is becoming more common, particularly when it comes to careless workers or contractors that unintentionally cause a data breach.
The attack avenues have been stifled. Cybercriminals are always coming up with new attack vectors, such as Linux systems, operational technology (OT), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and cloud environments.
My line of work is secure. Cyber enemies exploit the requirements of communication networks throughout practically every government and private-sector entity, posing a threat to every business. Ransomware attacks, for example, are affecting more sectors than ever before, including local governments and non-profits, and risks to supply chains, “.gov” websites, and key infrastructure have increased as well.
Despite the efforts of cybersecurity professionals to plug security breaches, attackers are continually looking for new ways to avoid detection by IT, bypass protection measures, and exploit new vulnerabilities. The latest cybersecurity risks are taking use of work-from-home environments, remote access technologies, and new cloud services to put a new twist on “well-known” attacks. The following are some of the evolving threats:
Malware refers to harmful software types such as worms, viruses, Trojans, and spyware that allow unauthorized access to a computer or cause damage to it. Malware attacks are becoming increasingly “fileless,” and are designed to avoid detection technologies that scan for harmful file attachments, such as antivirus software.
Ransomware is a sort of virus that encrypts files, data, or computers and threatens to delete or destroy the data unless a ransom is paid to the hackers who began the attack. Recent ransomware attacks have targeted state and municipal governments, which are easier to hack than businesses and are under pressure to pay ransoms in order to restore critical apps and websites that citizens rely on.
Phishing / social engineering
Phishing is a type of social engineering in which people are tricked into disclosing personal information (PII) or sensitive information. Phishing scams involve emails or text messages that look to be from a reputable company and ask for sensitive information like credit card numbers or login credentials. The FBI has reported a rise in pandemic-related phishing, which they attribute to the rise of remote work.
Insider threats can include current or former workers, business partners, contractors, or anyone who has had access to systems or networks in the past and has abused their access permissions. Traditional security solutions such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, which focus on external threats, may be blind to insider risks.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
A DDoS assault overloads a server, website, or network with traffic, usually from numerous synchronized systems, in order to bring it down. DDoS assaults use the simple network management protocol (SNMP), which is used by modems, printers, switches, routers, and servers, to overwhelm enterprise networks.
Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
An APT is when an attacker or a group of intruders enter a system and go undiscovered for a long time. In order to spy on company activities and collect important data while evading the activation of defensive countermeasures, the intruder leaves networks and systems untouched. An example of an APT is the recent Solar Winds penetration of US federal computers.
An eavesdropping assault in which a cybercriminal intercepts and relays messages between two parties in order to steal data is known as man-in-the-middle. An attacker, for example, can intercept data passing between a guest’s device and the network on an insecure Wi-Fi network.