Cybersecurity: The Five Different Types and Its Importance
In recent years, cyber attacks have increased in frequency and sophistication. Attackers turn loopholes into opportunities, creating many problems that pose threats to valuable private data. In fact, the average number of cyber attacks and data breaches increased by 15.1% from the previous year in 2021. So, it’s important that you understand what is meant by cybersecurity, its types, and its critical role in the modern world.
Read on and stay cyber safe.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to the application of different processes at both personal and organisational levels to protect and recover networks, systems, devices, and online data from cyber attacks. Malicious actors such as hackers, spammers, and cyber criminals pose threats on the internet by altering, stealing, destroying, or exposing sensitive data, including credit card data, passwords, and social security numbers.
Some of the most common types of cybersecurity threats are:
- Malware — These attacks spread malicious software designed by hackers through networks to intentionally intrude and damage computers and systems in the form of worms, trojans, viruses, ransomware, spyware, and more.
- Phishing Attacks — These attacks send large numbers of deceptive messages, usually through email, to different users, requesting them to click a fake link or provide sensitive information.
- Denial-of-Service Attacks — These attacks overwhelm networks or data centres with large amounts of traffic to slow down their systems, so they cannot perform their normal services for legitimate users. It is a type of cyber attack usually performed on businesses or large computer systems.
- Man-in-the-Middle Attacks — These attacks steal data by manipulating existing communications online by placing a program or threat in between the victim and the intended entity the victim is trying to access. The attackers can intercept data from either party by pretending to be legitimate.
- SQL Injections — These attacks insert malicious code into a server using a server query language (SQL) forcing it to deliver protected information.
In fact, cybersecurity is more important today than ever before, requiring people and organisations in every industry to take steps to defend themselves against these threats and bad actors, these steps many times come in the form of cyber security compliance certifications like the SOC 2.
Why Is Cybersecurity Important?
Over the last decade or so, cyber attacks and data breaches have become more and more common. According to Verizon, approximately 70% of cybersecurity breaches in 2021 were financially motivated, while less than 5% were motivated by espionage. Cyber attacks cost people and organisations their valuable time as well as large sums of money while dealing with the consequences.
Whether you are an individual or a business, most of your functionality could depend on a variety of devices, computer systems, and networks, making you highly vulnerable to security threats. Therefore, the cybersecurity industry plays a vital role in present society.
Here are some of the reasons why cybersecurity is important today:
Anyone Is Vulnerable to Cybercrime — Data includes many categories, including sensitive data, personal information, and intellectual property. Individuals, organisations, and even governments all deal with data and are increasingly reliant on computer systems. This means that potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities are rampant and keeping their data protected from security threats is crucial for all of them.
Many countries have introduced laws and standards for compliance to address this problem, such as ISO 22301 (The International Standard for Business Continuity Management).
Cloud Storage Is Growing in Use and Popularity — With people and organisations migrating to cloud computing, enormous amounts of data are uploaded to cloud platforms every day. These platforms require advanced security measures.
Availability of Non-Tech-Savvy Audiences — Other than cloud services, social media plays an integral part in society today. Many users on these platforms who are not aware of the possible risks online are more prone to becoming victims of cybercrime. Cybersecurity measures are important to protect such users of technology from threats.
As detailed above, there are many reasons why cybersecurity is a vital issue today. Cybersecurity is further divided into five distinct categories, and we will now look at each of these categories in more detail.
What Are the Five Types of Cybersecurity?
1. Critical Infrastructure Security
It is a type of cybersecurity responsible for securing critical infrastructure systems. These are usually assets that are essential for the functioning of modern society, playing integral roles in communication, energy, food, health, transport, water, finance, defence, and more.
Some common critical infrastructures are:
- Electricity grids
- Water purification systems
- Traffic lights
- Shopping centres
Since almost all of society depends on at least one of these systems for their daily operations, threat actors could use them as platforms to pose threats to their users.
2. Application Security
Applications, including application code and data, are more vulnerable over networks to external threats. Due to this reason, it is important to implement security measures throughout the development process of an application. Application security utilises both software and hardware methods to secure applications from cybersecurity breaches at their development stage. Anti-virus programs, firewalls, anti-spyware software, and encryption programs are some of the methods used to defend applications from unauthorised access.
3. Network Security
Network security provides protection to computer networks against attacks inside and outside of networks. It prevents unauthorised access to networks with malicious intent. Network administrators utilise machine learning today to monitor networks and track abnormal traffic to block attacks, allowing for only authorised user access to secure networks. Some network security solutions include anti-virus programs, firewalls, extra logins, new passwords, and encryption programs.
4. Cloud Security
Cloud security monitors and protects data on cloud resources. Cloud services are becoming the new normal, as many move to cloud-based systems such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple iCloud for storing and managing their data. As a result, these platforms need to remain secure at all times. Cloud security provides software-based solutions to reduce the risks of security breaches.
5. Internet of Things (IoT) Security
All things connected to the internet have the risk of a security breach. IoT devices are non-standard computing devices that connect wirelessly to a network and have the ability to transmit data, such as Smart TVs, Smart Locks, and Smart Sensors. These are highly vulnerable to security threats. However, in today’s digital world, IoT devices are almost impossible to avoid by people and organisations alike.
IoT security is a measure taken to protect internet devices and the networks they’re linked to from cyber attacks. It identifies and mitigates the security risks involved and allows safe usage.
Protect Yourself from Cyber Attacks
As experts say, the most efficient cyber defenders are anticipation, education, detection, reaction, and resilience. In a world that is increasingly reliant on technology, there are countless ways that you could fall victim to cyber attacks. However, the cybersecurity industry is developing fast and getting more advanced by the day. Critical infrastructure, application, network, cloud, and IoT security play major roles in solving the surging cybersecurity challenges today.
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