Cyber Security or Network Security is a system or methodology implemented in a way to protect the safety and reliability of a network and its data.
Think of it as a fence around your land or an entrance protected by a security man. Just like that, cyber security involves the management of access to a network by eliminating or blocking a wide range of threats from entering, communicating with outside, and spreading through the system.
Cyber security is all about protecting devices and systems connected to the internet and networks. The possible threats can be an initial attack, like a hacking attempt or a virus. It is also focusing on protecting files, documents, and information from these kinds of attacks.
Cyber Security starts with an authentication procedure in the form of a username/email and a password but can be integrated with more features like firewalls and anti-virus programs, anti-ransomware protection, and VPN to protect network information.
The benefits of cyber security
With the dawn of the digital age, more and more mega corporations started to digitalize their information and assets due to the advantages it posed. With the advancements of technology more and more small-scale companies as well as private firms also started to digitalize their work environment, to maximize efficiency, and to reduce the workload.
Nowadays, with the advancements in telecommunication and electronics, the general public is also experiencing a fully fledge digital experience.
Secure and reliable networks protect organizational reputation and assets, it also allows the employees to exchange their information and work-related details more cost-effectively in less time. An existing customer or a potential customer can get to know about the products and services offered by a certain organization without much time and resource commitment. To provide the clients and employees a hassle-free experience, it is best to consider the security of digital infrastructure as the first requirement in the priority of top management.
According to an article by Cybersecurity ventures, the global cost of dealing with the damage caused by cybercriminals is estimated to rise up to $6 trillion by 2021, doubling the cost of the damages recorded in 2015. According to this article by the tech republic, the average cost of a cyber attack is $1 million which is expected to rise gradually.
However, it is noteworthy to mention that not only the mega-corporations with armies of cybersecurity experts to protect their assets are getting attacked. Average citizens like you and me are getting attacked with automated malware and ransomware attacks to steal our private and financial information.
This is why each of us must invest some time and resources to protect ourselves against this type of attack.
Taking precautions can improve your personal digital experience.
These are the benefits that your organization may get from improving network security.
Providing security for a bigger system translates into providing security for everyone using it. Whether it’s a client or an employee, both parties are protected from possible cyber attacks. This improves client and consumer confidence and it improves the reputation of your business venture. This may also help you to avoid legal actions following a fallout of a security breach.
Protects proprietary information and confidential information.
It is not much common knowledge, but mega-corporations can sometimes hire 3rd parties to steal the proprietary information belonging to the rivals. Hackers sometimes offer stolen data to other interested parties on the dark web.
The long time survival of your business does rely on your ability to protect sensitive information.
Government regulations sometimes require you to take certain procedures when it comes to data protection and storing. If you fail to comply with those standards, you may face legal actions against your business. This is why it requires taking necessary steps to ensure all the data that you gather over the years are safe and blocked away from 3rd parties that may use that information for illegal activities.
Enables a more modern and user-friendly workplace.
Most of the tech companies are nowadays promoting work from home ideas, allowing employees to work safely from any location. But, there’s always a risk of a data breach as many people are connecting their devices to public Wi-Fi hotspots on the go. The risks regarding connecting your devices into an unmoderated network are risky. Even if the employee doesn’t connect his devices to public networks, what if their personal connections are already compromised.
The threats regarding this can be eliminated with the help of a VPN service. An employee connected to the main system via using a VPN can collaborate with secure transactions, secure network access. It also provides multiple layers of security to scale up as you are upscaling your business.
Cyber Security features.
Antivirus and anti-malware software
Malicious software like the Trojans, ransomware, and spyware can attack your devices connected to a network, and this may result in loss of data or corruption of the system or data in it.
Most of the malware programs do not get active right away. They lay dormant monitoring system vulnerabilities before secretly using system resources to steal information.
The best antivirus programs in the market are proactive, not reactive. Meaning, they always scan the system and files for possible corruption rather than blocking a threat when it happens. Not only these programs scan and monitor the network for malware upon entry but also monitors the network for suspicious behavior and anomalies to address possible threats.
The cybersecurity experts must have a clear point of view on how users do behave within a network and what their requirements are. This helps them to identify possible behavioral anomalies. This is how the foundation for creating behavioral analysis tools are laid. Behavioral analysis tools are designed to automatically identify suspicious user behavior that usually precedes a potential cyber attack to get entry to the system.
Identifying these threats early on gives the network security administrators a better chance of preventing potential risks.
3rd party applications like multimedia editors, text editors, office document editors, accounting software are essential tools in an office environment. Media players, photo editors, audio-video recording software, and web browsers are a part of our everyday digital experience. However, sometimes these applications can come with security vulnerabilities that may be used by the cybercriminal to get access to your system. Most of the cyber-attacks around the world happen due to not updating and patching security vulnerabilities in your software programs.
This is why each software application installed in each device connected to the network must be monitored and updated to prevent data leakages.
Many businesses are moving to cloud computing and cloud storage as it is far easier to maintain and retrieve information from an offline system. The main benefits regarding cloud computing and cloud storage are reduced cost, easier collaboration despite the distance between each employee, integrated tools, and increased efficiency.
But migration to cloud computing and cloud storage comes with its own challenges due to internet dependency.
When a user can connect to the internet directly, a network admin may lose the foresight into what they are doing and this increases the risk of data theft and data corruption.
This is why cloud computing and cloud storage service providers are coming with solutions like a military-grade end to end encryption, identity management, heuristic network-level threat elimination, AI-powered behavior monitoring of applications, and two-factor authentication.
This ensures the complete safety of your data.
Data Loss Prevention
The Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology ensures that all necessary actions are taken to avoid staff workers and network users from sharing sensitive information with anyone outside the system, willingly or accidentally.
Data loss can happen while uploading, downloading, forwarding currently available files. Data can be stolen if a user shares login details and access codes to classified information. All these grounds must be considered when setting up a safer online work environment.
DDoS attack prevention.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are an ever-increasing common threat. A DDoS attack can cause a system to crash by overloading its resources by trying to connect to it numerous times nonstop. DDoS prevention tools scan and monitor incoming traffic to identify illegitimate connection requests and can reroute traffic away from the network firewalls.
Trying to breach a system via email is one of the most common practices used by cybercriminals. Some send links to malicious software payloads, some send links to malware-hosting sites pretending to be something else. Key loggers, screenshot capturing tools, and other spyware can help them to steal your personal and financial information to get access to a secure system. Cybercriminals are using complex targeting and social engineering tactics to deceive users for phishing attempts.
Email security providers usually block emails from known spammers, emails with links to known malware-infested websites and prevent outgoing emails from sharing certain data and spreading malware through a user’s contact list.
However, the email service providers are getting better and better at eliminating risks attached to emails.
A firewall is acting as a fence between your trusted internal system and external networks. Firewall acts as the first line of defense and protects your system by monitoring incoming and outgoing data packets based on a predetermined established set of network rules and policies.
A decent firewall is capable of eliminating suspicious data packets from entering as well as suspicious data packets from being transmitted to a third party from within the system.
The Intrusion Prevention System scans the system traffic to block threats. It also tracks the progression of suspicious files and malware by keeping a track of devices to infrastructure level information to prohibit the spread of malware outbreaks and system reinfection.
Mobile network and device security.
As more companies are embracing personal mobile phone applications to exchange information hoping to improve communication efficiency, the exchange of sensitive information via remote mobile networks is going to increase vastly. This trend has paved the way for a new threat to system admins as they have to ensure the security of mobile devices as well. To get this done, they have to limit access to the system to prevent hackers from infiltrating the system.
The network segmentation
Network segmentation is done by separating a network into several zones or data sets with similar compliance requirements. This is an effective way to improve the security of a system as it streamlines the workload of a system admin by making it easier to apply and enforce security policies, to limit access and authorization to several users, or to offer protection in case you are using your own device instead of the devices in the workplace.
SIEM in short for Security Information and Event Management technology is similar to IPS, provides real-time monitoring and scanning of network data and all the data gathered in the past to provide the system admin a clear view of network activity. All this information is then combined with intrusion detection systems to help the identification and prevention of possible threats.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software product that offers protection for a user connected to the internet directly by encrypting the connection between an endpoint to a system or a network. Most of the VPN services are using OpenVPN or IPsec protocols or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) feature to authenticate communication from a device to a secure network.
Parental Control or access control is a feature that can be used to limit the access of a certain user to use system resources in certain ways. This can be used to control the accessibility of websites as well as the time period someone is allowed to use the internet.
This is a feature that limits access to malware-infested URLs. This may prevent the user from accessing several pre-determined lists of websites. This feature is helpful to avoid downloading malware payloads and to prevent phishing attempts.