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The internet has been the stepping stone for almost every technology that has surfaced since the 1970s. It is a known fact of life that every light has its shadow and with the progression of this glowing technology, online criminalization has also taken shape.
Cybercriminals take the internet as a tool to conduct illegal cybercrimes like extracting money from innocent people, gathering or destroying confidential information, and disrupting routine activities.
WHAT IS CYBERSECURITY?
All procedures and technologies designed to guard devices, software systems, data and information, and networks from cybercrimes are included in cybersecurity.
Cyberattacks or cybercrimes are a permanent danger for all users – consumers, employees, or organizations. They can be so severe as to even destroy lives and businesses.
Simplifying the definition, cybersecurity counts on People, Processes, and Technology to protect the integrity of the system.
System users must be knowledgeable of the basic safety protocols, like secure passwords, or awareness of the dangers of visiting suspicious sites, etc.
If a cyberattack is attempted or carried out successfully, the responsibilities of people to counter and minimize the aftermath are documented as processes. These procedures also define the practices that can be followed to avoid being a victim of cybercrimes.
All the tools developed to protect the system integrity from cybercrimes are covered in this part. These are antivirus software, firewalls, etc.
TYPES OF CYBERSECURITY
Below are the types of cybersecurity briefly described for your reference:
- Information Security
Famously known as InfoSec, Information Security preserves both digital and physical data from unauthorized use, disclosure, edit, deletion, or even access, etc.
The incorporation of cryptography and user authentication is an example of Information Security.
- Network Security
This type of cybersecurity protects the accessibility, integrity, and safety of internet networks from invaders by safeguarding the infrastructure. Some of the examples of Network Security include 2FA or two-factor authentication, antispyware, and antivirus programs.
- Application Security
It intends to protect software programs and applications against threats due to faulty application design, development, installation, or upgradation. Application Security includes firewalls, encryption, and antivirus programs.
- Cloud Security
A tool developed to protect and monitor the data in your cloud to eliminate the risks that come along with on-premises cyberattacks.
- Critical Infrastructure Security
It consists of digital-analog systems like water purification systems and the electricity grid.
- Data Loss Prevention
Policies developed to handle and prevent data loss, and the developing of policies to recover in case of a security breach. It includes formulating network permissions and procedures for data storage.
- End-User Education
Type of cybersecurity that spreads awareness and teaches users to fight against cybercrimes.
CATEGORIES OF CYBER THREATS
All cyber threat types fall under three main categories:
- Confidentiality attacks are designed to rob you of your personal confidential information like your identification, bank account number, or ATM PIN. This information can be then sold out or traded on the dark web for illicit activities.
- Integrity attacks, often called leaks, consist of documentation subject to sabotage an individual or an enterprise. The prime purpose of such attacks is to expose information and influence people to lose trust in an organization or person.
- Availability attacks block users from their data usage unless they pay a ransom or fee.
TYPES OF CYBER THREATS
Here are some of the types of cyber threats that fall under the discussed three categories.
- Social Engineering is a type of confidentiality attack and is a process of manipulating individuals into performing certain actions or releasing their personal information. Phishing attacks are easily the most common aspect of social engineering.
- Advanced Persistent Threats, commonly called APTs, are a type of integrity attack. An unauthorized user stays or infiltrates a network for a long period. The intent is to steal important information. APTs most often occur in high-value info sectors like national defense and financial institutions.
- Virus is a malware program designed to harm the victims’ devices. Viruses can also replicate and affect a system without user consent or knowledge. These viruses can also connect with other files further harming the computer and can survive without a host program.
- Identity Theft is a major digital threat that includes stealing victims’ private data from social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and then utilizing that data to impersonate the victim.
- Password Attacks are threats that require cybercriminals to decipher victims’ passwords for their personal gain. With sufficient tools, hackers can obtain access to victims’ account credentials as well.
- Keyloggers and Spyware are types of malware. Keyloggers can store victims’ keystrokes helping them to decode PINs, passwords, and other important credentials. Spyware is a type of malware used to spy on victims’ devices and software usage.
- Adware is also a type of malware that generates pop-up ads. Unusual pop-up messages on your computer screen are often malware attacks. The purpose is to obtain user permission to install malicious software on victims’ devices. Such software can steal or remove your data.
- Trojans, another type of malware, are programs that present themselves as useful or secure software.
- Ransomware encrypts or bolts the victims’ devices and asks for money for decrypting the same device. Unlike other threats, ransomware attacks make sure that the victims are aware of the exploitation and give directions for recovery as well.
- Browser Hijackers redirect the victims’ browser to strange websites selected by cybercriminals or to websites that pay them for every hit they receive.
- Phishing Emails are aimed at stealing the personal information of victims like user log-in and account details, PINs, and passwords, etc.
WHERE CAN THESE CYBERSECURITY THREATS GENERATE?
Cybercriminals have gotten very creative in the ways to enter a victim’s device although he most commonly used methods are:
- Torrent Downloads
- File Sharing
- Distrustful Websites
- Phishing Emails
WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST CYBERSECURITY THREATS
The following points can help increase your awareness of cybersecurity.
- Always check the URL before supplying any personal information. A secure site starts with https:// while a site beginning from http:// (which means that s is missing) might be a malignant site and you should avoid sharing any important information.
- Do not click on any email attachments that you find suspicious. A good rule is to never open attachments and links from unknown sources.
- Update your device regularly.
- Be cautious and always keep your important data backed up.
- Install a good security suite or at least a basic anti-virus software.
- Keep yourself knowledgeable about the newest safety and security trends.