What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a process that enables organizations to protect their applications, data, programs, networks, and systems from cyberattacks and unauthorized access. Cybersecurity threats are rapidly increasing in sophistication as attackers use new techniques and social engineering to extort money from organizations and users, disrupt business processes, and steal or destroy sensitive information.
To protect against these activities, organizations require technology cybersecurity solutions and a robust process to detect and prevent threats and remediate a cybersecurity breach.
What Are the Different Categories of Cybersecurity?
Various types of cybersecurity enable organizations to defend their various systems. Tools for cybersecurity include:
Network security is the use of devices, processes, and technologies to secure corporate networks. Organizations’ increasingly complex networks introduce new vulnerabilities across various areas, including applications, data, devices, locations, and users. Network security tools can prevent threats, close potential vulnerabilities, prevent downtime, and avoid regulatory noncompliance.
Application security is the process of enhancing the security of mobile and web applications. This typically occurs during development to ensure apps are safe and protected when deployed, which is crucial as attackers increasingly target attacks against apps. Application security tools enable organizations to test apps, detect threats, and cover them with encryption.
Information security, also known as InfoSec, secures data from unauthorized access, deletion, destruction, modification, or misuse. It involves using practices and processes to protect data when stored on devices and in transit.
Operational security (OPSEC) is a process that protects sensitive information and prevents unauthorized access. OPSEC encourages organizations to look at their infrastructure and operations from the perspective of an attacker. It allows them to detect unusual actions or behavior, as well as discover potential vulnerabilities and poor operation processes.
Addressing these threats and weaknesses enables companies to implement security best practices and monitor communication channels for suspicious behavior.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Disaster recovery and business continuity enable organizations to regain full access and functionality of their IT infrastructure. Disaster recovery relies on data being backed up, allowing the organization to recover and restore original data and systems.
Employees are organizations’ first line of defense against cyberattacks. It’s therefore crucial that users understand the importance of cybersecurity and the types of threats they face. Organizations also need to ensure employees follow cybersecurity best practices and policies.
How Does Cybersecurity Work?
An effective cybersecurity plan needs to be built on multiple layers of protection. Cybersecurity companies provide solutions that integrate seamlessly and ensure a strong defense against cyberattacks.
Employees need to understand data security and the risks they face. This includes the importance of using secure passwords, avoiding clicking links or opening unusual attachments in emails, and backing up their data.
Organizations need a solid framework that helps them define their cybersecurity approach and mitigate a potential attack. It needs to focus on how the organization protects critical systems, detects and responds to a threat, and recovers from an attack.
A cybersecurity solution needs to prevent the risk of vulnerabilities being exploited. This includes protecting all devices, cloud systems, and corporate networks.
What Are the Types of Cybersecurity Threats?
Recent cybersecurity statistics show that organizations face a growing range of threats, including:
Malware is a term that describes malicious software, which attackers use to gain access to networks, infect devices and systems, and steal data. Types of malware include:
Viruses are one of the most common forms of malware. They quickly spread through computer systems to affect performance, corrupt files, and prevent users from accessing the device. Attackers embed malicious code within clean code, often inside an executable file, and wait for users to execute it.
Trojan horses appear as legitimate software, which ensures they are frequently accepted onto users’ devices. Trojans create backdoors that allow other malware to access the device.
Spyware hides on a computer to track user activity and collect information without their knowledge. This allows attackers to collect sensitive data, such as credit card information, login credentials, and passwords.
Ransomware involves attackers blocking or locking access to data then demanding a fee to restore access. Hackers typically take control of users’ devices and threaten to corrupt, delete, or publish their information unless they pay the ransom fee.
Adware results in unwanted adverts appearing on the user’s screen, typically when they attempt to use a web browser. Adware is often attached to other applications or software, enabling it to install onto a device when users install the legitimate program.
A botnet is a network of devices that have been hijacked by a cyber criminal, who uses it to launch mass attacks, commit data theft, spread malware, and crash servers.
Phishing is an attack vector that directly targets users through email, text, and social messages. Attackers use phishing to pose as a legitimate sender and dupe victims into clicking malicious links and attachments or sending them to spoofed websites. This enables them to steal user data, passwords, credit card data, and account numbers.
Structured Query Language (SQL) injection is used to exploit vulnerabilities in an application’s database. An attack requires the form to allow user-generated SQL to query the database directly. Cyber criminals launch an attack by inserting code into form fields to exploit vulnerabilities in code patterns. If the vulnerability is shared across the application, it can affect every website that uses the same code.
Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks
A MITM attack happens when attackers exploit weak web-based protocols to steal data. It enables them to snoop on conversations, steal data being shared between people, impersonate employees, launch bots that generate messages, and even spoof entire communications systems.
A denial-of-service (DoS) attack involves attackers flooding a server with internet traffic to prevent access to websites and services. Some attacks are financially motivated, while others are launched by disgruntled employees.
What Are the Major Forms of Threats to Global Cybersecurity?
Global cybersecurity efforts aim to counter three major forms of threats:
A cyber crime occurs when an individual or group targets organizations to cause disruption or for financial gain.
In a cyberattack, cyber criminals target a computer or corporate system. They aim to destroy or steal data, do damage to a network, or gather information for politically motivated reasons.
Cyber terrorism involves attackers undermining electronic systems to cause mass panic and fear.
How Fortinet Can Help
Fortinet Antivirus detects and prevents potential cyber threats, FortiMail protects organizations from email-borne threats like malware, phishing, and spam, while FortiWeb web application firewalls (WAFs) protect critical web applications from known and unknown vulnerabilities and evolve in line with changes to an organization's attack surface. FortiDDoS provides dynamic, multi-layered protection from known and zero-day attacks, helping organizations fight ever-evolving distributed DoS threats.
Fortinet also provides a range of virtual private network (VPN) solutions that enable users to browse the web securely via encrypted connections regardless of where they log on from.