What is Cybersecurity?

8 Mins read


Everything is internet-connected now! From communication to business works, information to the entertainment sector, no field can flourish without internet connectivity. Because of its large-scale availability, the users produce a massive amount of data. Online traffic has increased drastically. But all this activity is just one side of the coin.

Using the internet or any service on the internet comes at a cost and a security risk. Sometimes it’s just the marketing stunts, and it’s the ads while using a site. But, there is something between the lines, which is security. Like everyday life, online activity requires security, which is called cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity or digital security is known for the different techniques of protecting online networks, computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, and data from online traffic disruption attacks. It is often referred to as electronic information security or IT security. The phenomenon of attacks is known as cybercrime; many countries have legislation to declare it a crime.

This article deals with the basic concept of cybersecurity, its importance, and the different categories of cybersecurity. Common types of cyber-attacks and valuable tips to protect your online presence are also elaborated.

Cyber Security Issues

Cyber Security Issues

Why is Cybersecurity Important?

Cybersecurity is critical because it protects all types of data from hackers to secure your private information. Without cybersecurity, personal data, organizational data, intellectual property data, and data of government institutions can be hacked or stolen. The stolen data can be used to damage the reputation, workflow, and financial transactions of any individual and institution.

Protecting cloud services is another aspect of understanding the importance of cybersecurity. Big brands, companies, and many individuals use cloud services to store and access data. Integrating cloud services from Amazon to Apple and Microsoft increases cyber-attack risks. When data is in the cloud, it can be damaged or accessed by hackers. It’s because you have no prior control over it; if you can access it from anywhere in the world, anybody can. And here comes the cybersecurity to protect your data.

Traditional security solutions to protect data, like antivirus software and firewalls, are no more effective in protecting your online data. Hackers are becoming smarter daily and can use new techniques to steal data. So, covering all the cyber security fields to protect your online data effectively is essential and the need of the hour.

Case Study of Cybersecurity


In 2017, one of the biggest cyber-attacks was observed around the globe. It affected 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries. This was a WannaCry cyber-attack.

WannaCry is a ransomware cryptoworm, also known as WannaCrypt, which targets computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Its culprits damaged the user data and demanded ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It is also considered a network worm because it can spread itself automatically.

Nature of the Attack

The WannaCry cyber-attack began on Friday, May 12, 2017, and initially infected Asian servers at 07:44 UTC. The early infection was likely through less-secured SMB port rather than email phishing. In just 24 hours of the initial attack, it infected over 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.

The attack affected organizations that had not installed Microsoft’s security update since March. Those still running unverified versions of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, were at high risk because no security updates had been released since May 2014.

Defensive Strategy

Because there have been no reports of people receiving their data back after paying the ransom and huge payments would promote more of these attacks, cybersecurity experts advised the affected customers against doing so. Three hundred twenty-seven payments totaling $130,634.77 have been transferred as of June 14, 2017.

Microsoft published out-of-band security upgrades for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 8 the day after the initial attack in May. These patches were made in February of that year in response to the vulnerability in January. The vulnerability in Windows should be patched, and organizations should do so to secure themselves against cyber-attack.

The kill switch domain was revealed to be coded in the virus by researcher Marcus Hutchins. The ransomware only encrypted the computer’s contents if it couldn’t connect to that domain, which all WannaCry-infected computers had been unable to do before the website’s registration. While this did not help systems that were already infected, it significantly slowed the initial infection’s progress and allowed defensive measures to be implemented globally, especially in North America and Asia.

Matt Suiche registered the first edition of WannaCry with a new and second kill-switch on the same day the attack initially appeared on May 14. On May 15, Check Point threat intelligence analysts detected a second variation with the third and final kill switch. This was the variant that came after the first. A fresh WannaCry variant without the kill switch was discovered a few days later.

Wannacry Cyber Attack

Wannacry Cyber Attack

Impact of the Attack

The ransomware campaign affected around 200,000 computers across 150 countries. According to Kaspersky Lab, Russia, Ukraine, India, and Taiwan were the four most affected countries.

One of the largest agencies struck by the attack was the National Health Service hospitals in England and Scotland. Up to 70,000 devices, including computers, MRI scanners, blood-storage refrigerators, and theatre equipment, may have been affected On May 12. But NHS hospitals in Wales and Northern Ireland were unaffected by the attack.

The attack’s impact is said to be relatively low compared to other potential attacks of the same type and could have been much worse if Hutchins had not discovered a kill switch. It could affect critical infrastructures, like nuclear power plants, dams, or railway systems.

According to cyber-risk-modeling firm Cyence, economic losses from the cyber-attack could reach up to US$4 billion, with other groups estimating the losses to be in the hundreds of millions.

Common Categories of Cybersecurity

Network Security

The act of protecting a computer network from hackers and malicious software that can damage or destroy data in any form is known as network security.

Application Security

Application security focuses on preventing threats from entering devices and software. The data and application may be accessible if it is compromised. Adequate security starts at the design phase, long before a program or device is launched.

Information Security

Data integrity and privacy are safeguarded by information security. It protects data during the storage and transmission process across the internet. It’s also known as InfoSec.

Cloud Security

Secure and confidential computing supports consumer privacy, corporate needs, and regulatory compliance standards by encrypting cloud data in storage, in motion (as it travels to, from, and within the cloud), and in use (during processing). This action is known as cloud security.

Operational Security

Operational security addresses the process of managing and protecting online data assets. This includes the policies that regulate how and where data may be stored or exchanged. It also addresses the permissions people have when accessing a network.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery determines how a company reacts to an attack or any other situation that results in the loss of operations or data. Its procedures specify how the organization restores its operations and information to resume normal business operations.

Human Error

Anyone who disregards the security procedures has the potential to inject a virus into an otherwise secure system unintentionally. For the security of any firm, it is crucial to teach users to delete suspicious email attachments and to avoid plugging in unknown USB drives and other vital teachings and instructions.

The Scale of Cyber Threat

Each year, the number of data breaches increases as the worldwide cyber threat grows quickly. Most breaches happened in the medical industry, retail, and public sector. Because they gather financial and medical data, some of these industries are more interesting to cyber criminals than others. Still, any firm that uses networks might be the target of customer data theft, corporate espionage, or customer attacks.

The International Data Corporation projects that by 2022, global spending on cyber-security solutions will amount to $133.7 billion, as the scope of the cyber threat is expected to grow. In response to the growing cyber danger, governments worldwide have issued recommendations to support businesses in implementing good cyber-security policies.

The Scale of Cybersecurity

The Scale of Cybersecurity

List of cyberattacks


Malware means malicious software that is one of the most common cyber threats. It is software a cybercriminal or hacker has created for a computer network. Often spread via an unsolicited email attachment or legitimate-looking download, cybercriminals may use Malware to make money or in politically motivated cyber-attacks.

There are several different types of it, including:

  • Virus: A self-replicating program that attaches itself to a clean file and spreads throughout a computer system, infecting files with malicious code.
  • Trojans: A type of Malware that is disguised as legitimate software. Cybercriminals trick users into uploading Trojans onto their computers where they cause damage or collect data.
  • Spyware: A program that secretly records what a user does so that cybercriminals can use this information. For example, spyware could capture credit card details.
  • Ransomware: Malware that locks down a user’s files and data, with the threat of erasing it unless a ransom is paid.
  • Adware: Advertising software that can be used to spread Malware.
  • Botnets: Networks of malware-infected computers which cybercriminals use to perform tasks online without the user’s permission.
Types of Malware

Types of Malware

SQL Injection

A type of cyber-attack called SQL (structured language query) injection is used to take over and steal data from a database. Cybercriminals use SQL statements to install malicious Malware into databases by taking advantage of flaws in data-driven applications. They now have access to the delicate data stored in the database.

Insider Threats

Current or former employees, business partners, contractors, or anybody else who has previously accessed systems or networks, if they misuse their access privileges, can be regarded as an insider threat. Traditional security measures that concentrate on external threats, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, may not be able to detect insider threats.


Phishing is done when online thieves send emails to their intended victims that look like they are from a trustworthy company and request vital information. Attacks, including phishing, are frequently used to trick people into disclosing personal and credit card information.

Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks (DDoS)

DDoS attacks bring down a server, website, or network by flooding it with traffic from several systems. Using the simple network management protocol (SNMP) used by modems, printers, switches, routers, and servers, DDoS attacks take down computer networks.

Man in the Middle Attack

A cyber threat known as a man-in-the-middle attack occurs when a cybercriminal snoops on a conversation between two people to collect data. An attacker may, for instance, capture data passing between the victim’s device and the network via an insecure Wi-Fi network.

Social Engineering

It’s a particular type of cyberattack used to describe a wide range of behaviors carried out through interactions with others. Users are manipulated to reveal critical information or commit security blunders via psychological tactics.

Valuable Tips for Cybersecurity Strategy

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a cyber security framework. The architecture suggests constant, real-time monitoring of all electronic resources to prevent the spread of harmful code and help in early identification.

Here are some other valuable tips for cybersecurity strategy:

  • Update your device operating system and apps to get the most recent security updates
  • Use antivirus software to detect and eliminate threats, such as Kaspersky Total Security
  • Use strong passwords that are difficult to detect, such as ‘MuN90@0l.’
  • Avoid opening email attachments from unfamiliar senders since they can contain viruses
  • Avoid clicking on links in emails from unknown senders or unfamiliar websites because Malware is frequently disseminated this way.
  • Always use secure Wi-Fi and try not to use public places connections
Cybersecurity Tips

Cybersecurity Tips


With the increase in online traffic and the dependence of businesses on cloud services, cybersecurity has become a need of the day to protect data. It’s essential to understand the structure and scale of cyber-attacks to use cybersecurity effectively. Major brands and businesses are investing much to secure their customer’s data. Still, it is the responsibility of individuals to take some basic steps to secure internet usage. Although there are many new and innovative ways of stealing data, it’s still manageable.

Check out the technology of quantum computing.

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