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What Is Cybersecurity? What’s The Difference Between A Cyber-Attack And A Security Breach?

What Is Cybersecurity

What Is Cybersecurity

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the process of defending computer networks and data from intrusion. Cybersecurity, often known as information technology (IT) security, is a set of precautions taken to protect an organization’s networked systems and applications from harm.

The average cost of a data breach worldwide was $3.86 million in 2020, while in the United States, it was $8.64 million. Damage to a company’s reputation and brand can take years to repair, and the costs associated with finding and responding to a data breach can be substantial.

Names, addresses, national identity numbers (such as Social Security numbers in the US, and fiscal codes in Italy), and credit card information are all prime targets for cybercriminals, who subsequently sell the data in dark web marketplaces. When personal information is compromised, businesses risk losing customers, being fined by regulators, and even facing legal action.

Disparate technology and a lack of in-house expertise can add complexity to a security system, driving up expenses. However, threats may be fought and the lifetime and impact of breaches can be mitigated by enterprises with a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, controlled by best practices and automated utilizing advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.

The Different Types of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity encompasses several different areas of study. It has seven primary components:

1. Network Security

Network security products aim to detect and prevent the vast majority of assaults that are launched across an organization’s computer network. Application controls, network access restrictions, and data loss prevention tools like Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) are all part of these solutions for enforcing responsible online behavior.

IPS (Intrusion Protection System), NGAV (Next-Generation Antivirus), Sandboxing, and CDR (Content Disarm and Reconstruction) are all examples of advanced and multi-layered network threat protection systems. Security orchestration and response (SOAR) automation, network analytics, and threat hunting are also crucial.

2. Cloud Security

The importance of cloud security grows as more and more businesses utilize cloud computing. Protecting a company’s complete cloud deployment (apps, data, infrastructure, etc.) is just one part of a comprehensive cloud security plan that also includes cyber security solutions, controls, policies, and services.

When it comes to providing enterprise-grade security in the cloud, many cloud providers’ security solutions fall short. In order to prevent data breaches and targeted assaults in the cloud, additional third-party solutions are required.

3. Endpoint Security

The zero-trust security concept recommends partitioning data into tiny islands wherever it may be stored. With a mobile workforce, endpoint security is one option. Companies can use data and network security controls, advanced threat prevention measures like anti-phishing and anti-ransomware, and forensics technologies like endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions to protect end-user devices like desktops and laptops.

4. Mobile Security

Malicious apps, zero-day exploits, phishing, and IM (Instant Messaging) attacks are just some of the risks that companies face since mobile devices like tablets and smartphones have access to company data.

Mobile security shields the OS and hardware from intrusion and helps prevent rooting and jailbreaking. In conjunction with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system, this helps businesses check that only approved mobile devices can access sensitive data.

5. IoT Security

The use of IoT devices increases efficiency, but it also leaves businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks. For malicious purposes, such as gaining access to a company’s internal network or adding another bot to a global bot network, threat actors actively seek for susceptible devices that have accidentally been linked to the Internet.

Using techniques like auto-segmentation to regulate network activities and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) as a virtual patch to stop exploits against weak IoT devices, IoT security ensures the safety of these gadgets. Small agents can be added to the device firmware in some situations to protect against exploits and runtime assaults.

6. Application Security

Web apps, like any other online service, are vulnerable to attacks by malicious users. Injection, broken authentication, misconfiguration, and cross-site scripting are just a few of the top 10 risks that OWASP has been monitoring since 2007.

Application security is the key to protecting against the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities. Protecting against bot attacks and other forms of malicious API and application interaction is another important aspect of application security. Even as DevOps rolls out new features, constant learning will keep systems secure.

7. Zero Trust

The conventional security paradigm emphasizes establishing barriers around the outside of a facility to protect its most prized possessions. However, this strategy has a number of drawbacks, including exposure to insider threats and a hastened erosion of the network’s perimeter.

With the rise of cloud computing and telecommuting, businesses need to rethink their security measures to account for the off-site relocation of critical resources. Micro-segmentation, monitoring, and the implementation of role-based access rules are all part of the zero-trust security model’s approach to securing individual resources.

Dangerous Cybersecurity Myths

Despite the growing number of cyberattacks around the world, common myths about the subject persist.

Cybercriminals are unwelcome visitors. In truth, malicious insiders—either acting alone or in collaboration with external hackers—are frequently to blame for cybersecurity breaches. These insiders may be affiliated with well-structured groups supported by governments.

Everyone is aware of the dangers. In fact, thousands of new vulnerabilities are reported every day in both legacy and cutting-edge apps and devices, thus increasing the scope of the problem. Furthermore, there are constantly more chances for human mistakes, such as when careless employees or contractors accidentally cause a data leak.

There is no escape from attackers. Linux systems, OT, IoT devices, and cloud environments are all potential entry points for cybercriminals, who are constantly discovering new attack vectors.

I work in a secure field. Threats to information security exist in every sector of the economy, as cybercriminals target the communication infrastructures of businesses and government agencies alike. Threats on supply chains, “.gov” websites, and vital infrastructure have also expanded, and they also include local governments and non-profits (see below for more details on ransomware attacks).

Common Cyber Threats

Despite the best efforts of security analysts and developers, cybercriminals are continually looking for new ways to avoid detection by IT and bypass safeguards. The most recent cybersecurity risks are putting a novel spin on “known” problems by exploiting remote work, mobile devices, and cloud computing. Examples of such changing dangers include:


Malicious software, or “malware,” includes programs like worms, viruses, Trojan horses, and spyware that are designed to either steal personal information or damage a computer system. “Fileless” malware attacks are becoming more common and are created to evade traditional detection methods, such as antivirus software, which looks for harmful file attachments.


Ransomware is a sort of malicious software that encrypts files, data, or systems and then threatens to delete or destroy the data (or make private or sensitive data public) unless a ransom is paid to the cybercriminals who began the attack. Recent ransomware attacks have mostly focused on state and local governments since they are easier to infiltrate than organizations and face pressure to pay ransom to restore applications and websites on which citizens rely.

Phishing / social engineering

Social engineering like phishing can be used to gain access to private information by tricking consumers. Phishing scams use deceptively official-looking emails or texts to trick victims into divulging personal information like passwords or credit card numbers. The FBI has noticed a rise in pandemic-related phishing campaigns, which may be connected to the popularity of telecommuting.

Insider threats

An insider threat can be someone who has previously had access to a system or network, whether they were an employee, business partner, contractor, or not. Traditional security solutions, like firewalls and intrusion detection systems, tend to focus on external threats and may not detect an insider threat.

DDoS Attacks, or Distributed Denial of Service Assaults

A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) is an attempt to bring down a server, website, or network by flooding it with traffic. The simple network management protocol (SNMP) is utilized by enterprise networks and is vulnerable to distributed denial of service attacks. SNMP is used for modems, printers, switches, routers, and servers.

Advanced persistent threats (APTs)

APTs include the infiltration of a system by a hacker or group of hackers who then go unnoticed for an extended length of time. By not disrupting infrastructure, an attacker can secretly monitor company operations and take confidential information without raising suspicion or setting off alarms. As an example of an APT, consider the recent Solar Winds hack into US government networks.

Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

An eavesdropping attack known as “man-in-the-middle” occurs when a hacker places themselves between a victim and the intended recipient of a message for the purpose of stealing information. If a Wi-Fi network isn’t properly protected, for instance, an attacker may potentially snoop on communications between a guest’s device and the network.

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The Security Strategy of Zero Trust

The level of interaction between companies today is unprecedented. Different environments are required for your systems, people, and data. The implementation of security rules within each environment adds complexity, but perimeter-based protection is no longer sufficient. In any situation, your most valuable possessions will be less safe.

A zero-trust approach takes the risk of compromise seriously and implements safeguards to verify the identity and intent of every user, device, and connection that interacts with the company. Organizations need a method to combine security information to build the context (device security, location, etc.) that informs and enforces validation controls in order to implement a zero-trust approach successfully.

What’s The Difference Between A Cyber-Attack And A Security Breach?

A security breach is similar to but not the same as a cyber-attack. As we’ve established, an attempt to breach a system’s security is what we call a cyber-attack. A variety of cyber-attacks, such as those described above, are used by attackers to compromise the security, reliability, or availability of a system, program, or network.

A security breach, on the other hand, is an incident in which sensitive data is compromised, unauthorized access is gained to information technology systems, or services are interrupted as a direct result of a cyberattack.

Cybercriminals often launch a wide variety of assaults on their targets in the hopes that at least one would succeed in bypassing security measures. As a result, incidents that compromise security also draw attention to the importance of Business Continuity and Incident Response (BC-IR) plans.

A business can benefit from BC-IR in the event of a successful cyberattack. While Incident Response focuses on mitigating the effects of a security breach and restoring normal operations for IT and business systems in the wake of an attack, Business Continuity is concerned with keeping those systems up no matter what.

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