Meet Anne, an avid online shopper who enjoys the convenience of having her personal information saved on the shopping website she frequents. One day, she received an email offering her a special discount voucher, but to redeem it, she was asked to provide her shopping website credentials. Thinking it was a routine account verification step, she complied. Little did she know, this was the start of a cyber attack. Shortly after, a substantial amount of money was wiped off her account.
Anne’s experience is an example of the dangers of the digital world. Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent as more people spend time online, and cyber security is becoming more important than ever. Cyber security involves techniques that help in securing various digital components, networks, data, and computer systems from unauthorized digital access.
Types of Cyber Attacks
There are multiple types of cyber attacks, each with its own unique method of attack. One of the most common types of cyber attacks is a malware attack. This includes viruses like Trojan, adware, and spyware, which can be embedded in attachments that, when downloaded, can corrupt a system. Another type is phishing, where hackers send fraudulent emails that appear to come from a legitimate source. They use this tactic to install malware or to steal sensitive data like credit card information and login credentials. In a man-in-the-middle attack, the hacker intercepts the communication line between a device and a website’s server to gain access to sensitive information.
Password attacks are also common. Hackers can crack passwords by using common passwords or by trying all possible alphabetical combinations. Companies also face advanced persistent threats, where hackers gain access to networks for a prolonged period to gain confidential information, and denial of service attacks, where networks are flooded with traffic, leaving legitimate service requests unattended.
Importance of Cyber Security
The importance of cyber security cannot be overstated. Cyber attacks can result in loss of money, damage to reputation, and even loss of life. Cyber security is crucial in protecting digital assets and personal information. Public and private organizations are also vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can result in colossal losses. The motive behind these attacks ranges from tampering with crucial data to monetary gain.
Cyber Security Practices
Fortunately, there are ways to implement cyber security practices to prevent future attacks. Firewall, for instance, is a virtual wall that filters incoming and outgoing traffic to safeguard a network. It can be software applications or hardware reinforcements. Honeypots are dummy computer systems used to attract attackers, and they are made to look vulnerable to deceive hackers and defend the real system. In addition, unique alphanumeric passwords, antivirus software, and avoiding mails from unknown senders are also important cyber security practices.
Cyber Security Jobs
As the need for cyber security increases, so does the demand for cyber security professionals. Ethical hackers are professionals who try to identify a network’s vulnerabilities to protect against actual cyber attacks. Security architects design robust security structures, while a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is entrusted with the overall safety of information in an organization.
The digital world can be a dangerous place, but with cyber security practices, individuals and organizations can protect themselves from cyber attacks. Cyber security is crucial in protecting digital assets and personal information from hackers who aim to cause damage or gain unauthorized access. By understanding the various cyber threats, taking preventative measures, and implementing security protocols, individuals and organizations can mitigate the risks associated with cyber attacks.