Cyber security aims at protecting systems, networks and data from cyber attacks or unauthorised access. It ensures a system’s integrity and maintains the confidentiality of information.
Cyber-attacks are often executed by terrorists or hackers. With the rapid expansion in technology, it is becoming difficult to fight cyber-attacks.
Growth of Cybercrimes
With the advancement in cybercrime procedures, organisations have seen an increase in cybercrimes over the past few years.
It is believed that cybercrimes will manage to cost the world around US $6 trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This would be one of the greatest transfers of economic wealth in history, as quoted by IT Governance.
Ransomware attacks are also at an all-time high. It is expected that by 2019, a business will get targeted for a ransomware attack every 14 seconds.
Types of Cyber-Attacks
Cyber-attacks aim at targeting the three pillars of network security – Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.
Enlisted are some of the most common attacks networks and systems are subjected to today.
- Malware – Malware refers to various types of harmful software. As soon as it inhabits a system, it can gain control over it.
- Social engineering – Social engineering involves human interaction. This method tricks people and uses psychological manipulations by persuading them to make security mistakes.
- Phishing attacks – Phishing is the term given to the act of sending emails that may look like they have come from a known or a trusted source asking for personal or secured details.
- Unpatched software – Attackers find it easy to inhabit a system with an unpatched or out-of-date software.
- File hijacker – Files are hijacked for ransomware.
- Screenshot manager – With the help of this device, criminals can take screenshots of the targeted system and use the data.
- Ad clicker – Creating online advertisements asking the user to click on links that may be able to fetch important information from the system.
- Hacking – Hacking includes the process of identifying a system’s weaknesses and using clever methods to gain access to it.
- Distributed denial of service (DDOS) – This attack makes the servers or networks unavailable to authorised users as the services get suspended. This is a process wherein the attacker floods a website with enormous amount of traffic so that it becomes inaccessible. Most of the times, this attack is performed by many computers at the same time, hence termed as ‘Distributed Denial of Service’.
- Identity theft – A fraud wherein the attacker steals a person’s personal information such as name, address and account number, and operates under his/her identity.
- Man in the Middle (MITM) – An MITM attack involves gaining access to a communication between two users. Herein the attacker communicates with the users and manipulate them to gain access over data.
Major Consequences of Cyber Attacks
The major consequences that organisations face due to cyberattacks are commercial losses, problems in public relations or reputation damage, disturbance in operations, loss of trust between customers and suppliers and legal implications.
Need for Cyber Security
It is important to build effective cyber security solutions as attackers have become a lot more inventive than what they used to be. Organisations often fail to identify threats that may be imposed due to the lack of cyber security infrastructure or insufficient security solutions. Safety of information must be given utmost importance in all enterprises.
Organisations, these days, are also required to take up Cybersecurity Risk Assessments to be able to identify relevant risks and threats.
Cyber Security Risk Assessment
Cyber security risk assessment is the process involved in identifying, analysing and evaluating risks pertaining to an organisation. It is the only way to ensure that proper methods are chosen for cyber security and to eliminate risks that can cause serious damage to an organisation.
Major Areas of Focus
Security breaches are targeted at different areas. Let us understand and learn about these different areas and have a look at the measures that are required for security.
- Critical Infrastructure – Critical infrastructure security refers to the protection of systems, network and data, necessary to ensure the security of a nation’s economy and society.
- Cloud Security – Cloud security includes monitoring and protecting the flow of information using software-based security tools.
- Application Security – Application security helps in improvising the security of applications by identifying security vulnerabilities.
- Network Security – Network security involves the protection of both hardware and software technologies and prevention of unauthorised access to the network.
- Internet of Things (IoT) security – IoT security enables secure development and operation of IoT applications and services.
Cyber Security Careers
With the increase in cyber threats, cyber security is among the top professions students are eying at. As companies demand highly skilled professionals in the same domain, this has become a financially lucrative profession as well. This role comes with an increased responsibility and demands to add value to an organisation. Cyber security professionals must be driven by the love for technology and open to challenging and meaningful work.
Here are some of the most in-demand roles that one can opt for.
- Information Security Analyst – An IT Security Analyst first detects the cyber threats and then plans and executes relevant security measures to protect the organisation’s systems, network and data.
- Security Architect – A Security Architect designs security systems responsible to detect malware and other cyber attacks. Security architects are also responsible for the systems’ constant check and proper functioning at any given time.
- Ethical Hacker – Ethical Hackers are responsible for the detection of a system’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They are required to break past the security systems and find out measures to prevent data theft and fraud.
- Software Security Engineer – The role includes responsibilities such as monitoring networks, developing organisational security standards and preventive measures, staying updated with IT security trends and reporting security breaches to the management.
- CISO – CISO stands for Chief Information Security Officer. The role of a CISO is to improvise steps to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organisation’s assets. It is often seen that such officials directly report to the CEOs of the companies which increases the chances of growth and hiked salaries.
Cyber security offers a higher salary potential with excellent benefits. The salary for an analyst ranges from $70,000 to $120,000 per year.
A software security engineer earns an average of $233,333 per year, as per IT job board DICE.
To become a successful cyber security professional, one must choose industry specified and globally recognised certifications which will help you shine your resumes.
Learn more about How to Build your Career in Cyber Security?
Cyber Security Courses
Cyber security is an area which is given exclusive attention by all organisations. Hence, recruiters demand individuals with deep practical knowledge and expertise across multiple disciplines.
There are different cyber security courses specifically designed for freshers, professionals and people who are interested in basic cyber security norms so as to protect their own systems on a personal level.
Most Popular Courses
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – CEH v10 works as a malicious hacker in order to find out a system’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities but in a legitimate manner.
- Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) Certification – CHFI certification involves the processes used in identifying and detecting hacking attacks with relevant proofs in order to report the crime. This certification also enables you to conduct audits to prevent and deviate future attacks.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – CISSP certification makes you proficient in designing, implementing and managing information security programs.
- Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM) – CISM certification provides the know-how required to develop and manage an enterprise information security program.
- Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA) – CISA certification makes you capable of conducting audits and enable you to find out systems’ vulnerabilities.
There are many other courses available in the market, however, individuals foreseeing a career in cyber security must choose the most popular and the best course available so as to build great career and growth prospects.