What is Cybersecurity?
To understand “what is cybersecurity” we need to know the meaning of the two words, “cyber” and “security”.
What does “cyber” mean?
In today’s world, people and businesses are connected more than ever. They are using digital systems to deliver services and products to clients from anywhere to anywhere in the world. Here are some examples;
- We are buying clothes, groceries and merchandise online stores and having them delivered at the our door steps.
- We have our healthcare service like blood tests and x-rays transferred digitally from test centres directly to the physician’s inbox.
- We are communicating with friends, customers and colleagues via Apps like WhatApp, Facetime and Zoom
- We are managing our banking online such as depositing cheques, paying bills and investing
- For travel and entertainment, where we are booking hotels, airline tickets, vacation packages from our mobile phones or computers.
- We are upgrading our skills using online education
- We are working remotely from our homes
All of the above activities and more are enabled using digital systems like smartphones (iphone and andriod phones), computers (PCs/Macs), servers (physical or in the cloud) and telecommunication systems (wireless and wired system for data transmissions). These digital systems collectively are referred to as the “cyber” world.
What does “security” mean?
To define the term “security”, we need know what are the threats in the cyber world. The digital technologies have transformed our way of living and individuals and businesses do things faster and cost efficiently. However, as efficiencies have increased, the use of digital technologies and systems has opened the door to new threats to both individuals and businesses. These threats can severely disrupt individuals and business operations, steal private data, or impact their reputation. Some of the cyber threats are shown in the Figure Cyber Threats. One example of current cyber threat is Ransomware, which is a malicious software used by hackers demands ransome from an individual or business after locking all access to their data. This can impact a business to the point of halting operations or even complete shutdown. Malwares like Viruses, Ransomware, Phishing and Cryptojacking and are just a few of many cyber threats to the cyber world.
Given the prevalence of cyber threats, there is a need to secure the digital assets and system operated by individuals and businesses. Cyber “Security” is the use of people, processes and technology to help safeguard individuals and businesses from the cyber threats and to keep them running with reduced risk.
What the benefits of having cyber security?
Having cybersecurity service or solution for an individual or business enhances the businesses in four key ways;
- Reducing business risk
- Protecting Reputation
- Preventing Revenue Losss
- Differentiating business from others
The cyber threats impose a huge risk to businesses since it can impact their operation or even shut them down completely. Having cyber security service and solution for a business greatly reduces the risk to business from cyber threats.
It takes years of effort for business to build it’s brand and reputation in the market. Cybersecurity helps business protects business brand reputation by staying out of cyber security breach headline news.
It further enhances by preventing revenue loss due to operation disruption or shutdown. Other costs that can be incured after a cybersecurity incident are;
- revenue loss due time loss
- reputation damage (mandatory breach reporting, effective Nov 2018 by PIPEDA)
- legal costs
- liability costs
- post breach security expenses
- ransomware payout to unlock data
Another benefit of cybersecurity is that it helps to differentiate the business from other unprotected businesses.
How does cyber security work?
Cybersecurity uses people, processes and technology to protect businesses from cyber threats.
People with highly specialized skills provide round-the-clock eyes on the business digital environment to safe guard them from potential cyber threats and attacks. These heroes are know by the following names;
Managed Security Services, Cyber Security Analysts, Threat Hunter, Blue Team, Red Team, Purple teams, Ethical Hackers/Penetration Testers, vCISO/CIO, and more.
Processes include Security Operation Centres (SOC), security compliance to industry standards, and security audits. A SOC runs 24x7x365 on digital assets in a business using many processes for monitoring, detecting and neutralizing cyber threats and attacks. Much like a symphony conducted by a well orchestra the flow of information from start of security threat detection and to end of issue resolution makes up the security processes of cyber security protection. A business may choose to comply with guidelines from security frameworks such as NIST and ISO27000. Regular security audits can be performed by businesses to insure that their security policy is being followed. All of these put together constitute the processes needed by a business to secure itself.
Technology is the brawn of the cyber security world and do the heavy lifting of examining millions of threats from various threat vectors. They use state of the art technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, synchronized security, next-gen security for endpoints, wifi, network, mobile devices and SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation and Response) platforms.
Now with a better understanding of “what is cybersecurity?”, you’re well on your way to using cybersecurity to enhance your business. Contact us for help with enabling this enhancement for your business.