What is Cybersecurity?
Updated: Oct 19, 2019
The definitive guide to cybersecurity and how you can protect your business from attacks.
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes.
Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative.
What exactly is cybersecurity all about?
A successful cybersecurity approach has multiple layers of protection spread across the computers, networks, programs, or data that one intends to keep safe. This is commonly known as defense-in-depth.
In any organization, the people, processes, and technology must all complement one another to create an effective, defense from cyber attacks. A unified threat management approach can automate integrations across your infrastructure, and accelerate key security operations functions: detection, investigation, and remediation.
Why is cybersecurity so important today?
The modern connected world has given rise to a variety of crimes that take advantage of poorly managed and insecure networks, servers and user machines across the globe. In addition, the advent of virtual currencies like Bitcoin have allowed cyber-criminals to remain anonymous on the dark web, thus making
“There are only two types of companies: those that know they’ve been compromised, and those that don’t know.”
- John Chambers
Taking a layered approach to cybersecurity
A common practice in cybersecurity is to take a holistic, and layered approach to defending against cyber-attacks- which involves security measures, controls, and tools.
Deploying security controls, or mechanisms to defend against the various vectors of attack. For example, deploying a good robust firewall at the edge of the network, to web application firewalls, to secure controls on your networks via traffic segmentation, and continuing on to the endpoints within your critical infrastructure that connects to such resources. While perimeter defenses are great, they alone cannot effectively defend against a sophisticated modern cyber-attack. The idea of a layered approach to defend your assets at each level, training your staff and eventually creating processes within your organization that promote good cyber-hygiene are considered good starting points of an effective, integrated framework for cybersecurity.
People, Process, and Technology
A common saying in cybersecurity is "anyone that thinks a firewall alone can protect you from cyber-attacks, is heading for a data breach"
For any cyber program to be effective, the following principles must be considered as foundations:
It is a well-known fact that employees and contractors pose some of the greatest risks in cybersecurity. The most common vectors of attack for cybercriminals are business email compromise, phishing, and privileged account compromise. Employees, network administrators, and contractors often hold the passwords to critical systems, network devices, and data, so it makes sense that compromising their accounts is usually the path of least resistance to critical data.
The 4 things you can immediately implement to improve a cybersecurity program include:
Train Your Users to understand and identify common vectors of attack and how to avoid being victimized. The more they understand what to look for, the better.
Create Strong Passwords that are unique to each account, and ensure that passwords to systems are not shared between users, or posted under plain view. Change your passwords often, and run dark web scans on a regular basis to ensure your critical passwords and credentials are not for sale on the dark web. Click here > to get your FREE DARK WEB SCAN FROM CLOUDSKOPE.
Use Phishing Simulations for your users to ensure they know how to identify and prevent business email compromise that can lead to ransomware and malware attacks.
Implement the Principle of Least Privilege. which means that your organization should only allow employees and contractors with the minimum necessary permissions to do their job, and nothing more. Elevation of privilege is a common vector of attack which often begins with unauthorized access to computer systems, sensitive information, and critical data.
Companies must develop a framework of procedures and internal controls for how to deal with data breaches and cyber-attacks. Organizations have to comply with a mixture of state, industry-specific, and international cybersecurity regulations. The challenge for an organization trading nationally, or even globally, is considerable.
According to Tenable’s Trends in Security Framework Adoption Survey, 84% of organizations in the US leverage a security framework in their organization, and 44% use more than one framework.
The most frequently adopted frameworks should come as no surprise to security practitioners:
PCI DSS (47%)
ISO 27001/27002 (35%)
CIS Critical Security Controls (32%)
NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Security (29%)
Technology is essential to giving organizations and individuals the computer security tools needed to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. Three main vectors or attack and assets must be protected: endpoint devices like computers, smart devices, and routers; networks; and the cloud. Common technologies used to protect these entities include next-generation firewalls, DNS filtering, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions.
It is essential to implement a combination of technologies and tools to safeguard your personal information, business information, critical infrastructure from unauthorized access, malicious software and social engineering security threads. Modern cybercriminals utilize sophisticated mechanisms including social engineering to gain access to real-time data and perform business and identity theft.
Cloudskope has expertise in some of the latest tools for cybersecurity, including Tenable, Palo Alto, Cisco Systems, Cylance, Darktrace, Armor, and others.
The Types of Cybersecurity Threats
It is a type of malicious software designed to extort money by blocking access to files or computer systems until the ransom is paid. However, paying a ransom does not always guarantee that the files will be recovered or the systems restored.
It is a type of malicious software designed to allow the attacker to gain unauthorized access to systems, and cause damage.
Is a cybercrime in which a target or target is
contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking, and credit card details, and passwords.
Cybersecurity Threat Vectors
A threat vector is a path or means by which a hacker can gain access to a computer or network server to deliver a payload or malicious outcome. Attack vectors enable hackers to exploit system vulnerabilities, including human operators. Popular attack vectors include the following:
USB sticks and other portable storage devices
Unsupported browser extensions
online quizzes and personality tests.
The Elements of Cybersecurity
It can be a challenge in cybersecurity to keep up with the changing security risks. The traditional approach has been to focus resources on crucial system components. Today, ensuring cybersecurity requires the coordination of efforts throughout an information system, which includes the following:
Application security: Minimize the likelihood that unauthorized code will be able to manipulate applications to access, steal, modify or delete sensitive data.
Information security (infosec): Protect information assets, regardless of how the information is formatted or whether it is in transit, is being processed or is at rest in storage.
Network security: Detect, prevent and respond to threats through the use of security policies, software tools, and IT services.
Business continuity planning (BCP)/disaster recovery planning (DRP): Maintain or quickly resume mission-critical functions following a disaster.
Operational security (opsec): Classify information assets, and determine the controls required to protect these assets.
End-user education: Provide directives that describe what actions employees must take -- or avoid -- in order to protect corporate assets.
If you're concerned about cybersecurity or data loss and want us to help you implement an awesome cyber defense program for you, keep reading...
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You’ll see a brief series of questions you’ll need to answer about your business.
Nothing too crazy, I just need the basics about what you’re working on, what you sell, etc. That way we can understand your situation before we talk and get right to business.
Answer these questions as accurately as possible, and be absolutely sure your contact information is correct so we can reach you.
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Once you’ve filled out the questionnaire, someone from our team will call you to speak more about your business and gather more information so we can accurately plan out how to implement a great cybersecurity program.
It’s important that you answer the questionnaire thoroughly because if you don’t our analysis of your business will be off, which means we won’t know how vulnerable you currently are, leaving you exposed to hackers.
You will hear from us within 24 business hours after submitting your application.
Your initial call will be between 30 and 45 minutes. This is where we really begin working to figure out exactly what you need, and how to make it happen.
At that point, if you see the value of working together, great. We’ll talk and see if we are to take you on as a client.
If you don’t want to move forward, that’s fine too.
Worst case you would have received some free advice from my team which will help you understand and improve your cybersecurity posture.
Ultimately this is for people who take action and know a good opportunity when they see one.