With the revolution of the internet, enterprises are transmitting unlimited terabytes of data in minutes. Confidential data transfer across various networks has led to an extensive security requirement. An effective cybersecurity strategy and secured system are crucial for preventing the infiltration of cyberattacks in the digital world.
In the digital workplace, there are numerous threats. WannaCry is ransomware that infects Windows computers by encrypting all complex drive files and permits user access only after a bitcoins ransom payment. WannaCry outspread rapidly across numerous computer networks in 2017, resulting in the loss of USD 4 Billion. This malware attacked multiple high-profile systems across the globe. Consequently, this demonstrates the significance of cybersecurity.
A cyber countermeasure is defined as a process that prevents or minimizes the effects of a cyber attack against associated devices.
Why is Cybersecurity Important?
Cybersecurity is essential in the digital world because it comprehends everything to prevent sensitive data like personal information, intellectual property, personally identifiable information(PII), etc. Correspondingly, malicious software penetrates systems to manipulate and steal information.
Undoubtedly, cyber-attacks are increasingly infecting numerous systems due to global connectivity and cloud applications used to store personal and sensitive information. Furthermore, poorly configured cloud services increase the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches for your organization.
Some of the common cybersecurity attacks are:
- Denial of service (DoS)
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
- IP Spoofing
- Packet Sniffing
- Web Defacement
The Defensive Measures
Technology like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Services, etc., have made it even easier for cybercriminals to access sensitive resources over the internet. Significantly, defensive measures in cybersecurity help in tackling threats in a more sophisticated manner. Countermeasures like Anti-Virus, Firewalls prevent your systems from malicious infections.
However, security incidents are increasingly affecting businesses today, leading to their reputation damage. Therefore, not paying adequate attention to cybersecurity can result in catastrophic damage to your business like:
- Reputation Damage
- Operational Loss
- Revenue Loss
- Customer Attrition
- Legal Actions
- Loss of Intellectual Property and Information
The Way Forward
The increased dependency on technologies like Cloud, IoT has made the situation even more frightening and sensitive. The only way we can prevent cyberattacks is by being aware and vigilant.
National Institute of Standards and Technology and NIST Cybersecurity Framework specifies the following needs for a more secure and safe environment:
- Identify– Examine and Assess Risks
- Protect– Establish Safeguarding Measures
- Detect– Create Activities to Detect and Identify the occurrence of Security Threats
- Respond– Create Strategic Solutions to Security Events
- Recover– Restoration of Data losses and breaches.
Similarly, the European region under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims at protecting businesses and their sensitive data within EU member states. The GDPR encompasses the following seven fundamental principles:
- Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency
- Data Minimization
- Storage Limitation
- Data Integrity and confidentiality
- Purpose Restriction
Subsequently, in India, the National Cybersecurity policy focuses on building safe and secure cyberspace for businesses, citizens, and government. Additionally, the Information Technology Act (2000) manages cybersecurity, cyberattacks, and associated cybercriminals.
Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches Examples
In this interconnected world, cybersecurity holds a central place. Every business, educational institution, and government utilizes technology to complete their tasks, to which cyberattacks influence each one of them. Let’s take a look at few examples of cyberattacks:
eBay: In 2014, eBay became the victim of a data breach asking all its 145 million users to reset their passwords. Cyber attackers utilized all user credentials to access valuable user information like passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information. However, the cyberattack didn’t steal any financial information of users like credit card numbers.
Yahoo: Yahoo became a victim of repeated cyber attacks. The first cyberattack happened in 2014 where hackers stole 500 million user’s data. Yahoo announced its first cyberattack in September 2016 and prompted all its users to change passwords with encrypted security questions.
However, in 2017, hackers shared all the user information with a Law enforcement agent who shared stolen data with the company. However, the investigation announced that none of the user information, like bank information or payment card data, was stolen. Nevertheless, this was one of the biggest data breaches.
Equifax: The Equifax cyberattack affected 145 million US users, 44 million UK residents, and 19000 Canadian residents. Eventually, the Equifax shares dropped by 13% the day after the breach happened. However, in 2019 Equifax agreed to a settlement with FTC, including the following:
- $300 million for victim compensation
- $175 million for states and territories compensation, and
- $100 million in fines
Surprisingly, India, too, was a victim of a cyber attack. In 2018, UIDAI uncovered that 210 government websites were involved in the infiltration of Aadhar Data of citizens.
How to protect yourself from Cyber Attacks?
Keep your Software and Systems entirely up to date:
Most cyber-attacks occur because of outdated systems and software, leaving them vulnerable to hackers. A cyber countermeasure for this would be investing in a patch management system that will manage all your system updates keeping them resilient and updated.
Ensure Endpoint Protection:
Endpoint protection secures your devices’ entry points like laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc., connected to other networks. It’s crucial to protect these network paths with endpoint protection software.
Utilize a Firewall:
One of the most effective and efficient ways of protecting yourself from a cyberattack is securing your network with a firewall. A firewall will protect your system from cyber attacks by blocking all forced actions made on your network.
Avoid having the same passwords for all your accounts. The hackers can access every account on your system once they crack your password. Different passwords add a real benefit to your cybersecurity, and changing them frequently will help you maintain a high level of security.
Do you want a Career in Cybersecurity?
With the growing digital world, cybercriminals are eventually utilizing innovative technologies to breach confidential data. Consequently, the increased awareness of cybersecurity in all sectors resulted in many opportunities in this field.
KloudLearn’s cybersecurity Certification teaches you all the necessary skills you need to become a cybersecurity professional. You will have an opportunity to learn from industry experts through video sessions. Furthermore, this course will assist you in managing your security protocols in Information Processing Systems. Click here to learn more.