When you hear or read the term Cybersecurity, it can cause a feeling or thought of something futuristic or straight out of a Sc-Fi movie, isn’t it?
It is neither, but a field of work which has grown rapidly during the last years, unfortunately still less known amongst the normal user.
Especially its importance.
Nevertheless, certain tools are used daily or work in the background without the user being aware of it.
During the pandemic, the demand for online security has increased rapidly, due to the fact that the majority of the world had to stay isolated and work from home.
Mankind’s main social activities happened now online, on a secure social distance (physically), but digitally it was a new frontier that had to be ensured to stay secure at all times.
Many companies that had been unknown or were just used by a small number of people, suddenly emerged to new heights. One example here is Zoom, a video teleconferencing software program, mainly used by bigger companies to host online meetings for years, becoming the newest trend throughout the pandemic increasing its user size to nearly half a billion people in 2020 alone and propelling it’s revenue from maybe $100 million in 2017 to a staggering $2.7 billion in 2021.
But as expected with these new rising trends, there was also an increase of new digital dangers. The target usually was more directed at financial institutions, but it also hit a lot of private users.
The global cyber security market in 2020 reached $153.16 billion and is expected to grow from $165.78 billion in 2021 to $366.10 billion in 2028.
A change of occupation wouldn’t be a bad idea here, also because we don’t know what other events could cause us again having to work from home. If one thing became very clear to all of us in 2020, it is the fact that life can change rapidly in the blink of an eye. It is time to stay more vigilant than ever.
What is Cybersecurity?
In a nutshell, cyber security is a collection of ever evolving set of tools, risk management approaches, technologies, training, and best practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attacks or unauthorised access. Its core function is to protect our devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers) and the services we use, both online and at work, from potential theft or damage.
It’s also about anticipating and eliminating unauthorised access to the immense amount of personal information we store online and on these devices.
The most important focus in cyber security is
Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.
Often labelled as the CIA Triad (not to be confused with the US intelligence agency), it is a model that organisations use to evaluate their security capabilities and risks. Addressing security along these three core components provides a clear guidance to develop stronger and more effective security practices and policies.
What it can do for you!
Everyone should have a general knowledge about cyber security. You don’t have to become a specialist, but it is important because smartphones, computers and the internet are now such a fundamental part of our modern life and society, that it is often very difficult to imagine how we would function without them or even remember a time before everything worked digitally. From online banking and shopping, to email and social media, it’s more crucial than ever to apperceive prevention methods to stop cyber criminals getting hold of our accounts, data, and devices.
With the grow and interest to see new technological creations and inventions appear, the demand of cyber security is going to increase as well. Very soon we are on the verge of witnessing the transition of Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, which will create exciting fresh possibilities and it will surely change our lives forever. Just think of the metaverse as the beginning.
Over the course of the next months, I will write more posts about different types of cyber security topics, trying to create more awareness to the simple precautions we can take online.
Common types of Cybersecurity
Network Security protects network traffic by controlling incoming and outgoing connections to prevent threats from entering or spreading on the network.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) protects data by focusing on the location, classification and monitoring of information at rest, in use and in motion.
Cloud Security provides protection for data used in cloud-based services and applications.
Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) or Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) work to identify potentially hostile cyber activity.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) use authentication services to limit and track employee access to protect internal systems from malicious entities.
Encryption is the process of encoding data to render it unintelligible, and is often used during data transfer to prevent theft in transit.
Antivirus/anti-malware solutions scan computer systems for known threats. Modern solutions are even able to detect previously unknown threats based on their behaviour.
Common types of cyber threats
Malware – Malicious software such as computer viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, and key-loggers.
Ransomware – Malware that locks or encrypts data until a ransom is paid.
Phishing Attacks – The practice of obtaining sensitive information (e.g., passwords, credit card information) through a disguised email, phone call, or text message.
Social engineering – The psychological manipulation of individuals to obtain confidential information; often overlaps with phishing.
Advanced Persistent Threat – An attack in which an unauthorised user gains access to a system or network and remains there for an extended period of time without being detected.
Links & Suggestions
Here are some useful links if you want to further your education or are really thinking about changing your field of work. People with the appropriate and advanced skills are high in demand and the payment can be very lucrative, especially if the qualification of higher levels is existent.
Very often official cyber security introduction courses can be found online. One of the most popular ones is offered for free by the Open University.
I have participated and accomplished it in 2020. It gives a great insight of the basics and how the cyber security infrastructure works. Be aware that proper courses can be highly IT intensive and require a lot of technological and software knowledge and understanding.
For small and medium-sized organisations
For procurement professionals
Here an example and work description of what can be expected in the field of online security – Cyber intelligence officer