Assessing And Controlling Cyber Security Best Practices
Cybersecurity, computer network security or information security is the overall protection of networks and computer systems from malicious information manipulation, computer virus attacks, or intentional disruption of their services or products, and from the unintentional or intentional misuse of their equipment, software or electronic data. Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field of research and concern. It has evolved as new types of cyber crime have emerged. For example, a recent attack on a Canadian company resulted in a $456 million loss. These types of losses are often caused by a vulnerability in one of the computer’s main components.
In order to understand cyber-security, it is important to distinguish between the various categories of cyber threats. End-users will not be the only users affected by a cyber security vulnerability. Many companies, for example, are the target of malware created by hackers for the purpose of interfering with network operations and causing system downtime. In this case, the end-user is the victim, as opposed to the company or organization that operates the network. The security breach could also be detrimental to the corporate image if consumers are not able to access the company’s website or service.
When it comes to corporate IT security, implementing best practices for reducing the likelihood of a cyber security breach depends on how the information was originally obtained. Information that was obtained in a hacker-controlled computer has the greatest potential to cause damage. Companies that use the Internet as part of their business communication channels, such as email, have the greatest opportunity to become a victim of this type of cyber attack. Emails are often used to obtain sensitive information. Passwords, however, are also vulnerable to attack. This is one reason that passwords are now required when using email.
In addition, hackers frequently use phishing techniques to obtain personal information. Some phishing attempts are successful, but these attacks often fail because the hackers obtain important information that cannot be used for illegal purposes. Other types of cyber security threats include unauthorized access to networks, data corruption, and data theft. When an employee downloads an application or file that they believe is safe, but actually contains a virus or other type of unwanted software, this may trigger a series of cyber attacks.
One method that many cyber criminals use involves sending fake emails to large numbers of recipients. If the emails do not appear to be legitimate, the recipients will consider them unsolicited solicitations, which are illegal. In some cases, attackers will use spoofing technology to generate legitimate-looking email that will look and sound like the genuine article and sent to innocent recipients. Sometimes the real goal of these cyber-attacks is to gain access to databases containing customer information. These data leaks, according to studies, have led to massive financial losses.
The third most common cyber security threat involves the use of applications that can harvest personally identifiable information about users. These so-called back doors take advantage of security holes in a computer system. Some back doors can allow attackers to gain access to the inner workings of a network or a server, and without the users knowing it, the attacker can remotely control the activities performed on the infected machine. Other threats involve stealing employee login information, monitoring employees’ internet usage, and accessing company or employee information systems. Some attacks can even be used to deny service to customers, or to prevent the delivery of products.
Prevention is always better than repair. Preventing cyber security threats requires the continuous monitoring of a business’s computer systems. A proactive approach to cyber security means that companies should continuously update their computer systems by running the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Companies that fail to update their systems regularly risk exposing themselves and their intellectual property to malicious intrusions. A variety of other proactive measures, including enforcing control over internet access and monitoring all employee computer systems, can also help to reduce the threat of unauthorized access.
To help organizations identify and mitigate cyber security threats, they should develop a cyber-security risk management process. The objective of this process is to provide IT professionals with information about current vulnerabilities and potential threats, and help organizations secure their most critical infrastructure. In addition to vulnerability assessment and vulnerability response, cyber security best practices require preventive maintenance of systems. For example, organizations should regularly evaluate their firewalls, network defenses, and software applications. By addressing identified vulnerabilities and preventing further vulnerability, organizations can greatly reduce their vulnerability to cyber attacks and help protect their most valuable intellectual property.