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Importance of Cybersecurity: Threats and Measures You Need to Know

by | Mar 23, 2023 | Technology




Technology has made big leaps during the last couple of decades. We are living in a hyper-connected world where almost every device is digital and can be connected to the internet. Today more than 5 billion people use the internet and this number keeps increasing.

And due to technological advancement, almost everybody can afford connected devices. We are submerged with smart devices and our infrastructures are filled with electronic systems.  It is safe to say that we can’t do anything without technology and the internet.

We are asking our devices to do everything. And the more we ask our computers to do things, the more connected the world is becoming. The internet started as a means to share information and then we start to use it to communicate and share our life.

Now people work, open businesses, transact, shop, find love, entertain, and many more over the internet. And the internet is no longer about connecting people anymore, we are also seeing “things” connected together.

Every electronic device and even entire infrastructures and vehicles are being connected together via the internet. Devices and entities are becoming “smart” and we can ask them whatever we want.

The digitization of our infrastructure is making our daily lives more convenient but it also exposes us to threats. Computers are becoming easier to use and more accessible but it is also becoming more complex and increasingly vulnerable.

The more we connect things to the internet the more potential points of attack emerge. Picture this, most people do their shopping on the internet nowadays and your information such as name, email ID, phone number, and credit card details are saved on the web or website to enable a faster and hassle-free shopping experience.

One day you received an email that looks legit and state a special discount voucher. To receive the voucher, you have to fill in a form with your credentials. This didn’t seem fishy though it was just an account verification as we do it quite often nowadays.

However, after signing up, you received a notification from your bank that a substantial amount of money was wiped off your account. The email you received was a phishing attack and unconsciously you grant unauthorized access to a third party. This is known as a cyber attack.

We have seen a rise in cyberattacks during the last couple of decades, especially since the pandemic when experts have seen a 600% increase in malicious emails. These attacks are not just confined to individuals but also to public and private organizations.

Companies like Target, Meta, Home Depot, Marriott, Twitter, Sony, Hilton, JPMorgan, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Macy’s suffered data breaches so significant that they felt compelled to warn their customer publicly.

And these companies employ skillful IT professionals and deploy big resources to implement impenetrable infrastructure yet they have been compromised. Cyberattacks are happening more frequently and are becoming more sophisticated.

Risk and uncertainty pervade our lives today. Cyber threats are at an all-time high and continuing to rise. However, we could protect ourselves against these attacks, indeed with the help of cyber security. Hence, what is cyber security?

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity, also known as information security, is a complex area of security that ensures the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of information. It is comprised of an evolving set of tools, processes, technologies, training, and best practices.

It is the practice of protecting networks, systems, and programs from digital attacks. These attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, extorting money from users, or interrupting normal business processes.

Cybersecurity ensures that organizations and individuals protect their digital assets from unauthorized access or manipulation. It involves a combination of technical measures such as firewalls and encryption as well as administrative measures such as user education and awareness training.

The creation of digital data has led to an explosion of information that is stored on computers and transmitted across networks. Networks have vulnerabilities that can be exploited and jeopardize the health of an organization or individuals.

Cybersecurity in the digital world is a diverse and often confusing concept, but the main thing that can be said is that it is a way of defending information systems from those who would seek to cause harm. Its connotations tend to be negative and even panicked. Here’s why:

Why do we need cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is important for our everyday lives, and it will continue to be so. As more and more entities upgrade their activities to digital services, they are exposed to greater cyber risk if the necessary precautions are not respected.

The digital world is evolving at an exponential rate and cybercrime is no different. We are using new technologies and we are generating and storing sensitive data at an unprecedented rate. We are living in the information age and are increasingly reliant on internet of things devices.

With the growth of the internet of things (IoT) and big data, cyber security threats have become a major concern. As more and more devices are connected to the internet, it becomes easier for malicious actors to access them and exploit vulnerabilities.

In 2022, it is estimated that ethical hackers found over 65,000 software vulnerabilities. IoT devices exchange data with each other and are used in various entities from smart homes to different industries and institutions.

Attackers can break into the least secure devices to gain access to the entire IoT network. This can lead to serious data breaches, financial losses, and even physical harm in some cases.  Big data is also vulnerable to cyberattacks as it contains sensitive information that can be used for malicious purposes.

The combination of IoT devices and big data can create an even bigger risk if not properly secured. According to McKinsey & Co., there will be 43 billion connected devices by 2023. With these growing numbers comes rising threats.

It is therefore essential for companies and individuals to invest in robust and high-quality devices to protect their assets from potential attacks. It is also important for businesses to take measures to protect their data from potential threats by implementing strong security protocols and monitoring systems.

Hackers are always on the lookout for sensitive data that they can use to commit identity fraud. As technology advances, so do the methods used by hackers to gain access to confidential information.

Identity fraud is one of the most common crimes committed online, with hackers using stolen data to access bank accounts, credit cards, social media accounts, and more. In 2021, identity fraud losses total USD 52 billion and impacted 42 million US adults. Identity theft is a serious problem and can have devastating consequences for victims.

Moreover, organizations capture and process enormous amounts of sensitive and confidential information. Even small businesses have thousands of customer records. The more information an organization has, the more likely cybercriminals will want access to it.

But while a lot of attacks attempt to gain access to data, most cyberattacks are financially motivated. Ransomware attacks have increased dramatically during the last couple of years. Ransomware threats are when criminals hack into a system, block authorized users from accessing it, and then demand a ransom to unlock the data.

Additionally, the types of cybercrime have expanded. Today we have individual hackers, organized groups, and government departments dedicated to cyberespionage. There are also different types of cyber security threats and the most common ones are:

  • Malware, or malicious software, is software designed to damage or harm a computer system. It can be installed on a computer without the user’s knowledge or consent and used to steal information, spread viruses, and plant spyware.
  • Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a user’s computer system with a strong encryption algorithm and then demands a ransom for the user to regain access to their system.
  • Phishing is a type of cyberattack that involves tricking a person into revealing personal information such as login credentials or account numbers. The goal of a phishing attack is to acquire sensitive information, such as bank accounts, credit card numbers, or passwords.
  • Insider threats are when someone within an organization breaches security to gain access to confidential information or to sabotage the organization’s operations. These threats can come from anyone in an organization, including employees, contractors, and suppliers who have authorized access.
  • Denial-of-service (DoS) are malicious attacks that prevent users from accessing a website or network. The attacker sends large amounts of requests to the target website so that it becomes unusable or the network become overloaded and crashes.
  • Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are a type of cyberattack in which hackers use repeated, automated attacks to gain access to computer networks or data. APT attacks can be very sophisticated, and can often go undetected for months or even years.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack is when an attacker eavesdrop between two communicating parties and induces one of the parties to believe that the attacker is the other party. The attacker can also manipulate the conversation or data transfer between the two parties, or even steal sensitive information.

These are just some of the most common cyber threats. It is estimated that 360,000 new malware samples are created every day and 4.1 million websites are infected by malware. These malicious programs are created by criminals with the intent of disrupting legitimate computer networks, accessing sensitive information, stealing money, or committing politically-motivated cyberattacks.

With the ever-increasing amount of devices connected to the internet, cyberattacks can be as simple as a phishing email or as sophisticated as DoS or ransomware attacks. For instance, phishing attacks rose by 61% in 2022 and 56% of organizations faced ransomware attacks.

It is also estimated that the number of ransomware attacks and phishing attacks in the first half of 2022 alone stands at 236.1 million and 255 million respectively. In 2020, Google detected over two million phishing websites.

As more and more people continue to enter the digital space, hackers can now trigger automated cyberattacks to hack devices without human intervention. With all these increasing risks, some experts are concerned that the growing number of attacks is making defenders feel paralyzed.

The need to protect confidential information is increasing at the highest levels of government and industry, as the Equifax data breach revealed. This breach exposed the data of 143 million consumers, including credit card holders and government officials.

The breach at Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, is still affecting 143 million customer accounts and the company had to pay USD 700 million in settlements. As the amount of data stored online increases, cybersecurity becomes increasingly important.

But the problem is that most companies do not conduct adequate security training for their personnel. This lack of training is one of the biggest reasons why cybersecurity failures occur. The human element is the weakest link in security measures.

Most security breaches result from human error or a lack of proper measures. And this problem will not stop anytime soon since 92% of enterprises experience email security incidents last year.

It is difficult to prepare every employee to be vigilant and diligent in securing company systems with the ever-increasing landscape of cyber threats. Social engineering, which involves manipulating people’s trust to compromise security systems, is the most common threat.

Today’s society relies heavily on technology, which makes it much more susceptible to these kinds of attacks. This kind of attack is most common with emails and can be as simple as spear-phishing emails.

Cybersecurity failures may harm companies and individual reputations. Hackers can get access to sensitive information and sell it on the dark web. No one is exempt from cyberthreats. Normal internet users are vulnerable to cybercrime.

These breaches can affect any type of electronic device, from laptops to smartphones and even smartwatches. But it’s not just companies and individuals that are under threat, critical infrastructures are also targeted.

Critical infrastructures are anything that makes up the backbone of society such as power plants, water distribution, hospitals, transportation, airlines, and banks. The healthcare industry is the number one target for cyberattacks because it contains detailed information on patients.

Hackers can run a cyberattack remotely and shut down the critical infrastructure of other countries, creating massive destruction without ever shooting a bullet. In 2022, the average data breach cost USD 4.4 million. When an entity is breached, it may suffer:

  • Financial losses
  • Loss of productivity
  • Expose both customers, employees, and partners
  • Reputational damaged
  • Loss of credibility
  • Legal liability
  • Business continuity problems

Cyber attacks are no longer isolated incidents. Now they cause a lot of damage. The cyber manipulation of the 2016 presidential elections is proving that warfare has entered a new stage. A large number of US companies were also affected by this operation.

By 2025, cybercrime is expected to cost USD 10.5 trillion. In 2023, damages are expected to cost the world USD 8 trillion. If cybercrime was a country, it would be the third largest economy behind the United States and China. This is why cyber security is so important.

What if cybersecurity fail

The security of technological infrastructures is an essential element in the digital world, yet it can often be overlooked or taken for granted. But what if cybersecurity fails? Without adequate security measures in place, companies and individuals alike are vulnerable to malicious actors who can access confidential data and cause immense damage.

The consequences of cybersecurity failure can be devastating. Hackers may gain access to sensitive information, such as passwords or financial records, which can lead to identity theft and financial loss.

Furthermore, malicious actors may use their access to disrupt operations by disabling systems or launching cyber-attacks on other networks. This may breach the security of other companies as well. Unfortunately, high-profile security breaches are reported regularly.

According to the FBI’s IC3 report, the number of cybercrime complaints in 2021 stands at 847,376. It is also revealed that cyber-scams cost victims more than USD 6.9 billion. Business email scam is the costliest cybercrime in the United States.

Cybersecurity breaches can cause serious financial and reputational damage to companies. Companies have to pay hefty fines when they are charged with a data breach. For example, the list of breached companies pointed at the beginning paid:

These fines are imposed by the government or other regulatory bodies as a deterrent for companies that do not take the necessary steps to protect their data and systems from cyber-attacks. Companies have to pay these fines to avoid further legal action and restore public confidence in their security measures.

Unfortunately, many organizations are still not taking the necessary steps to ensure their data is safe. And it is becoming a major concern for both organizations and individuals as hackers become more and more innovative in breaching security systems.

Human error is often the cause of these breaches. Whether it is an employee accidentally clicking on a malicious link or failing to update software regularly, mistakes can lead to costly data breaches and other security incidents.

For instance, the most common password that people used is “123456”. And the word “password” is among the most popular password used by CEOs. The human element features heavily in cybersecurity risks. It is estimated that 81% of hacking incidents are due to weak or stolen passwords.

Moreover, hackers are experts at social engineering attacks and use sophisticated techniques to trick and manipulate employees into clicking on malicious links or attachments that may infect their computers with malware or viruses.

Securing cyberspace is a complex issue. Organizations must take steps to ensure that their employees are aware of the risks associated with cyber threats and are properly trained in how to protect their systems from malicious actors.

It’s not just about protecting against online threats but also can include preventing fraud and data breaches. Cybersecurity fails because of a lack of adequate controls. No organization is 100% secure and cannot control threats or bad actors.

Organizations can only control their priorities and investments in security readiness. They can decide where, when, and how to invest in cybersecurity, identify gaps to fill, prioritize targets, and benchmark their security capabilities for people, processes, and technology.

Cybersecurity failures can have serious consequences for individuals, businesses, and governments. Making sure employees as well as individuals have the information and know-how to better defend against these attacks is critical. Hence, here’s why cybersecurity is important.

Importance of cybersecurity

In today’s digital world and our reliance on technology, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important to protect critical systems from bad actors. It serves as a wall keeping malicious individuals from accessing sensitive information or taking down networks.

Secure systems are needed to protect companies’ data and information from unauthorized access, misuse, and manipulation. Cybersecurity helps to prevent cyberattacks, data breaches, identity theft, phishing scams, and other malicious activities that could cause serious financial and reputational damage.

With the rise of digital technology and internet usage in our daily lives, businesses need to invest in security measures to protect their assets as well as customers from potential threats. The purpose of cybersecurity is to protect electronic information and ensure data remains private and secure.

It’s important to invest in the right tools to protect computing assets from cyberattacks. This is why global spending on cyber security continues to grow year after year, although more companies offer security solutions that do little to protect against attacks.

Global cybersecurity spending is expected to exceed USD 1.75 trillion from 2021 to 2025. Some estimate even reveals that it is a USD 2 trillion market opportunity. In the end, cyber protection requires focus and dedication, this is why cybersecurity jobs are one of the fastest growing.

It is estimated that 10 million jobs in cybersecurity will be needed in 2023. The United States alone is pushing to fill 700,000 cybersecurity jobs. This sector is going to be even more important in the coming years.

Technology is proliferating rapidly, becoming more and more integrated into our lives with new technologies that are constantly being developed. We can’t afford to leave our privacy and our safety up to chance, we need IT security to help keep us safe now and in the future.

The purpose of cyber security is to protect online users from hackers looking to steal their identity and personal information. Essentially, it’s a way to prevent cybercrime. Cyberattacks are a daily activity that we should be familiar with to reduce risk and improve our security.

The sooner we understand why we need cybersecurity, the better. IT security is essential and we need to be prepared. It is mostly about using preventative measures and careful planning to mitigate the harms that can result from a lack of security as we will see later.

The importance of cybersecurity is becoming increasingly obvious as the number of attacks increases and the sophistication of these threats improves. Top intelligence officials have even warned that cyberattacks and digital spying are among the most pressing threats we face as a society.

Regardless of the size of an organization, the necessary steps must be taken to ensure that employees and users understand the importance of cybersecurity. The best IT security plan will incorporate multiple layers of defense and will prevent cyberattacks from reaching the point where the organization’s data is compromised.

As such, it is vital to implement policies that help employees understand the risks of data protection and the need to back up data. In addition to protecting data from threats, cyber security is vital for the safe running of businesses.

No organization can afford to not protect its network against cyberattacks. Not only does it expose itself to major financial losses, but it can also severely compromise its privacy and reputation.

With modern society being increasingly dependent on computers and other internet-connected devices, its security is no longer the sole concern of the IT department. Governments and companies are making cybersecurity one of their top priorities.

The global cybersecurity market size was valued at USD 220.51 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 501.60 billion by 2030. It is a serious business that is pushing business leaders to take an aggressive approach with the sheer amount of cyber attacks that are occurring. 

Not only is the volume of attacks on the rise but so is the sophistication of cybercriminals. The type of cyberattack that they use and why they choose to do so are both becoming increasingly difficult to predict.

Because of this, organizations need to implement robust cybersecurity measures that protect them from cybercrime. These measures can range from installing a software firewall on company networks to the encryption of data on individual devices.

IT security programs should also address end-user education. If employees are aware of potential threats, it will be easier for them to avoid attacks. Employees can accidentally bring digital viruses into the workplace.

Security awareness training sessions should be offered regularly so that everyone can identify threats and protect the company from cybercriminals. If not, a breach could cause irreparable damage.

The importance of cybersecurity is a growing issue in our modern world. Identity theft is one of the biggest concerns today. Individual victims are left with financial consequences that can’t be undone. To be effective, digital security should be an ongoing priority in our society.

Cybersecurity is important for a modern-day society because it protects your data, systems, and network against threats that could put your business at risk. This includes viruses, malware, attacks on your network or employees’ computers, and the like.

The goal of cybersecurity measures is to make sure that these threats do not cause any damage or disruption to your business operations or life. Even a small cyberattack can lead to disastrous consequences.

Cyber security is about protecting digital entities from threats like viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malware that can damage data as well as compromise your sensitive information. It’s also about protecting against phishing scams that can steal personal information from unsuspecting victims.

Regardless of the size or type of organization, the importance of cybersecurity in today’s modern world cannot be overstated. It has become a major concern for companies today as hackers have become more sophisticated. Hence here are some tips on how to improve cybersecurity measures.

Cyber security tips

Cybersecurity is the security of computer systems, including networks and data. It is the practice of preventing, detecting, deterring, and responding to cyber threats. Additionally, it ensures that our financial information remains secure when we make online transactions or use online banking services.

And to achieve that, digital entities need to have robust security protocols in place that are regularly tested and updated. Moreover, educating people on the importance of cybersecurity can help ensure that they understand the risks associated with neglecting proper security measures.

Key components of cybersecurity measures include:

  • Virus protection
  • Monitoring privacy settings on digital applications
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Not using the same passwords for multiple online accounts
  • Secure access control
  • Managing email spam and phishing attacks
  • Encrypting files and folders with passwords when storing them in the cloud
  • Removing malware from devices as soon as it is detected

Cybersecurity in the modern society is an ever-evolving and critical issue that requires attention from both organizations and individuals. With the rise of digital technology, hackers are becoming more innovative in their tactics, while human continues to make the same security mistake.

Organizations must take proactive steps to protect their data and networks from malicious actors, as well as ensure that employees are aware of potential risks and how to avoid them. This includes implementing security policies, training staff on cybersecurity tips, and using tools such as firewalls and antivirus programs.

Additionally, organizations should monitor their networks for any suspicious activity or unauthorized access attempts. By taking these steps, organizations can reduce the risk of a cybersecurity failure due to human error or malicious actors.

Securing technological infrastructure isn’t easy, however, it’s also not complicated. By working with experts in this field, businesses can identify the most vulnerable areas of their networks (physical or virtual) and take the necessary steps to ensure that they’re protected from cyber attacks.

With the right education, tools, and protocol in place, companies may be better equipped to protect sensitive information and infrastructure from falling into the wrong hands. By taking the necessary precautions, they can reduce the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats.

These precaution includes implementing strong security measures such as two-factor authentication and encryption technologies as well as regularly monitoring accounts for suspicious activity. Another critical part of cybersecurity measures is a plan for how to fix problems that arise when security fails.

Business continuity planning is a way to prepare for cyber threats and make plans for disaster recovery. By identifying threats and developing plans to handle them, organizations can avoid major losses. After a disaster strikes, businesses will have a plan on how to work to fix the problem and shore up their security.

But perhaps the best way to protect against cyberattacks is by adopting good security measures like learning training on how to recognize potential threats. By arming yourself with an understanding of the basics of cyber security, you can help keep yourself, your loved ones, and your country safe.

Business executives need to be knowledgeable about digital security. In the modern workplace, the digital transformation of businesses has created a world that has been transformed by technology. Cloud infrastructures and digital transformations have ushered in significant change for organizations.

Final words

Cybersecurity threats are a global issue, and it’s getting more serious every day. Cyberattacks are on the rise, and many organizations are unprepared to defend themselves against them. Security breaches can lead to financial losses, data compromise, brand reputation damage, and business interruption.

Cybersecurity’s importance cannot be overstated. It is vital to the daily lives of individuals and companies alike. It is more than just protecting information from prying eyes, it’s also about protecting businesses from cyberattacks that can lead to financial loss, reduced productivity, and even bankruptcy.

The importance of cybersecurity in today’s modern world cannot be understated. It can affect everyone, from small businesses to large corporations. The consequences of a cyberattack can be devastating and costly, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

As we move into the digital age, businesses of all sizes must ensure that their information is secure, to protect themselves as well as their customer. Without proper IT security, businesses could be permanently shut down.