As cyber attacks increase in frequency and sophistication, every individual must become cyber security aware. Take this quiz to test your knowledge.
Cybersecurity is an expansive field that encompasses multiple aspects. To stay secure in an ever-evolving digital landscape, it is vitally important that employees, students, and IT professionals alike are informed on current developments within cyber security.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security encompasses an umbrella term covering methods, technologies and processes used to secure computers, networks and data against criminal or unauthorized access. This includes protecting sensitive information such as protected health data (PHI), personal identifiable information (PII) intellectual property rights as well as government and business systems information systems.
End-user protection is a critical component of cyber security. This involves providing training for employees on how to secure their devices using strong passwords and keeping software and operating systems up-to-date, and installing and updating anti-virus and other security software.
Malware, or malicious software, is software designed to damage computer systems or steal information from them. Common forms of malware are Trojans, viruses, spyware and worms; ransomware also falls into this category – locking files on a victim’s system until payment is made to an attacker who will decrypt them.
Man-in-the-middle attacks are a type of cyber threat in which an attacker intercepts communication between two individuals, potentially using these attacks to steal data from users by compromising WiFi networks and intercepting traffic passing through them.
Distributed denial of service (DoS) attacks are a type of cyber attack which uses overwhelming traffic volumes to overwhelm a computer system and render it inoperable, often costing businesses valuable resources and customer trust.
There is an increasing need for cyber security experts who can assist organizations protect their infrastructures and data against threats from cyberspace. A good professional should have both an extensive educational background as well as proven experience as well as certifications demonstrating their proficiency.
An effective cyber security expert must understand how networks operate, identify risks and vulnerabilities, implement and monitor a cybersecurity program, respond quickly to threats in real time and manage business continuity management effectively. This requires proficiency in various fields such as network architecture, forensics, incident response and business continuity management.
What is a hacker?
Hackers are individuals skilled in information technology who use their skills to achieve goals or overcome obstacles within a computerized system, often through non-standard means that give them access to systems or data normally inaccessible to them.
Hackers attempt to gain entry to computer systems and networks for various reasons; some seek criminal financial gain while others do it to enhance their standing within the hacker subculture.
Also, another reason might be learning something new or honing their skills to do something else, commonly known as becoming a “hobbyist” or an “academic”.
Hacking can also be used for political gain, often by nation states seeking access to classified information or trade secrets from competitors. At other times, hacking may serve as a form of civil disobedience.
Hacking activities can generally be divided into three groups, including illegal and inappropriate (black/grey hat), legal and appropriate (white hat) and legitimate and socially beneficial activities (grey hat).
Ethical hackers employ their skills to test cybersecurity vulnerabilities in companies, then provide advice about where they need to strengthen security defenses to keep hackers at bay.
Black hat hackers are those who exploit vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to computers, networks and other computing systems. Black hat hackers may use these exploits to gain entry and cause irreparable harm by accessing personal or financial data without authorization, altering critical systems or even stealing it outright.
Blue-hat hackers are cyber criminals who perform hacking activities for personal gain or vengeance against an individual or organization, including posting personal or confidential data online for public viewing. Blue hat hackers also engage in hacking as social activism by initiating DDoS attacks against sites they oppose and/or stealing and publishing personal or confidential data on those that they can’t stand.
What is a cyber attack?
Cyber attacks are any malicious activities conducted against computer systems or networks by cyber criminals with the goal of disrupting or denying access to vital resources and/or the data itself.
Criminal cyber attacks may take place either inside or outside a security perimeter, with particular targets targeted specifically. Such activities may be carried out by nation states as part of cyberwarfare against their enemies, or by hacktivists with political agendas.
These attacks often aim to exploit weaknesses in computer systems or networks to gain unauthorised access to data or systems, or disrupt operations or infrastructure such as financial services and telecom services.
Cyber attacks include malware, ransomware and phishing campaigns – typically carried out by hackers with either financial or personal gain in mind.
Rootkits and crypto-ransomware are two of the most prevalent forms of malware. These viruses hide deep within an operating system to give hackers complete control over it; once installed, they encrypt files before demanding payment to unlock them.
These threats can be dangerous and expensive for businesses; sometimes resulting in millions of dollars lost.
Cyber attacks may be part of cyberwarfare operations against their opponents or may be initiated by hacktivists with political or social agendas; or they could even be launched as acts of cyber crime against corrupt or vulnerable political structures.
What is a cybercrime?
Cybercrime refers to any crime committed using computers or networks, whether personal or professional in nature. Cybercriminal activity may affect both individuals and companies and result in damage to devices, data, and finances.
Cybercrime refers to all crimes that take place online, spanning everything from drug and sex trafficking, fraud and identity theft.
Many cybercrimes involve malware, viruses and other forms of malicious software which can harm devices by disrupting them, stopping them from working as intended or stealing data. Additional cybercriminal acts include threats to shut down websites or services altogether as well as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks which disrupt a company’s ability to provide service to its customers.
Cybercrime can not only harm devices and data, but it can also cause financial losses for businesses and governments. Ransomware attacks cost organizations tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars just to restore services after being blocked by ransomware.
Cyber attacks can pose numerous threats to businesses, with data lost and investor trust diminished resulting in higher costs associated with borrowing and capital raising.
Cybercrime has emerged as a global threat and experts estimate it causes $600 billion annually in damages.
Hacking is one of the most prevalent cybercrimes, which involves accessing computer systems via security holes or vulnerabilities. Hackers may either expose security flaws in order to report and batch them or exploit these flaws to commit crimes.
What is a cyber vulnerability?
Cyber vulnerabilities, or security flaws or weaknesses that hackers could exploit to gain unauthorised entry to your system, pose a considerable security threat for businesses. They typically exist in IT systems and should be seen as potential breaches for companies’ IT networks.
Vulnerabilities may arise due to any number of causes, from software bugs and features that can be exploited to user error; attackers will seek out these vulnerabilities in order to launch attacks against their targets.
Keep in mind that not all vulnerabilities are equal, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive security audit in order to identify and eliminate potential weaknesses. Furthermore, it must be remembered that not all vulnerabilities can be solved without altering underlying technology.
Maintain a robust patch management program and network segmentation policies to deter attackers from breaching your system. A good cybersecurity team will be able to quickly detect any vulnerabilities within your business and patch them immediately.
Exploitation of vulnerabilities typically serves to gain sensitive data or information through various deceptive means such as phishing attacks, social engineering techniques or other means.
Although vulnerabilities can arise from various sources, one of the primary culprits are software and operating system bugs. A security vulnerability in software could allow hackers to gain control of your computer or access sensitive information in your account without your knowledge or consent.
Hardware and connected devices also present vulnerabilities. For instance, when left with its default configuration that requires users to enter username/password to activate, hackers could exploit such a device as an entryway to gain entry.