15 Ways to Improve your cyber security
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is sometimes also referred to as computer security or information technology (I.T) security. It consists of processes, technologies, and controls designed to protect networks, systems, devices, programs, and data from cyber-attacks. The objective of cyber security is to decrease the number and the intensity of risks from cyber-attacks and protect the networks, systems, devices, programs, and data from unauthorized exploitation and theft from the attackers.
Today, the need for cyber security is significantly more than earlier due to the vast dependence on the internet, computer, mobile phones, systems, and networks. Now more than ever, since almost everything can be done virtually, cyber security is of utmost importance. It has become a challenge to ensure security due to its complex nature and dynamic technologies. That is why cyber security is gaining so much importance and opening up a lot of career opportunities. It is a lucrative field, and hence learning more about cyber security becomes crucial and gives an edge to the individual in this field.
So, if you are interested in this field, there are several e-learning courses that you can pursue from the comfort of your home. Many recognized programs provide Cyber security certifications with comprehensive coverage of information and application at affordable prices.
What are the systems and industries which are at huge risk of cyber-attacks?
Some of the main systems and industries which face huge risks from cyber-attacks listed as follows;
- Financial Systems: Especially in the banking and payments sector.
- Utilities and Industrial Equipment: Especially in nuclear power plants, energy generating plants, etc.
- Large Companies: Mainly aimed at identity thefts, medical records, data breaches, etc.
- Aviation Industry: This can lead to loss of confidentiality, system integrity, loss of lives, etc.
- Personal devices: Mainly desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, etc.
- Government Military Systems
- Health and Medical Systems
- Automobiles or Automotive hacking
Reason for cyber attacks:
The reason for cyberattacks can range from mere thrill-seeking hackers to criminals looking for financial gain, abuse, terrorist activities, etc. The growth in the use of the internet and mobiles, the ease with which they are available, and the inexpensive nature have also contributed to these attacks.
Impact of Cyberattacks:
The impact of these attacks can lead to financial losses, identity thefts, data & security breaches, confidentiality loss, system damage, political disruption, terrorist attacks, loss of lives, etc. Hence, it is clear that it can lead to serious damage. Hence, it becomes very important to have control measures to prevent such attacks and continuously improve cyber security.
Cyber Security Measures or Ways to Improve Cyber Security:
Improving cyber security means taking actions developing processes, systems, techniques, and controls to reduce or eliminate the risk of threats, attacks, and vulnerability to minimize damage and loss and make it easier to discover an attack and corrective action can be taken as soon as possible.
Some of these measures are listed as follows;
- Securing Operating Systems- Implementing secure operating systems can go a long way in protecting against these attacks. Various systems are developed as per security standards to prevent breaches.
- Secure Coding refers to coding the system from the base itself, which would guard against potential attacks.
- Security by design- The system’s design developed to reduce vulnerabilities from the start itself. This can done through an automated theorem, unit testing, code reviews, etc.
- User Access controls- Developing and maintaining controls at the user level is essential to protect data.
- Firewalls and Antivirus- These installed to protect the system from unwanted viruses and hackers.
- Network Security- Implementing security measures at the network level is of utmost importance to block the hackers from entering the network itself and block any unauthorized or foreign intruder.
- Protection of Hardware- This is because hardware can be very easily attacked or introduced to viruses and threats, for example, by way of pen drives, micro-chips, dongles, etc. Therefore it becomes very important to protect hardware systems. One way of protection is to disable the ports to prevent viruses. Another way the installation of applications designed to scan these external devices, but this could comparatively less secure.
Some Other Features are:
- Security Training to the user- The user must be given security training, because most of the time it is the fault of the user due to which attacks happen, for example, creating poor passwords, clicking on fake URLs or websites or dangerous links, sending confidential data to a wrong person, etc.
- Blocking Dangerous websites and pages is important for the same reason as mentioned above. If dangerous websites and pages identified and blocked at the entity level itself, then there would be no room for error at the end-user level. In the case of personal laptops or mobile systems, one should be very careful before clicking on any random unsecured links on the internet and avoid opening them altogether.
- Clearing passwords and caches- Regular cleaning of caches and trash prevent the accumulation of unwanted information. One should avoid saving passwords on unsecured pages, especially information relating to banks and payments.
- Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) – This helps detect attacks and after the attacks to recover and minimize the loss.
- Install software like Anti-malware, Anti-virus, Parental control, Firewall, etc.
Hence, it is imperative to implement and maintain governance of Security measures.
Today, Cyber Security considered one of the most emerging fields. Many institutes in India and abroad provide various cyber security certs at the convenience of your home. Some careers require a master’s degree, which these institutes also provide. You can do various courses to give an edge to yourself in this competitive industry, for example, security governance, ethical hacking courses, advanced security courses, etc.