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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Cyber Security Challenges

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Speaker
Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Cyber Security refers to protecting computer systems, networks, data, programs, etc., from cyber attacks (Cyber attacks refer to attempts to steal or corrupt data, disable access of systems to various resources and gain control of a system to launch attacks using it).

Also read - active and passive attacks

What is the importance of cyber security?

Cyber attackers pose a risk to various sensitive information of the users of the affected systems; sensitive information includes PII (Personal Identifiable Information, it can be used to gain information about anonymous users that can help identify them), PHI (Personal Health Information), intellectual property and other extremely sensitive information.

Preserving systems from cyber-attacks becomes essential for governments to safeguard national security; various organizations must maintain their user data and prevent them from getting harmed, maintain their reputation to ensure that they grow rapidly, and individual users must safeguard their own data and systems.

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What are some new cyber security challenges?

A large chunk of the cyber attacks that currently occur is due to human errors and are preventable to a large extent had they been noticed earlier. We'll be discussing six major challenges faced by Cyber Security.

A rise in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology

There has been a huge increase in the use of AI in various sectors such as Healthcare, Finance, Manufacturing, Advertising, etc. A lot of sensitive information is being processed by different NLP and ML models. These models help medical professionals better understand and care for their patients by understanding their day-to-day patterns, history, etc. The advent of AI can help detect malicious patterns and help prevent attacks, but this comes at a price because AI used by attackers can use small windows of vulnerabilities such as a firewall being down, and it can also find various security vulnerabilities that may be difficult for humans to find in a very small amount of time. In this way, AI can be a double-edged sword, and proper precautions must be taken to prevent a cyber attack.

IoT related threats

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interconnected devices that can send and receive data over a wireless network without human intervention. It has applications in smart homes, IoT retail shops, self-driving cars, etc.

There can be various ways an attack can occur, such as devices where the attackers can take advantage of the default settings, outdated components and update mechanisms that can be used to make attacks such as DoS (denial of service) attacks, in addition to these vulnerabilities web applications can also allow attackers to steal user details, etc.

Blockchain revolution

Blockchain is a new technology with various applications, such as facilitating secure money transfers, financial exchanges, securing personal information, etc. It is usually considered very safe but can be compromised if access to smart contracts can be gained.

Smart contracts reside in the decentralized blockchain network, the data that resides there depends entirely on the security protocols there, and poor security can make smart contracts vulnerable to attacks. It can be especially harmful as the technology usually involves a large sum of money. Due to blockchain's inherent, immutable nature, it can be incredibly expensive and difficult to revert any malicious changes.

Growth in the use of ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to perpetually block access to data or publish the victim's sensitive information unless they pay a ransom (usually money) to the attacker. There has been immense growth in such attacks because they have successfully gotten money out of their victims, including big companies with ransoms involving millions of dollars. There has been a tremendous growth of over 1318% in ransomware attacks in the banking industry. To tackle these issues, the only way is for companies to ensure that there are no loopholes and points of attack on their systems for the attackers to target them.

Use of serverless apps

In serverless apps, the provider is responsible for most of the security aspects of our app, such as securing the data, authenticating the user, maintaining the data securely, etc. It reduces the efforts on the developer's side, but there are still things that need to be taken care of that make it a joint responsibility. The challenges here are ensuring that none of our credentials or sensitive information is leaked as the serverless application can't help us if we lose our credentials. Problems may also be faced if we provide over privileges to serverless functions allowing unintended actions to be made, etc.

Dronejacking

Drones are on their way to becoming a major tool for shippers and delivery (Amazon has especially been investing in drone technology), farmers, police, news media, photographers, etc. In dronejacking, the purpose usually is to take control of the drones by using their vulnerabilities (most drones don't have adequate security measures, making the job easier for attackers). Dronejackers can use these drones to steal deliveries, expensive photographic equipment, criminal surveillance, and they can also be used as projectiles to knock down objects such as surveillance cameras and destroy costly equipment, including themselves.

FAQs

  1. What are some historical incidents showing the importance of cyber security?
    The first recorded case of cyber security threat that led to national security concerns in the US was done in 1986-87 by a group of German hackers. They managed to gain information from defence contractors, military bases, etc. and sold it to Soviet KGB.
     
  2. What are some common cyber-attacks?
    Phishing, DoS (Denial of service attack), Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack, SQL injection, malware, etc., are some of the most common types of cyber security attack.
     
  3. What jobs can one aim for in cyber security?
    One can pursue jobs such as:
    Network Security Engineers
    Cybersecurity Analysts
    Security Architect
    Information Security officer
     
  4. Difference between a cyber attacker and a hacker?
    Hackers also refer to the ethical side where the researchers find and inform related organizations about security threats. In contrast, an attacker is the one to gain access to our data and systems for his own benefit, often at the cost of the victim.
     
  5. What is malware?
    Malware is a software program that disrupts users' computer security and privacy by damaging, destroying and stealing user data and computer systems. Some examples of malware are viruses, ransomware, spyware and adware.

Key Takeaways

The article covers the importance of cyber security and various challenges faced in preserving systems and data security from cyber-attacks. If cyber security is a new topic for you, I'll recommend understanding its importance and the consequences that cyber threats can pose. Refer here to learn more about cyber security and here to find out about the future career prospects of cyber security.

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Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
What is the importance of cyber security?
3.
What are some new cyber security challenges?
3.1.
A rise in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology
3.2.
IoT related threats
3.3.
Blockchain revolution
3.4.
Growth in the use of ransomware
3.5.
Use of serverless apps
3.6.
Dronejacking
4.
FAQs
5.
Key Takeaways