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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Cyber Security?
3.
Types of Cyber Security
3.1.
Network Security  
3.2.
Cloud Security
3.3.
Mobile Security 
3.4.
Endpoint Security
3.5.
Application Security 
3.6.
IoT Security
4.
History of Cyber Security
5.
Importance of Cyber Security
6.
Fundamental Concepts of Cyber Security
7.
Threats in Cyber Security
7.1.
1. Ransomware: 
7.2.
2. Vulnerable Software: 
7.3.
3. Denial of service(DoS): 
7.4.
4. Phishing: 
7.5.
5. SQL injection: 
7.6.
6. Man in the middle: 
8.
Authentication in Cyber Security
9.
How Cyber Security Works? 
10.
Tools in Cyber Security
11.
Types of Firewalls in Cyber Security
11.1.
Packet Filtering Firewall
11.2.
Circuit Level Gateway
11.3.
Application Level Gateway
11.4.
Stateful Inspection Firewall
11.5.
Next-Generation Firewalls
11.6.
Penetration Testing 
11.7.
Antivirus Software
11.8.
MDR Services
11.9.
PKI Services 
11.10.
Encryption Tools 
11.11.
Data Loss Prevention
12.
Cyber Security Services
12.1.
Cloud Security
12.2.
Identity and Access Management 
12.3.
Risk Assessment 
12.4.
Security Monitoring
12.5.
Security Training and Awareness 
12.6.
Incident Response
12.7.
Data Encryption
13.
Challenges in Cyber Security
13.1.
Internet of Things (IoT)
13.2.
Ransomware
13.3.
Advanced Threats
13.4.
Limited Transparency
14.
Advantages of Cyber Security
15.
Disadvantages of Cyber Security
16.
Limitations of Cyber Security
17.
What are Some Cyber Security Jobs?
18.
Frequently Asked Questions
18.1.
What is cyber security?
18.2.
What are the different types of firewalls?
18.3.
What are the 5 types of cyber security?
18.4.
What are the 7 stages of cyber security?
19.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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What is Cyber Security?

Author Monika Yadav
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Ashwin Goyal
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18 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Cybersecurity is all about protecting computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from harmful attacks. It's also called information technology security or electronic information security. Its main goal is to keep your digital world safe and secure.

What is Cyber security?

In this article, we will discuss about Cyber Security. We will learn the basics of Cyber Security, what is Cyber Security, history of cyber security, how it works, types of cyber security, tools that are used in cyber security, services that cyber security provides, advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of cyber security, and other concepts as well. So without wasting further time, let’s get started with Cyber Security.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is also known as information security or electronic information security and it is used for defending computer devices, mobile devices, servers, electronic systems, networks, and data from cyber attacks. 

It uses technologies and policies to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data. The aim of Cyber Security is to protect organizational and individual sensitive data from threats. Threats may include cyber-attacks, data breaches, malware, viruses, phishing, and cybercrime. There are so many security measures like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, encryption, and access controls. Cyber security plays an important role nowadays. Almost all organizations rely on computer systems and networks for storing and processing sensitive data. Cyber security is a rapidly evolving field, and also new threats and technologies are emerging side by side.

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Types of Cyber Security

Cyber security has several types. Some of the common types of cybersecurity are the following:

Network Security  

Network security is focused on the protection of networks from unauthorized access and attacks like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and VPNs.

Cloud Security

Cloud security is focused on securing cloud infrastructure. Some services as well like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, are from security threats. The threats may be data breaches and insider attacks.

Mobile Security 

Mobile security helps to secure mobile devices like smartphones and tablets from cyber-attacks and data theft. Increase in the use of mobile to access sensitive data and perform critical tasks. 

Endpoint Security

This security is focused to protect devices like laptops, desktops, mobiles, and tablets, from security threats. Threats may be malware and phishing.

Application Security 

This security focused to secure applications and software from security threats.

IoT Security

IoT security helps to secure the network and devices that make up the IoT ecosystem.

History of Cyber Security

Talking about the history of cyber security, In the 1960s and 1970s, cyber security originated. At that time, only computers became widespread, and security arose.

In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a rise in personal computers and the internet. Cybercriminals began to target individual users and organizations with viruses and worms. Due to this issue, anti-virus software was developed. In the early 2000s, cyber attacks became more sophisticated and targeted with the emergence of advanced persistent threats (APTs). Due to this, new security technologies developed, like intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) and security information and event management (SIEM) systems. Today, cyber security is increasing rapidly with new threats and technologies emerging.

Importance of Cyber Security

Cyber security is important for individuals and organizations for several reasons. Let’s learn about the importance of cyber security:

  1. Builds customer trust: Strong cyber security measures can help build customer trust. By demonstrating a commitment to protect our personal and financial information. This is essential for organizations that rely on customer trust and loyalty to remain competitive. 
     
  2. Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements: Cyber security measures help organizations comply with legal and regulatory requirements. This can be data protection laws and industry-specific regulations. Failure to these requirements can result in fines, legal action, and reputational damage.
     
  3. Protects against cyber attacks: Computer systems, networks, and data are protected by cyber security measures from cyber threats. Threats include malware, phishing, viruses, and other cyber attacks. If there is no cyber security, organizations and individuals are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This will result in data loss, financial loss, and reputational damage.
     
  4. Maintains business continuity: Cyber security helps in maintaining business continuity. This can reduce the risk of downtime and data loss due to cyber-attacks. 
     
  5. Protects information: Cyber security protects sensitive information. Information like personal, financial data, and intellectual property from unauthorized access. This is important for those organizations which collect, store, and process huge amounts of information.

Fundamental Concepts of Cyber Security

Cyber security primarily deals with the protection of electronic devices, networks, and sensitive data from unauthorized access or complete loss. It involves a variety of methods, technologies, and tools that ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data. The following are fundamental concepts of cybersecurity:

  1. Confidentiality: Confidentiality is the protection of sensitive data against unauthorized access, which is mainly achieved through encryption, access control, and other such measures.
     
  2. Integrity: Integrity refers to the state where the original data is persisted throughout the journey of data transfer, i.e., the data is not modified in an unauthorized way. This is usually achieved by digital signatures, checksums, and other such methods.
     
  3. Availability: Availability is the ability to access data in the shortest possible time when needed by authorized users. Achieved through backups, redundancy, and other such methods.
     
  4. Authentication: Authentication involves various ways of identifying the authenticated users. It includes passwords, biometrics, and other such techniques.
     
  5. Authorization: It is the process of acceptance or denial to the access of resources based on the state of authentication of the users, for example: allowing the download of resources to only authorized users.
     
  6. Risk management: It is the process of assessing potential security threats which might arrive while carrying out a process. 
     
  7. Vulnerability management: It is the process of assessing and identifying potential security patches in the system and fixing them as soon as possible.
     
  8. Incident response: It is the process of reacting to cybersecurity incidents and coming out with proper measures to avoid them in the best possible way.
     
  9. Cyber hygiene: It refers to the best practices that an individual or an organization must follow in order to keep security attacks at bay. It includes keeping software up to date, using strong passwords, and other such methods.

Threats in Cyber Security

Some cyber security threats are the following:

1. Ransomware: 

This threat encrypts a victim's files or locks them out of their own system until a ransom is paid. Ransomware is a type of cyber attack.

2. Vulnerable Software: 

Vulnerable software is used by attackers. To exploit the victim's weaknesses and gain unauthorized access, steal data, or compromise systems.

3. Denial of service(DoS): 

A DoS helps to prevent users from accessing a website, system, or network. This can be done by overwhelming it with traffic. This threat can cause the system to crash or become unavailable to legitimate users. 

4. Phishing: 

Phishing is also a type of cyber attack, by tricking users by providing some personal information like passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal data. This is done through fraudulent emails or websites that appear to be legitimate. 

5. SQL injection: 

SQL injection is a type of cyber attack. It mostly targets web applications that use SQL databases. When an attacker sends malicious SQL statements through a vulnerable web application to execute unauthorized actions and gain access to sensitive data, then it is called SQL injection.

6. Man in the middle: 

This is a type of cyber attack. When an attacker intercepts communication between two parties so that they can steal data or manipulate the communication, then it is called a MITM attack.

Authentication in Cyber Security

In cyber security, Authentication is the process to verify the identity of a user. It is the process that confirms that the user is what it claims to be. Authentication is a critical aspect of cybersecurity. It helps to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data. 

The differences between authentication and identification are as follows.

  Authentication Identification
Federated identity management It is the process that verifies the identity of the user. Identification is the process of establishing the identity of a user.
Multi-factor authentication It is the process of verifying the identity of a user or entity attempting to access a system.  It is the process that establishes the identity of a user attempting to access a system. 
Secure authentication It verifies the identity of the user based on one or more factors. It provides a unique identifier to the system.
Password policies For authentication, password policies typically involve requirements for creating and managing a secret associated with the user's account. For identification, password policies typically involve requirements for creating and managing a unique identifier.

How Cyber Security Works? 

 Let’s learn how cyber security works:

  1. Assets and vulnerabilities identifications: Cyber security's first attempt is to identify the assets. It protects and assesses the vulnerabilities and threats that could affect them.
     
  2. Risk management: Cyber security professionals developed and implemented many strategies to manage risks and also minimize the cyber attack impact. 
     
  3. Implementation of security controls: As soon as the team identifies the issue. Cyber security professionals implement security controls. Controls may be anyone, like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, anti-virus software, access control, and encryption.
     
  4. Monitoring and analysis: The team of cyber security monitors networks and systems continuously for suspicious activity or threats. They also analyze logs and other data to identify potential security breaches and respond to them quickly.
     
  5. Incident response: If a security incident or breach takes place, There is a proper cybersecurity team. This team works to contain the damage, minimize data loss, and restore normal operations as soon as possible.
     
  6. Education and training: Professionals of cyber security educate and train employees of organizations on cybersecurity practices. They train how to identify phishing emails and how to set strong passwords.

Tools in Cyber Security

Firewall is a tool that monitors and controls traffic coming in and going-out of a system based on some rules. It helps provide protection against unauthorized access to resources. These are designed to lie between a trusted network and an untrusted network to monitor and control the flowing traffic. Rules that decide which traffic to allow to pass can be based on various criteria such as IP address, port number, and protocol type.

Types of Firewalls in Cyber Security

Packet Filtering Firewall

  • A single device can filter traffic for the entire network but is incapable of filtering at the application level.
  • Efficient and fast at processing packets but can be difficult to securely configure.
  • Enables complex security policies through filtering on protocol headers but lacks features like user authentication and logging.
  • Inexpensive but vulnerable to spoofing attacks.

Circuit Level Gateway

  • Provides privacy for data passing in/out of private network but protects sessions rather than individual packets.
  • More efficient processing traffic than application-level gateways but requires modification to the network protocol stack.
  • Relatively expensive.

Application Level Gateway

  • Capable of detecting and blocking attacks not visible at the OSI model network or transport layers but complex to configure and maintain.
  • Obscures private network details application in use but high processing overhead.
  • Protects users' anonymity but requires a proxy to be set up for every network.

Stateful Inspection Firewall

  • Capable of blocking types of attacks that exploit protocol vulnerabilities but can require a high degree of skill to securely configure.
  • Can operate with fewer open ports, reducing the attack surface.
  • Does not support authenticated connections.
  • Capable of blocking many types of denial of service attacks.
  • Not effective against exploits of stateless protocols.

Next-Generation Firewalls

  • Provides traditional firewall functionality combined with other security functions, including intrusion detection/prevention systems, advanced threat intelligence, malware scanning, and others.
  • Consolidation of security functions makes the NGFW a single point of failure.
  • Capable of monitoring network protocols from the data link layer through the application layer.
  • Requires high frontend investment of resources to acquire, configure and deploy these complex systems.
  • Offres substantive logging capabilities but can hinder network performance.

Penetration Testing 

Penetration testing is also known as pen testing. In this method security of a system, network, or web application is tested by simulating an attack so as to assess the system in vulnerable situations.

Testing is performed by ethical hackers or security experts who use various techniques to identify security hotspots in the system.

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is also known as anti-malware software designed to catch, avoid and remove malicious software from systems. Malware consists of viruses, Worms, trojan horses, and other such stuff that can harm a computer system. 

MDR Services

It stands for Managed Detection and Response. It provides continuous monitoring, threat detection, and incident response capabilities by employing methods like machine learning and behavioral analytics.

PKI Services 

It stands for Public Key Infrastructure which is a type of security service that provides a secure and reliable way to manage digital certificates and public and private keys. They are responsible for certificate insurance and management, key management, certificate revocation, and validation services.

Encryption Tools 

These are responsible for encoding data in a way so as to be accessed by only authorized users. Various encryption tools are file encryption tools, email encryption tools, disk encryption tools, and communication encryption tools. It works best when combined with other measures like strong passwords, multi-factor authentications, and regular software updates.

Data Loss Prevention

It is a set of security measures used to prevent sensitive data from being lost or stolen. It uses various policies and technologies to identify, monitor and protect sensitive data, such as data classification, data loss prevention policies, data discovery, and monitoring and endpoint protection.

Cyber Security Services

There are so many types of cyber security services available. Some of the most common services are given below:

Cloud Security

These services are to protect an organization's cloud-based infrastructure, applications, and data from cyber security threats.

Identity and Access Management 

This will help organizations manage user access to systems and data, as well as ensure that user identities are verified and authenticated.

Risk Assessment 

This assessment helps in the evaluation of an organization's current security posture to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats.

Security Monitoring

These services monitor an organization's systems and network continuously so that it can sign off on any suspicious activity or potential security breaches.

Security Training and Awareness 

These programs help employees to understand and recognize security threats. Also, help in how to avoid and report them.

Incident Response

These services help organizations to identify quickly and respond to cyber security incidents. Incidents may include data breaches, malware infections, and other types of attacks.

Data Encryption

These services help to protect sensitive data. By encrypting the data at rest and in transit. Due to this service, it is more difficult for attackers to access or steal.

Overall, cyber security services play a critical role in protecting organizations and individuals from the growing threat of cyber attacks.

Challenges in Cyber Security

Challenges in Cyber Security are:

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is a network of devices, appliances, and machines. Connected to the internet and communicate with each other. IoT devices provide several benefits. Like improved efficiency and convenience, they also pose significant security challenges. IoT devices are not designed with security in mind, and many lack basic security features like encryption and authentication. This will make them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Attacks like distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware. Ransomware encrypts an organization's data and, in return, demands huge payment in exchange for the decryption. Ransomware attacks are increasing day by day and can have devastating consequences for organizations like loss of data and financial loss, and reputational damage. Ransomware attacks are difficult to prevent and mitigate, especially for those organizations that lack backup and recovery strategies.

Advanced Threats

Artificial Intelligence is used to create more sophisticated cyber threats like deep fakes, chatbots, and social engineering attacks. All these threats are difficult to detect and mitigate. As they are designed to mimic human behavior.

Limited Transparency

AI algorithms are complex and difficult to interpret. This makes it difficult to understand. How they make decisions and identify vulnerabilities. Due to a lack of transparency, it is difficult to identify and mitigate potential security risks associated with AI.

Advantages of Cyber Security

Some advantages of cyber security are the following:

  1. Protection against cyber threats: Cyber security protects computer systems, data, and networks from threats. Threats include malware, viruses, phishing, and other cyber attacks.
     
  2. Maintains business continuity: Cyber security helps in maintaining business continuity. By reducing the risk of downtime and data loss due to attacks.
     
  3. Protects sensitive information: Cyber security protects sensitive information like personal and financial data and intellectual property from unauthorized access.
     
  4. Builds customer trust: Cyber security can help in building customer trust. By demonstrating a commitment to protect our personal and financial information.
     
  5. Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements: Cyber security measures help organizations comply with legal and regulatory requirements like data protection laws and industry-specific regulations.
     
  6. Competitive advantage: Cyber security effective measures can provide a competitive advantage by helping to build customer trust and enhance an organization's reputation for security.

Disadvantages of Cyber Security

Some disadvantages of cyber security are the following:

  1. Cost: Implementing cyber security measures can be expensive. Especially for small businesses that may not have the budget or expertise to fully secure their systems and networks.
     
  2. Complexity: Cyber security is a complex and technical field that requires specialized skills and knowledge. Complexity makes it difficult for organizations to fully understand and implement cyber security measures.
     
  3. Inhibits innovation: Cyber security measures can sometimes inhibit innovation by imposing restrictions on its use. This can be challenging for organizations operating in highly regulated industries.
     
  4. Privacy concerns: Some cyber security measures, like monitoring and data collection, can raise privacy concerns. Organizations must balance the need for security with the need to protect personal privacy.
     
  5. False sense of security: No doubt Cyber security measures can reduce the risk of cyber attacks.  But they will not provide complete protection, which will result in a false sense of security.

Limitations of Cyber Security

Some of the limitations of cyber security are the following:

  1. Human error: Human error causes many cyber attacks, like clicking on a phishing email or using passwords that are not strong enough to protect the data. Training and education can help to reduce the risk of human error, but it is not possible to completely eliminate it.
     
  2. Insider threats: Cyber attacks can come from both external and internal sources. Malicious insiders, like employees or contractors with access to information, can pose a significant threat to cyber security.
     
  3. Threats evolving rapidly: Cyber threats are very common nowadays, and attackers are constantly coming up with new techniques and tactics to bypass security measures. This requires organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest threats and security technologies.
     
  4. Complexity: Computer systems and networks are becoming complex. Due to this, it may be difficult to identify and mitigate security risks.
     
  5. Resource constraints: Implementation of cyber security measures can be costly and resource-intensive. Especially for small businesses. As they have the least budget or expertise to fully secure their systems.
     
  6. Legal and regulatory requirements: Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, like data protection laws, can be complex and challenging, especially for organizations operating in multiple jurisdictions.

What are Some Cyber Security Jobs?

Companies from all sectors and various industries need cybersecurity to experience threats that compromise confidential business and customer information. There are many promising cybersecurity careers due to the immense need for skilled personnel to secure various components and steps of IT processes and even during the storage of data for non-IT companies. Here are some cybersecurity jobs which one can pursue or aim for: 

1. Network Security Engineers: They play an important role within organisations as they ensure that security implementations are able to protect systems and networks from external threats. Their tasks range from the maintenance of systems to the identification of vulnerabilities. Their main job involves overseeing firewalls, routers and virtual private networks. 

2. Cybersecurity Analysts: They help in strategising, implementing and upgrading security measures. Analysts are tasked with monitoring security access and performing internal and external cybersecurity audits to remove security flaws and loopholes. Analysts are also responsible for testing vulnerabilities, analyzing risks and managing the security protocols to be followed to avoid data breaches. 

3. Security Architects: They play an important role in the design of the network and computer security architecture in companies. They help in planning, designing and researching elements of security. 

4. Information Security Officer: They work with the staff for the identification, development, implementation, and maintenance of processes across organisations to remove the possibility of security breaches. They are responsible for responding to incidents and setting up appropriate standards to control security risks with the least amount of loss and disruptions to a business. These officers are also responsible for ensuring the implementation of security protocols, procedures and policies within an organisation.

Here are a few examples of specialised fields within cybersecurity: 

  • Network Security: A lot of breaches are network breaches that involve hackers jacking the wired or wireless networks and then gaining access to data. Network security consists of securing networks (wired, LAN and Wi-Fi) that are used on company premises and even externally when company data is involved.
  • Information Security: This consists of protecting customer and company data from hackers and prying eyes.
  • Application Security: This is ensuring that applications operating on the premises and portals are reinforced with security measures since the design stage is secured and protected. Application security adds security measures such as how data is handled and how users are authenticated.


While cyber security is important for protecting computer systems, networks, and data. It is also important to recognize its limitations. Having a risk-based approach while implementing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cyber security?

Cyber Security, also known as computer security or information security. It is a practice of protecting computer systems from unauthorized access. Cybersecurity involves the use of new technologies and policies to safeguard computers, mobiles, servers, and data from unauthorized access.

What are the different types of firewalls?

There are several types of firewalls that are used to protect our systems and network from unauthorized access and threats. Some common types of firewalls are Packet filtering firewall, Stateful inspection firewall, Proxy firewall, Next-generation firewall (NGFW), Virtual firewall, Host-based firewall, Network address translation (NAT) firewall.

What are the 5 types of cyber security?

Five types of cyber security are Network Security, Cloud Security, Mobile Security, Application Security and IoT Security.

What are the 7 stages of cyber security?

Seven stages of cyber security are Reconnaissance, Weaponisation, Delivery, Exploitation, Installation, Command and control, and Actions on objectives.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed Cyber Security. We also discussed the basics of Cyber Security, what is cyber security, its history, challenges, types, advantages, limitations, and much more. In conclusion, cyber security is a critical area nowadays. We all are aware that cyber threats are continuously evolving and pose significant risks to organizations. Cyber security is important for protecting sensitive data, preventing financial loss, and ensuring the integrity and availability of systems and networks. However, cyber security has several challenges. To address these challenges, organizations must prioritize cyber security and invest in effective security measures, training, and education.

Apart from all these challenges, cyber security is a complex and dynamic field as well but by keeping a holistic approach to cyber security, organizations can stay safe in the digital age.

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