What Is Cyber-security?

What Is Cyber-security?

Cyber-security is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyber-attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes. Implementing effective cyber-security measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative.

         What is cyber-security all about?

A successful cyber-security approach has multiple layers of protection spread across the computers, networks, programs, or data that one intends to keep safe. In an organization, the people, processes, and technology must all complement one another to create an effective defense from cyber-attacks. A unified threat management system can automate integrations across select Cisco Security products and accelerate key security operations functions: detection, investigation, and remediation.

  • People

Users must understand and comply with basic data security principles like choosing strong passwords, being wary of attachments in email, and backing up data. Learn more about basic cyber-security principles.

  • Processes

Organizations must have a framework for how they deal with both attempted and successful cyber-attacks. One well-respected framework can guide you. It explains how you can identify attacks, protect systems, detect and respond to threats, and recover from successful attacks. Watch a video explanation of the NIST cyber-security framework (1:54)

  • Technology

Technology is essential to giving organizations and individuals the computer security tools needed to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. Three main entities must be protected: endpoint devices like computers, smart devices, and routers; networks; and the cloud. Common technology used to protect these entities include next-generation firewalls, DNS filtering, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions.

Why is cyber-security important?

In today’s connected world, everyone benefits from advanced cyber-defense programs. At an individual level, a cyber-security attack can result in everything from identity theft, to extortion attempts, to the loss of important data like family photos. Everyone relies on critical infrastructure like power plants, hospitals, and financial service companies. Securing these and other organizations is essential to keeping our society functioning. Everyone also benefits from the work of cyber-threat researchers, like the team of 250 threat researchers at Talos, who investigate new and emerging threats and cyber-attack strategies. They reveal new vulnerabilities, educate the public on the importance of cyber-security, and strengthen open source tools. Their work makes the Internet safer for everyone.