What is Cybersecurity?

Updated February 15, 2022 | Staff Writers

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Cybersecurity is a set of practices and techniques to ensure that a company's or individual's confidential information isn't stolen or attacked. There are individual hackers and criminal enterprises that will try to gain access to a company's networks or an individual's secure information. They use this information to gain an advantage in business, to steal money or cause damage.

Why It's Required

The major concern of cybersecurity is stopping unauthorized access from outside sources. Cyberthreats come in the form of malware, phishing, ransomware or exploit kits. There are sophisticated threats that change constantly, so cybersecurity strategies for fighting the threats and attacks have to change constantly too. This requires a strategy that addresses each type of threat before it can gain access to the system.

There are a few types of attacks on a company's or an individual's infrastructure. There are confidentiality attacks where the financial and personal information of the target is mined for social security information, credit card data and data for identity theft. Attacks for sabotage reasons are directed towards companies to destroy their systems or data. Attacks on data access is another type of cyberthreat. An attacker will prevent the target from accessing their own information through the use of ransomware. The attacker will encrypt the data and demand money for its returned availability.

Maintaining Effective Security

Effective security involves having systems in place to protect data from attack in the first place. When companies focus on preventing attacks, they're reducing the impact on their systems as well as their wallets. It's less expensive to create a cyberthreat process than it is to react when a hacker has gained access to the system and all the company's information.

Featured Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity

Security Training

Usually the weakest part of any system is the humans involved with the implementation and usage throughout the day. When employees are trained in details like how to deal with phishing emails or how to use security protocols to protect data, there is less of a chance of a successful attack. Unfortunately every company will be attacked at some point even if it's not a campaign directed exclusively against that company. It's always vital to have employees trained in how to deal with viruses or other security threats. Entrepreneur reports that there are at least 5 things that employees are doing to threaten a company's cybersecurity.


The network's security, the electricity that flows to the system and the cloud services used can all contribute towards an attack if they're not monitored and protected. A company has many points of entry for a determined attacker. It could involve wireless connectivity through surprising places like printers, sensors and security cameras that are accessed remotely. Many devices aren't secured when they're installed because the company mistakenly believes that the manufacturer has secured the device against threats. A cybersecurity team should be setting up secure systems and protecting all devices from attack.

Cybersecurity Careers

There is a high demand for security personnel especially after all the attacks in the news on a daily basis. Security analysts are needed to plan and upgrade security controls, protect digital files and maintain security protocols. Security engineers and architects are roles that involve analyzing current systems and security, implementing plans and configuring new systems. They can be high level executives within large companies.

Related Resource: The 25 Best Master's in Information Assurance and Security Programs Online

Cybersecurity is vital for protecting a company's important data that could include financial information and customer or client data. Cybersecurity personnel work to protect a system from malicious attacks that could cause incredible damage to the system or the company itself.

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