Cybersecurity refers to the practice of safeguarding computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. It is also known as information technology security or electronic information security and is essential in various contexts, from business to mobile computing. Cybersecurity can be categorized into several key areas:

  1. Network Security: This involves protecting computer networks from intruders, including targeted attackers or opportunistic malware.
  2. Application Security: Focusing on keeping software and devices free of threats, this area emphasizes secure design practices to prevent compromised applications from providing unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  3. Information Security: This aspect is dedicated to preserving the integrity and privacy of data, both while in storage and during transmission.
  4. Operational Security: This encompasses the processes and decisions for handling and protecting data assets, including user permissions and data storage and sharing procedures.
  5. Disaster Recovery: These practices define an organization’s response to cyber-security incidents and other events that cause the loss of operations or data. Disaster recovery policies aim to restore operations and information, while business continuity plans allow the organization to operate without certain resources.
  6. End-User Education: Recognizing that people can be an unpredictable factor in cybersecurity, this area emphasizes educating users to follow good security practices, such as avoiding suspicious email attachments and unknown USB drives.

The scale of the cyber threat is continuously evolving, with an increasing number of data breaches occurring each year. Global spending on cybersecurity solutions has also been rising as a response to the escalating threats. Various governments, including the US, UK, and Australia, have provided guidance and frameworks to help organizations implement effective cybersecurity practices.

Cyber threats come in various forms, including cybercrime, cyber-attacks, and cyberterrorism. Malicious actors use different methods to gain control of computer systems, such as employing malware (viruses, trojans, spyware, ransomware, etc.), conducting SQL injection attacks, carrying out phishing scams, performing man-in-the-middle attacks, and initiating denial-of-service attacks.

To protect against cyber threats, end-user protection or endpoint security is crucial. This involves encrypting sensitive data, using security software to scan and remove malware, and employing real-time malware detection with heuristic and behavioural analysis. Regular software updates, strong passwords, and cautious behaviour, such as avoiding unknown email attachments and unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, are also important cyber safety tips for individuals and businesses.