Introduction

Cybersecurity is the practice of defending networked systems from threats such as software, hardware, and data. It is classified into a few categories and applicable to a variety of contexts, from business to mobile computing: –

  • Application Security- It protects the software and devices from threats. A successful is added in an application during the design stage before the program or device is deployed.
  • Information Security- It protects the privacy of data as well as its integrity during transit and in storage.
  • Operational Security- It includes the process of making decisions for handling and protecting data assets. The user needs to give permissions while accessing the network, and the procedure of determining the space of storing data.
  • Disaster recovery and Business Continuity- It shows the response of data on a cybersecurity incident or any incident that causes a loss of data or operations. The policies of disaster recovery take authority on restoring the information for the return of operations to its same capacity. The plan in which organizations fall back while trying to work within certain resources is business continuity.

What is a Cybersecurity threat?

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The malevolent deliberate attack by an individual or organization to gain unauthorized access to other individual’s or organization’s networks in intention to steal, disarray or damage the assets, computer networks, Whether it’s intellectual property or other types of sensitive IT data. It can happen within the organization by the trusted users or from a remote location by unknown parties.

Where do these cyberattacks come from?

There are numerous ways by which a cyberattack can take place:

  • Hacktivists: Hacking activities can be because of political ideologies and issues. Mostly hacker group does cyberattack to spread their propaganda rather than disrupting the infrastructure and services. Their end goal is to support the political agenda without causing maximum damage.
  • Displeased Insiders: It is a very common source of cybercrime. Insiders often have high knowledge and access of organizational data making it much easier to expose sensitive and confidential ones.
  • Hackers: Malevolent intruders can gain unauthorized access to organizational data. They break into the IT systems for a just challenge or bragging. No high-level skills are required for hacking anymore, automated attacks protocols and scripts can easily be downloaded from the internet which makes complex attacks easier.
  • Accidental actions by authorized users: An authorized user sometimes forget to correctly add security configuration, causing potential leakage of data. Major data breaches are a cause of poor data configuration.
  • Terrorist groups: These groups are continuously using cyberattacks to damage national security. Cyberattacks by terrorists are increasing substantially as more and more technically savvy people are being recruited from this competent generation.

Corporate spies: This type of cybercriminals make business espionage to either gain profit or damage their competitor’s business by attacking critical and sensitive infrastructure, gaining unauthorized access and stealing secrets related to trades.

Cybersecurity threats are becoming so common that we need to be completely aware of them and the means by which we can avoid these attacks. The number of educational institutions both online and offline is adding “Cybersecurity” as a course.

Henry Harvin Education one of the top-ranking institutes has a Cybersecurity course in its curriculum. The course comprises of: –

  • Security Essential
    The need for cybersecurity
    Its vulnerability, threat and risk
    What is CIA Triad?
    What should be the security infrastructure?

Managing and governing risks

  • Cryptography
    What is the background of cryptography and what does symmetrical cryptography mean?
    What is Data Encryption Standard (DES)?
    What does the International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA) mean?
    All about Digital certificates and their formats (X.509, X.500)
  • Computer Network and Security:
    What are layered architecture and Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) models?
    Explaining Application Layer Protocols: HTTP, SNMP, DNS, POP, SMTP.
    What is Internet Protocol (IP) v4, IPv6, IPsec?

What is Resolution Protocol ARP/ Reverse ARP/ Proxy ARP, Ethernet, VLAN?

  • Application Security:
    What are the top 10 web application vulnerabilities (OWASP)?
    What does the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDLC) stand for?
  • Data and Endpoint security:
    Detailed explanation of data security and its controls
    All about endpoint security and its controls
  • Identify Access Management (IdAM):
    Explaining Authorization, Authentication, Access control and privilege levels
    What are Identify Access Management Process and its activities (Role-Based, Single Sign-on)
  • Cloud Security:
    What will be the architectural framework of cloud computing?
    What are the legal issues: Contracts and Electronic Discovery?

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Encryption, key management and Virtualization.

  • Phases of a cyberattack:
    Reconnaissance
    Weaponize
    Deliver
    Exploit
    Install
    Command and Control

Act on objectives

  • Security Processes in Business Practices:
    What is key security, corporate and security governance?
    What is Portfolio/ Program/ Project Management?
    Explaining Problem and Knowledge management.

Overview of top 20 security controls.

What are the types of Cybersecurity threats?

  • Phishing: – Malicious emails sent by cybercriminals that seems to be legitimate. The user gets tricked into clicking a link in the same email that leads to malware installation or in some cases exposure of confidential/ sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit cards details.
  • Spear Phishing: – It is the sophisticated form of phishing where only the privileged are targeted, such as C-suite executives and system administrations. A spear-phishing attacker targets on acquiring confidential information and attempt to get unauthorized access by sending counterfeit messages to seem legitimate. In this way, they can acquire personal information like username and password.
  • Malware attacks: – This is the most common type of cybersecurity attack. Malware software, including ransomware, spyware, worms and viruses getting installed when a user clicks dangerous links or an email. If one gets inside the malware software it blocks access to the most critical components of the network. It can damage the system and get access to sensitive information.
  • Denial of Service Attack: – These cybersecurity attacks aim at massive traffic, such as flooding systems, networks and servers. It makes the system ineligible for accessing legitimate requests. It can use various infected systems to attack the targeted system. This kind of cybersecurity attack is known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
  • Man in the middle attack: – Man in the Middle (MitM) is a cybersecurity attack that occurs when cybercriminals keep themselves between a two-party communication. Here, the attacker decodes the communication in order to filter and take personal information while also sending responses to the various users.
  • SQL Injection: – An SQL injection attack occurs when fraudsters attempt to gain access to an unauthorized database by uploading malicious SQL scripts. Once it’s successfully uploaded the malicious person can delete, view or change any data stored in the SQL database.
  • Zero-Day Exploit: – Zero-day cybersecurity attack occurs when the vulnerability of a software or hardware is declared, and the criminals attack during this period of vulnerability before any solution or patch have been implemented.
  • Ransomware: – The type of cybersecurity attack in which criminals encrypts the victim’s data and threatens to expose or publish the access to data unless a ransom has been paid.
  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APT): – An Advanced Persistent Threats is the type of cybersecurity attack where the criminal gains unauthorized access to a system or network and remains undetected for an extended time period.
  • DNS attack: – A domain name system (DNS) attack is a type of cybersecurity assault in which hackers take advantage of DNS vulnerabilities. The criminals use the DNS vulnerabilities as leverage to divert site visitors to malicious pages which are called DNS Hijacking. The hijackers exfiltrate the data from the compromised networks that is called DNS Tunneling.

The following are some of the most significant cybersecurity threats in 2021 and beyond:

  1. Pandemic-related attacks: – These cybercriminals are continuing to use the theme of coronavirus and related topics as leverage for their phishing and social engineering campaigns. The events like the sudden surge in covid-19 cases and the news about vaccination coincide with their attacks. The criminals can lure users into clicking malicious links or attachments disguised under these covid-19 related news topics.
  • Cloud Breaches: – These days more and more companies are moving towards the cloud to facilitate remote working and ensure the continuity of their business. In the same way, cybercriminals are also rapidly migrating into this trend and targeting the cloud. The Cloud-based cybersecurity threats include incomplete data completion, cloud misconfiguration, and vulnerable cloud applications.
  • Mobile Security Threats: – Almost every organization has developed a work-from-home facility in order to continue doing business during the pandemic. Remote working needs the usage of smartphones and tablets that are not properly secured, patched and managed by the IT security department. They are bringing some unfortunate IT security threats, putting the whole organization at risk of cybersecurity attacks.
  • IoT Attacks: – Multinational organizations are deploying IoT devices and applications to accelerate operations, managing infrastructure remotely, capture more data, and improve services for their customers. However, these IoT devices lack vigorously built security features that put them at risk of cyberattack. IoT vulnerabilities can be used by criminals to obtain control of devices in order to get into a network.
  • Ransomware Attacks: – According to cybersecurity ventures, businesses will fall victim to ransomware attacks every 11 seconds in the year 2021. It’s estimated that the cost of ransomware attacks, including the cost to restore following the attack will be around USD 20 billion in 2021.

Let us discuss some facts about cybersecurity according to the latest figures and statistics.

  1. The average cost of a data breach globally is USD3.92 million.
  2. Through cybersecurity attacks estimated annual losses costs could reach USD 6 trillion by 2021.
  3. According to statisticians the cybercrime will increase by 76% by 2024.
  4. The average number of days it took to identify a data breach in 2019 was 206 days.
  5. 50% of the total data breaches globally will be in the United States by 2023.
  6. Approximately 2 billion records were exposed because of a data breach in the first half of 2019.
  7. Businesses fall prey to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021.
  8. IoT device cyberattacks increased by 300% in 2019.
  9. United States reports a 400% increase in cybersecurity attacks amid the covid-19 pandemic.
  10. During the global pandemic there is a tremendous increase in ransomware attacks in the healthcare sector.

Here are the best practices by cybersecurity to protect from cyberattacks

  • Create an Insider Threat Program: The insider threat program can be crucial in creating awareness to their employees from misusing privileged access to steal or damage the corporate data.
  • Train Employees: Employees are mostly the first line victims of any cybersecurity attack. Organizations should have a comprehensive cybersecurity awareness program for their employees to train on recognizing and responding to cyberattacks. This could improve the cyber resilience and security poster of the organization.
  • Build a cyber incidence response plan: Cyber Security Incident Response Plan (CSIRP) is implemented to navigate adversaries of cybersecurity to build the organizational network much more effective. CSIRP prepares and enables organizations to respond to emerging attacks and recover from the threats much quickly.
  • Maintaining Compliance: The organization must always maintain compliance with data regulations that apply to their geographical location, it should be irrespective of all levels of cybersecurity in any organization.
  • Backup Data: Backing up at regular intervals reduces the risk of data breaches. Organizations should keep backing up their websites, databases, attachments, email, applications, files, calendars and many more.
  • Regularly Update Systems and Software: With the rapid evolution of cybersecurity attacks, the optimized security system gets outdated in no time. The security network in association with software and systems need to be updated on a regular basis.
  • Secure sites with HTTPS: Encryption of the websites with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is essential for an organization. The integrity and confidentiality of data between the user and website are protected by HTTPS.
  • Initiation of Phishing Simulation: Introducing phishing simulation in the organization helps employees to educate on avoid clicking malicious links and download attachments. It makes employees understand the long-term effects of a phishing attack on an organization.

What is the Modern trend of Cybersecurity Threats?

With the rapid increase in digital trends, cybersecurity attacks are increasing at the same pace in the last couple of years, deteriorating digital privacy. Many organizations, companies and even influencers have started setting up their own cybersecurity teams. According to Indeed.com, there are legit jobs for ethical and consulting hackers which offer salaries up to USD 106,000 per annum.

Cybersecurity threats are getting more and more complex with hackers learning to adapt to new networks and security strategies. Cybersecurity has become the most dynamic domain with maximum learning opportunities than any other IT sector. There are thousands of entry-level jobs available in the field of cybersecurity threats. Additionally, no perquisites are needed by a beginner level networking knowledge will be a plus. The certification in Cybersecurity training like CompTIA Security+, CEH, etc. can provide you with a market advantage.

What are the advantages of managing Cybersecurity?

  • Protection of networks and databases from unauthorized access
  • Enhancement of business continuity and data security
  • In information security meetings there is an improvement in the confidence of the stakeholders
  • With accurate security controls the company credentials are improved
  • After a security breach event, the recovery time is faster

Why should one study Cybersecurity in 2021?

Cybersecurity degrees are gaining popularity now more than ever. All top organizations are willing to pay a lot on cybersecurity to defend against cyberattacks, protect their sensitive data and curb vulnerabilities.

While studying a cybersecurity course one should keep in mind that the curriculum providing hands-on experience are the most important and necessary, both for you and your future employee.

What are Cybersecurity challenges faced in India?

  1. Lacking national level architecture: – In India, the private sector owns all essential infrastructure, while the military forces each have their own firefighting agency. There is no national-level security architecture that integrates these agencies’ efforts to assess threats and respond effectively. The position for cybersecurity has been created by the Prime Minister’s office but it’s a long way to go for India.
  2. Lacking uniformity in devices while accessing the Internet: – In India due to varying income groups the internet devices vary vastly too, everyone uses different phones depending on their affordability. The US caters to 44% of Apple market share but India only provides 1% of the market share due to the higher security norms. There’s a gigantic gap in the security offered by high-end phones and lower-cost phones which makes it nearly impossible to set for data protection by the regulators in terms of legal and technical standards.
  3. Lacking Awareness: – There is no national-level policy related to cybersecurity in India that could awareness at both company/ agency or on an individual level. If there are well supervised legal frameworks regarding cybersecurity threats and attack only then citizens will be able to protect themselves or be prepared for one.
  4. Lacking Separation: – In cyberspace or internet networking there are no boundaries so makes it vulnerable for cyberattacks; especially armed forces, digital assets at PSUs, the banking sector etc. which can lead to cyber breaches on a national level. This kind of breach can hamper a nation’s property, money or life. There is a need for multi-agency solely dedicated to cybersecurity who can make sound strategies and take decisions based on the policy inputs.

Top 5 Network Security Threats:

  1. Rogue Security Software
    The software programs are created to mimic the role played by an antivirus solution. The actual purpose of the rogue security software is extremely different and can do more harm than good but it is advertised as this program can remove viruses.
  2. Computer Virus
    According to a study, more than 30% of computers in homes can be affected by malware and other viruses. The uniquely designed code can easily be transferred via emails or pen drives and hard disks. The computer virus damages and steals data from the system and also disable critical features.
  3. Adware and Spyware
    These are the common form of network security risk. Adware is considered a piece of code that can monitor one’s online behaviour/activities, pop-ups and advertisements are personalized with data from the adware. There’s a belief that adware takes the user content before collecting personalized data and when it gets downloaded without consent it is meant as malevolent. On the other hand, spyware follows the process of adware but is used for stealing sensitive information like credit card numbers and passwords.
  4. Trojan
    This virus is one of the biggest cybersecurity threats and several solutions have been programmed to fight against the dynamic network virus. Trojan hides behind the legitimate software and many times spread via emails sent by known people. It is in a form of an email attachment that gets downloaded as soon as the user opens it.
  5. Worms
    These malware programs have the ability to spread from one machine to another and can replicate very quickly. It can infect numerous computers in a short time span. It works by taking unauthorized access to the contact in one’s computer that can be an email or webpage. Additionally, not all worms are designed to create trouble, these are smart programs and totally relies on the vulnerability of the software.

Conclusion:

Prevention of cybersecurity threats can only be managed if the organization refine their cybersecurity program. With an effective cybersecurity program in place, the organizations can be prepared beforehand to disrupt and fight against these attacks and recover in a shorter period of time.

There are several growing agencies in cybersecurity, they can provide the best strategies and solutions to avoid these threats. Apart from this, the tech generation students should be encouraged to pursue degrees in cybersecurity and help organizations grow their cyberspace without fear. In India, skilled IT workforce efforts should be redirected towards cybersecurity strategies to be used by the government. For India’s future, businesses have to strengthen cybersecurity defence systems for bringing the nation on the competitive edge globally and make India safer digitally.

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Q.1 What is a cybersecurity course?

Cybersecurity course teaches you to protect computers, operating systems and data from cyberattacks.

Q.2 Why should we study cybersecurity?

The cybersecurity modules teach us how to protect data and systems from cybercrimes which is not only beneficial for a business but also on an individual level.

Q.3 Who is eligible for a cybersecurity degree?

To get enrolled on a cybersecurity degree you should have passed 10+2 with a recognized institutional board. You need to score aggregate 50% marks with PCM as mandatory subjects.

Q.4 What is the career scope of cybersecurity?

After the completion of the cybersecurity course, you can get employed as a network security engineer, cybersecurity analyst, etc. and can draw a good salary.

Q.5 What devices are at risk of cyberattack?

A cyberattack can affect any device whether it’s phones, tablets or computers. The computer virus is contagious and can spread from one device to another in no time.

1 Comment

  1. Rani sharma Reply

    Happy to read such blogs, which makes us aware about what’s happening all around, threats and attacks of cybersecurity.

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