Cybersecurity: Definition, Interesting Facts, History and Overview

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity involves the protection of computer networks and systems against damage or theft of information. Computer security also aims at protection against misdirection and disruption of services they provide. There is an increasing number of computer users worldwide, which creates the need to protect data held by these electronics against malicious attackers. Cyber attackers are immensely targeting mobile phones as a large population uses or has access to a smartphone or a tablet that they use to store their personal information. There are various vulnerable areas attackers target, and as a result, regulations should be put in place to curb the increasing rates of cyber-attacks. Some of the sectors that must be protected against cyber-attacks include aviation, financial systems, and medical systems. There are increasing rates of cyber-attacks and loss of information as a result of an increase in the use of mobile phones, cloud technology, and the internet. In recent years, mobile phones are increasingly used to meet people’s needs, such as tweeting, sending emails, and internet conferencing. There is an increasing number of threats posed by cyber-attackers and foreign intelligence agencies that lead to leakage of information.

Cybersecurity in Aviation Sector

Planes need to be protected from cyber-attacks as the malicious parties can take over the automatic control and crash them, especially in the case of terrorist attacks. The aviation sector is among the sectors whose security is a priority. In addition, layers of security need to be added to control systems. Some sophisticated cyber-attack technologies can penetrate industrial control systems. For example, Stuxnet is a sophisticated malware that was used to penetrate the Iranian centrifuges that were used to produce uranium. The malware tricked the systems and diverted them into wrong spinning, and the operators did not realize since the system was behaving ‘normally’ on their end.

Strategies Used By Cyber-Attackers 

Vulnerabilities and attacks to Cybersecurity include the use of backdoors, phishing, malware, and denial of service, tampering, eavesdropping, and social engineering. Cybercriminals may use secret contact points to gain access to information on a computer: they use an illegal method that bypasses the security controls. Criminals, especially those who have a good knowledge of the computer systems since they can exploit weak points. Attackers may also enter wrong passwords on a victim’s account, blocking the account and hence, denying the people services. Software worms are another means that attackers use in their operations. The worms are deployed directly to one’s computer, and they enable the attacker to copy data directly from the computer. There are programs such as a carnivore that can be used to eavesdrop on internet provider systems, and hence attackers gain access to passwords and other security information. The attackers may also opt to convince computer users to disclose their personal information, such as PIN and passwords. 

Cyber-attackers may also modify products illegally by planting surveillance gadgets on computers and mobile phones. When using online services, you need to make sure that the service you have chosen is secure. For example, when you want to pay someone to help you with your homework assignments, you better choose a reliable programming assistance service, such as MyAssignmentLab.com. Here, students can address experts for assistance with any computer science discipline, and when they do so, they can rest assured their personal and payment information is protected 100%. It is important to share as little private data as possible with online services, even if you trust them. Hacker attacks are not getting rarer, as people use online payments more and more.

Primary Cybersecurity Threats We Face

Major threats to the internet today include phishing scams and malware. In essence, cyber-attackers collect personal information, such as bank card information, from unsuspecting users by posing as official sites and, as a result, defraud them in a way that cannot be traced. The attackers can use malware such as the Trojan virus to access people’s computers and mobiles and leak information. For example, in 2013, Edward Snowden leaked the United States NSA’s classified information through means that are unknown up to date.

Efforts to reduce cyber-attacks involve the use of complex firewalls, data back-ups, and adopting a cybersecurity culture. As the threats escalate, companies that handle personal information have put efforts in creating strong firewalls that criminals cannot easily bypass. Mobile phone manufacturers design encryptions that act as security features to protect unauthorized access of personal information by hackers. Data back-ups have been created to ensure that any data that is lost is recovered through the use of back-up systems. Various nations are also emphasizing the adoption of a cybersecurity culture that involves the employees, corporations, and other stakeholders in addition to creating awareness to sustain cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity culture targets the people who are the weakest link in the process by creating awareness on ways to improve computer security. 

Regulations Are Needed, Regulations Are Lacking

Nations have no comprehensive regulations that outline the matter of Cybersecurity and consequences that could result from such acts. Cyber-attackers take advantage of vulnerabilities in the system and target institutions at the early stages when they cannot be discovered. The United States regulations touch on two laws: private law and criminalization. Under these laws, one who is reported to have violated the privacy of citizens by leaking information that could result in leakage or loss of data is charged in a court of law and subject to heavy fines or imprisonment. However, international legislation does not have a uniformly defined concept of Cybersecurity. According to Bezzubov, “cyber threats can result from internal or external factors, and nations ought to work together and come up with legislation that will protect against such threats”.

Overall, there are increasing concerns about the safety and privacy of data stored by computers and mobiles. There is a need to protect important sectors against possible cyber-attacks. Security can be achieved using firewalls, back-ups for data, and the adoption of a cybersecurity culture. Nations worldwide have to come up with general regulations that will protect citizens against attacks.

References

Bezzubov, D., Ihonin, R., & Diorditsa, I. (2018). Cyberthreats as a component of threats in the contemporary world (a Legal Aspect). Journal of Advanced Research in Law and Economics8(7), 2086. https://doi.org/10.14505//jarle.v8.7(29).04. Accessed April 21, 2020.

Dobrinoiu, M. (2015). New challenges for cybersecurity and possible criminal law. International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime4(1), 15-21. https://doi.org/10.19107/ijisc.2015.01.02. Accessed April 21, 2020.

Sousane, R. (2018). Understanding federal cybersecurity culture: An expert perspective on current and ideal state (Masters). George Washington University. Accessed April 21, 2020.

Thaw, D. (2013). The efficacy of cybersecurity regulation. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2241838. Accessed April 21, 2020.Visner, S. (2016). The cybersecurity storm front—Forces shaping the cybersecurity landscape: A framework for analysis. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs17(3), 85-99. https://doi.org/10.1353/gia.2016.0039. Accessed April 21, 2020.