What is Cybersecurity and Why is it so Important?

03-Jul-2017 03:47 PM Latest Trends

It wasn't long ago when the concept of cybersecurity wasn't given much importance. In fact, people often debated and argued over its requirement. Then in May, the WannaCry ransomware attack happened, a cyber attack that claimed more 200,000 victims and infected more than 300,000 computers. In addition to that, more than 150 countries were affected during the cyberattack. It would have affected more systems, if a web security researcher who blogs as "Malware Tech", Marcus Hutchins hadn't come up with an effective kill switch. If that was not enough, before the world could recover from WannaCry ransomware attack, Petya ransomware attack happened. These attacks highlight one problem, the negligence towards cybersecurity.


Cybersecurity

Basically, cybersecurity is meant to protect your online intellectual property from any form of cyber attacks, damage, or unauthorized access. In order to ensure cybersecurity, coordinated efforts have to be made throughout an information system. However, the cybersecurity system has to be updated regularly, to keep up with the constantly changing security risks.


Cyberattacks- Do's and Don'ts of Cybersecurity

Let us just be honest, we don't want to be on the receiving end of a cyberattack. But, what are we actually doing to keep ourselves secure? More importantly, what can be done to keep our intellectual property secure? Let us find out.

Password, Codes, and Security Questions:

The most common mistake that people make, is use an obvious password. It may be their own phone number, their birth year, or their own name. Another mistake that people make is to keep the same password on multiple websites. This leaves your account vulnerable and open to cyberattacks. The most efficient way to go about it would be keeping difficult passwords, with a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters. It is also highly recommended to keep the password, case sensitive. For additional security, you can add codes and security questions to your account.

You also need to be aware of where you are saving your credentials. It is often seen that, people save their credentials in places that are not secured. As a result, they become vulnerable to cyberattacks. There are certain keywords in Google that can be used to retrieve such sensitive information from Google, in the form of MS Excel. A good example of such a set of keywords is 'filetype:xls password'; it grants anyone the access to a list of user ids and passwords that have been kept in unsecured domains.

Disclaimer: In this article, we have used a set of keywords to provide an example. However, we would like to request everyone to refrain from using them.

Negligence and Breach of Sensitive Information:

According to a recent survey, it has been estimated that 87% of senior managers regularly upload files to a cloud account or personal account. Moreover, 62% of government officials communicate via their private email ids. In addition to that, 58% of professionals have accidentally shared sensitive information with wrong people. These statistics probably the show the negligence that people have towards cybersecurity. However, these scenarios can be avoided by being more responsible in handling our online accounts. Usage of personal accounts for official purposes also need to be avoided, as official emails may contain sensitive data.

Privacy and Security:

These are very important aspects of any online handle whether it is your mail, your social media account, or your website. You need to make sure that your privacy and security settings are in order. If you don't, then you are allowing your information to be visible to everyone and hence leaving your online intellectual property vulnerable. Apart from that, don't link unauthorized applications or programs to your accounts, as they might give away sensitive information regarding your account.

Other Sources:

These are the things that we are all guilty of. It may be a plug-in without permission, the use of Wi-Fi hotspots, leaving Bluetooth turned on after using it, or leaving your device unattended. All these things may leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks, as they take in sensitive information in order to provide access. Avoiding all the above-mentioned things would be highly advisable, especially in order to keep your online data secure.

Yes, cyberattacks will probably keep happening, but by being a little sensible, we may be able to avoid being victimized. After the WannaCry ransomware attack and the Petya ransomware attack, the importance of cybersecurity is no longer a topic of debate. Hence, we need to be more responsible about our own online intellectual property and take necessary measures to ensure their security.