Cyber Security

Cyber Security Basics

Many people think that cyber security only applies to big companies and governments, and that it should like to be dealt with by the IT guys.

Anyone who owns a computer, who works with a computer or who has a smart phone needs to be aware of some pretty basic rules about cyber security, both for their own sake and for anyone they work with or for.

Cyber security is about understanding the risk of cyber crime, and doing whatever you can to minimise the risk, and then when necessary insure against what ever potential risk is left.

Cyber Crime

The nature of cyber crime is a rapidly evolving one, and can cover a wide area. At one level it is about criminals trying to obtain money or other benefits either by installing some type of ransom ware on a computer or a system, and demanding payment for releasing encrypted files, or by some other type of blackmail.

On the other hand cybercrime can be about online bullying, where there may be no financial element involved, but where the emotional and personal distress can often be enormous.

Cyber crime can also  be connected to malicious software, known as malware, and viruses, which do not have any specific financial target, but which are designed to disrupt and in some cases destroy data or computer systems on a particular network.

Prevention

The old adage that prevention is better than cure  is an absolute truism when talking about cyber security. Perhaps the number one priority for all types of cyber security is to make sure that all your data is always backed up, ideally more than once, to different locations.

Backups can either be by way of  cloud computing, memory sticks or to another network, but they are crucial to restore the integrity of the system in the event of any cyber attack. Nowadays it is dead easy to automate backups and so there is no excuse really not to do it.

The same goes for making sure that your computer operating system is up-to-date, and any applications or software that you use is running the latest version.

Also that any browser you use is up to date as well. If you are running it as part of a network, then it is also important that all firewalls and anti-virus and anti-malware software is in place and up-to-date.

Cyber Security basics are in many ways common sense.

A lot of the incidents that relate to cyber security happen because very basic rules are just not always followed. Simple things like not opening email attachments unless you know who they are from is a classic example.

Much of the damage done to computer systems and networks is done from some things like opening attachments that shouldn’t be opened, letting viruses and malware into the system, not changing passwords regularly enough and an increasing problem, is people using their own mobile devices at work on a company network.

Mobile Cyber Security

Smart phones seemed to have escaped the focus of cyber security, which has largely been on desktop computers and networks.

However the risk to smart phones is certainly ever present, and is likely to increase it to me as smart phones become much more of a digital hub for people’s lives, both in their own home, in their car and at work as well.

The same principles apply to mobile cyber security as to the desktop and network security.

Make sure the operating system is up-to-date, make sure the browser is up-to-date, and do not open email attachments unless you are certainly know who they are from.

Also with smart phones it is really important to be sure that the Wi-Fi network your are using is secure, especially if you are using the phone for things like online banking.

Some public Wi-Fi networks  are notoriously unsafe, and should be used with great caution.

Smart Home – Internet of Things

The relentless drive of the Internet of things has received a major boost in recent years with Amazon, Google and Apple all producing their own smart home hubs.

These are designed to control all the wirelessly connected devices in the home, of which there are an increasing number. The idea of a smart home has been around for some time, and is gradually becoming a reality whether people like it or not.

An increasing number of devices and products, from washing machines to refrigerators to televisions have wireless internet capability, and can talk to other devices electronically as well as connect to the Internet.

There are huge cyber security risks involved in this, as many devices either do not have proper security safeguards built in, or are out of date by the time they arrive in the home.

The issue of cyber security in the home, especially in the Smart home, is rapidly becoming an issue.

The most important things to do to check that any devices that to have wireless capability had the latest software and security updates from the manufacturer installed, that your home Wi-Fi network is secure, and check online with any product you buy to see if there are any problems regarding security that other people may be reporting.

Cyber Security Governance

The idea of some type of governnance is largely a corporate one, but the principle applies to anyone who runs any type of business or organisation of any size, and can also be adapted very easily to anyone’s home or domestic environment.

The principle of cyber security governance is that a business or organisation of any size has a dedicated risk management plan and system for making sure that cyber security is as strong as it can possibly be within the organisation.

This in part is about policies and procedures, but is also about systems and people as well.

Firstly it is important to have one person at board level or equivalent  whose sole responsibility or whose major responsibility is cyber security. They must be accountable to the organisation, and have the authority to make decisions and spend money when necessary.

The structure should be similar to that of many companies who have a risk management system in place.

The individual concerned needs to develop policies and procedures for making sure that the integrity of the network system is always as secure as it can be, whether it is done in-house or by way of outside contractors, and that people who work within the business or organisation are also fully aware of cyber security risks, and what can be done to minimise these risks.

This can involve training, as well as online monitoring of activity that may be deemed inappropriate in a workplace, and making sure some type of cyber insurance policy is in place that ideally includes an incident management team which can oversee the practical resolution of any data breach or cybercrime, and the restoration of the integrity of any compromised computer or IT system.

 

 

 

What is an Effective Cyber Security Policy?

Cyber security means different things to different people, and this can be one of the problems in creating a relatively good cyber security protection system within any organisation or business.

Some of the most common questions asked are :

What is  a Cyber Security attack?

What is a Security Network?

What is a Cyber Security Policy?

What is Cyber Crime?

What is  a Cyber Security Engineer?

In a number of organisations, staff employed or think of cyber security as being the realm of the IT guys. To them it means the risks of a network being hacked by someone and stealing data, and it’s down to the IT systems professionals to protect the network through firewalls etc.

Whilst this is certainly a large part of cyber security, the danger in this understanding is that it leaves out the day-to-day activities of people employed within the organisation. These account for the bulk of the activity through networks, and it is day-to-day activity that in many ways poses a much greater risk for many organisations.

This is not so much an issue around complacency, as around getting staff or people working/volunteering in any organisation or business to appreciate the real risks posed by doing any activities online, on any device, at any location.

Any organisation or business will be acutely aware how internet access has changed profoundly over last few years, not only in terms of broadband speeds, but in terms of how people access the internet through smartphones, tablets etc. There is also the strong drive/push by many organisations and government agencies to push people to use the Internet to do their daily chores.

CYBER SECURITY – INTERNET USAGE

It is worth recapping the various areas that people use the Internet for. People employed in any organisation or business likely to use the internet at that place the employment not only for company business, but also for their own day-to-day activities.

This invariably puts the company or organisation at risk of a data breach, and it is important to understand the dangers of this happening.

CYBER SECURITY – EMAIL

Email – email is still used by most people as a primary means of communication, both to work colleagues and to friends/family.

Whilst a company/organisation should have its own anti-virus and anti-malware software installed, there still a danger through unsolicited emails of introducing malware into the network. It is estimated that between 85 and 90% of all email sent is spam.

Surprisingly many people do click on spam links, partly because a huge amount of spam is directed at pharmacy medications and Viagra, which can sometimes be made to look convincingly professional.

The risks of clicking on any type of spam email, or opening any attachment from an unknown source or that it will introduce some type of malware into the organisation’s IT system, with potentially highly damaging effects.

CYBER SECURITY – BANKING and FINANCE

Banking and finance – most of the major banks are increasingly persuading/forcing customers to do their banking online, which again raises real security issues, often through email.

Many of the scams people fall for stem from emails sent to them that purportedly come from their bank, or from their credit card company or organisation such as PayPal.

These scam emails will contain links within them encouraging individual to click on the link and either enter a password or confirm some other details. This type of scam invariably leads to disclosure of critical private information from individual, which usually results in monetary loss and/or the risk of identity theft.

CYBER SECURITY – SOCIAL NETWORKING PROFILES

The other huge area of potential risk is through social networking. People quite happily post a huge amount of private information on social network sites such as Facebook/Twitter/Google + etc, which presents a potential minefield in terms of privacy and identity theft.

The danger is that enough information could be gathered about an employee through that social networking profiles to allow hackers/criminals to gain access to a company’s network through posing as an individual connected to that organisation.

The other main areas of Internet usage tend to relate to areas such as online shopping, online gaming and gambling, downloading and distributing videos and file sharing. Whilst internet usage itself is not primarily dangerous, the issue within an organisation/business is that of cyber security.

All the above activities when carried out within an organisation or business environment can potentially expose the security of the network through unintentional personal carelessness.

The main way to protect the organisation/business against risks outlined above is really through education, and having policies and procedures in place which help staff and volunteers to remember the potential dangers that daily online activities can expose them to.

CYBER SECURITY – PASSWORDS

Changing passwords is a classic example. Every cyber security guide there is encourages people to change their password regularly, but most people don’t. If they do, they change it to something memorable so they don’t forget it.

Changing an attitude or culture within any organisation is difficult, but an area of website security it can be increasingly dangerous or financially damaging not to.

CYBER SECURITY – INTERNET of THINGS

The other huge area of cyber security which is likely to become dominant in the next couple of years is what is referred to as the Internet of Things.

This refers to the ever increasing installation of wireless capable activity into and onto such everything that people own, eat, where, buy or in some other way have about them on their person or in their person in daily life.

The intent is to make people and their daily activities always connected to the Internet. This may take some time to achieve, but is being driven by all the major tech companies and all the major manufacturers.

This means in simple language that everything from clothes to watches, spectacles, shoes, refrigerators, ovens, speakers, televisions, cars, pacemakers, public transportation etc are becoming, or soon will be, wirelessly connected. To some people, this scenario is a dream, to others it is a nightmare.

However it is likely to become a reality of some description within the next few years. It is largely been driven by the belief that the more people are connected wirelessly to their lives, the more goods and services can be sold to them, and the more profitable large manufacturers and tech companies can come.

Whatever the ideological bent about the Internet of Things, perhaps the major issue is cyber security.

If peoples lives are literally connected with the world online, it will expose then and their possessions to extensive cyber security risks, both in terms of hacking and other risks as outlined above, and will require extensive rethinhing about different types of insurance and risk management.

What are Cyber Security Solutions?

The nature of all cyber security solutions starts with a very simple premise.

Understand the nature of the risk in terms of what personal information is held and on whom, and what is the potential damage to any of those individuals if that information is leaked or in some other way breached.

Cyber security is quite a wide ranging phrase, and many people tend to think about its largely in technical terms.

Whilst there is obviously a large technical element, a lot of the basics of cyber security are pretty much common sense.

Everything to do with cyber security is relative to the individual and/or their organisation or business.

Cyber security affects an individual going about their day-to-day business as much as it does a multinational Corporation, or a one-person website running Shopify.

The first and most basic thing to do is to understand the nature of the risk or risks involved.

Once the risks are understood, then it becomes clearer what you can do to minimise those risks, and what action can be taken in the event of any data breach or cyber crime  taking place.

CYBER SECURITY SOLUTIONS

What is equally important is that the individual or company take responsibility for their own cyber governance.

Cyber governance is really just a way of saying that there need to be some type of structure or system in place that overseas and checks the system of risk analysis, and to make sure that the solutions are in place to deal with it.

Cyber governance will depend on the size of the organisation, but should normally have one person as the lead, at board level or equivalent, who has the authority to make decisions concerning all levels of enforcing cyber security solutions.

The lead person should have responsibility for making sure that there is a structure for overall cyber security, proper systems are in place and staff are adequately trained and monitored to make sure they comply with cyber governance policies.

The other thing to realise about cyber security solutions that there will likely be many of them.

Cyber security is not simply a technical issue in terms of IT systems, both hardware and software, it is also very much about understanding where the risks come from in terms of how people access online material, as well as the growing threat of people using their own devices within the context of a secure IT system.

What is a Computer Network Security System?

Most people who have any type of computer probably understand at some level the basics of how they work, and probably understand what computer network security means in a very general sense.

Having a general understanding of computer security generally is obviously a good thing, but it is also important that people understand that there is a lot more to computer security and simply configuring the proper hardware and software.

A good computer network security system will depend to a large extent on the nature and size of the home or business. An individual home simply running one or two PCs  or tablets will need a computer network security system as much as a large multinational, but obviously different in terms of size and scope.

The first line of defence for any type of computer network security system is to make sure that boundary firewalls and Internet gateways are properly configured and enforced. This may sound a bit technical, but in fact it’s fairly straightforward for most people.

COMPUTER NETWORK SECURITY

Any new hardware or software is going to need to be configured, and there is likely to be technical help available either from the manufacturer or from the ISP to help you configure it properly. Setting up proper firewalls can involve things like changing default passwords and making sure that the firewall is switched on at all times.

It is worth thinking of the basics of firewalls and internet gateways as being the front door into your system.

The ISPs will have a number of their own security systems in place that you should be to rely on, and some will offer additional software by way of either parental controls, secure shopping, virus protection etc.

One other thing that is likely to need to be addressed when setting up a computer network security system is that of who has access to it.

There is a lot of good advice around about how best to help children access the internet without them becoming secretive or isolated, and that principle can be expanded to include anyone who has access to the IT system.

A computer network security system is about who has access to it, and making sure that those people who have access, are comfortable using it, and are happy to ask for help or seek advice when needed.

Is a Cyber Security Certificate Worthwhile?

A cyber security certificate is often seen as proof that someone has either undertaken a course or gained a degree or experience in cyber security that modifies them to either give advice or be a lead in some type of cyber  governance policy.

This course can be true, but it is also important to check what the content of the cyber security course is or was,  who the provider was and whether or not the person holding the cyber security certificate has updated their knowledge since the course was completed.

It is a good thing to encourage everyone involved in any organisation or business to become aware of cyber security, and any type of training that enhances that knowledge or awareness is going to be helpful.

Issuing cyber security certificates do not necessarily mean a huge amount in their own right, except that a lot of people like certificates having completed courses.

It gives them a sense of achievement and accomplishment, and sometimes a sense of pride in the course they have done.

CYBER SECURITY CERTIFICATE

Any basic cyber security certificate should reflect a course that covers the basics of cyber security.

This may relate to specific IT systems or hardware or software configurations, or may simply be a more generalised introduction to the various threats that make up the main element of cyber security and how they can be dealt with.

A good cyber security course should include some moment of cyber insurance.

Whilst there is not expected to be an understanding of the technical elements of how insurance works, any cyber security system needs to have in place some element of insurance that can help do with a potential catastrophe of a huge data breach or similar.

A good cyber insurance policy provider will work with the organisation at the outset to help them identify the specific risks to their business or company, and will output in place structures that can help deal with the reality of cyber crime if it happens to take place.

 

Cyber Security and the Networked World

Many people view the growing nature of the internet of things in one of two ways.

They either see it as a world where literally every person, place and thing can literally talk to each other through sensors and wireless connectivity, and see this as a massive boon for mankind.

Other people see this same world as being quite horrific, and bringing up huge issues in terms of privacy and security, and do not believe it will ever really happen.

The internet of things essentially refers to a process where pretty much every device that we use at home and at work, everything we wear, everything we use will in some way be connected to each other wirelessly.

This process allows manufacturers and governments to collect huge amounts of information about people in a way that has never been foreseen or planned for.

This information is now being collectively referred to as big data, and there is a huge industry trying to work out how this information can be used, largely for the benefit of manufacturers and supposedly for the benefit of government planning in transport and urban development.

The reality is that all major manufacturers of virtually every product on the planet are now either putting sensors into their devices, or planning how to, in order to enable the internet of things to happen.

Whilst there are certainly technical difficulties to overcome, a whole range of what are being referred to as internet of things platforms are being developed, which will in the end enable a seamless integration of these devices.

People may doubt that this will happen, will happen quickly or at all. Sadly this is wishful thinking for a number of reasons.

Cyber Security – networked world

The main reason is that the main beneficiary of the internet of things well in fact be a vast range of businesses and corporations who stand both to slash costs hugely and increase profits significantly at the same time.

That of itself will drive the Internet of things.

This to an extent is already happening in supermarkets, And is a really good example of how this process will work.

All products in supermarkets have a barcode, at the checkout this barcode is swiped against a screen and is added to the shoppers bill.

At the same time, the barcode feeds into the inventory system of the supermarket and sets in motion a process right back to the distribution center, and ultimately the production process itself.

In addition, supermarkets are now widely installing self-service checkouts that means the individual customer has to swipe the products themselves, thus reducing the need for staff even more.

Whilst there are huge social and libertarian issues involved in all this, the issue of privacy and cyber security is huge, and is likely in many ways to get overlooked in the rush for profit and cost-cutting.

The amount of personal information being processed by all manufacturers of these devices and products is colossal, and all potentially at risk of being hacked or compromised in some type of data breach.

This could lead to a massive erosion of trust in a number of systems currently used, and could lead to significant growth of identity fraud and theft for a whole range of individuals.

What is the nature of Cyber Crime?

The nature of cyber crime is so widespread that in some ways it is difficult to be really specific about it.

Any type of cybercrime will inevitably start with some type of data breach, which can either be digital or paper, and will most likely involve some type of theft of information from a business/organisation or individual.

The nature of cyber crime will to an extent depend upon both the individual committing the crime and the nature and type and scope of information that is stolen.

Often times simply the revealing of such information can have a devastating effect either on the individual or business, or in some cases political parties or the  reputations of a whole range of individuals or businesses.

In other cases cyber crime can quite literally be the  theft of money or various types of financial products.

This can be quite wide-ranging in terms of  credit card information, loan or mortgage applications, credit score reports or much more complex financial products used by banks and trading companies.

CYBER CRIME

Cyber crime when committed against individuals through hacking a wireless network could invoice to be a breach of their privacy.

This is not to diminish the impact, but in the same way that if your house is burgled a big part of the damage is the sense of violation that an individual will feel aside from what is actually taken, a cybercrime where an individual has their privacy violated can equally be extremely upsetting.

Other examples of cybercrime can relate to a whole range of business or industrial activity.

The most obvious errors perhaps like to think that any business or company wants to keep  relatively private or secret, which could range from financial information, through to product design, through to bad news the company doesn’t want announced, through to theft of intellectual property etc

Cyber crime  can often also have a really ugly face when it is used to blackmail individuals or companies.

This is sometimes done through what is known as ransom ware  where information is stolen from a company, and a ransom demand in terms of money is issued for its return.

Sometimes the criminal  will essentially freeze the businesses entire IT systems and the mound a ransom for unfreezing them.

CYBER THREATS and CYBER SECURITY

People often think of cyber threats as relating to government department or agency’s, or to political parties or to big corporations or businesses.

Whilst that in part is obviously true, the nature of cyber threats has grown hugely over the last few years, and most experts agree there will be a massive growth in the risk of cyber threats both to individuals and every type of business or organisation in the near future.

It is important to understand both the nature of cyber threats, and where they come from.

Whilst it is certainly true that the focus of my cyber threats relates to businesses and organisations, the growth of the Internet of things also means that in the next few years individuals own personal lives increasingly come under  threat of a cyber attack or a hack.

Focusing on cyber threats relating to a business organisation, the real risk for many people are a company’s information or knowledge database.

The information that any company or business has either about itself, its customers,  its supply chain, its competitors or its future plans can be of value to other people.

CYBER THREATS

The nature of theft of information often doesn’t register with people because it doesn’t seem as horrific as say a violent crime that is physical in nature might do.

Cyber threats that relate to theft of any type of information from a company can often result in various types of cybercrime that can have devastating effects both on the business or organisation, and on any individual connected with it, either as an employee or a customer.

Information stolen from any company can be used either to defraud the company begin the process of perpetrating identity theft on individuals whose information has been stolen.

Depending upon the industry, financial information system can literally be a financial crime.

Other types of cyber threat often relate to some type of kidnapping and ransom demand.

This is where a cyber criminal essentially steals information from a  company and demands a ransom for its return,often known nowadays as some type of ransom ware.

The other type of cyber threat that is very real for a  lots of businesses is where someone manages to pack and individuals computer or the complete system and essentially freeze the entire network. They then demand a ransom payment to freeze the system and restore it back to some level of  normality or integrity

What is the Best Computer Security

cyber insurance    cyber insurance    cyber insurance    cyber insurance

When people talk about computer security nowadays, they are inevitably referring to cyber security or the real threats that relate to any type of computer wherever it is used.

Most people still think of computers as being essentially desktop computers, although that is and what has been something of a myth.

Today’s smart phones are very much powerful computers in their own right, although people still think of them as phones.

In a way a microwave is a computer, but people do not think of it as being particularly vulnerable to any type of cyber security.

What is important to realise perhaps is that the growth of the Internet of things is going to rapidly change everything that individuals and businesses have and do in their day-to-day work and personal lives.

This means that in fact, an individual’s microwave although refrigerator will become hackable as they will be wirelessly connected to the Internet, and thereby potentially open to some type of Data breach.

People may laugh at the idea of a refrigerator being hackable, as it doesn’t seem any particularly apparent risk involved therein.

COMPUTER SECURITY

What is really important that people realise that the nature of the Internet of things and of a smart home, along with smart phones, smart cars, online banking etc all adds up to a huge number of different layers of overlapping technologies that are all potentially at risk of some type of cyber attack.

It is key to understanding the risks involved, to understand that the term computer has changed and will change hugely over the next few years. Thinking of a baby monitor as a computer is perhaps a heart leap some people.

There have been recent reports of  baby monitors being hacked by individuals, who then talk through the baby monitors at the baby, which is overseeing a hugely distressing and concerning  environment both for the baby and for the family concerned.

Computer security is still very much about things like firewalls and security of systems, along with common sense precautions around opening email attachments, or downloading and installing dodgy software.

However, it has become much more than that, and the speed with which the Internet of things is set to overtake society in the next five years means that the nature of computer security will change drastically, and really needs a complete rethink in terms of individuals attitudes.

WHAT IS A CYBER SECURITY FRAMEWORK?

Having a cyber security framework is often referred to as some type of cyber governance, and in many ways its value lies in the fact that there is some type of framework at all.

It is rather like the old saying that it is better to have a plan than  no plan at all, although having a bad plan might counter that argument.

The value of a cyber security framework is having a structure that addresses the fundamental issues relating to cyber crime and cyber security, and the need some type of cyber insurance either self managed through an insurance company.

The value of a framework of any type is that it is essentially a structure, should have a number of components which mean that the structure itself addresses the problems in an institutional way rather than simply relying on luck or judgement, or more normally one or two employees who are really up to speed with what needs doing.

CYBER SECURITY FRAMEWORK

The chief component perhaps of a cyber security framework is to have it recognised as being at the core of any individual or businesses corporate framework.

This means that it should be instigated at the most senior level of board or management structures, and the cyber security framework should involve some level everyone at the most senior level.

This obviously depends upon the size and nature of the business or organisation.

What is also crucial is to have a lead member of the business, ideally at board level or equivalent, who has social stability for the cyber security framework, both in terms of making sure that such a framework exists, and implementing processes to make sure it is effective.

That simply is about accountability and designated responsibility, which in a way is very different to any other aspect of any business or organisation.

What is different perhaps is a many people don’t take sides security as seriously as  they should, and as such to allocate that level of possibility or accountability to it.

Having a lead individual who can oversee a cyber security framework gives them the duty to put a structure in place that can both identify the risks to the individual or organisation, and do whatever they can to minimise or suppress those risks.

Such a cyber security framework or structure essentially involves two main elements, those of systems and staff.

The nature of both will vary considerably depending upon the size and nature of the business or organisation involved, but what is important is the sentence for as at the top of the framework.

That individuals are given specific tasks or responsibilities specific to cyber security, and there’s a level of accountability does not punitive in relation to their roles.

Having a framework that is flexible in terms of accountability and responsibility is crucial so that it doesn’t become institutionalised in its own right.

At the same time the nature of site security means having to trust a significant number of individuals to do their job properly, and needs to be clear guidance and direction as to how that can be done.

 

WHAT IS BEST CYBER SECURITY COURSE ?

Looking for a cyber security course tends to throw up to slight the extreme and different ends of the spectrum.

The majority of cyber security courses or offered as MA’s  or MSc’s and are by their very nature by the additional two or an extension of some type of message of science degree.

They tend to deal with very technical areas of cyber security, and obviously geared to a very specific type of analyst or individual seeking a career in cyber security.

The other type of cyber security course tends to be offered to people at school, or people apparently school to give them some type of basics about how the Internet and mobile networking effectively works, and what risks and challenges inherent within the system.

Both these areas of cyber security courses  have their place, but it does leave a huge gap between for anyone who is interested in what the real risks of cyber security are, and what an individual or business can do to protect themselves against such risks.

CYBER SECURITY COURSE

A lot of the challenge for anyone involved in the cyber security world is to make it really relevant to individuals and businesses of all sizes before it is too late and data breaches or identity theft become a more common part of everyday life.

The growth of the Internet of things is set to explode in the next few years, and risks in terms of wireless networking and the potential for being hacked will become a real part of every individual’s day-to-day life.

The other challenge concerning the cyber security world is to make people aware of the real risks involved, without making people think it is simply some part of an operation fear type of movement, either by government or interested companies, because the nature of cybercrime and cyber security is by it’s very nature fairly invisible.

Part of the way forward is undoubtedly to education, and to having various types of cyber security courses that are available in the workplace and online for individuals to have a look at. It is likely, that the majority of people will only take cyber security and the threat of cyber crime  more literally when the consequence of it have become more widespread, and more people have become affected.

Education can change that, and needs to be done quickly as the growth of the Internet and the scale of the cyber threats relate to it increases at speeds that people simply do not relate to on a day-to-day basis.

WHAT IS INFORMATION SECURITY ?

Information security is at the heart of cyber security and the risk of cyber crime, and the huge growth of information available online, both private and commercial, is set to intensify massively over the next  few years.

Some people will apply this to the term big data, and whilst big data is a huge issue in its own right because at the moment seem to be targeted to certain areas of industry and commerce, but the sense of how to protect and interpret the data poses huge challenges in its own right.

Not simply in terms of information security, but in terms of how the information can be kept safe in the context of interpreting it, and using various forms of artificial intelligence and a supply chain of subcontractors to do such interpretation.

Information security relates fundamentally to the various types of cybercrime  that are behind the majority of data breaches and attempts to infiltrate cyberspace and individuals  networks.

Sometimes this is a direct attempt to steal intellectual property from an individual or a business,  and such attempts if successful can have a devastating effect on that business or individual concerned.

INFORMATION SECURITY

Other times the theft or attempted theft of information relates to commercially sensitive data.

This can take hundreds of different forms, relating to and individuals or businesses plans for the future, can relate to key negotiating decisions regarding trade and commerce or working arrangements with other major firms or their own supply chain.

Information security can also relate to attempts to access government and defence related information.

This can sometimes be done by a hostile government, or agents of such a regime. Also these accounts can be done by criminals acting on behalf, although sometimes at an arms length, from various governments.

The other threat to government and industry of any type is simply to disrupt the effectiveness and day-to-day workings.

There is a serious risk to information security by targeting areas that are vulnerable in terms of people’s day-to-day reliance on them, and such weakening their systems and the sense of trust or integrity in their day-to-day working.

Information security also has a huge role in terms of businesses and organisation keeping customers information safe and secure.

This can relate to fundamental information on individual concerning the name, date of birth, place of birth etc.

This type of information is even more crucial because it cannot be changed, unlike a credit card, and one such information is taken can be used for identity theft purposes which can have a devastating effect on the individual concerned.

WHAT IS INTERNET SECURITY ?

One of the problems for Internet security, is that too many people it means a combination of security measures taken by an IT team to make sure that hardware and software systems are up-to-date, and not clicking on any dodgy emails that you are not sure who they are from.

Whilst both of the above are true to an extent, the growth of the Internet and its reach into our lives has grown massively over the last few years, and is set to intensify levels that we cannot even imagine over the next five or 10 years.

What this means in terms of Internet security, both mobile and fixed, is that there has to be understanding of the real threats of cyber security, where the threats come from, what their purpose is, who is behind the threats and what can be done to minimise or eradicate them.

One of the other problems with Internet security is at people or sink that these things happen to other people, in this case these things meaning some type of data breach or computer system infection.

INTERNET SECURITY

Getting people to be aware that these risks are real, and that they affect individuals in their own lives as well as every type of business and organisation is a massive task, and one that in many ways has to begin within a business or organisation itself.

The growth of the Internet of things is going to radically change how individuals and businesses live and to work with each other.

It will mean potentially that puts everything in every individual’s life, both personal and work will in some way be connected to the Internet, and as such vulnerable to some type of cyber attack.

The basics of Internet security or in some ways well-known, but also need to be continually repeated and updated in order to minimise the risk of any type of cyber attack data breach.

Simple things like changing passwords, and having effective passwords  that can’t be broken can make a massive difference, but are notoriously difficult to get people to take seriously.

It is a bit simpler stick to Senate education is the best course, but invariably it is.

A number of websites force people to change their passwords to specific standards, and irritating though it is, it will undoubtedly help.

Other areas such as fingerprint recognition and eye movement recognition also possible options for the future.

What is a Cyber Security Definition?

A cyber security definition has some value in terms of giving clarity to a potential problem that is in part understood by people in businesses and organisations, but has historically been to a large extent ignored by many.

This ignoring of cyber security has often been in the same mindset as people ignoring the need for a disaster recovery plan and is in many ways basic human nature.

People always believe that bad things happen to other people rather than themselves, and insurance has grown out of the proof in many ways that this mythology can be very costly.

Cyber security has been around since the growth of the internet, and many people are aware of the nature of threats such as viruses, trojan horses and worms.

Most people and most businesses are likely have some type of anti-virus protection system installed on the network or individual PC.

Whilst these are effective in many ways, the growing threat of cyber security has changed significantly over the last few years, and is likely to become even more dominant in the future.

CYBER SECURITY DEFINITION

Cyber security at the moment is often thought of as being relevant to large organisations and businesses.

The growth of the internet, the accessibility of the internet through mobile devices and the growth of the internet of things is likely to revolutionise the way people and devices communicate with each other.

This is going to raise cyber security issues to a level that is at the moment unthought of.

A cyber security definition could simply be referred to as a data breach.

This is commonly associated with some type of  authorised hacking of information, leading to a ransom demand or freezing or stealing of such information.

Such a data breach and often be brought about through some type of infection of the network, either through viruses as already mentioned, or through people opening email attachments etc.

A cyber security definition is most helpful in many ways when it involves everyone  involved in a business or organisation understanding that cyber threats are very real, and can be very cleverly disguised in normal day-to-day activity.

Also making everyone in the organisation or business aware that the  responsibility for cyber security rests with everyone in that organisation not simply the people responsible for the IT systems.

The Internet of things is going to rapidly increase the number and design of mobile devices that people will have access to both at home and at work.

This will mean that a companies IT systems can effectively be easily reached by individuals using that entices to access company information work-related documents.

The need to manage this carefully will be significant, and will play an increasingly important part in people understanding the nature of  cyber security and cyber risk more generally.

What are main Cyber Threats?

Cyber threats of various descriptions have been around pretty much since people started using the Internet with any degree of continuity, and most people are aware of the various terms such as viruses, email viruses and Trojan horses.

They may not know exactly what they mean, and they only have experienced them when some frightening scenario happens in front of their very eyes, quite literally.

The cyber threats of 20 years ago are still very much around, what has changed massively is the infrastructure and the growing dependence on the Internet for all walks of life.

The nature of cyber threats has increased significantly, and the impact on a business or organisation can be literally massive.

Virtually all cyber threats can be understood in terms of either a literal data breach, or a scenario where a computer or network of computers of any size becomes infected in some way.

A data breach is more associated with some type of hacking, where an individual or persons unknown gain access to information that they are not entitled to have, and quite literally steal that information.

The information is either then sold,  quite often on the dark web, what is effectively ransomed back to the organisation.

CYBER THREATS

This is increasingly common where effectively a ransom demand is  given to the organisation, and payment demanded for its return.

This is normally referred to as Ransomeware. The other possibility is where the hacker effectively freezes the systems they have breached and again demand payment for releasing them.

The other type of cyber threats or perhaps what thought of as more traditional threats to computer such as viruses etc.

The real threat in many ways is the growth of mobile Internet, the Internet of things and the approach of many staff in an organisation that believes that cyber security is the domain of the IT guys.

Any data breach or infection of a IT system by any way, has huge and conditions for the business or organisation as well as the individuals themselves.

Not only can information be wiped, but once stolen and often never be recovered.

The information stolen can often be used as a basis for widespread identity fraud and theft, which is a nightmare for the individual  or individuals concerned, and leaves the business or company open to potentially damaging lawsuits.

 

BEST INTERNET SECURITY

The best Internet security approach is undoubtedly a combination of three main things, sometimes referred to as the three S’s, staff, structure and systems.

Whatever the size of the organisation or business, whether it is one person with a website or a business with thousands of employees, the threats or cyber risks to the organisation are huge.

With the anticipated growth in the Internet of things, these risks will be multiplied tenfold, not simply for the organisations or businesses themselves but for billions of normal people and their smart phones and smart cars etc.

The best Internet security strategy has at its core a mix of staff structure and systems, and real levels of education and awareness.

Perhaps underpinning all of it is a realisation that everyone involved in the organisation needs to know that Internet security is their responsibility as much as everyone else’s, it does not belong to any level of management or  leadership, or to the IT guys.

Any organisation or business needs to have a dedicated individual as a named point of contact for overseeing cyber security and Internet security. Ideally this individual would be at a board level, or at least as level accountable to senior members of the organisation, and in a position where he is able to challenge them.

BEST INTERNET SECURITY

This individual needs have these overall susceptibility and authority for systems and structures throughout the organisation that relate to cyber security. They need to have a clear understanding of the risks of a data breach, and the numerous ways that that data breach can potentially happen.

The systems and structures need to be in place both at a preventative  level, and at a level to responds to any data breach as quickly as is possible.

As a preventative level, there needs to be guaranteed structures in place to make sure that at all levels, antivirus and anti-malware programs, firewalls etc are in place, are regularly updated, and all is done that can be done to prevent any type of data breach in the first place.

All staff need to be educated on a regular basis about the risks of cyber attacks and how they can occur, and also the indications for them and the business if a data breach does happen.

Education for staff can include  processes for things like changing passwords readily, dangers of accessing certain websites, and the increasing risk of accessing the Internet at work through their own personal devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Whoever is the lead person overseeing best Internet security also needs to have  what are sometimes referred to as an incident management plan, often in conjunction with the cyber risk insurers and underwriters, which can literally be put into place the instant a data breach happens or is notified.

This is in addition to any disaster recovery plan which should also be fully tested and implemented.