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An Introduction to Cybersecurity

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What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity can be defined as the shielding of computer systems and networks from illegal exposure of sensitive information, theft, or damage to their components to continue the smooth and safe delivery of the services they provide.

Since the advent of computers in the 20th century, people began saving all their information in digital format. As computer technology reached every individual and every household, paperwork got replaced by software. Modern computers can store data of all kinds in different formats. This proved to be a boon for commercial industries as a large amount of generated data could be stored in one place. Private firms, organizations, and offices began storing sensitive information on computer systems. The first signs of cyber-threats to saved information started surfacing when the internet reached people. Though indispensable, the internet has proven to be an insecure network over the years. Many government systems rely on the internet for the execution of their activities.

As computer networks support a wide range of operations, loss of important data would effectively destroy the businesses relying on them. As a result, cybersecurity concerns have morphed into national security concerns. It is a challenging effort to keep the Internet safe. Cybersecurity can only be achieved by methodical development rather than haphazard approaches. Using software engineering approaches to solve the problem is a positive start. Software developers, on the other hand, must be cognizant of the dangers and security concerns that come with designing, developing, and deploying network-based software.

Professionals in cybersecurity are constantly defending computer systems against many sorts of cyberattacks. Cyber attackers are commonly called ‘’hackers’’. Every day, hackers target corporations and private networks, and the range of attacks is rapidly expanding.

What is the motive behind Cyberattacks?

1.For Monetary gains : The most common motivation for an attack on a company is financial gain. Almost three-quarters of cyberattacks are primarily motivated by monetary gains, such as stealing money straight from bank accounts, obtaining credit card information, creating data breaches, demanding ransom, and so on. After refusing to pay the ransom and succumbing to blackmailers’ threats, several businesses succumbed to cyber-attacks in the past.

2.Radical Hackerism : This group is generally made up of bored teenagers who are looking for a rush of adrenaline or who are trying to express their frustrations or fury against institutions (such as schools) or persons they feel are wrong. Furthermore, some people just want to be seen and respected by their peers. Companies typically overlook radical hacking since it isn’t related to money.

3.For Political Or Social Validation : Hackers can attack to voice their dissatisfaction with anything from government disapproval, ruthless law enforcement, rejection by the society, company products offending communities, and many such reasons. When they disagree with their targets, they frequently attack them, such as disrupting their website. They are less technically proficient than other sorts of attackers and prefer to use pre-made tools to assault their targets.

4.For Intellectual Challenge : This group of people, similar to extreme hackerism, engages in cyberattacks to gain attention and respect from their peers by testing network security. This sort of hacker plays into the image of the socially awkward loner who lives in a virtual world and hacks for the intellectual challenge and adrenaline rush of breaking into a network.

5.Commercial Competition : DDoS assaults are becoming more popular as a business strategy. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to interrupt the regular traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by flooding it with Internet traffic. Some of these assaults are aimed at preventing competitors from competing in big events, while others aim to shut down internet companies for months at a time. In either scenario, the goal is to create havoc and inspire customers to come to your side while incurring financial and reputational harm.

6.Cyberwarfare : It is a conflict fought over the Internet and the flow of information. Cyberattacks can be sponsored by the government as well to silence federal opponents, as well as undermine critical financial, health, and infrastructure systems of adversary countries. These assaults are backed by nation-states, implying that they are well-funded and well-planned operations carried out by tech-savvy individuals.

Common Cybersecurity threats/Cyberattacks

1. Viruses and malware

Spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms are examples of harmful software. When a user clicks on a malicious link or attachment, malware is triggered, and hazardous software is installed. According to Cisco, once the malware is active, it can:

Restrict access to critical network components (ransomware)

Install more potentially dangerous applications.

 Obtain information without being detected

Disrupting individual parts and rendering the system unworkable.

2. Service Disruption

A denial of service (DoS) attack floods a computer or network, preventing it from responding to queries. A distributed DoS (DDoS) attack accomplishes the same goal, except it comes from a computer network. Cybercriminals frequently utilize a flood assault to bring about DoS. Further methods may be employed, and some cybercriminals take advantage of the period while a network is down to launch other assaults.

3. Emotet

Emotet is described as an “advanced, modular banking Trojan that primarily operates as a downloader or dropper of other banking Trojans” by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Emotet is still among the most expensive and damaging malware.”

4. Botnets

Botnets, also known as zombie systems, are computer networks that attack and overwhelm a target’s computing power. Botnets are spread throughout the globe and difficult to track down.

5. Hacker in the Middle

When hackers inject themselves into a two-party transaction, this is known as a man-in-the-middle (MITM) assault. According to Cisco, after disrupting transmission, they may filter and take data. When a visitor accesses an unprotected public Wi-Fi network, MITM attacks are common. Attackers create a barrier between the visitor and the network, then use malware to install software and steal data.

6. Phishing

Phishing attacks employ a forged communication, such as an email, to persuade the recipient to open it and follow the instructions therein, such as entering a credit card number. According to Cisco, the objective is to steal sensitive data such as credit card and login information or to install malware on the victim’s system.

7. Injection of SQL (Structured Query Language)

SQL injection is a form of cyberattack that occurs when malicious code is injected into a SQL-based server. The server leaks information when it is infected. Entering the malicious code into a susceptible website’s search box is an easy way to distribute it.

8. Password Attacks

A cyber attacker may get access to a lot of information with the proper password. The hacker exploits human contact and frequently convinces individuals to violate established security procedures. Accessing a password database or guessing a password are two more forms of password assaults.

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