Security / June 18, 2019

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cyberthreats are everywhere. And in today’s online landscape, they’re not only more prevalent but also more sophisticated. Add to that the fact that each day more and more consumers willingly share their information online. With that realization, it’s easy to see why understanding cybersecurity and having a plan in place to protect sensitive data is absolutely vital if you expect to keep your organization and customers safe. With this in mind, let’s dig deeper into two questions: Just what is cybersecurity and why is cybersecurity important?

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is essentially data protection — the act of safeguarding and defending electronic data from cyberattacks such as malware (including ransomware), denial-of-service attacks, phishing attacks, and password attacks. In a broad sense, the cybersecurity definition encompasses the protection of all aspects of the IT system infrastructure, including cloud and on-site networks, servers, software, and hardware, including computers and mobile devices. Large enterprises often focus their cybersecurity efforts around making sure that sensitive customer or company data is secure and safe from any attacks.

So, what’s cybersecurity? It’s any form of data protection against cyberattacks.

Why Is Cybersecurity Important?

While cybersecurity is important for individuals, it’s absolutely crucial for large business enterprises. In addition to confidential company information, a number of organizations frequently deal with sensitive customer data, including credit card information, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, and a wide range of other private information. Many consumers give you their information in exchange for goods or services. Often they even do so with little thought as to how securely you are guarding their information. Everything’s fine — that is, until a cyberattack happens.

Risks of Poor Cybersecurity

When thinking about why cybersecurity is important, it’s also important to acknowledge the risks your business inherits if you have poor cybersecurity. While customers may be quick to trust you, they’re just as quick to take their business elsewhere if something goes wrong. Customer trust is fragile, and there’s no quicker way to lose that trust than to let their sensitive data get into the wrong hands. Data breaches are expensive not just in lost customers but also in a very immediate monetary sense. In fact, according to the “2022 Cost of a Data Breach” study by Ponemon and IBM, the global average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million.

When a large data breach or cyberattack occurs, the time for preparation has passed. Without a cybersecurity plan, companies leave themselves vulnerable to the numerous malicious hackers that feast on consumer data. If you haven’t revisited your cybersecurity systems or processes recently, now is the time. Don’t neglect your network security; be prepared before a threat reaches your network.

What Are the Elements of Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is composed of people, processes, and technology. All three must be in place in order to have an effective cybersecurity program. Sufficient cybersecurity in today’s environment also necessitates a holistic approach. This holistic approach to cybersecurity is proactive instead of reactive, and it includes detection, prevention, and incident response and remediation, prevention. Visibility is also key. A maximum field of vision includes endpoint visibility, network visibility, and application logging.

The domain of cybersecurity can and should include countermeasures for network, cloud, infrastructure, information, mobile, application, and storage security in addition to user education and continual disaster recovery planning. In today’s technical landscape, the term should no longer be limited to just “computer cybersecurity.”

Superior cybersecurity technology and tools are of little importance if you don’t have the right processes in place or the right people overseeing those processes. Without a doubt, cybersecurity is a team effort. Hunting for and mitigating threats is only possible with focus, teamwork, and the right people, technology, and processes all working together.

What Are the Types of Cybersecurity Threats to Be Aware Of?

Cybersecurity threats are becoming more advanced. From the Adobe Flash zero-day attacks to WannaCry ransomware, these threats pose a significant risk, both to businesses and their customers. And unfortunately, there are a number of avenues of unauthorized access that cybercriminals can take advantage of. Here are a few of the more common types of cybersecurity attacks to be aware of:

  • Malware (including ransomware, spyware, worms, viruses, and adware)
  • Phishing (or social engineering)
  • Rootkits
  • Insider threats
  • Advanced persistent threats (or ATPs)
  • SQL injections
  • Zero-day exploits
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Denial-of-service attacks

Cybersecurity Best Practices

While there’s no way to fully prevent all cybersecurity threats, there are ways to mitigate risk and improve your cybersecurity posture. Here are the most common best practices to keep in mind when creating a cybersecurity plan:

  • Implement identity and access management (IAM) measures such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) or single sign-on (SSO)
  • Keep software up to date, including antivirus measures, firewalls, and other safeguards
  • Run a comprehensive data security platform that includes real-time visibility, password protection, privacy regulations, and data compliance

How Does Gigamon Help You with Cybersecurity?

Gigamon provides unprecedented security with network visibility. One of the biggest problems businesses face with cybersecurity threats is that they can’t protect what they can’t see. This is because:

  • Up to 50 percent of traffic never reaches security tools because of dropped packets or blind spots
  • Malware can hide inside encrypted SSL/TLS traffic
  • Attackers now use port spoofing to elude perimeter detection

Learn how Gigamon Deep Observability for Zero Trust makes it easy by giving you one platform for deep and pervasive visibility across your entire network.

The time to tighten up your cybersecurity plan is now, and Gigamon is here to help.

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