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Security / June 18, 2019

What Is Cyber Security?

Updated August 12, 2020.

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 cyber security 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 cyber security and why is cyber security important?

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is essentially data protection — the act of safeguarding and defending electronic data from cyberattacks such as malware, denial-of-service attacks, phishing attacks and password attacks. In a broad sense, the term cyber security 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 cyber security efforts around making sure that sensitive customer or company data is secure and safe from any attacks.

So, what is cyber security? It’s any form of data protection against cyberattacks.

Why Is Cyber Security Important?

While cyber security 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 freely 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 roses — that is, until a cyberattack happens.

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 a fragile thing, 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 “2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study” by Ponemon and IBM, the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, amounting to an average loss of $148 per stolen record.

When a large data breach or cyberattack occurs, the time for preparation has passed. Without a cyber security plan in place, companies leave themselves vulnerable to the numerous malicious hackers that feast on consumer data. If you haven’t revisited your cyber security 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 Cyber Security?

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

Superior cyber security 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, cyber security 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 Cyber Security Threats to Be Aware Of?

Cyber security 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 cybercriminals can take advantage of. Here are a few of the more common types of cyber security attacks to be aware of:

  • Malware (including ransomware, spyware, worms, viruses and adware)
  • Phishing
  • Rootkits
  • SQL injections
  • Zero-day exploits
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Denial-of-service attacks

How Does Gigamon Help You with Cyber Security?

While there’s no way to fully prevent all security threats, there are ways to mitigate risk and improve your security posture. Gigamon provides unprecedented network visibility and serves as the technology that supports your people and processes through network detection and response. Additionally, Gigamon Applied Threat Research (ATR) works tirelessly to uncover new threats and provide guidance through crimeware reports, presentations and analysis on the Applied Threat Research blog to help you stay on top of pressing cyber security dangers.

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

Cyber security information further reading:

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