What is Cyber Security?

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Cyber security, or information technology (IT) security, is the practice of protecting computers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from digital attacks and unauthorized access. 

Why Cyber Security is Important

Our society is more reliant on technology than ever before. According to the nation’s top intelligence officials, cyber attacks and digital spying are the top threat to national security, surpassing even terrorism. Government, military, corporate, financial, and medical institutions collect, process, and store unprecedented amounts of data on computers and other devices. A significant portion of that data is sensitive information, including intellectual property or financial records. Unauthorized access to or exposure of this data could result in negative consequences. A cyber security program provides a good security posture against these malicious attacks. 

Types of Cyber Security

Cyber security elements must be integrated throughout the entire IT infrastructure if organizations are to ensure the integrity of their networks. There are several types of cyber security to secure your organization’s computer network from attacks from within and outside the network, including the following: 

Network security 

A set of rules and configurations designed to protect the underlying network infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse, or theft.

Application security

The process of protecting websites and online services from different security threats that exploit vulnerabilities in an application’s code. 

Endpoint security

The practice of securing endpoints or entry points of end-user devices such as laptops, desktop PCs, and mobile devices. 

Data security

A set of standards and technologies that protect company and customer data from intentional or accidental destruction, modification, or disclosure.

Database and infrastructure security

The range of tools, controls, and measures designed to establish and preserve database confidentiality, integrity, and availability. 

Cloud security

The technologies, policies, controls, and services that protect cloud data, applications, and infrastructure from threats.

Mobile security

The protection of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other portable computing devices, and the networks they connect to, from threats and vulnerabilities associated with wireless computing.

Identity management

A framework of policies and technologies to ensure that the right users have the appropriate access to technology resources.

Disaster recovery/Business continuity planning

A business continuity plan focuses on defining how business operations should function under abnormal circumstances during a disaster or emergency, while a disaster recovery plan focuses on getting applications and systems back to normal.

The Challenges of Cyber Security

The most difficult challenge facing cyber security is the ever-evolving nature of the cyber attacks themselves. Traditionally, organizations have focused their cyber security resources on perimeter security to protect only their most critical systems and defend against known threats. However, in today’s climate, this approach is insufficient. Threats are advancing more rapidly than organizations can keep up. Malware, ransomware, and phishing are just a few ways that cybercriminals continue to succeed in exploiting users and their data. 

Organizations need to take a more proactive approach to cyber security by staying up to date with the latest threats in the industry and implementing the right solutions. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued guidelines in its risk assessment framework that recommend a shift toward continuous monitoring and real-time assessments, a data-focused approach to security instead of the traditional perimeter-based model. 

How to Manage Cyber Security

There isn’t one clear-cut solution to managing cyber security risk. It is also important to understand that not all risks — even if identified in advance — can be eliminated. That said, there are steps your organization can take to reduce the potential impact. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) advises that companies must be prepared to “respond to the inevitable cyber incident, restore normal operations, and ensure that company assets and the company’s reputation are protected.” The NCSA’s guidelines for conducting cyber security risk assessments focus on three key areas:

  1. Identifying your organization’s “crown jewels” 
  2. Identifying the risks and threats facing that information
  3. Outlining the damage your organization would sustain should that information be wrongfully exposed or lost

Cyber security risk assessments should also consider any regulations, such as HIPAA, SOX, FISMA, that impact the way your organization collects, stores, and processes data. Then, develop and implement a plan to mitigate cyber risk, protect the “crown jewels” outlined in your assessment, and effectively detect and respond to security incidents. Start small and focus on your most sensitive data, and scale your efforts as your cyber program matures.

Cyber Security Solutions You Can Trust

Cyber attacks are the new normal. At Mindcore, we offer a variety of cyber security services to help our clients in New Jersey and Florida protect themselves against unwanted threats. We will analyze and evaluate your current IT infrastructure and develop a personalized cyber security plan based on any risks or vulnerabilities we find. Contact us today to learn more about our cyber security solutions or to schedule a consultation.

Learn More About Matt

Matt Rosenthal is a technology and business strategist as well as the President of Mindcore, the leading IT solutions provider in New Jersey. Mindcore offers a broad portfolio of IT services and solutions tailored to help businesses take back control of their technology, streamline their business and outperform their competition.

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