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What is cyber security?

Cyber security is a system of technologies and protocols developed to shield necessary computing resources, electronic networks, and sensitive data against malicious attacks. Although the term cyber security appears highly technical, its application is relatively universal in the current digitalization climate. Data encryption, password authentication, and network perimeter are examples of standard protective mechanics against offensive threats and malware technology that users encounter daily. 

Here, we discuss the top 10 reasons why cybersecurity is important for information technology (IT), especially in 2022.

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1. Cyber attacks do not discriminate

Decades ago, rumors falsely reassured personal computer users that only mega-corporations and financial institutions would be the targets of cybercrimes. Unfortunately, as computers and internet networks have evolved from a privilege to a daily necessity, cyber crimes have become much more common. A Clark School study at the University of Maryland found that, on average, hackers attempt to breach computers with internet access every 39 seconds. While fictional media often portrays dramatic scenes of targeted cybercrimes, the reality is that an automated script randomly searches for computer vulnerabilities, causing harm and stealing critical data.

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 2. Sensitive data is becoming more digitized

 There is an unprecedented surge of collected and analyzed data following the digitalization of various economic and social life sectors. How people interact through social media and how organizations interconnect with their clients have changed dramatically. Instead of opting for outdated pen and paper documents, technology offers the ease of convenience for information transfer and storage on a cloud-based system. This heightened connectivity increases the regularity of compromised, stolen, and leaked sensitive information like personal data, trade secrets, and bank account details.

3. A boom in e-commerce indicates a boom in cyber threats

COVID-19 caused a series of changes to trade retailers, resulting in their adaptation to the e-commerce sector. With state-level lockdowns and social distancing protocols in force, consumers turned to online shopping. Digital Commerce 360 revealed that North America’s leading online merchants experienced a collective growth of 45.3% in 2020. In an e-commerce transaction, businesses hold access to sensitive intellectual property and customer data, including communication details, addresses, customer behavior, credit card information, and supply chain storage. Any security breach of this data can cause significant information spillage and damage to the marketing processes. But these problems are avoidable with an appropriate cyber security installment.

4. Cyberattack remediations are financially costly

Cyber crimes are costly to businesses of all kinds — and to the economy. Documentation from IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 revealed that the cost of data breaches rose from US$3.86 million to US$4.24 million in 2021. To put this into context, Hiscox, an international specialist insurer, stated that small businesses experience cyberattacks with an average annual financial cost of US$25K. Expenses that follow a cyber attack — particularly after a data breach — include hiring forensic specialists to investigate the point of breach, overhauling the remediation process of a company’s network and system, credit monitoring, penalties, and fines.

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5. Cyber attacks harm reputations

 Organizations that are the victims of cyber attacks often suffer reputational damage. Brands rely on consumer trust, and a brand’s organizational failure to protect its customer data and its IT operating system can harm its credibility. Companies may experience a slide in stock value and sales as customers turn to other brands with superior reliability. In an era where information becomes more digitized, a company’s reputation is largely dependent on how it prevents and mitigates cyber threats.

6. Personal cyber-attack threats are intrusive

 The levels of threats from cyber security are not just limited to virtual harm — they may corrupt the privacy of lives of individuals from all walks of life. Anyone who shops, communicates, and plays games on a digital platform is vulnerable to cyber threats like viruses, identity theft, phishing, ransomware attacks, and fraud. Malicious emails regularly expose internet users to data risks on their personal information. More intricate cybercrimes involve data ransom and blackmailing, where criminals coerce victims into sacrificing something to stop the harassment.

7. Litigating cybercrimes is an arduous process

 In addition to the initial economic cost of cyber threats, businesses affected by cybercrime often face an expensive litigation process. Despite being the victim, a breached company may incur additional litigation costs and attorneys’ fees on top of penalty payouts. For example, many enterprises are under contract to compensate shareholders for a reduction in stock value due to the company’s failure to operate responsibly. Unfortunately, a breach in security could fall under this clause and force businesses to reach a large settlement to resolve the issue.

8. Cybercrime is a national security threat

 Since the entire world is connected to the internet, it is not surprising that cyber security is a top priority for a country’s administration on every level. Unprotected databases and network systems risk intrusions by foreign nations and terrorists who can take advantage of a country’s security weaknesses and access its sensitive information. Perpetrators may use this information to harm infrastructure, damage economic functions, steal state secrets, and instill terror among the people.

9. Business interruption is a direct result of cybercrime

 A cyber attack could have a devastating effect on the operational system of an organization since most enterprises are highly dependent on computers and networks to function. When a company suspects a data breach, it has to limit access to network and cloud storage in order to contain malware threat levels or information spillage. The sophistication of the threat and the time required to fix the issue may result in a decrease in productivity, resulting in lost profit and an interruption in business activities. This can cause severe damage, especially for emerging enterprises.

10. Widespread availability of the dark web poses new challenges to cyber security systems

 The dark web is a collection of internet sites accessible from a specialized web browser. A key component of the dark web is its anonymity, allowing users to anonymously venture into unindexed web content and conduct illegal activities. An increasing interest in the dark web underscores the importance of cyber-resilience in internet users, which involves using safe practices and protective software to defend against malicious web segments.

Cyber security is a defense shield against cyber threats

 The world is more connected than ever before. As users of interconnected devices, we risk the threat of omnipresent cybercriminals who are highly skilled at gaining access to sensitive information on our various gadgets. A solid understanding of cyber security is the best defense against cyber attacks. If cybersecurity sounds like an exciting area to you, join thousands of others on Udemy who are learning how to become a cyber security engineer, and help defend the IT environment against cybercrimes of all kinds.

Page Last Updated: April 2022