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February 8, 2023 - 6 minutes

Why is Cybersecurity so Important? 

Do you use the internet? Well then, cybersecurity is most definitely important to you. 

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Why is Cybersecurity so Important?

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? If you’re like most people, you’re probably desperately grabbing your phone, turning off your alarm, and then opening Instagram or Youtube. The internet and all the gadgets and devices you spend hour upon hour using make up a huge part of your life because they are so deeply integrated into society.

Do you have a job? You need to provide them with your social security number, your address, and your bank account right from the get go. Are you sick and have to go to the doctor? All of your medical history goes straight onto their system. Sign up for your basic neighborhood gym? Basic details about your life are directly entered into their database. Even online shopping requires inputting very sensitive data

As society becomes more digitized, connected to the internet and linked with a wide range of devices, the easier it becomes for hackers and other internet wizards to gain access. The information that is put out there onto the web can be as simple as your age or favorite color and as important as your credit card numbers, address, or social security number. How can you protect users and prevent this information from falling into the wrong hands? One word: cybersecurity

What is cybersecurity?

Hearing the word cybersecurity, you can see two words very clearly: cyber and security; cyber refers to computers, the internet and the world of virtual reality, while security entails protection from any potential threats or danger. Nowadays, the internet is a place where all sorts of information is exchanged, stored and entered into databases such as Google Drive, emails, and the mysterious and all encompassing Cloud.

Every time you make an account on a website that requires a username and password, you are inputting information into their system and those companies, organizations, or other entities become responsible for your private information to a certain point, which means that if anything happens to the data that they have trouble on their hands. They may not be entirely liable in the case of a data breach; however, users may back out and unsubscribe to their services if they feel that their private information isn’t handled with care.

Thus to protect that information, cybersecurity programmers and companies use a variety of tools to block any intruders and know whether any data breaches have occurred in their system.

Who is trying to steal your information?

For every superhero, there’s also a supervillain and cybersecurity is essential given cyberattacks that have become more sophisticated and nefarious, especially since these crimes continue evolving alongside technology. As society becomes more and more reliant upon the internet to share sensitive data, hackers will carry out these cyberattacks and do their best to access and use their personal information to steal identities, spend money, delete or add information, and many other illegal activities. Cybercrime has become a problem that has caused the need for companies and organizations to create countermeasures against these hackers so that cybersecurity professionals can fight these attacks before they happen, check to see if a data breach has occurred, or take action after learning of a cyberattack.

How does cybersecurity work?

In order to protect users from threats, cybersecurity professionals have to safeguard and create new and innovative methods to ensure the safety of their information. There are three different types of measures that cybersecurity uses to protect information: threat prevention, threat detection, and incident response.

Threat prevention

Similar to security in general, cybersecurity is primarily focused on building an impenetrable defense that doesn’t allow entry into their vulnerable space. Threat prevention’s aim is to protect the network perimeter and block traffic so that malware and phishing attacks aren’t able to reach the information on whatever database the company has at their disposal. Data breaches are a big threat to any collection of data, and this type of security acts as a shield that doesn’t let foreign programs in.

Threat detection

While threat prevention is used to create a shield, threat detection is a tool that analyzes and scours the network in order to see if there are any threatening or malignant programs that have entered the system. Although having threat prevention is quite important, it doesn't always provide a 100% guarantee that there isn’t some sort of malware present, which is where threat prevention software is quite helpful to cybersecurity professionals. They have to discover or hunt for these foreign programs because they do their best to stay hidden and to continue accessing the private information that becomes available to them.

Incident response plan

In addition to these two methods of mitigating cybersecurity risk, an incident response plan is another essential tool to have at your disposal. As I said before, the world of cyberattacks is constantly changing and becoming more complex, which means that there may be times that the castle has been sieged, but there’s no need to fret.

Having that incident response plan at hand will allow the cybersecurity team to be prepared and ready to take action after the damage has been done. These plans are created to mitigate cybersecurity risk, increase response time to the cyberattack, prevent further issues and direct teams with detailed instructions depending on what type of attack has been carried out.

Even though no one wants hackers to ever get access to their data, it’s necessary to have a contingency plan prepared for the cybersecurity team to tackle it both calmly and reasonably.

Who manages cybersecurity?

Since cybersecurity has become a staple in the IT field, companies have opened a staggering amount of positions in cybersecurity, which include security analyst, security engineer, security architect, security administrator, and chief information security officer. Each one of these has different responsibilities that are an integral part of the cybersecurity team.

As the title implies, a security analyst’s job includes analyzing and evaluating any potential weak points to the system and then fortifying those vulnerable spots. Security engineers are hired to observe the systems and perform log and forensic analyses to detect if there are any security issues. They also create the incident response plan for when there is a data breach and research new technology that would improve their data protection.

When security architects get to work, they focus on creating either entirely new security systems or major sections of it, while the security administrator both installs and watches over security as an organization-wide entity. The leader of all of these positions would be the chief information security officer or CISO, and this position entails management of their employees and sometimes filling in for gaps in their team

This is just a short list of some of the possible positions that await you in the field of cybersecurity. Currently, cybersecurity is exponentially growing given society’s congruent reliance on technology and the internet, and at Ironhack, there are courses available on cybersecurity that you can find here.

So, why IS cybersecurity so important?

In society, technology has become majorly interconnected with everyone’s lives and as a result, all information that goes online or into a database is vulnerable. Luckily, the superheroes of the internet and computers, cybersecurity protectors, are there to defend your data and detect and eradicate any security threats, and without them, the whole world would be extremely susceptible to a myriad of crimes

Cybersecurity may not be a topic that is spoken about frequently, but it is of the utmost importance for the welfare of all.

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