What is Cyber Security?

Have you ever been confused about what Cyber Security is … Let's see if we can demystify it a little bit.

Whenever I think of Cyber Security two things come to mind, Cyber Men from Dr Who and very big guys wearing high vis neither of which apply. 

The core of the problem is that it’s a broad phrase with lots of aspects so if you ask 10 people what Cyber Security is, you will get 10 different answers.

Cyber Security isn’t for Me?

Yes, it is – The reality is that it applies to everyone; even if you only have a mobile phone there are still aspects that apply to you. It doesn’t go away and it’s constantly changing. 

What is it?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but when I think of Cyber Security, I think of these 5 areas… and they do overlap.

Network security

it’s the physical and virtual side of things a bit like the locks on your doors and windows. Devices like firewalls and more three letter acronyms than well; someone will probably create an acronym for all of them. It’s everything about how your devices are set up and connected to the internet from wires to wireless. 

It includes things like Bring Your Own Device, Smart Speakers, Network Cameras. How these devices are attached to your network and how to handle compromised devices.

Information Security

Keeping information safe not just from being destroyed but also not getting into the wrong hands. Do you have backups…. What happens if that drive fails…? 

Operational Security

This is about things happening, so it’s about controlling what people can do. It’s about Folder permissions and access rights, filtered DNS, antivirus. Software and firmware updates.

Secure authentication systems, Handling of printed documents or USB pens.

Disaster Recovery and continuity

Simply put it’s the ability to be able to get back on your feet and carry on as though nothing had happened. It’s about backups how those backups are stored who has access to them, online backups and what happens If ….? That if can be what happens if you lose the internet for several days or a volcano erupts right next door?

Education

People are your first line of defence against phishing or malware like ransomware. By learning how to be safe online, it’s considered the most important aspect to help protect against fraudsters.

Is it “Online Security”?

Being secure when online is certainly part of it, and you would certainly expect at least to have a firewall, and good antivirus. 

But when you start considering Cloud based Services, Inter-office VPN’s etc, the issue for me is that the lines become blurry. 

So, in many ways “Online” is harder to define… Is it online when at work or home, connected to public Wi-Fi or Mobile Data?

So, what is it again?

Cyber security is in everything and all aspects of the digital world, it’s a term understood but not so easily explained.

Cyber is 

  • Computers
  • Electronic information
  • Networks
  • The Internet

Security is 

  • Protection
  • Handling bad situations
  • Attack and Defence

Still confused…?  That's ok,