What is Cyber security?
Cyber security is the collection of technologies, processes, and practices that protect networked computer systems from unauthorized use or harm. Broadly speaking, cyber security topics can be subdivided into two complementary areas:
- cyber attacks, which are essentially offensive and emphasize network penetration techniques and
- cyber defenses, which are essentially protective and emphasize counter-measures intended to eliminate or mitigate cyber attacks.
Cyber attacks can take aim at the enterprise, government, military, and other infrastructural assets of a nation or its citizens, where these assets can include physical infrastructure (e.g., power grids, nuclear reactors) as well as computational infrastructure (e.g., computers, networks). Cyber attacks can be classified by their participating actors (states vs. non-states) and their attack mechanisms (e.g., direct attack, malware, exploits).
Correspondingly, cyber defenses must protect the enterprise, government, military, and other infrastructural assets of a nation or its citizens. As is the case with cyber attacks, cyber defenses can be classified by their participating actors (states vs. non-states) and their attack mechanisms.
What do we need Cyber security?
The increasing reliance of our information age economies and governments on cyber (computer-based) infrastructure makes them progressively more vulnerable to cyber attacks on our computer systems, networks and data. In their most disruptive form, cyber attacks target the enterprise, government, military, or other infrastructural assets of a nation or its citizens.
Both the volume and sophistication of cyber threats (cyber warfare, cyber terrorism, cyber espionage and malicious hacking) are monotonically increasing, and pose potent threats to our enterprise, government, military, or other infrastructural assets. Knowing that to be forewarned is to be forearmed, we are well advised to effect strong Cyber security defenses that will thwart rapidly evolving cyber threats.