Cybersecurity brings together all the techniques designed to protect the sensitive data of Internet users, computer systems and networks from attacks. This is an increasingly important area, not only for individuals, but also and above all, for businesses. Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity protocol can be hard work.
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This guide helps network owners and corporate online security managers navigate all the threats that can affect cybersecurity.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity encompasses all the processes and methods that protect computer systems and their data from cyberattacks (unsupervised exploitation of data, unauthorized access to sensitive data, acts of hacking, installation of viruses in a company’s computer system , etc.). Cybersecurity is therefore all the actions taken against online threats, whatever their form.
Terms to know in cybersecurity
Mastering the basic cybersecurity lexicon is essential for adopting good practices and reducing the risk of attack. The list below is not exhaustive, but represents a relevant starting point to start implementing effective security actions.
Authentication is the process by which a computer system verifies the identity of a user. Several identity verification protocols exist. Today, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is preferred.
A backup, in English, is a process which consists in copying or archiving data on a physical storage space (a server or a hard disk, for example) in order to be able to easily restore them in the event of loss. This is a strategic practice, which can really save a company from a cyberattack.
A data breach is an attack on a network to steal sensitive data. The victims are usually businesses. In the event of a data breach, the security of user data, such as their login details, their bank details or their medical data, is compromised.
In the event of a data breach, hackers seek to decode the various passwords before testing them on other websites. This is the reason why you are strongly advised not to choose the same password for all your accounts on the Internet.
A digital certificate is a secret code used between servers and browsers to exchange user data in a secure manner. More specifically, the digital certificate is a digital file contained in a device. It sets up an authentication process when it transfers or receives data to or from a server or another device.
Also called encryption, encryption is a process whose role is to use codes to encrypt data, that is to say to make it unreadable by users in order to prevent malicious people from accessing it. To be read by a human, this data is translated by a computer using an encryption key. Data encryption helps block access to hackers who, even if they do manage to gain access, cannot interpret it. VPN software allows all users to guard against intrusions by using the AES encryption protocol.
HTTP / HTTPS
HTTP and HTTPS are both communication protocols of web browsers with servers. These acronyms appear in front of all website URLs, but HTTPS is preferred since it implies an additional level of security. In fact, HTTPS is based on SSL, a protocol for securing connections by encryption.
Vulnerability is an element of weakness that affects a website, a server, a browser or even a user’s authentication data. For example, a problem in the process of resetting Internet users’ passwords could represent a loophole for a hacker trying to force a connection.
The different computer threats
- The brute force attack
- The DDoS attack
- The malware attack
Today, threats on the Internet and various networks are more and more numerous. Hackers use several means to try to corrupt files and steal data from them. Here are 4 common threats that are important to know in order to anticipate their occurrence.
The brute force attack
The brute force attack is a direct attack, which involves the hacker trying to guess usernames and passwords. Brute force attackers use several combinations in a row in order to force access to a space that does not belong to them.
Browsers and web platforms are now, for the most part, well protected against this type of attack. Stronger two-factor authentication is fast becoming the norm. However, it remains important to adopt best practices to prevent brute force hacks, the main one being to set strong passwords and not to use the same one for all of your personal online accounts.
The DDoS attack
A DDoS attack is a distributed denial of service attack. This consists, for hackers, in flooding a network or a computer system by engaging in several activities. It may be, for example, to send over a short time a strong traffic bound for a site which does not have sufficient capacity to process it in order to cause a failure. Once the invasion is successful, hackers are able to access the data illegally.
The malware attack
a malware is malicious software designed to infiltrate machines and networks. In a malware attack, the hacker sends this software to a computer or a network in order to retrieve data without consent. In order not to make itself visible to the user, it uses a Trojan horse (that is to say it accesses the machine or the server through legitimate software) or a virus to corrupt, modify or even delete data on a device. Most antiviruses installed on computers are able to detect and deflect this type of attack.
There are several types of malware:
- keyloggers: they record what the user types on his computer keyboard,
- the ransomware : they encrypt the data and hold it hostage while demanding a ransom from the owner who wishes to recover it,
- the spyware : They spy on user activity with a view to hacking.
Phishing translates to “phishing”. An attack by phishing consists, for hackers, in encouraging a user to take an apparently safe action (click on a link, open a message, etc.) in order to recover his data. Phishing is now very common. Its authors most often use identity theft and generally target public or corporate sites, whose data is of greater value.
Best practices to know in cybersecurity
In business, cybersecurity has become a strategic business. Considering it as a discipline in its own right is the best way to avoid attacks and therefore the potential loss of sensitive data which can permanently damage customer relations.
First of all, professionals and individuals alike must get into the habit of having recourse to strong identification modes. Passwords must include both upper and lower case characters, as well as numbers and special symbols. If this criterion is generally mandatory to create an account on a large platform or any social network, it is strongly recommended to apply it even when this is not the case.
We must also think about regularly change passwords. It is possible to use a password manager to secure your identification data and not have to remember everything.
The software offered on the market generally uses single sign-on (SSO), a technique consisting in using only one combination of username and password to validate the identity of an Internet user on several accounts. line.
In addition, it is advisable to regularly download software updates and patches in order to benefit from the most advanced protection possible. Of course, you should always check where the update suggestions come from.
On the professional side, it is becoming essential to control and organize employee access to company information. Internally, cybersecurity and / or IT managers must prioritize access according to each person’s positions and responsibilities in order to contain data in only the spaces for which it is necessary. If necessary, employees must be able to easily report an attack on their equipment.
Likewise, a good knowledge of their networks is essential. It goes through a inventory of all devices present in the company, from computers to connected watches including mobile phones. To be sure that all of its devices are secure, a company can set up a network firewall. This will prevent malware from moving from one computer to another.
Regarding more specifically phishing attacks, it is recommended to be very vigilant about the origin and content of e-mails. When a hacker impersonates an official organization, it is usually possible to unmask them by paying attention to the originating email address.
Finally, the fact of set up regular backups is a practice that should be encouraged to combat attacks of all kinds. Thus, individuals, but above all companies, must back up their data on physical spaces isolated from networks in order to be able to restore their systems in the event of an attack.
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