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Cybersecurity is an important part of our everyday lives in some aspect even if we do not realize that it is in play. From banking to surfing website on your personal computer there are aspects of cybersecurity at work. In this paper we will investigate the idea of cybersecurity and why it is an important part of network security in the world today. We will also look at the reasons that cybersecurity came about and the need for a continuing education into cybersecurity for threats that will arise in the future. We will look at the different reasons why cybersecurity is needed and the advancements that need to happen to limit future attacks.
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First, we will look at cybersecurity and what it is and how it relates to our everyday lives. “Cyber security refers to the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. Cyber security may also be referred to as information technology security.” (Lord, 2019). Which is an important part of networking and business security that is required to ensure our security in all aspects of our daily lives. Cybersecurity is important due to the amount of sensitive information that is stored on many different computer systems from businesses to government sites such as the IRS, and DOT networks that store our personal information on server banks. With hackers constantly trying to find an easy way to make money it is important to safeguard information that is stored on servers around the world. “A significant portion of that data can be sensitive information, whether that be intellectual property, financial data, personal information, or other types of data for which unauthorized access or exposure could have negative consequences.” (Lord, 2019). In order to look at what cybersecurity is responsible for we need to look at how this information can be obtained.
Many people will say that computers have opened us up to new threats that could be alleviated if we did not utilize technology. The important thing to remember is that people not the machine are behind hacking and the threats that roam the internet. “Computer hackers are unauthorized users who break into computer systems in order to steal, change or destroy information, often by installing dangerous malware without your knowledge or consent. Their clever tactics and detailed technical knowledge help them access the information you really don’t want them to have.” (webroot.com, 2019). Computer hackers utilize many different methods to obtain information that you do not want anyone to have access to. When you connect your computer to the internet it allows hackers a chance to gain access to your computer and information that you think is secure. “While your computer is connected to the Internet, the malware a hacker has installed on your PC quietly transmits your personal and financial information without your knowledge or consent. Or, a computer predator may pounce on the private information you unwittingly revealed. In either case, they will be able to:
- Hijack your usernames and passwords
- Steal your money and open credit card and bank accounts in your name
- Ruin your credit
- Request new account Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or additional credit cards
- Make purchases
- Add themselves or an alias that they control as an authorized user so it’s easier to use your credit
- Obtain cash advances
- Use and abuse your Social Security number
- Sell your information to other parties who will use it for illicit or illegal purposes
Predators who stalk people while online can pose a serious physical threat. Using extreme caution when agreeing to meet an online ‘friend’ or acquaintance in person is always the best way to keep safe.” (webroot.com, 2019). There are a few things that can be done to ensure safety and security of your information while utilizing the internet or being connected to the web. Some of these steps are as simple as limiting personal information that is posted online, changing passwords frequently, utilizing a two-way firewall, and by not accepting friend request from people you do not know on social networking sites. “An unprotected computer is like an open door for computer hackers and predators. To take it a step further, protect your computer from hackers by using a spam filter or gateway to scan inbound email or instant messages.” (webroot.com, 2019). In addition to utilizing the above steps it could be useful to utilize a password manager application that makes a complex alpha numeric password and then saves these passwords in the application. This is an important part since there would be no need to write down your passwords or utilize the same password for multiple sites. Utilizing the same password on multiple sites allows a hacker access to all sites if they happen to obtain one password. These are just a few steps that can be utilized to secure personal computers from computer hackers that try and obtain information from your local device next, we will look at the steps that businesses utilize to minimize hacks to their corporate systems and servers.
Cybersecurity in the business market is an integral part of daily activities to ensure that all aspects of the business work effectively. “From email correspondence and financial transactions, to professional networking and collaborative work documents, businesses rely on technology to be connected at all times and conduct work effectively.” (itproportal.com, 2019). If any aspects of these communications or transactions are compromised in any way it can be detrimental to the business. Many people think that only big businesses must worry about cyber-attacks, however this is not the case businesses of all sizes must worry about cyber criminals. “According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey, nearly half (43 per cent) of all UK businesses had reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.” (itproportal.com, 2019). Most cybersecurity attacks are simple attacks that result from attackers simply impersonating another business, sending fraudulent emails, and with the utilization of viruses or malware. Businesses have had to financially plan for cybersecurity costs that are constantly on the rise. “In 2017, cyber-crime costs accelerated with organizations spending nearly 23 percent more than 2016 — on average about $11.7 million.” (varonis.com, 2019). This price is expected to grow exponentially with the newer tactics that are being utilized to bypass security measures that have been put in place. While businesses have implemented cybersecurity into their business models hackers have started utilizing a new method that is causing difficulties for cybersecurity experts this new method is called PowerShell.
PowerShell is an advanced method for hackers to gain information from systems without having to utilize methods that are more readily detectible such as in-memory exploits. In-memory exploits utilize files that are placed on a device and allow for the hacker to access the information on the system. These have become less prominent with the implementation of exploit kits that help to detect and quarantine these files. PowerShell is a fileless malware attack that is starting to become more prominent and has some serious problems with it due to the inability to detect exactly where the attack is coming from. “PowerShell is a powerful scripting language that provide unprecedented access to a machine’s inner core, including unrestricted access to Windows APIs. PowerShell also offers the benefit of being an inherent part of Windows that’s completely trusted so the commands it executes are usually ignored by security software.” (cyberreason.com, 2019). Sine the files are part of the original operating system they do not show up as a foreign file and can bypass the virus scans that are implemented to detect invading host. This is a different attack then what was being performed by the WannaCry virus that would attack a host computer and lock down all the files then request a ransom via bitcoin in order to decrypt and allow access to the files. “It is believed that the U.S. National Security Agency discovered this vulnerability and, rather than reporting it to the infosec community, developed code to exploit it, called EternalBlue.” (csoonline.com, 2019). The exploit that was found by the NSA was then stolen and posted to a black site for hackers. Around the same time that the NSA had figured out the exploit Windows had already found the same issue and had issued a patch to fix the issue, however many computers were still vulnerable due to not updating their systems regularly. Microsoft had issued a critical update long before the attack even began even though it was flagged as critical many users never updated their devices like they should have. With the discovery of new means to implement cyber attacks it is important that we focus on studying and training new individuals to combat the security threats that will arise in the future.
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With the broader range of attacks that are happening throughout the world with relation to cyber crime it is important that we look at and address issues that need to be handled. With the advances in technology there will be new methods of attacks that will start to show an increase in the next year. “Next year will see the emergence of the future of security – crypto-agility. As computing power increases, so does the threat to current security protocols.” (securityboulevard.com, 2019). This will be a big break in the ability for hackers to be able to break static algorithms with little to no trouble. Now it will also allow the businesses to implement systems that could randomly change the algorithms and limit the ability for hacks to occur. Many believe that starting next year that AI will become a big part in the cyber world as well. “Creating a new breed of AI powered malware, hackers will infect an organizations system using the malware and sit undetected gathering information about users’ behaviors, and organizations systems. Adapting to its surroundings, the malware will unleash a series of bespoke attacks targeted to take down a company from the inside out.” (securityboulevard.com, 2019). The sophistication of such an attack will be something that has never been seen in the cybersecurity world and in turn will cause some issues. In order to secure such a threat, the business world and cybersecurity professionals of the world will need to implement the use of AI technology as well. In order to secure such a threat, the implementation of such security measures needs to start in the board room and work its way down throughout the company to secure company equipment.
In conclusion the ability to mitigate and fight off security attacks on the systems that we utilize daily is an important job that everyone from the top down needs to implement. Utilizing simple measures such as password management and being aware of the sites and emails that you are accessing while on our devices. For businesses and individuals alike to be able to feel safe while working on their devices their will always be a need for cybersecurity professionals and the job that they perform. For these professionals to be able to perform the duties that are required we will need institutions like Saint Leo and other Universities to teach and implement the skills necessary to combat these crimes. Cybersecurity has a big outlook in the future with the widespread utilization of technology in our everyday lives.
- What is Cyber Security? Definition, Best Practices & More. (2019, May 15). Retrieved from https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-cyber-security
- The Dangers of Hacking and What a Hacker. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webroot.com/us/en/resources/tips-articles/computer-security-threats-hackers
- Interview with Ron Woerner: What Is Cyber Security in Today’s World. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.educationconnection.com/resources/what-is-cybersecurity/
- O’Connor, F. (n.d.). What you need to know about PowerShell attacks. Retrieved from https://www.cybereason.com/blog/fileless-malware-powershell
- Sobers, R. (2019, April 17). 60 Must-Know Cybersecurity Statistics for 2019. Retrieved from https://www.varonis.com/blog/cybersecurity-statistics/
- Fruhlinger, J. (2018, August 30). What is WannaCry ransomware, how does it infect, and who was responsible? Retrieved from https://www.csoonline.com/article/3227906/what-is-wannacry-ransomware-how-does-it-infect-and-who-was-responsible.html
- Bordoni, S., & Bordoni, S. (2018, October 26). The importance of maintaining cyber security in your business. Retrieved from https://www.itproportal.com/features/the-importance-of-maintaining-cyber-security-in-your-business/
- Hart, J. (2019, January 03). The Future of Cybersecurity – A 2019 Outlook. Retrieved from https://securityboulevard.com/2019/01/the-future-of-cybersecurity-a-2019-outlook/
Section on Integrity and how CS relates:
With the utilization of computers in our daily lives it is important that we all utilize a strong moral code in our utilization of the internet. In order to make sure that all data that we put on the internet is safe and secure we need ensure that we act with a strong moral fiber and do things the proper way. The methods that are implemented within cybersecurity is in order to ensure that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time utilizing the internet and the technology that has been designed for enjoyment and educational purposes. With the design of the curriculum at Saint Leo it ensures that all individuals will function with the utmost integrity and honor when completing the job duties, they are studying. This is important especially in the cybersecurity world, regarding the ability to access and help to safeguard individual’s personal information. Without ensuring honor and integrity in the cybersecurity world it could lead to infiltration of information and accounts that could severely hurt businesses and individuals alike.
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