What is CyberSecurity

What is cyber security (a.k.a cyber-security or cybersecurity)? Cyber security is concerned with protecting computing systems from a variety of perspectives, including:

  • Theft, including hardware, software and the information that resides within a computing system
  • Damage to a system and/or its information
  • Attacks on a system including denial of service, disruption and manipulation of information
  • Misdirection of services
  • Errors and omissions on the part of the developer or operator of a computing system

Today, almost everything is a computing “system”, given the wide spread use of computers, information storage, and the Internet. Even running shoes and refrigerators collect information and “talk” over networks today. Any type of system that communicates in some form faces cyber security risk. From this perspective, literally everything can be considered a “system”.

Obviously, the importance of cyber security varies with the nature of the computing system. In many instances, the outcome of a cyber security failure may be nothing more than an annoyance; for example, perhaps a particular feature stops working on your computer. But as systems become mission critical, the outcome of a cyber security attack or failure can be devastating. Examples of mission-critical systems include:

  • Military and commercial aircraft
  • The banking system
  • Secure communications systems and networks used by police and federal authorities
  • Medical databases, laboratories and hospitals
  • Emergency 911 system
  • The GPS network

Moreover, cyber security has taken on even more importance as critical products increasingly go “digital”. For example, in the last few years, there have been several news reports of hackers overtaking cars. The¬†possibility always exists that a critical system could be overtaken and that its data content could be modified or stolen without proper cyber security measures.

Cyber security is one of the fastest growing fields because of the increasing reliance on computerized systems and communications in most everything we use, be it a product or a service. The need for cyber security is exacerbated by the Internet of Things (IoT) defined by the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) as “the infrastructure of the information society”. A host of old and new products are being digitized such that they can communicate over a network – from heart implants to clothing.

Finally, cyber security is critical from another perspective. Our litigious environment places individuals and companies at risk more than ever. A product or service failure can have devastating consequences on people, on the companies responsible for providing those products and services, and the on the individuals within those organizations.

Want to know more about how cyber security can impact your business? Contact Us.