What is Cybersecurity? Everything You Need to Know
The vulnerability that currently exists in our data and the information that we handle on different computers is one of the biggest concerns among users. To protect this, there are different techniques, to which cybersecurity is dedicated.
This tool specializes in safeguarding the computer data we use. But to understand more about what this topic is about, we have to expand on different concepts.
In this article you will find information about cybersecurity, or computer data security, that will help you protect your computers more efficiently. In addition, we will see the benefits of implementing this technique, and you will also know different concepts that will help you understand this important topic more easily.
What is cybersecurity, and why should we use it on our computer?
Cybersecurity is a technique that focuses on protecting data and any other element of a computer medium. This tool is interested in analyzing the security that exists in a specific network or device. It also studies the software used in a technological information medium in order to eliminate vulnerabilities, according to established criteria.
It is necessary to have a cybersecurity system in order to avoid causes that are caused by different sources. We can highlight, within this category, malicious programs or malware.
These are a set of software that includes viruses, spyware, worms or any other system that maliciously harm a computer. Their job is to remove the barriers that impede intruders from allowing them to access confidential information or to reproduce indefinitely to spread.
Other reasons or causes to be analyzed with cybersecurity is the permission granted to users on a network. It is common to have security problems when there are users with oversized powers, and they do not have enough capacity to be able to take the corresponding care not to open the door to intruders.
Computer security also studies the programming errors that may exist in software used on a computer or network. This is because the errors generate the possibility of creating crackers that simulate a patch to be able to access the installed operating systems or apps. In this way, intruders have a clear path to steal information from the user.
So far, we have mentioned the points that cybersecurity sees from the software. But we should not only think of this tool as a weapon to combat the intrusion of hackers or malware into a network or computer equipment. But also computer security is aimed at avoiding intentional or unintentional accidents in the manipulation of files or computer material. This can arise according to thefts, fires or also due to electronic failures that can break the devices.
What are the major risks in network security?
Currently, there are different risks to which computer security works permanently. We will show you below what are the main threats from which cybersecurity protects us.
One of the most common risks that exist today is when an attacker enters a network and steals or alters its operation to extract valuable information. This is done to use it later or sell it to third parties.
Many times these threats can be given internally through users or technically qualified personnel who recognize the network and know how it works and where the weaknesses from which they can enter are. Another way they have to access a network is by circumventing the defence mechanisms of the firewalls since they can comply with the protocols required by this tool and enter the network directly.
As we told you before, there are different ways to steal data. Another very common way is when it is carried out by people external to a network; the advantage in these cases is that attackers do not have clear information on how the network structure works. Therefore, in these situations, cybersecurity is much more efficient.
Electronic data destruction
It is another of the dangers to which a network or computer equipment is exposed. It occurs when an intruder enters the network illegally. This is usually done through malware that is installed by email and other mechanisms that are trusted by users. Without their presence being noticed or being noticed, users self-propagate to directly damage development codes to destroy electronic information.
It is also a very common cyber crime today. These attacks are generated through certain mechanisms that use media such as social networks. In which the victim has to enter the username and password to a trusted place. Still, in reality, he is accessing a completely false site, with a graphical interface similar to the original, which seeks to steal the information. This technique is also known as phishing.
Cancellation of systems
This is another of the cyberattacks that can occur when entering a network or device. The hacker, with different software, produces the cancellation of operating systems or hardware that force users to have to restart the computer or directly not being able to work on them.
Money theft scams
Often attackers do not seek to commit a crime that destroys software or hardware. They simply seek to extract money from users through deception.
For this, they use different techniques in which information theft can occur with banner techniques or any other misleading advertising indicating nonexistent prizes or benefits. In these attacks, the user must pay a certain sum for it in order to access a theoretically greater benefit.
Fire or destruction of hardware
As we have already talked about before, cybersecurity not only deals with soft mechanisms or software but also tries to intervene so that computers do not suffer physical destruction, such as a fire or breakage due to the bad procedure that users do.
We can summarize in this type of danger that cybersecurity safeguards are created to prevent political attacks on war since attackers collect information according to the user’s thinking or data that can compromise the future of the people of a country.
Cyberterrorists create an apocalyptic environment among citizens to lose stability and obtain a benefit that is often not known at first.
Why is it necessary to use cybersecurity as a user and as a company? Benefits
When cybersecurity is used frequently and establishing it as a key success factor for a user or a company, different benefits are obtained. We will show you next, what are the most important advantages that are achieved when establishing principles of computer security in a network or a computer.
Protection for computers and other devices
Cybersecurity one of the main objectives it has is to protect computers and devices, whether mobile or desktop. They also take care of other kinds of hardware from intruder attacks with which the information stored on the computers is put at risk through theft, fire or any type of destruction.
Therefore, when computer security principles are used, different techniques are established to help raise barriers to entry for cyber attackers.
Information integrity and privacy
Just as cybersecurity protects computers, it also has the initial objective of providing security to the information handled by computers and to the data of users on a network.
This can be done based on techniques that may be the most extensive, but to name the most important, we can say the installation of antivirus, firewall, restricted access to information to different users, implementation of access codes with a certain degree of complexity.
Creating healthy standards for safety
As there is a process in which computer security is safeguarded, all users are committed to acquiring rules and habits that are healthy for the organization of the network or their teams directly. This helps to find more quickly any vulnerability that may arise in a short time.
Improving a corporate image
Something that many times, people and business administrators do not realize is that, when implementing a cybersecurity system, it brings with it a positive image of customers with respect to the company. This is so because people feel safe when handing over their information to a company that handles technological security regulations to take care of their personal data.
One of the most positive results generated when the implementation of systems for computer security occurs is that entrepreneurs, or users in general, can make better computing decisions when they are or feel protected. Thanks to the implementation of cybersecurity, people easily detect the potential threats that could harm the company before making a decision are.
It is another of the points in favour that cybersecurity has. Since the people in charge of this type of security carry out analyzes where they measure incidents with respect to the probability that they have occurred, this allows for more detailed information to prevent other similar attacks and to know in advance what are the risks that the company, or any individual user, may face in the future.
What are the phases of an effective computer security strategy?
To better protect a particular network or device, it is necessary to establish in advance what are the real threats that such equipment may face. For this, it is necessary to carry out different phases in order to have a reliable and effective computer security strategy.
Next, we will talk about how you should establish these steps according to your organization:
The first thing you should do is to establish the main goals you want to have. That is, why cybersecurity is being implemented on a network. You will have to analyze if you want to be detected when you browse, what will be the types of Internet pages that will be visited the most and what is the risk of these. In addition, you will have to analyze who will be the people who will have access to sensitive information and who may be the target of cyber attacks.
Once you have established these risks, you will have to analyze the network architecture that you have. That is, you will have to see what the computers that connect to the network will be, what the security system that you can implement through a firewall or any other hardware that can simplify security will be like.
When you have identified these steps, you will have to see all the weak points you have. You should start to establish possible solutions for the implementation of software that will allow you to help in cybersecurity. That is: install an antivirus, correctly run a firewall and also establish hierarchical password levels for users so that they cannot access certain information.
After having established what your cybersecurity plan will be that you will have to implement, you have to put it into practice. It will have to start with advice and education to the different users of these networks so that they can establish on their own the importance of having a computer security system on the network and also that they themselves be able to detect where there may be risks or vulnerabilities.
As the operations arise, you will have to see and compare what is happening with what you have planned and detect the errors that exist or that perhaps you have not calculated correctly. Being a roaming process, you will have to pay attention to all the operations carried out by users, advise and correct different methods to have an effective cybersecurity system.
What techniques are used to guarantee the security of a computer network?
Among the techniques used to guarantee security, we can name the following:
Trusted antivirus installation
Let’s start with the most basic. All computers on a network must have an effective antivirus installed. This will not only serve for real-time detection but also perform an analysis of all the files that are installed on the computer.
Like the other software that we will talk about next, the antivirus must be permanently updated. This is because companies that perform this kind of protection are constantly releasing updates due to the detection of vulnerabilities that arise according to new malware launched by hackers.
In addition to having the antivirus installed, it is necessary to run it periodically to increase security and that there are no doubts about any corner of the computer.
As you already know the significance of updating the antivirus on your computer or mobile, it is also vitally important for cybersecurity to do so with programs. This is mainly because the updates patches are generated that rectify vulnerabilities that exist in the development of the software codes.
Something that many hackers and other cybercriminals use is to send emails or instant messages viruses and worms that reproduce automatically when you click on a video or download a file. This often happens because users have auto play turned on. It is highly recommended to disable this option to avoid future headaches.
Be wary of received files.
Many people believe that you should be suspicious only of files received from people you don’t know or accounts that have never seen them before. This is true, but it is also necessary to carry out a thorough analysis of the files or any other information received from people we trust.
This is not because the sender is mistrusted but because it may happen that these people have been vulnerable to some cyber attack and have introduced a virus or a worm into their computer and are inadvertently transmitting it to you.
Safe site browsing
This is a point that few users pay attention to. When you have a protocol with maximum security, it is very difficult to enter the decoding of that page. Therefore, it is necessary to always navigate under the HTTPS protocol.
Use secure browsers
As we explained in the previous point, it is necessary always to browse secure sites. If you need to access sites that do not have security protocols, the tools that must be used for the protection of technological information is to use trusted browsers.
One of the most prominent is Tor. In which it can be accessed with end-to-end encoding. If you do not want to have too many complications to use this browser, you can access it with other browsers that have VPN included, such as Opera. It is also very useful to use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Creation of other computer tools
It is not only necessary to have an antivirus on a network to be safe, but it is also recommended to access through a virtual private network or VPN, in which there is point-to-point encryption. This makes it much more difficult for data to be intercepted by intruders. In addition, the installation of a firewall or firewall is also important to establish rules with which malware will not be able to access the network.
Advice on cybersecurity
This is a key success factor in organizations that have multiple users who can access confidential information. This type of counselling teaches participants what the risks are and how they should prevent it naturally.
Encrypt the hard drive and all its files
Encryption of all the information can be generated through PGP. This tool (which we will develop later) allows encoding messages and any type of information so that the receiver can decode it without the risk of interception by third parties.
As we talked about before, cybersecurity not only deals with the software but also with the physical integrity of the devices. Due to this, it is necessary to have a correct electrical installation that allows no overload in the power lines, thus avoiding overheating and possible fires. It is also necessary to implement techniques that are useful against fire or theft of computer equipment.
What are the basic digital security protocols that we should know?
We talked about it a bit before, and that is to use security protocols in the navigation to have a much higher digital security. According to this, we will analyze what the basic protocols that you should know so as not to put your information and that of others at risk are.
This tool is ideal for accessing Internet sites that are hidden in the different search engines and have IPs that are masked and are only accessible through a special browser. Within these browsers is Tor, which means The Onion Router. And it is used to protect the communication that exists between a computer and the server on which the site you want to access is hosted.
In this way, the anonymity of the user is guaranteed. This is because it sends the data through an indirect path through nodes that work as intermediaries to get keys from these with a directory of these. The computer requesting a service from the server encrypts the message with different layers where the instructions to reach the destination are included. When the receiver has the information, it will decrypt it and send it back encrypted if required.
Therefore, to increase information security, it is necessary to work with the Tor Browser. For this, you will have to enter this browser and click “Connect”. After a few seconds, you will have access to the Deep Web that will help you navigate anonymously, and you can use the DuckDuckGo search engine to access “onion” pages and make third parties not detect your messages.
This security protocol is used in web browsing for data to travel safely, based on the HTTP protocol. The HTTPS tool contributes to cybersecurity since it uses encryption for SSL / TLS texts, creating, between the remote server and the browser, an adequate channel for the data to travel correctly. This achieves that third parties cannot decrypt them since they cannot intercept this transfer.
It differs from HTTP in that they are not susceptible to Janus or Eavesdropping attacks. Therefore, attackers cannot listen to the conversations, nor can they read or insert data to modify them. You will be able to realize that you are browsing this protocol since “https://” will appear in the URL.
This security protocol also ensures that communications are secure when browsing the Internet. The initials correspond to “Secure Sockets Layer”, which means that it refers to working through layers of secure ports.
In other words, the information that travels uses asymmetric X.509 type certificates, which are used to identify the counterparty or the server that you want to access through Internet communication. When counterparty authentication is achieved, this same technique is also used to encrypt the entire content of the data for return. In addition to using in Internet browsing, it is also used in instant messaging such as WhatsApp or Telegram and VoIP services.
What is PGP, and what is it used for in cybersecurity?
This is encryption that arises as a necessity in those cases where access to a website through plain text is used, which can be vulnerable to attacks by third parties.
The “Pretty Good Privacy” or PGP protocol is used to encrypt and then decrypt the texts used in emails, files or any other communication, including full disk partitions. That is, an understanding of data with two types of keys, one public and one private, is used for a hash type combination. So the private key is used to decrypt messages that were encrypted by the public key through a “live operating system”.
This operating system can be saved on an external disk and used in conjunction with another OS that the computer has, for example, Windows. In this way, this 2 software is used for the operation of the equipment. But when you want to use the live OS, a virtual team will be created that will serve to execute the encoding through PGP.
What are the basic virtual security programs available on my computer by default?
We can name the following as basic virtual security programs that are included in a computer since they were manufactured:
Windows Defender Antivirus
This is the antivirus offered by Windows 10, which has real-time protection against different threats. Protects email as well as applications installed on the computer and Internet browsing.
The Windows firewall is designed so that intruders and malware cannot access the device nor can they gain access to the information that is handled when the user browses the Internet. macOS users can also access this tool through the “Security and Privacy” option.
App Find my device
This application installed by default in a Windows 10 operating system allows the user to know where the device is in the event of theft or loss. It manages to erase the data or directly block the equipment.
The Windows function establishes different rules that prevent the whole family when playing through networks using Windows or Xbox devices. It is very useful since different statistics show that hackers use various tricks intended for the little ones in the house.
Windows Defender SmartScreen
The tool that comes integrated with the Microsoft Edge browser, which protects the user when downloading and browsing dangerous websites.
This software will allow the user to discover all the updates that are available and to keep the device as secure as possible.
Windows 10 offers to create a backup that allows you to maintain the restoration of the files on another drive and restore them if necessary when they are corrupted or deleted by mistake.
Users who may have suffered a security attack can recover the files through this tool. It is also used after reinstalling the operating system.
This tool will allow all users to be able to encrypt files end-to-end and send them to recipients in encrypted form so that intruders cannot intercept them.
As with Windows Apple, it also offers the possibility of having different tools in your browser that allows you to browse safely, deleting history and also cookies.
List of essential cybersecurity software that you can not stop having on your computer if or if
Next, we will indicate the best cybersecurity software that you should not stop installing on your computer:
Hello Free VPN Proxy Unblocker
This is a virtual private network that is used to lose the geolocation of our computer and be able to access sites that we could not do while in the USA. Also, it has the possibility of being able to navigate without being seen by other users, since it connects our equipment with the server through a tunnel, without having to go through PSI.
With this option, you can access remote computers quickly and safely. This VPN has the possibility of being used in the best browsers and can also be used as an application or extension. It can be downloaded for both Windows and Mac computers, but if you prefer you can use them on Android and iPhone.
This virtual private network is an extension that is used with the Chrome browser. With this tool, you can access a VPN server every time you access the Internet and activate this option. The very simple installation step, you just have to go to Chrome, look for the “Extensions” option. When you are in this section, you will have to click on “Add to Chrome”, then it will ask you if you want to install TunnelBear VPN to which you must click on “Add extension“.
An icon represented by a bear will appear in the upper right margin, which you must press to activate and choose the server of the country with which you want to access.
This VPN server will allow your Android smartphone to connect with more than 20 countries with just one click. You will have the possibility to navigate quickly and reliably where you will not have interruptions due to the unlimited bandwidth it offers. Their service is free, and you can skip any firewall. It will contribute to cybersecurity because your browsing will be kept hidden, and the data will not be easily intercepted. It is available for Android.
AVG AntiVirus FREE
This antivirus is ideal for having a poor cybersecurity system since it allows having real-time updates, thus providing a malware analysis and any other problem that may exist based on the performance of the computer. It has tools to analyze potential downloads or things that can significantly harm the computer. It has a free version and a paid version where you can get extra protection against ransomware in the installed files.
It is available for Windows and macOS, as well as for Android and iOS.
This is a browser that allows you to have a different encryption process than other common browsers do. Thanks to its layer system, it can send a message to the receiver through a quantity of encryption that will allow it to obtain the best route so as not to be identified. It is widely used in the deep Internet due to the great benefits it provides for not being able to be tracked.
It is a “live operating system”, with which you can have a virtual machine on the same computer that has another OS. This will allow you to have greater privacy since you can surf the Internet anonymously, and thus you can also avoid the censorship that some governments generate. Among its most outstanding features, we can mention the use of modern tools for encrypting emails, instant messaging and files in general.
It is also a virtual operating system with which you can have a virtual computer in which you can execute different functions to encrypt data and thus improve cybersecurity on your computer. It is aimed at both ordinary users and companies, and the great advantage it presents is that it is not necessary to partition the disk to obtain the desired results. You can use it for online games.
This firewall contributes to cybersecurity for those users who download Torrent files or carry out activities on online gaming platforms. It has the great advantage that it can be installed with very simple steps since it comes preconfigured for Windows. It has two versions, one free and the other paid in which antivirus is incorporated. You can access to locate viruses and malware thanks to the constant updating that this platform has to deny executable files and other types of downloads.
A type of firewall widely used on Mac computers. It has tools that are already integrated into the Apple operating system, where you can create different types of rules to manage images. In addition, it offers the option of customizing these tools to better adapt them to the user’s needs. It is characterized by the ease and advanced options that it presents in monitoring, and that can be used in real-time.
Tips you must put into practice to make our devices more secure and impenetrable against any attack.
So far, we have analyzed what cybersecurity is, but you will need some tips to implement this tool and make your devices more secure and also cannot be hacked by intruders.
Next, we will show you some tips that you must take into account to have a computer with high computer security:
Install an antivirus
As you may have already realized, the function of the antivirus in cybersecurity is essential. Therefore, you must download an efficient antivirus, but in addition to this, you have to have it updated all the time and make it run every so often. With this tool, you will have the possibility of having online monitoring where you can count on analysis when you download and other areas at risk.
Create rules for your firewall
Like the antivirus, this system will allow you to impose rules that will make them run every time you browse the Internet or have to download a file from an email or via USB. As with all these types of software, you must have it updated so that it can be efficient, since the large number of innovations that malware presents make this activity essential.
Don’t lend your laptop.
This is essential to contribute to cybersecurity, since many times you can leave open windows and accounts with confidential information that can be stolen by someone else. The advice also goes when you are on a public computer. Close all the tabs and windows you have used. In addition, browse incognito so as not to leave data, deleting cookies and browsing history.
Use a virtual private network.
This is basic advice, but many people do not take it into account. When you browse, and you don’t want to be detected, you can use a VPN provider that will also help you avoid locating your computer. This is also useful to bypass the Internet censorship that exists and to be able to access pages from our country that without the VPN you could not do.
Always browse HTTPS sites.
This will make the encryption of these pages end-to-end. Therefore, it is very difficult for an intruder to try to intercept the flow of information in text format. In addition to this security protocol, you should bear in mind that when you browse, try to use browsers that are reliable and recognized. This will help them to detect malicious sites or files.
Use Tor Browser
This browser will allow you to have end-to-end encrypted navigation. Therefore, you will be able to browse safely and cannot be seen by other web visitors. In addition, it has a VPN.
Avoid downloading unknown files.
Something that seems easy to do, but many times people forget to take this advice into account. You should be aware that viruses, spyware and computer worms are transmitted through email or messages from unknown sources. It is important that every time you have to download one of these files, you inspect with the antivirus.
Don’t use open WiFi networks.
One of the hackers’ favourite places is to intercept wireless networks that have public access. Therefore, when you are connected to this type of WiFi, you should be aware that there may be many people who are reading what you are browsing. If you need to enter your email or bank account, avoid doing it by these means since these steps can be recorded.
Use different passwords
Something that is highly recommended by cybersecurity experts is that users of different platforms do not use the same access password since in this way you could access all the Internet sites where the user is registered. This is mainly because, if one of the accounts is hacked, the intruder cannot access others and will have to do other additional work to be able to access them.
Do not share your data.
It seems logical, but many times users trust pages that are usually safe and upload personal or financial information to this type of website. Therefore, when you have to make an online purchase, try to do it on recognized and well-known sites.
Glossary of basic terms familiar with computer network security
For you to have a more detailed idea of cybersecurity, you should know the basic terms that we have used in this article or that will help you when you see some other information.
Let’s see what words are:
- Antivirus: It is a software that is used to detect malware and other elements that can make the device work incorrectly. Also, it has different tools that allow you to close applications that use many resources.
- Cybersecurity: A set of tools that serve to protect the technical information that exists on a computer network or a specific device. Thanks to good practices, information theft and economic scams can be avoided.
- Browser extension: Software used in a certain browser to be used according to specific functions. In the case of cybersecurity, this type of program is used to open or close a virtual VPN network.
- Firewall: It is software that can be installed on certain hardware and used to function as a barrier to certain actions that can harm the network. For this, rules are created that prevent the access of viruses and other harmful elements or software.
- Hacker: Person who is dedicated to violate computer systems and constantly threaten private and also economic data to be used for their benefit.
- HTTPS: Security protocol used on the Internet for browsing networks according to end-to-end data encryption.
- Malware: Program or software used by hackers whose purpose is to destroy or steal information to have a result not expected by the user. It is a set that has viruses, spyware and computer worms, among other software.
- Virtual machine: It is a computer that is hosted within a real device. It can perform all the actions that a common PC does. In cybersecurity, it is widely used to be able to install tools that allow encrypting data to be sent to third parties securely.
- Onion: This type of dummy domain is used, which has a higher level to indicate an IP address that can be accessed through Tor.
- PGP: It is a protocol that offers access to the Internet through special encryptions. It is especially used in emails and instant messages. Its name comes from Pretty Good Privacy.
- Computer network: Set of computers or computing devices that are connected by cables or wirelessly. They have different types of architectures in which the level of communication and hierarchy between users is established.
- Live operating system: Program that is used to partition a computer and create a virtual machine. It allows us to have two operating systems at the same time. In general, this live SO is stored on a USB or optical disk.
- SSL: A security protocol that works to make connections between the computer and the Internet secure by means of special encryption.
- Tor Browser: It is a special browser that is used on the Deep web. It can be accessed through a VPN network in a hidden way.
- VPN: Corresponds to a virtual private network that is created to be able to navigate in a hidden and secure way on the web. It has different advantages, but among the most outstanding it can be named that it prevents the geolocation of the equipment and it is possible to remotely access other equipment that is connected in the same virtual network.