Cyber Security

What Is Cybersecurity and It's Importance in the Digital Age

Cybersecurity has been brought up a lot in recent months, with many wondering what it is and what makes it so important. To keep things simple, cybersecurity is protecting computers, networks, servers, and other forms of digital infrastructure against attack. It’s hardly surprising that banks, businesses, governments, and everyone else are suddenly getting interested in cybersecurity, given that cybercrime damages are expected to exceed $6 trillion by 2021. 

Those invested in cybersecurity have a number of options at their disposal. A robust cybersecurity plan involves several layers of protection across the network as a whole. It’s estimated that a new cyberattack occurs once every 14 seconds, making things such as antivirus software and firewalls are the first line of defense against digital threat actors. 

Why Has Cybersecurity Become Such a Huge Issue?

The reason that cybersecurity has become such a big issue in recent years is that the world has never been so connected. Technology has advanced rapidly in the past ten years or so. Did you know that the first iPad was released all the way back in 2010? That’s a sign of how far we’ve come since then. Look at how much more advanced the newest tablets are. The average broadband speed has also increased by up to 5 times compared to a decade ago. More people are connected, and those people are doing more online than ever before. 

The increase in connectivity is evident by how many people are using cloud storage services these days. Many businesses take how easy it is to store and share documents online for granted. Just about every device under a business has access to the same files and data, and the same applies to individuals with multiple devices. 

The Digital Age Brings New Security Challenges?

The advent of technology has been amazing, but it hasn’t been without some drawbacks. More technology means more cybercrime for people to deal with. Hackers have never had so many possibilities and potential rewards as they do right now. There’s the “script kiddies” who hope to luck into a little money from ransomware here and there, and then there are the professionals. These professionals include state-sponsored hackers who approach cybercrime as a new way to wage war. 

The constant threat of cybercrime is the reason that cybersecurity is so important. There are many examples of huge attacks against businesses, governments, and agencies throughout the past decade. Here are just a few examples; 

  • Facebook 

Facebook had over 540 million user records leaked and exposed online after an attack. 

  • First American Corporation 

The company had over 885 million records leaked during a data breach. The breach included bank account information, social security numbers, mortgage paperwork, and more. 

  • Equifax 

Credit reporting agency Equifax was hit with a data breach that affected 147 million customers. The breach cost the company an expected $439 million. 

  • The NHS (National Health Service) of the UK

Even health organizations aren’t exempt from hackers. The British NHS was crippled by a relatively simple ransomware attack. The attack caused a huge mess, including a massive financial bill to clean things up. 

  • Yahoo

In one of the largest attacks to date, Yahoo suffered from a data breach affecting all three billion of their customers. The hack cost Yahoo a total of $350 million, which is to say nothing of the damage the reputation of the company suffered. 

These are just some examples of the largest attacks in recent years. There are many more examples of stories that don’t make the news. There are millions of attacks on smaller companies and individuals. There are over 40,000 ransomware attacks per day. That statistic doesn’t include all the other kinds of cybercrime. That’s how much of an issue cybercrime is – and why cybersecurity is so important.

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