Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks and programs from digital attacks, which are aimed at accessing, changing or destroying sensitive information or interrupting normal business processes.
There are many sophisticated digital attacks that keep on coming up every day.
For this reason, it is essential for an organization to have a proper cybersecurity system that can detect cyber threats and come up with ways to deal with them on time.
This cybersecurity system must possess some fundamental elements that enable it to work effectively.
The main cybersecurity elements must include cybersecurity experts, competent and updated technology and a firm security policy.
As the Internet becomes an inextricable routine of our lives, a sound cybersecurity system with the basic elements must be employed.
What are the Elements of Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity elements are those features that make the use of cybersecurity effective and efficient.
These elements include:
- Application security
This is a key element of cybersecurity that involves securing web applications from cyber attacks.
Most firms focus on web application security to protect their customer’s information and assets from cybercriminals.
Web applications are vulnerable to data breach attacks, data encryption or denial of service (DoS) attacks.
The main threats in a computer software or application include encryption, input validation and authorization. Therefore, security tools have to be installed to ensure protection of these systems and networks.
An effective cybersecurity system has a security software which must be updated at all times.
These softwares include firewalls, antivirus software and encryption techniques to protect a firm’s information from unauthorized access.
- Network security.
Network systems need to be protected from cyber attacks which can interrupt digital life.
This element of cybersecurity is designed to protect the computer networks from any threats or attacks. This makes the computer network reliable for use by owners.
A network penetration test is usually done to check for any weak links in the computer network that may lead to any unauthorized access, misuse or modification of the computer network.
To ensure network security in a cybersecurity system, different components and software and hardware technologies are used.
For efficient network security, a system may use a Network Access Control (NAC), an antivirus software, wireless security, web security and firewalls such as web application firewalls, network firewalls or cloud firewalls.
- Information security
Organisations have very critical information that should not land on the wrong hands.
This information may include customer’s personal information, organisation’s data, business records, financial information and intellectual property data.
Information security is a key element in the cyber security system to ensure that information is confidential and safe.
It keeps you away from attacks aimed at accessing, changing or destroying sensitive information.
Quality information should be confidential, available and have integrity.
Confidentiality allows only a specific number of authorized users to have access to sensitive information.
This sensitive information usually pertains to a person’s name, date of birth, personal and email address, bank account details and contact information.
Information should be accessible only to permitted users and it should be accurate, consistent and complete.
- Operational security.
Operational security (OPSEC) is used to track critical information, identify weaknesses in the system functionality as well as protect the organisation’s operation functions.
This security system follows a procedure that enables the manager to monitor operations in order to protect any sensitive information.
The operational security system is processed by stating the organisation’s sensitive information, identifying threats and any potential vulnerabilities, evaluating any potential risks and employing the appropriate countermeasures.
This ensures that the operational functions of an organisational stay uninterrupted.
- End user education.
An end user is simply the personnel behind the cybersecurity systems. These are the most fundamental element and the weakest link in the cybersecurity system.
There are a lot of human errors that cause data breaches and unauthorized access of information.
Employees should be aware about the business policies, procedures and protocols.
Employees should also be aware of the different phishing attacks through social media, email, text messages and app downloads.
Employees should arrange an end user training program that will teach employers about how to use the internet, the different types of cyber threats, device security and the general importance of cyber security.
- Business Continuity Planning
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is also a key element in the cyber security system.
It involves identifying cyber threats on time and analysing how the cyber threats may disrupt normal business processes.
An organisation then comes up with countermeasures on how to overcome these potential attacks.
- Disaster Recovery Planning
Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) is a series of managed procedures that describe how a business’s operations can be resumed after a disaster.
A cyber security system should have a disaster recovery program that can take back up regularly and enable business continuity after a disaster.
A business’s main focus are it’s finances, resources, technology, administration and hardware.
For recovery, a step by step guide should be implemented for an effective recovery plan.
A business should define the scope of the organisation’s assets, ensure data protection, create a data recovery plan, update the recovery plan and implement it to cloud backup.
Examples of disaster recovery plans include Data Center Disaster Recovery and Cloud Based Disaster Recovery.
- Leadership commitment
Leadership plays a key role in an effective cyber security system.
A good leader develops, implements and maintains the cyber security programs and processes.
For an effective cyber security system, managers should take keen interest in all the elements, programs and measures that will make it successful.
With good leadership, top leaders in an organization can implement the latest technology, skilled employees, and the necessary resources.
Everyday, there are new cyber attacks and cyber crimes reported, according to the latest statistics.
Everyone relies on a stable cybersecurity system to secure their data from threat or theft. The core function of cyber security is to protect information and systems from major cyber threats.
For this, a cybersecurity system must have a critical infrastructure that embraces all the key elements.
Recognising these critical elements of cybersecurity keeps your personal information as well as government and business information from attacks.
Computer systems and networks are also protected from viruses which may destroy sensitive information.