How Vital Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is now so important to people, government, and business that an entire month, October, has been designated as “Cyber Security Month.”  In this day and age, when so much of our lives are intertwined with the internet and computers, cyber security is needed to protect the integrity and confidentiality of everyone.

The Three Principles of Cyber Security

At the very core of cyber security are three principles, and these are availability, integrity, and confidentiality.  The principle of confidentiality provides that sensitive information must stay out of the hands of others, and only be shared with the intended users of the data.

Integrity means the data must be retained in its original state, and not compromised by outsiders.  Availability means this data must be there when people need it.  Different records need different levels of security.  Medical records for example are sensitive, and can harm a person if they fall into the wrong hands.  These records should only be available to you and the persons and organizations that the person has authorized to view them such as doctors, nurses, and insurance companies.

Cyber Security Threats Have Increased

Today, there are more threats to your online information than ever before, and these threats come in a variety of ways and means.  Here are some of the more common cyber threats individuals, businesses, and the government face on a daily basis.

  • Malware

Malware comes in a wide variety of forms, from worms, Trojan horses, and more, and they are spread via email, infected web sites, instant messages, and malicious web sites.  Once infected, your information is at risk.

  • Scareware

This is one of the newer forms of cyber threats.  This scam involves software that is downloaded to a victim’s computer that informs them they have committed a crime of some sort (a bogus claim of course) and that this situation can be resolved by buying software that will fix the problem.  The scareware often involves pop-ups that are annoying and affects the performance of the computer.

What Can Happen If Your Information Is Compromised

The things that can result from a breach of your information are numerous.  If your personal information is known to criminals, they can open credit accounts in your name and run up large bills that can ruin your credit and take you years to recover from.

A business that has its information compromised can face the same perils as individuals and more.  Competitive advantages can be lost, sensitive information about employees and customers including credit card numbers can be stolen, eroding public confidence in the company.  This can be the death knell for a company of any size.

With this in mind, if you ask the question of how important is cyber security?  There is nothing more important to a company or an individual than to keep sensitive information safe.  Cleaning up from a cyber attack can take years, and cost much, much more than preventing an attack in the first place.  This is why cyber security is now a billion dollar business, and its importance continues to grow, almost as fast as the number of threats out there in the cyber world.