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Cybersecurity For Beginners: A Complete Guide

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  • January 20 2024

Cybersecurity For Beginners: A Complete Guide

In today’s digital era, cybersecurity stands out to be the most talked about topic. But have you ever felt this that why does it keep importance? Today, when security is always at the end of being compromised, where data breaches and cases of identity theft affect millions of customers, it becomes essential to implement robust cybersecurity measures to ensure the overall security of you and your organization.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the process of securing computer systems, networks, and data from security breaches, unauthorized access, and damages. It deals with enforcing certain protocols to measure the security, integrity and magnitude of information in the digital frontier.

CIA Triad

The three letters in the word CIA denote confidentiality, integrity, and availability. It is a common model that forms the main framework for the development of various security systems. The CIA Triad forms a crucial part of any business operation as it guides various security teams to pinpoint different ways through which they can address specific concerns.

Confidentiality

The principle of Confidentiality involves the efforts of a particular organization to ensure that data is kept private and safe. To achieve this, it is important to control the unauthorized sharing of intentional or accidental data. The main aspect of maintaining confidentiality is to make sure that people without proper authorization are prevented from accessing the main assets of the business. On the other hand, an efficient system also ensures the ones who need to have access to necessary privileges.

Integrity

Integrity ensures that your data is trustworthy and at the same time, free from all sorts of tampering. The integrity of a particular piece of data is maintained only when it is authentic, accurate, and reliable. But sometimes, compromising integrity is done intentionally. An attacker may use the Intrusion Detection System, change certain file configurations to allow unauthorised access or alter logs kept by the system to hide the attack.

Availability

Even if data is kept confidential and integrity is maintained, it will be of no use if it is unavailable at the right time to the people in the organization or the customers. This means the systems, networks, and applications must keep operating the way they should, and the right individuals should also have access to appropriate data at the correct time.

Basic terminologies

Malware

One of the leading cybersecurity terms is malware or malicious software that is designed specifically to disrupt a computer’s internal system. It comes in different forms, whose main goal is to steal sensitive information or gain access to the computer system.

Phishing

A kind of cyberattack that attempts to fool users by alluring them to provide their important information, such as passwords, credit card details, fake emails, and websites. These phishing attacks may be carried out by individuals or large-scale cybercrime groups in an attempt to steal all sorts of personal data or financial information.

DDoS Attack

A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack mainly involves the use of multiple devices. They flood a particular server of a website with huge traffic resulting in a temporary shutdown. These attacks are mainly influenced by financial gain or political motivations and can be extremely costly for businesses and organizations.  

Ransomware Attacks

Defined as a kind of cyberattack where the users are denied access to their systems. The process gets locked until they pay the ransom amount demanded. This money can be in the form of cryptocurrencies or bitcoin. This can be a source of huge loss for individuals and businesses leading to malfunctioning of confidential data.

Encryption Attacks

Defined as a process where data is changed, and access is given only to authorized users. With a good encryption system, users can transfer all sorts of confidential information like financial passwords, and personal data as well as protect them from major threats such as hacks and malware attacks.

Rising Importance of Cybersecurity in 2024

By the end of 2024, cybersecurity is poised to bring the following transformative changes:

  1. Implementation of Machine Learning to make the process of detecting cyber threats easy.
  2. Implementation of Internet of Things (IoT), to enable enhanced security measures and rules for IoT devices.
  3. Foxpass provides a strong guard against phishing by implementing stronger authentication systems.
  4. A major role in business risk management.

Common Cybersecurity practices

Antivirus Software: Highlighting its importance to beginners

The major need for having exceptional antivirus software is to secure the system from various threats and viruses. Below are some of the reasons why we absolutely need to instal antivirus software:

  1. Protection against malicious viruses
  2. Keeping the system updated by blocking automatic pop-ups and spam
  3. Helping to protect scam websites by restricting access
  4. Acting as a real-time shield by scanning each internal file and program

Recommendations for Beginners

  1. First up, install a reliable antivirus programme such as Windows Defender, Avast, AVG or Bitdefender.
  2. Regularly update the antivirus software to have the latest virus and security patches.
  3. Set up scheduled scans to run at times when the user is not active.
  4. Keep your computer's operating system updated.
  5. Avoid opening emails and links from suspicious sources.
  6. Strengthen overall security.
  7. Back up all necessary data and information on the external drive or cloud storage as per convenience.
  8. Be well-informed and updated about common online threats and cybersecurity practices.

Firewalls: What they are and how they add an extra layer of protection

Firewalls are defined as certain network security systems that prevent unauthorised access to a network. They may be in the form of hardware or software that filters the incoming and outgoing traffic prevalent within a private network.

How do they add an extra layer of protection?

Firewalls add an extra level of security by acting as a trusted barrier between an internal network and an untrusted external network, such as the Internet. They prevent all sorts of unauthorised access, monitor and control network traffic and establish certain rules to filter and block harmful sites. Here are some effective ways in which they enhance security:

  1. Firewalls use certain access control policies to determine the incoming and outgoing network traffic. By altering rules, administrators can define the types of communication permitted based on certain factors, such as the IP address, destination IP address, port numbers and protocols.

  2. Firewalls log certain network activities that serve as the essential protocol for monitoring and forensic analysis. By checking logs, administrators can identify unusual patterns, detect potential security incidents and take proper actions to mitigate the risks at the same time.

  3. Firewalls can also give remote access by supporting VPNs. This enables all kinds of encrypted communication between remote users and the internal network, which adds an extra layer of protection.

Specialisations in Cybersecurity

Security Architects

Security architects have the most important task of designing networks and systems that cannot be penetrated. They evaluate current systems to identify areas of weakness and this role uses risk management and critical thinking skills.

Governance, Risk and Compliance

Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) refers to the branch of cybersecurity that mainly interacts with regulations and ensures optimal compliance and minimal risk. They help in designing organizational policies, delegating professional roles and responsibilities and considering certain emergency plans.

Prevention of Lost Data

This is a process through which organizations make sure their networks run seamlessly and no sensitive information can be extracted.

Identity and Access Management

They are the gatekeepers of information systems and are responsible for identifying users and granting access securely. Common applications of identity and risk management are two-factor authentication and single-sign-on systems. This ensures that users can reliably access systems and information without compromising security.

Digital Forensics and Incident Response

They are the first respondents to cybersecurity. A digital forensics and incident response expert mainly comes into light after an attack or security breach. They mainly deal with identifying the sources and causes of the breach by collecting evidence of the incident prior to the cybercrime.

Cloud Security Engineer

This is a certain branch of security that creates safe and sound cloud-based systems. Cloud security engineers may complete certain important tasks, such as setting up firewalls and ensuring security measures are present at each level of the network.

The Internet of Things

Technologies have developed over the past few years on a rapid scale and have been increasingly linked through networks called the Internet of Things. These technologies often store and send personal data that users forget to protect.

Application Security Engineer

They mainly focus on cybersecurity design and implementation at the application level, which mainly evaluates the risk of current application designs.

Cryptographer

They play a crucial role in creating certain encryption processes and algorithms that keep the network and data safe.

Cyber Security Certifications

  1. CompTIA+ Security

  2. GIAC Security Essentials Certification

  3. The Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate

  4. System Security Certified Practitioner

  5. GIAC-certified incident handler

  6. Offensive Security Certified Professional

  7. Certified Ethical Hacker

  8. Certified Information Security Manager

  9. Certified Information Systems Security Professional

  10. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner

  11. Certified Information Systems Auditor

How do I start learning cybersecurity?

Start with the basics:

  1. Software and data skills

  2. Programming and language skills

  3. Networks

  4. Cybersecurity Laws

  5. Ethical Hacking

  6. Mobile Security

Take a course and get training from a professional

Secapps Learning provides well-researched and updated courses on:

  1. AWS Training
  2. SailPoint Training
  3. Network Security
  4. OKTA Training
  5. Saviynt Training
  6. CyberArk Training
  7. CyberArk EPM Training
  8. Cloud DevOps Training

Find your speciality in Cybersecurity

  1. Application Security

  2. Network Security

  3. Penetration Testing

  4. Research

  5. Information Security

Conclusion

The future of cybersecurity lies in the dynamic future of artificial intelligence and machine learning. By the end of 2024, Artificial Intelligence is set to play an important role in automated, and therefore easier and quicker decision-making. These days, organizations and even individuals have started using cloud-based services that protect data and applications stored “in the cloud”.

Comments (1)

  • Suraj

    10/Jan/2024

    Thank you for sharing this information in the cyber security course for beginners. I am a Btech 3rd year student and want to have a career in cyber security. What basic knowledge do I need for a successful cybersecurity career?

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