What are the Key Elements of CyberSecurity?

Cyber security is the process and preventative action of protecting computer systems from malicious attacks or unauthorized access. The elements of cybersecurity are very important for every organization to protect their sensitive business information.

Elements of cybersecurity

There are six essential key elements of cybersecurity such as application security, information security, network security, disaster recovery plan, operational and end user security which are as follows:

  1. Application security
  2. Information Security
  3. Network Security
  4. Disaster Recovery Planning
  5. Operational Security
  6. End User Education

1. Application Security

Application security is the first key elements of cybersecurity which adding security features within applications during development period to prevent from cyber attacks.

It protect websites and web based application from different types of cyber security threats which exploit vulnerabilities in an source code.

Application Vulnerabilities

The application threats or vulnerabilities can be SQL injection, Denial of service attacks (DoS), data encryption, data breaches or other types of  threats.

Categories of Application Threats

The most common categories of application threats related to software or application are as follows:

  • Input validation
  • Authorization
  • Session management
  • Parameter tampering
  • Encryption 

Application Security Tools

However, there are different types of application security tools such as firewalls, antivirus software, encryption technique and web application firewall (WAF) can help your application to prevent from cyber-attacks and unauthorized access.

Application security is the first elements of cybersecurity

2. Information Security

Information security (IS) or Info Sec refers to the process and methodology to preventing unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of information.

The information can be can be anything like your personal details, login credentials, network details or your profile on social media, mobile phone etc.

Main principle of Information Security

There are three main principle of Information Security commonly known as CIA – Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.

Information security is another key elements of cybersecurity

A. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the protection of information which allows authorized users to access sensitive data. It involves any information that is sensitive and should only be shared with a limited number of people.

Following types of information that is considered as confidential:

  • Name, date of birth, age and address
  • Contact information
  • Bank account details
  • Professional information
  • Email account details
  • Social Media Profile
  • Medial record and
  • Family information
B. Integrity                                                

Integrity means maintaining the consistency, accuracy, and completeness of information. It involves keeping the information from being altered or changed and ensures that data cannot be altered by unauthorized people.

C. Availability

Availability ensures that information and resources are accessible for authorized users. If an attacker is not able to compromise the first two principles then they may try to execute denial of service (DoS) attack.

This attack would bring down the web server and making the website unavailable to legitimate users due to lack of availability.

3. Network Security

Network security is another elements of IT security which process of preventing and protecting against unauthorized access into computer networks.

It is a set of rules and configurations to prevent and monitor unauthorized access, misuse, modification of a computer network and resources. It includes both hardware and software technologies.

Network Security Methods

There are many methods to improve network security and the most common network security components are as follows:

  • Antivirus Software
  • Email Security
  • Firewalls
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Web Security
  • Wireless Security
  • Endpoint Security
  • Network Access Control (NAC)

network security

Network Security Software

There are varieties of software and hardware tools to protect your computer network . Such as firewall, a network security tool which keep track of network traffic and what’s happening on your networks .

4. Disaster Recovery Planning

A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a business continuity plan and managed procedures that describe how work can be resumed quickly and effectively after a disaster.

A disaster recovery strategy should start at the business level and determine which applications are most important to running the organization activities. In determining a recovery strategy, every organization should consider the following issues such as:

  • Financial Budget
  • Resources
  • Technology
  • Administration
  • Hardware

When disaster recovery strategies have been developed and approved, then organization can be translated into disaster recovery plans.

Disaster Recovery

Steps of Disaster Recovery Planning

There are 12 steps to help you to prepare a disaster recovery plan which are as follows:

  1. Define scope of the organization assets
  2. Identifying the possible threats and vulnerabilities
  3. Ensure Data Protection
  4. Create a Disaster Recovery Team
  5. Provide training to team members
  6. Establish team members accountability
  7. Create a data recovery plan
  8. Test your data recovery plan
  9. Review regularly
  10. Take back up regularly
  11. Update and Revise Your Plan and
  12. Possible to implement Cloud Backup

Types of Disaster Recovery Plans

There are about four types of disaster recovery plans and according to your business nature you can pick which plan best suits your needs.

  • Data Center Disaster Recovery
  • Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery
  • Virtualization Disaster Recovery
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service

5. Operational Security

Operational security (OPSEC) is an analytical and risk management process that identifies the organization’s critical information and developing a protection mechanism to ensure the security of sensitive information.

It is also known as procedural security which encourages manager to view operations in order to protect sensitive information.

Steps of Operational Security

To develop an effective operations security program, the organization’s OPSEC officers first find out and define the possible threats and then they will take necessary action.

There are five steps to process the operational security program, which are as follows:

  1. Define the organization sensitive information
  2. Identify the categories of threats
  3. Analyze security holes and vulnerabilities
  4. Assessment of Risks
  5. Implementation of appropriate countermeasures

6. End User Education

End user education is most important element of Computer security. End users are becoming the largest security risk in any organization because it can happen anytime.

However, end user has no fault of their own, and mostly due to a lack of awareness and business security policies, procedures and protocols.

End User Threats

There are many reasons, that a threat can be created. The end user threats can be created according to following ways:

  • Using of Social Media
  • Text Messaging
  • Apps Download
  • Use of Email
  • Password creation and usages

End User Security Program

It is better to arrange a cyber security awareness training program on regular basis and should cover the following topics:

  • Cyber Security and its importance
  • Different types of Cyber Threats
  • How to use Internet
  • Email Phishing and Social Engineering attack
  • Device Security
  • Physical Security
  • Password creation and usages

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