Companies, organizations and corporations that communicate in any way via the Internet, that store data or information or transmit it to third parties must ensure the security of their IT. Cybercriminal attacks are growing in scale with increasingly devastating consequences. Every day the risk increases, even victims one Cyber attack to become. But what are the real dangers of cyberattacks? Which areas can IT security protect? What methods and tactics do the hackers use?
What does “IT security” even mean?
IT security is primarily the protection of information and the protection of information processing. Information security should prevent unauthorized persons from manipulating data or systems. The socio-technical systems found in companies and organizations - systems of people and technology - are the target of many attackers and need protection against threats and the resulting possible damage. Information and data are just as at risk as data centers or cloud services.
IT security goals
The value that information has for institutions, organizations and individuals has increased enormously in recent years. Therefore, it is very important to protect the information. Information security has three very specific protection goals: confidentiality, integrity, availability. Other goals are: authenticity, reliability, accountability.
|goal of the security measures||What does this mean?|
|confidentiality||– Information is only accessible to authorized persons
– Define access protection
– Assign access rights
– encrypted data transport
|integrity||– Content and data are not only correct, but also complete
– Systems function correctly according to their purpose
– no changes, deletions or replacements may occur during the transfer or processing of the data
|Availability||– Smooth data processing within one system
– Data is always correctly available
– Stress tests provide information about the current system
– Business operations are maintained in any case
areas of IT security
In IT security there are several sub-areas that are important. Endpoint security refers to end devices such as PCs, tablets, smartphones and notebooks and also their applications and operating systems. It's about protecting everything on the corporate network.
As soon as the information leaves the company's own network via the Internet, IT security takes on a different meaning. The risk of a hacker attack increases enormously. From this moment, users and their data must be protected. Because every user who navigates the Internet leaves traces of their digital identity there.
Users can also pose an enormous security risk to a company. The risk is present in the form of apps on private smartphones and also in the form of updates on notebooks. For example, many users in companies tend to use their private e-mail accounts to send e-mails that are too large and cannot be sent via the company server. Here, the IT department is required to raise users' awareness of IT security.
Effects of a cyber attack on the information
If one of the three areas mentioned is affected by a cyber attack, this can have serious consequences. Hackers gain access to confidential information, such as internal information, trade secrets and personal data. The consequences can include industrial espionage, credit card abuse or identity theft. Missing or manipulated data can lead to a production standstill, which costs companies a lot of money. It also becomes expensive when automated machines no longer work as they should.
What attack methods do the hackers use?
Cybercrime is constantly changing. The criminals are constantly developing their methods and finding security holes through which they can penetrate the corporate networks. A hacker only needs to find a single vulnerability to cause major damage and significantly disrupt a company's operations. On the other hand, companies have to protect themselves from all sides because they never know what leaks the attackers will find.
APTs are Advanced Persistent Threats, i.e. an “advanced, persistent threat”. It is very difficult for hackers to penetrate a system. First they infiltrate a computer, spy on internal processes and then sabotage the network.
malicious software can be any form of malicious software. They cause great damage in a system, for example Trojans, viruses, worms and ransomware. In recent years, such malware has repeatedly demonstrated that it is capable of shutting down a business and even driving it to the point of bankruptcy.
With phishing attacks, the attackers receive sensitive data from a company.
Distributed Denial of Service – DdoS – stands for attacks by bots. DDoS attacks bombard a server with requests until it is overloaded and certain services stop working.
What is critical infrastructure?
Companies, institutions and organizations that are very important for important social functions are called critical infrastructures, such as water and energy suppliers, hospitals, finance and logistics companies.
If there is a disruption in operations, it has an enormous impact on society as a whole, not just on individuals or companies.
The large number of serious cyber attacks shows that IT security is a very important topic nowadays. Cyber criminals can have a great deal of influence on political and economic processes in a country. If there is a breach in one of the three important areas of availability, confidentiality or integrity, the consequences for a company can be devastating. That is why it is so important that every company, every organization takes appropriate protective measures.
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