Hacking Cybersecurity

By: Alisha Gomes

Image Credit: Flickr @ Cezary Borysiuk

In an age where technology is gradually taking over our everyday lives, it is important that we get the protection we need from people or companies trying to obtain our data. In order for the internet to be a safer place, we need the help of cybersecurity professionals. The goal of cybersecurity professionals is to protect other people’s data. As a result of the growing interdependence of humans with modern computers, it is relevant to understand the mechanics of how these professionals are protecting your data.

Cybersecurity, in the simplest terms, is the collective practices, technologies, or processes that enable the integrity of computer systems against attackers. In cybersecurity, a cyber-attack is an attempt to interrupt the security of a system whereas a security breach is an event where the system has been successfully interrupted. To prevent a breach, cybersecurity professionals use many different methods to prevent the compromising of their computer systems.

One practice to prevent a breach is to identify vulnerabilities in their computer system(s). It is important for cybersecurity professionals to classify and mitigate the vulnerabilities in the system that they’re using in order to prevent any outside attackers from compromising their systems. In computer science, a vulnerability is a weakness in a system that could be used to perform unauthorized actions by an attacker. Some vulnerabilities that can compromise a system may include missing data encryption tools, missing authorization, or missing authentication. Being aware of all the vulnerabilities in a system will help to prevent further breaches to that system if steps are taken to rid the system of its vulnerabilities.

Another practice that can prevent a breach is to enforce the use of strong passwords. You may have been prompted to use a password with certain criteria such as “use X capital letters,” “use X numbers,” or “use ! or ?” These guidelines will help ensure that cyberattackers won’t be able to easily breach the computer system because of how complex the password is. Furthermore, periodically enforcing a change in the password of a user can also mitigate compromises to a computer system.

It is also important for cybersecurity professionals to use data encryption not only when the data is being transferred between two parties but also when the data is at rest. Encryption allows computer systems to prevent the breach of sensitive information such as credit card numbers, chat histories, or tax information. The use of and effective management of computer keys, which are pieces of information that regulate the output of a cryptographic algorithm, is also important to maintain the integrity of a system.

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field and as our world becomes more technology-based there will be a greater need for cybersecurity professionals. The world will continue to rely on professionals who can protect their data.







What Did You Learn?


1. Why is cybersecurity important?

Cybersecurity is important because as our world becomes more technological there will be a greater threat to our security infrastructure. In order to protect people’s privacy and security, there must be crucial cybersecurity implementations.

2. What are some ways you can prevent a breach?

Some ways to prevent a breach are (1) to identify the vulnerabilities in a computer system or network, (2) use strong passwords, and (3) make sure all information is encrypted or being sent safely. Many more methods, however, can be implemented to prevent a security breach.

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