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So, Just What Is Cyber Security?

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

In short, cybersecurity is the practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks. It refers to the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyber invasions. The purpose of this practice is to protect against unauthorised access to data hubs along with further computerised systems, with the process being adopted by individuals and also enterprises.

Ensuring your cybersecurity strategy is strong and reliable is key to providing a forceful

security posture against malicious attacks configured to access, alter, delete, destroy or

extort an institution’s or user’s systems and sensitive data files. Cybersecurity is also a

strong implementation within an organisation’s data strategy as it is key to preventing attacks

that aim to disable or disrupt a system’s or device’s operations.

Why Is It Important?

A substantial amount of data is classed as sensitive information, whether that be intellectual

property, personal information, financial data, or other types of data for which unauthorised

access could have negative consequences. With organisations transmitting sensitive data

across networks and to other devices in the course of their business ongoings, cyber

security describes the discipline dedicated to protecting that information and their systems

specifically, as they’re used to store and process the data itself.

With modern-day technology being a fundamental part of our day to day lives, it is vital that

we have the appropriate protection of our smartphones, computers, and secure internet

hubs: especially when you consider how you’d ever function without the use of technology

nowadays. From social media to online banking, it’s more important than ever to have the

perfect strategy to prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to your personal accounts,

data, and devices.

How Can You Protect Yourself & Your Business?

So how is cybersecurity achieved? Through an infrastructure that’s split into three key

components: IT security, cyber security, and computer security.

● Information Technology (IT) security, also known as electronic information security, is

the protection of data both where it is stored internally and externally throughout the

organisation’s network. Whilst cyber security can only protect digitalised data, IT

security protects both digital and physical data from unauthorised accessors.

● Cyber Security is a subgroup of IT security. Rather than protecting both your physical

and digitalised data, cyber security defends your digitised data that’s found on your

organisation’s networks, computer systems and technological devices from

unauthorised entries, attacks, and eradication.

● Network Security, or computer security, is a subset of cyber security. This system of

security uses hardware and software to protect any internal data that will be sent

through your computer and other devices found on your network. Through the use of

this form of hardware and software, it’s used is to protect the IT infrastructure against

your data being intercepted, modified, or even potentially stolen by cybercriminals.

Common Cyber Threats

Although organisations employ cybersecurity professionals to work hard on closing security

gaps, cyber attackers are always looking for new ways to evade IT notice, defence

measures and exploit emerging technology weaknesses. The latest cyber threats are

levelling up their attempts in every way possible as they’re taking advantage of the latest

work-from-home environments, remote access tools, and new cloud services. These

emerging threats consist of:


The term ‘Malware’ refers to vicious software variants - such as worms, viruses, and spyware

- that administer unlawful access or cause damage to a computer. Violent Malware attacks

are increasingly appearing to be “fileless” and are devised to attack and avoid the familiar

detection methods, such as antivirus software, that scan technology for malicious file



Ransomware is a form of malware that locks down files, data, or systems, and threatens to

erase or destroy the data itself - or release private, sensitive data to the public - unless a

ransom is paid to the cybercriminals who launched the initial attack.

Phishing/Social Engineering

Phishing is a form of social engineering that deceives users into providing their own personal

information. In phishing scams, emails or text messages appear to be from a legitimate

company asking for sensitive information, such as credit card details or login information.

Insider Threats

It can be closer than you think! Individuals who have had previous access to systems or networks in the past can be considered an insider threat if they go ahead with abusing their access permissions. They can appear invisible to traditional security solutions such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, which focus on external threats.

Employees Themselves

Employees should be fully aware of the financial, operational, and reputational costs of such

threats to your organisation; your biggest cyber threat could potentially be your employees

themselves. You must teach cause and effect, sharpen their decision-making skills, and establish a clear link between their behaviour and its possible outcome. The training your employees receive should be interactive and immersive so as to provide a safe environment for your employees to test their knowledge without fearing the consequences of a potential mistake.

How To Protect Yourself

Anyone who uses the internet should be aware of the basic precautions when it comes to

cyber security to know how to protect themselves from potential cyber threats, here are our

top 3 tips on just how to do that:

  1. Use a full-service internet security suite to provide real-time protection against existing and emerging malware including Ransomware and Viruses - also protecting your private and financial information behind the scenes when going online.

  2. Use strong, unique passwords on each site you visit, whilst also changing your passwords regularly to avoid them being breached across all of your social sites. We recommend the use of a combination of at least 10 letters, numbers, and symbols.

  3. Keep your software and technology up to date, this is vital if you’re using operating systems and internet security software. Cybercriminals frequently use known exploits, or flaws, in your software to gain unauthorised access to your system.

Let us help you

SP McKinlay offers highly effective and affordable cyber security solutions which

engage cyber criminals at the point of attack: when they connect to your network.

Get in touch - we want to help you get and stay secure.

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