Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems and networks from cyberattacks. It covers everything from password management to computer security tools driven by machine learning. Cybersecurity makes it possible to reliably trade, chat, and browse over the internet.
Cybersecurity is important because it keeps the services that the modern world is built upon functioning as they should. Most systems that manage services we take for granted have moved online, from financial organizations and medical care to electrical grids that power whole cities. Cybersecurity is the defensive wall that keeps these systems safe from cyberattacks.
Without adequate IT security, your banking information, private messages, or online activities would be out in the open for anyone to see (this is where cybersecurity tools like a VPN can help). These aren’t hypothetical situations, either — the brief history of cybersecurity shows that hackers have infiltrated United States government systems, disrupted national power grids, and blackmailed billions of dollars out of people and companies through ransomware attacks.
Nord Security experts closely monitor cybercrime statistics and regularly publish professional cybersecurity research to raise public awareness.
Cybersecurity can be broadly divided into five types, although they aren’t set in stone — cybersecurity tools can easily belong to more than one category.
A cyberattack or cyber threat is any malicious act seeking to damage, steal, or secretly alter data. Here are the most common cyber threats.
Malware is any malicious software that takes advantage of the user. It can range from programs that flood your device with ads to keyloggers that record every stroke of your keyboard.
During a cyberattack, ransomware infects a device encrypting all its data. If the attack victim wants to access the data on their device again, they have to pay a ransom.
Social engineering is a set of techniques that manipulate the victim into doing something that the hacker wants. It’s an umbrella term that includes phishing, vishing, catfishing, pretexting, and more.
In DDoS attacks, a network of infected computers overwhelms their target with enormous amounts of traffic. It can slow websites to the point where it’s impossible to use or take them down for some time.
In MITM attacks, the criminals intercept user’s device communications to observe, manipulate, and steal the victim’s data traffic.
Hackers work malicious code lines into database management systems to trick websites into revealing all sensitive information they contain.
Criminals insert a malicious script into a regular website. The software can then record your sensitive information like what you type into login fields when accessing your online bank account.
In a dictionary attack, a hacker uses a predefined list of words and phrases to guess your password. Most attacks utilize password-cracking software that can take millions of guesses from a list of most common passwords.
Hackers use login information obtained through social engineering or from leaked databases to crack every account you have. For example, if a criminal gets their hands on your email password, they’ll try to access your other accounts using the same credentials.
Find definitions, examples, and prevention methods for all things cybersecurity.
A cyber threat actor (also known simply as a “threat actor”) is a person or group that carries out or aids cyberattacks on devices, systems, and networks. Here are the five most common cyber threat actors today.
Nord Security is active in educating internet users about the benefits of cybersecurity and good online habits. Our products (like NordVPN) help you protect yourself against many common online threats.
Surf online with confidence. NordVPN will cover your daily cybersecurity needs by securing internet traffic and blocking dangerous websites, ads, and malware.
Businesses have specific cybersecurity requirements — that’s why they need a specialized VPN. Enable remote teams and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Passwords are key to your digital security. Generate and autofill unique passwords, identify vulnerable credentials, and check if your passwords have been leaked.
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