It may be easy and understandable to look at these two terms and think “computers” and “security” and with that come to the conclusion that both are very similar or even the same thing! These two items do share a common element – security – but both are, in fact, very different. Here we will further define and explore each term.
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting networks and devices from malicious outside attacks, therefore defending against the unauthorized use of electronic data. Electronic data can also be referred to as digital files. Digital files are data saved in a computer system and accessible to a computer program. Cybersecurity focuses on the digital aspect here – it pertains exclusively to data that originates in digital form.
You may be familiar with the various related terms such as cyberattack or cybercrime and no doubt they sound concerning and scary. These attacks are becoming more frequent and far too common. They often have a particular motivation behind them as well including, but not limited to, financial gain or political purposes. Some of the more common Cybersecurity threats include:
- Phishing attacks. These can involve using tactics such as download links, malicious attachments, or the use of false portals. Many of these phishing attempts are cleverly disguised and appear legitimate and therefore one can easily be fooled into providing personal or financial data and information.
- Ransomware. Ransomware is a security threat that encrypts an end user’s files so they cannot access their information, with a goal of obtaining ransom (typically monetary) to decrypt the file so the end user can regain access.
- Password based attacks. There are many methods used here, but essentially this preys on using different techniques to determine a weak password to be able to gain unauthorized access to a system.
This just a sampling, however. As cyber threats and the means in which they are executed have increased, there is a large demand for implementing robust cybersecurity services. Cybersecurity serves as the framework for protecting items that can be vulnerable to these cyber-attacks. So, in a nutshell, Cybersecurity is the ability to protect and defend digital files.
In fact, in 2018, The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was created to oversee and improve resiliency and security of civilian and federal cybersecurity programs, and defend against cyber attacks. It serves to protect the nation’s infrastructure, which is of utmost criticality. Infrastructure can be defined as the foundational components which are necessary to deliver, support, and manage an organization’s IT services. While large components of this are the physical items such as computers, servers, devices, data centers, also at play here are networking services and software.
There are many measures one can take to beef up security and protect against cyber threats. Some of these measures include staying up to date with installing software patches, installing firewalls, and running anti-virus software that is kept up to date. It is also of utmost importance to stay vigilant with utilizing email and be aware of suspicious and/or unexpected emails as these may be used to gain information about you or your organization!
As a broad statement, just think of how much information exists that can be identifying or potentially identifying about you, just from your everyday activities on your mobile device, for example. What might hit closer to home are social media applications that you use, websites that you visit, stores that you shop online at etc. This can further expand to information that exists that is tied in with you from those in your close circle; whether it be from social media use, or even a birthday gift that was bought online and sent to your address. Next, you can venture into data that may exist such as banking information, medical records, or your social security number! Keep in mind that this information can indeed be moved and stored securely, but it is nonetheless highly sensitive, potentially identifiable information.
One can also take into consideration the abundance of data that exists for organizations, including your organization. Organizational data can be outright identifiable or potentially aide in being identifiable. It can take on many forms and can also be found on multiple devices. There is no doubt a need to have visibility into all data, whether it be old or new, and ensure that all data is safeguarded and has appropriate security controls in place. With the increased use of and reliance on Cloud computing, the potential for data breaches also increases, if your cloud is not set up and protected appropriately.
This is where Enterprise Security comes into play. Enterprise Security lays the groundwork to protect data in all forms and is composed of various strategies and techniques to reduce risk of unauthorized access to this data. The Enterprise Security efforts include identifying data, categorizing the data, determining who is accessing the data, determining risk scenarios, conducting vulnerability and risk analysis, establishing and implementing controls such as detection and response, and establishing loss prevention measures. Maintenance is key and continual review, assessment, monitoring, and planning is also essential.
It is extremely important that the Enterprise Security foundation, strategies, and controls align with the organization’s compliance requirements as well as with the key players, which is all individuals! That is right, Enterprise Security is not composed of a single person or process, it is an effort involving all organizational teams. Enterprise Security not only needs to minimize risk to an organization’s assets, but it also needs to align with the organization’s culture to be successful. A comprehensive Enterprise Security strategy is a key factor in minimizing risk and keeping your data safe.
Comparing Enterprise Security & Cybersecurity
So, what does this all mean? There is a great need to secure your data, no matter what form it is in, and protect it from any form of threat. Enterprise Security can be more broadly viewed as means for the protection of information and assets, and not necessarily just those in digital form. Enterprise Security is composed of analysis, techniques, strategies, and processes to maintain the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data. It is important to define and prioritize the data needing to be protected, and this part serves as the foundation for Enterprise Security. Cybersecurity on the other hand will play a part in the framework with establishing the protocol for digital data protection.
This cannot be stressed enough – data is power. With cybersecurity, the main concern is protecting against the unauthorized access of electronic data. With Enterprise Security, this is established to ensure the appropriate policies are put into place to maintain confidentiality and integrity of data, regardless of its form. They have different components, but both play a pivotal part in securing your overall environment and protecting your data!
Contact us to discuss more ways to keep your business and data safe!