Our homes are getting smarter, we can switch to virtual reality whenever we feel like it, and we often let a wearable device track every single move and heartbeat of ours. Yep, the world we’re living in is becoming more and more cyber at a breathtaking pace. In times like these, technology and data are precious, and precious things call for security and protection.
From zero to hero
Cybersecurity is a thing right now. What might have only been an interest of tech companies ten years ago, now concerns us all. If we look at the Google Search statistics (picture below), we’ll see how ‘cybersecurity’ as a search term has skyrocketed by nearly 800% during the 10-year period since 2007. This briefly illustrates the shift cybersecurity has gone through in terms of relevance. When depending on technology as much as we do now, online security and protection of private data matter to every Internet user: from a tech-savvy engineer to a teenager who’s just got their first smartphone.
Cybersecurity as a search term (2007-present). Source: Google Trends
Cyber threats out there
Businesses, institutions, and organizations depend on technology, but the thing is, technology can be hacked, and this makes people vulnerable. Software flaws, data breaches, cyber attacks, cybercrime and sophisticated hacking put users’ personal information, online identity and privacy at risk of being compromised and used for criminal purposes.
Recent cyberattacks have shown how damaging and devastating this threat can be. For example, the WannaCry ransomware, which hit the world in May 2017, infected tens of thousands of computers in almost 100 countries. The scariest part is that it affected vital systems: 40 healthcare trusts in the United Kingdom and ambulance in Scotland. Or, the Equifax data breach, where attackers stole highly sensitive information of 143 million US-based users: not only names, birthdates, and addresses, but also Social Security numbers, and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers.
The cybersecurity challenge
As technology is becoming deeply and unavoidably integrated into our lives, so is cybersecurity. Businesses, regardless of their size, need to protect their systems and their customers’ data.
Government institutions have to make sure that sensitive information of the residents is safe and sound. How to employ cutting-edge technology and to secure it against threats? This is the core challenge of the modern times.
With all that said, cybersecurity is far from being just a buzzword. Its processes, technologies, and techniques are complex yet crucial. An ordinary Internet user may not know the anatomy of a cyber attack, or if they find the strong jargon surrounding the concept of cybersecurity intimidating and somehow distant. However, getting familiar with digital security fundamentals is the way to go in today’s interconnected environment. Remember, the cybersecurity challenge applies to every one of us as well – we should know how to protect ourselves, our privacy, identity and sensitive information online.