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Cybersecurity is the application of the technologies, practices, and processes that are aimed at making sure that the computer networks, programs, data, and devices are shielded from any form of attack, unauthorized access or malicious damage (Singer & Friedman, 2014). Cybersecurity also involves the protection of computer systems from misdirection or disruption of any form. In the recent past, the importance of cybersecurity has been growing, this is because of the increased dependency on computer systems, the use of smart devices such as smartphones, the reliance on the internet and wireless networks and the adoption of new technology such as the Internet of Things. Ensuring that there is cyber security is also important because different organizations including; government organizations, military organizations, businesses, financial corporations, medical centers, and corporate organizations gather, process and store a lot of information which in some cases might be sensitive, this makes it necessary to protect this data and devices used to collect, process and store. However, implementation of proper cybersecurity strategies faces many challenges because of its complex nature both in technology and in politics. It is also challenging to implement effective cybersecurity systems because there are more devices than human beings and cyber attackers are devising new innovative attacks on computer networks and devices (Singer & Friedman, 2014). In this study, we will discuss the importance of cybersecurity for different businesses, keeping personal data secure and also securing data from organizations such as hospitals and power plants. Cybersecurity is crucial in ensuring that the integrity of computer systems is preserved and also making sure that the computer systems work as expected.
Through technological advances, the world has become connected, people and organizations now rely on computer systems and networks to efficiently conduct their activities. This has also led to increased cyber-attacks and the development of cyber defense programs. Cybersecurity attacks in most cases lead to identity theft, loss of sensitive and critical data and attempts of extortion. Apart from these adversities, cybersecurity attacks might also affect the functionalities of critical organizations which most individuals rely on such as hospitals, power processing plants and financial institutions such as banks. The number of business activities has been increasing with the advancement of technology (Bhattacharya, 2015). This has also seen the adoption of technology in the business transactions, for instance, business is using online services to sell, advertise, and recruit new members of staff, reaching out to customers, conducting financial transactions, communication purposes and looking for new business partnerships and markets for their products and services. Businesses also use information technology in ensuring that they effectively and efficiently run their operations, for instance, most businesses manage their employees and customers through the available CRM and human resource management systems. Advancements are also being made on the development of smart devices utilizing the Internet of Things technology making information and connections critical elements in ensuring that business activities are effectively and efficiently conducted (Cook, 2017). The reliance on these cyber or information technology systems makes cybersecurity an important aspect of ensuring that the company’s information is not lost and that the services of the business are not disrupted.
In implementing effective cybersecurity measures for a business, various aspects of the business are protected and they can run efficiently. In case there is a cyber-attack, the financial records of the business, business funds, the information belonging to the clients and information base of the business can be safely protected. There are different forms of cyber-attacks that effective cybersecurity measures can help to avert. The forms of cyber-attacks include; unauthorized access of computer devices including laptops, phones, and similar devices, theft of computer devices, attacks on the information technology systems including websites and other systems used in managing data for the business, cyber-attacks on data that is stored or handled by third-party programs such as cloud systems. To avert these cyber-attacks on business systems and third-party systems that handle information for the business can help the business to avoid the following adverse impacts of cyber-attacks; financial losses, through cyber-attacks, businesses might lose crucial information that may lead to loss of finances, the businesses might also lose money due to extortion. It is also costly to pay for recovery of the lost information and replacing the systems as they were before the attack. Cyber-attacks also damages the reputation of a business organization, in some cases, cybersecurity attacks lead to loss of customer sensitive data and business data, such lose adversely impacts the reputation of the business before investors and customers. Other businesses that might be associated with the company or connected with the firm might lose trust in conducting transactions. The connected firms might be wary of their computer systems and end their connections with the business.
There has been an increase in the threat of cyber-attacks on business because of the technology that is being used to manage and run the different business activities. It is important to protect the business from these forms of threats because it is not easy to recover from the adverse impacts that cyber-attacks cause on the business activities. Information about the business might also be compromised due to an attack causing disruption of the different services of the business. The world of cybersecurity and cyber-attacks has been evolving and sophisticated cyber-attacks directed towards business entities in the recent past has been growing. Cybersecurity strategies and systems need to be put in place so as to ensure that the transactions and activities of the business are not interrupted in any way. Cybersecurity strategies will also ensure that the reputation of the business is protected and development of different partnerships.
Cybersecurity also makes sure that we protect our personal information from cyber-attackers. As noted, just like businesses and other organizations, individuals are also highly connected and rely on computer systems for critical services. Because of this reliance and connections, the importance of cyber defense programs for individuals cannot be overlooked. In the recent years, there has been an increase in online activities that require individuals to share their personal information. This has raised the concerns about the identity theft of the consumers using the online services. More people are shopping their items through online systems while many others are joining social networking sites which require them to share their personal data before they can get access to services offered. This has increased the chances for cybercriminals to leverage and access the personal information for financial gains. Individuals need to adhere to developed cybersecurity programs and technologies so that they can control any form of access on the personal information that they share in the cyber world.
The banking sector has adopted technology to use online services to offer efficient for their clients. Similarly, the convenience offered by e-commerce systems has made many individuals offer their personal information including banking information so as to access the services. If cybersecurity systems are not efficiently put in place, individuals put their financial information in peril. Cybercriminals can access their information and information about the financial transactions that individuals do online. Such information when in the hands of the wrong person can be misused and illegal charges can be made affecting the financial status of the individual. Identity theft is also a serious concern for individuals using their personal information to access different computer services. If the personal information is not protected, cybercriminals can use the information to create profiles and conduct transactions which you might have not authorized. Such transactions are illegal in many cases and it might lead to legal challenges (Reed & Tatachar, 2016). Cybersecurity for keeping personal information secure is crucial because it allows individuals to avert adverse effects that are as a result of cyber-attacks and unauthorized use of the personal information.
Critical systems such as hospitals and power processing plant also rely on computer systems to work efficiently. Cybersecurity threats have been a concern in the healthcare sector in the recent past. According to Jalali and Kaiser (2018), the healthcare sector has not developed or implemented fully the cybersecurity strategies that are aimed at protecting the computer systems at the facilities from cyber-attacks (Jalali & Kaiser, 2018). One of the most affected areas in the healthcare industry is the theft of the information about the patients and other hospital records. Cybercriminals usually sell or use this information on the black market for foreign intelligence, conducting medical fraud, identity theft, and financial crimes. Hospital systems hold sensitive information about the health status of the patients and the patient’s personal information. This data is sensitive and should be shielded from any form of unauthorized access and other threats including internal threats (Rios, 2015). The different stakeholders in the healthcare sector need to understand the importance of cyber security so that they implement strategies to promote cybersecurity. These ways they can secure the data in the hospital systems to avert the unauthorized access from hackers and other people who might have malicious intentions. Hospitals also rely on information technology to run critical systems. If such systems are disrupted because of cyber-attacks, life might be lost. By implementing effective cybersecurity measures, such occurrences will be averted.
Other organizations such as power plants also rely on computer systems to offer efficient services to their clients. Cyber-attacks directed towards such organizations in many occasions cripple the functions of the organization. For instance, power plants store personal information of their clients and also they store information about the amount of power that the consumers have used and their payment information. Such information is critical and it is used in ensuring that the clients receive efficient services from the power suppliers. In case there is a cyber-attack, the organization loses the information in its systems, consumers may suffer disruption of services. If the recovery and restoration of the computer systems take long, people may suffer service disruption for long periods. Some services depend on the systems to be operational, in case the systems are disrupted, many lose are reported. Information security breaches also may lead to loss of personal information belonging to the customers. Organizations such as the power plants keep information about their clients which they mostly use to offer customized services. Once a cyber-attack occurs and this information is lost, hackers might sell this information on the black market or use it for identity theft. Personal information can also be used in committing fraud and scam campaigns. Such organizations also store financial information about the clients, if this information about the clients is illegally obtained, it can be used to commit financial fraud and other illegal transactions. Making sure that proper cybersecurity programs are implemented will allow the organizations to avoid the adverse impacts of cybersecurity attacks on their systems.
Cybersecurity is important in all aspects of human life. In the recent past, there has been an increased reliance on computer systems and networks by both individuals and organizations because of the convenience offered by these services. However, cybersecurity threats have also been on the rise as the world of technology evolve. To ensure that the integrity of computer systems, data and other functionalities on the computer system is assured, there is need to implement cybersecurity measures which will avert the impacts of cyber-attacks and even prevent the attacks from happening. Individuals also need to ensure that their personal information is secured and that it is not accessed by unauthorized individuals. Personal information can be used to conduct illegal transactions or in identity theft which might affect the personal life of an individual. Looking at the negative impacts of cyber-attacks, the importance of cybersecurity should not be overlooked.
Bhattacharya, D. (2015, September). Evolution of Cybersecurity Issues in Small Businesses. In Proceedings of the 4th Annual ACM Conference on Research in Information Technology (pp. 11-11). ACM.
Cook, K. D. (2017). Effective Cyber Security Strategies for Small Businesses.
Jalali, M. S., & Kaiser, J. P. (2018). Cybersecurity in Hospitals: A Systematic, Organizational Perspective. Journal of medical Internet research, 20(5).
Reed, M. A., & Tatachar, J. K. (2016). 5 CYBERSECURITY MISTAKES THAT LEAD TO REGULATORY AND LEGAL ACTION. Risk Management, 63(8), 34.
Rios, B. (2015). Cybersecurity expert: medical devices have ‘a long way to go’. Biomedical instrumentation & technology, 49(3), 197-200.
Singer, P. W., & Friedman, A. (2014). Cybersecurity: What everyone needs to know? Oxford University Press.
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