What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of identifying, remediating and protecting organizations against threats and vulnerabilities associated with IT and business environments. This includes defending against malware such as phishing campaigns and DDos attacks as well as malicious insiders or even nation-states.  

Today, cybersecurity is primarily focused on IT infrastructure, devices and compute resources that support the operations of a company or organization. As time goes on, however, cybersecurity will need to be applied to all organization IT assets and the cloud. 

The practice of cybersecurity provides layers of protection against threats using security tools, techniques and procedures for securing and protecting organizational networks and data. It also requires organizational commitment to develop and implement a common framework for cybersecurity, which increases overall enterprise security and employees.

Cybersecurity is an increasingly important discipline, particularly as the nature and scale of cyberattacks continue to grow and complexity of attacks increases. Many high profile attacks in recent years have been attacks on systems, data, and processes that are critical to an organization’s operations or its business model. The impact of these attacks include cybercriminal activity such as online extortion, data loss, lost productivity, and business disruption.

What are the Primary Cyber Attack Types?

Cyber attack types can be categorized according to their specific goals, method and the types of vulnerabilities or weaknesses that are exploited by the attacker. Attacks may include malicious data exfiltration, denial of service attacks, ransomware, man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing, directory traversal, web scraping, unauthenticated penetration testing, bandwidth flooding, information leakage and remote code execution.

Authentication attacks are aimed at either a specific system or application or at the operational integrity and availability of services within an application and target the identity and access management process by tricking users into entering or disclosing sensitive login or credential information. 

Layer 7 network attacks target application level vulnerabilities by exploiting resources or denial of service vulnerabilities, manipulating application data or modifying applications. Account hijacking or OS manipulation attacks target the operating system (OS), making changes in the underlying security of the OS, which ultimately leads to the compromise of the entire system and potentially the entire network.

Off-the-shelf software programs and websites are often used to commit cybercrimes. Popular forms of cybercrimes include malicious websites and emails; botnets; spear phishing attacks; banking and credit card fraud; and phishing. These forms of attacks are often delivered via email or mobile messaging apps that also target end-user devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets are also common cyber-criminal attack vectors.

What are the Different Types of Cybersecurity Frameworks?

Cybersecurity is a broad and increasingly interdisciplinary area that spans all of computing and information systems. Implementation and assessment of cybersecurity programs can require rigorous testing and assessment of a number of components, including technologies and practices. 

The goal of technical cybersecurity frameworks is to help organizations identify, assess, and improve cybersecurity practices and procedures for businesses and governmental entities. The three types of major cyber security frameworks include control frameworks, program frameworks and risk frameworks. 

Control frameworks establish baseline controls, make technical capability assessments, prioritize controls, and create security implementation roadmaps. Program frameworks assess security program readiness, help build security programs, measure maturity, conduct industry analysis and simplify organizational communications. 

Finally, risk frameworks help cybersecurity professionals manage their program for the benefit of organizational stakeholders, determine IT security priorities, and identify, measure, and quantify risk.

What is the NIST Cybersecurity Framework?

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) provides a methodology for exploring cybersecurity risk, analyzing best practices, and applying advanced technologies to improve cybersecurity. 

The CSF focuses on best practices that can be applied across a wide range of IT security solutions throughout the cyber security lifecycle.The guidelines help prepare organizations for implementing cyber security best practices and them to make sure they are prepared for attacks. 

CSF guidelines for managing IT security include implementing best practices for data security, communication security, endpoint and application security, software and system management, network monitoring and management, business continuity planning and mitigation, and vulnerability management. It also includes best practices for improving cybersecurity overall, including mitigating the impact of cybersecurity risk and threat management.

Highlighting the Benefits of the NIST CSF

  1. Long-term cybersecurity and risk management
  2. Applicable across supply chains and third-parties 
  3. Covers technical and business risks
  4. Flexible and customizable 
  5. Built for governance and compliance

Looking for a Cybersecurity Solution?

What is a Cyber Security Maturity Model?

Cyber security maturity models provide an approach for assessing how effectively a business and its IT infrastructure are designed to protect the organization against attacks. The models help organizations better understand how to help ensure good IT cybersecurity hygiene—a set of steps, processes, and infrastructure required to create a cybersecurity environment that protects data and protects networks from intruders.

A cyber security maturity model assesses the readiness of an organization to implement and manage cybersecurity practices to protect its key assets against both deliberate and unintentional cyber attacks.

The maturity model covers the following domains:

  • Risk management
  • Asset, change and configuration management
  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • Threat and vulnerability management 
  • Situational awareness
  • Information sharing and communications
  • Event and incident response
  • Operational continuity 
  • Supply chain and external dependencies management
  • Workforce management and cyber security program management.

Key cyber security maturity model concepts to consider include IT infrastructure – everything the business uses to operate its business such as email servers and firewalls, device security and communications infrastructure. Sensitive data on systems that include confidential and proprietary business information, or cybersecurity risk must be considered. And finally, information security policies and procedures. They are designed to protect systems from unauthorized access, loss, and exposure and guide the development and maintenance of a framework and approach to business practices that secure critical systems.

What is the Cyber Security Kill Chain?

Understanding attack vectors and vulnerabilities is the first step in stopping them. In cyber security, the Cyber “Kill Chain” represents the stages of an attack. Kill Chain is also a term used to describe a process of identifying threats or vulnerabilities to be eliminated before an attacker is able to exploit them.

Cyber Kill Chains also describe the sequence of events that take place after a critical event and are an important indicator of the level of threat or level of awareness within a particular organization, as known as an organization’s security posture. By analyzing kill chains, organizations can focus on what cyber attacks that can be protected against and prevented. Understanding the “Kill Chain” also refers to the layers and layers of security that can be applied in the cyber security process that help organizations understand an attacker’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). 

Cyber Kill Chains establish a framework for preventing threats from entering your system. As new threats are found, they are added to the kill chain. This process is called workflow management, and ensures that organizations are always protected.

Cyber Security Best Practices

Understanding cyber security is only the first step in developing best practices and identifying those practices that are most effective and effective in mitigating threats.Security best practices help organizations address cyber threats and are intended to provide a framework for addressing emerging threats where each practice has its own unique set of challenges. Guidelines and frameworks such as the NIST CSF should also be adopted to address the needs of the most critical and complex threats.

Making cybersecurity a top priority ensures that your organization maintains a sufficient defense against the latest attacks and remains prepared to address any malicious cyber activity. Even a small cyber attack could impact your business in significant ways.
Best practices include:

  • Establishing an incident response plan in case of a cyber attack or data breach.
  • Avoiding weak passwords for sensitive accounts, and limiting administrative access for small  groups while securing all endpoints.
  • Ensuring that your organization maintains a posture of improving cybersecurity each year by training employees on best practices and ensuring that all major vendors and service providers are using a common set of best practices.
  • Utilizing multiple levels of management and security controls in an effort to secure the entire organization.
  • Being aware of emerging threats, which can impact your organization. It is important that all employees, regardless of rank, be familiar with current threats, vulnerabilities, and known methods of attack.

What is a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?

A cybersecurity risk assessment is a process used to identify potential threats to an organization’s business. The goal of the assessment is to identify gaps in organizational risk management, identify areas of lack of understanding and control, and to identify emerging threats. Once a vulnerability is identified, the security team attempts to mitigate the risk.

A cybersecurity risk assessment is part of the perimeter security assessment process, and the process uses applicable, proven best practices to mitigate any threats. Once the perimeter security assessment is completed, it is sent to the policy and program team for implementation. Other forms of processes, such as data breach notification and information security management, are additional steps that are included in a formal process as part of the holistic approach to managing cybersecurity risks and mitigating them. 

Each step in the process should be implemented in a logical order, consistent with technical standards. As a result of the risk assessment process, best practices can be developed to help organizations achieve cyber security compliance and become more secure. Ensuring that best practices are employed within an organization’s chain of command is also important, as well as establishing standards to guide the process. The use of a single, consistent method to assess organizations is important to ensure a coordinated approach. It also leads to a holistic approach to tackling cybersecurity risks.

What Perimeter 81 Offers Your Organization

Perimeter 81 is transforming the world of cybersecurity and secure network access and helping businesses of all industries and sizes securely move to the cloud and empower their modern, mobile workforce. Our knowledgeable and experienced team comes together every day to deliver a truly innovative SaaS service and create a one-stop-shop for cybersecurity offerings.

Unified Network Platform
One cloud-based platform capable of access management, monitoring, permissioning, and other IT necessities.

Multi-Tenant Cloud
Divide the network into segments according to your security policies. Segregation protects network resources.

Easy to Use Clients
Support for 2FA and single sign-on across mobile devices using iOS and Android, PC and Mac desktops and the web.

Zero Trust Access
Requiring both user and device authentication, this multilayered model hinges security on users, not perimeters.

Security on All Devices
BYOD policies multiply the number and variety of devices connecting to your network.

Looking for a Cybersecurity Solution?

Simplify your network security today.