What Is Cybersecurity

What Is Cybersecurity? An Overview

Vidhi Gupta
July 7th, 2024
4 Minutes

Cybersecurity refers to the practice and process of protecting programs, networks and systems from virtual attacks. Cyber attacks are often targeted at changing, destroying or accessing sensitive information. The goal can also be to extort money or interrupt business processes. The increasing interconnectivity has led to an increased need for cybersecurity.

The space of cybersecurity incorporates multiple fields. Some of the top ones are network security, operational security, information security and application security. Network security protects the infrastructure by stopping misuse, modification, improper disclosure, unauthorized access or malfunction. Operational security comprises decisions and processes to protect and handle data assets. Information security safeguards the integrity of data in transit and storage. Application security includes steps taken during the app's lifecycle to protect it against attackers.

This blog is a composition of a crisp introduction to cyber security. It comprises an overview of ‘what is cyber security', its history, importance, types and future trends. It also covers how to start a career in cyber security, along with their average salary.

What Is Cybersecurity? An Overview

Cyber security pertains to a practice initiated to protect networks, data and systems from all sorts of digital attacks. These attacks are often done with the goal of altering, destroying or stealing sensitive information, disrupting operations or extorting money. Key aspects of cyber security incorporate network security, application security and information security.

The field of cyber security is evolving rapidly and without any signs of stopping. It is driven by plenty of technological advancements, along with the ingenuity of cybercriminals. Top expanding technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things bring forth new vulnerabilities and problems. Consequently, these professionals have to update their skills and knowledge continually to stay alert and aware of potential threats.

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History of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity's history goes back to the 1960s. It is around this time that researchers at Bell Labs, MIT and many other institutions commenced developing the very first computers as well as networks. Cybersecurity's concept appeared along with ARPANET, which is the precursor to the internet. It faced the first ever known attack in 1971, which was executed by the Creeper, a program crafted to test all security vulnerabilities.

Personal computers became more common during the 1980s, which increased the appearance of malicious software and viruses. Robert Tappan Morris created The Morris Worm of 1988. It was an event of high significance that infected around 10% of the total internet. It highlighted the imperativeness around adopting better network security measures.

The World Wide Web rose to fame in the 1990s. It brought an increase in the number of cyber threats with it. These included hacking, more sophisticated viruses and email scams. To battle these threats, firewalls and antivirus software became the standard and most commonly used security tools.

Cybercrime witnessed a significant increase in the 2000s. Many high-profile breaches came into the limelight that affected governments, individuals and corporations. Many notable incidents took place during this time including the Stuxnet worm in 2010 and the attacks on Estonia in 2007. Both these were targeted towards Iran's nuclear facilities.

Today, however, cyber security has grown into a significant field that addresses complex threats. It has spread its roots and wings to tackle phishing, state-sponsored cyber attacks and ransomware. Plenty of ongoing advancements in technology has led to better strategies. The goal of each of these is to protect an organization against the continuously evolving digital dangers.

Cyber Security Goals

Cybersecurity has three main goals to tend to. These are generally referred to as the CIA triad. The C stands for Confidentiality, the I stands for Integrity and the A stands for Availability. These are the foundational principles that guide the entire development and implementation of all key security measures taken to safeguard systems and data from cyber threats.


Confidentiality is in charge of making sure that all the sensitive information is only accessible by authorized individuals. These measures encompass access controls, authentication protocols and encryption. Organizations maintain confidentiality to protect their private data from any unauthorized breaches and access. This is important to maintain compliance and trust with the regulatory requirements.


Integrity includes maintenance of completeness and accuracy of the data. This ensures that none of the information is corrupted, deleted or altered in any unauthorized manner. It includes various techniques such as digital signatures, version control and checksums.

These techniques are utilized for verifying data integrity. Protecting integrity is extremely important. It ensures that the data remains trustworthy and reliable. Both these factors are imperative for medical records, financial transactions and other related critical information.


Availability is a key goal that makes sure that systems and data are readily available to be accessed by authorized users whenever needed. This goal includes highlighting and utilizing various measures to ensure protection against disruptions. Some common challenges are hardware failures, natural disasters and cyberattacks.

Strategies that are most commonly implemented to maintain availability include regular backups, disaster recovery plans and high availability systems. It is vital for operational efficiency and business continuity to ensure availability at all times.

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Types of Cyber Attackers

Cyber attackers are never limited to a single type. In fact, they come in different forms. Each has their own set of methods, targets and motives. It is very important to understand the types of cyber attackers to develop an effective cyber security strategy. The primary categories of cyber attackers are-


This is a broad category that groups or individuals having varying intentions and skills. Hackers are of different kinds. The most common ones are white hat, black hat and gray hat.

White hats are ethical hackers who intend to only test and enhance a company's security. Black hat hackers are malicious hackers who are there to exploit the organization's vulnerabilities for personal gain. Then there are gray hat hackers who lie somewhere between these two and perform both ethical and malicious activities.


Cybercriminals are attackers who are mainly motivated by the idea of financial gain. These attackers engage in different activities to fulfill this purpose. The common activities are credit card fraud, identity theft, phishing schemes and ransomware attacks. They are generally ones who work in an organized crime group. They may also employ more sophisticated tactics and tools to achieve their goals.


Hacktivists are cyber attackers who employ hacking as a means to promote social, ideological or political agendas. They usually attack corporations, organizations or government websites that they deem unethical. Some of the common methods they employ include data leaks, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and website defacements.

Insider Threats

threats are the ones that come from within an organization. These can be from either contractors, business partners or even current or former employees. There are many reasons why insiders attack. Some common reasons are financial gain, negligence or malice. They hold the advantage of having authorized access to various data and systems. Hence, their actions cause potentially more damage to the organization.

Final Word

Hackers and cybercriminals are becoming a major issue in this modern industry. Cyber threats are increasing continuously, hence organizations require a system that can protect them. Its rapid advancements show the need for robust security models. Cyber Security comes as a suite of practices and processes that ensures the safety of different networks, systems and applications.

This technology works on three main goals, which are confidentiality, integrity and availability. This trio is the basic principle of the system to ensure that it is safeguarded from malicious activities. On the other side the attackers are never limited to a single type and come in several different faces.

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