Cybersecurity Consulting

Defining Cybersecurity: Here’s Why It Matters

Cybersecurity is an important issue that has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, and the buzz shows no signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, many people still don’t realize just how big of a concern cybersecurity should be, and that it’s something that should matter to them. 

The numbers don’t lie: Over the last five years the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported $10.2 billion in total victim losses due to cybersecurity intrusions. On top of that, evolving technology within the Internet of Things (IoT) and the products and services designed to protect it is exploding. In fact, the global cybersecurity market is expected to grow to $270 billion by 2026.

Before those numbers can truly make sense, though, we have to understand what exactly “cybersecurity” means. Only then can we comprehend why it should be so important to each and every one of us.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is an important issue that has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, and the buzz shows no signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, many people still don’t realize just how big of a concern cybersecurity should be, and that it’s something that should matter to them. 

The numbers don’t lie: Over the last five years the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported $10.2 billion in total victim losses due to cybersecurity intrusions. On top of that, evolving technology within the Internet of Things (IoT) and the products and services designed to protect it is exploding. In fact, the global cybersecurity market is expected to grow to $270 billion by 2026.

Before those numbers can truly make sense, though, we have to understand what exactly “cybersecurity” means. Only then can we comprehend why it should be so important to each and every one of us.

The C.I.A. Triad in Action

A classic definition of cybersecurity — and the one that might be the easiest to remember and is definitely the most relatable — is the C.I.A. triad, an acronym for:

  • Confidentiality: Make sure that when you interact with other people digitally, you have only the people you want to be involved
  • Integrity: Nobody who isn’t the intended party can modify your information without permission
  • Availability: You can’t be denied the ability to interact with others or access your data

Here’s an example of the C.I.A. triad being respected:

Let’s say you’ve created a document using a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox that you want to share with a couple of your friends. After creating the document, you add your friend Mike as an “editor” and your friend Ashley as a “viewer.”

Now only you, Mike, and Ashley are able to open the document because it was shared with them via a link that only their accounts can open. That’s the “C” of the triad, or Confidentiality.

Only you and Mike can modify the document because you did not give Ashley editing privileges. That’s Integrity. Lastly, Mike, Ashley, or the cloud service cannot use their privileges to remove your access to the document (Availability).

The C.I.A. triad boils down to you being in full control of who accesses your digital data or assets. 

My Personal Definition and Commitment

You’re probably getting a better idea of what I meant when I mentioned varying definitions. While all of these definitions are accurate, I’ve created my own — one that encompasses what I strive to do for my clients as your Cyber Consultant. My definition of cybersecurity is “the measures individuals and organizations take to protect themselves, their personally identifiable information, and their digital, physical, and financial assets from unauthorized use, damage, or exploitation.”

Simply put, cybersecurity is the thing we do — and what I do on your behalf — to protect ourselves and our assets in digital spaces.

Navigating cybersecurity is much more complex than installing a piece of software and assuming you’ll be safe forever. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cybersecurity equivalent to a house alarm, especially with the rise of increasingly sophisticated social engineering attacks that use manipulation to trick people into becoming cybercrime victims. Just as the definition is evolving, so are the criminals’ techniques, and the know-how to foil them.

Here’s Why Cybersecurity Matters

Cybersecurity is more important than ever. Not only does it represent a multimillion-dollar issue for businesses and the FBI, but it also offers immense opportunities for those who understand how to protect themselves and their online lives. Cybersecurity is important because it protects our data, our systems, our personal information, and our businesses. Cybersecurity is important because it protects our data, our systems, and our identities. Cyberattacks can result in the theft and loss of money, data, or our individual identities. They can also disrupt business operations and damage relationships. 

No matter how you define cybersecurity, today it is essential that we all take the time to learn about it and ensure that we are protecting ourselves and our loved ones. As your Cyber Consultant, I can do both — educate you and your family about cybersecurity issues and help to decrease your chances of becoming a victim of cyberthieves.