Cybersecurity: Definition, Threats & More

Cybersecurity Vpnetic
Written by: Per-Erik Eriksson

New technology comes with greater risk and fresh vulnerabilities, which means that hackers are constantly finding new ways to carry out cyberattacks on the latest technology trends. To make matters worse, modern-day technology has made it easier for hackers to infiltrate and access private data.

According to Statista’s Forecast, the global cybersecurity market is expected to grow to 345.4 billion U.S. by the year 2026. The increasing number of cyber threats is the major reason behind the exponential growth of the cybersecurity market.  


Cybersecurity is defined as the protection of computer systems and networks from information disclosure, theft, or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.

Cybersecurity — Explained 

Cybersecurity refers to any measure that protects computers, computer networks, programs, and data from attack or damage by hackers, cybercriminals, and other threats. There are many aspects of cybersecurity such as firewalls, encryption, and antivirus software; we’ll explore how these all work together to keep you safe online. 

What is a Cyberattack?

A cyberattack stems from the use of malicious hardware, software, or techniques to disrupt or damage a system, often targeting computers and networks. Typically, if someone were to hack an individual working inside or outside an organization, then hackers might use social engineering techniques to compromise their victim.

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics, but many are foiled by encryption, which scrambles data so that it can only be decrypted with the correct key. This helps keep sensitive information safe by making it impossible for intruders to access it, even if they find their way onto your device.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

There are a variety of cybersecurity threats that organizations and individuals face on a daily basis. Following are a few common types of cybersecurity threats & attacks:

DDoS Attacks

One of the most common types of cyberattacks is denial-of-service attacks. These are designed to make a network or service unusable for everyone by flooding it with too many requests. A DDoS attack typically involves targeting a single victim, though it can be targeted at multiple machines. There are many motives for carrying out a DDoS attack, including political ones.

Denial of service attacks come in two forms: application layer and network layer. Network layer DDoS attacks will flood your network connection’s bandwidth with traffic until it is unavailable to make any connections or send data packets to other networks. Application-level DDoS attacks target specific service ports on the victim’s machine and continue requesting access until the targeted port is unusable for all connections.


Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts or scrambles your files, then asks for payment in exchange for the encryption key. In other words, it’s a type of cyber threat where an attacker tries to get you to pay a ransom in order to unlock access to your own data. One way that ransomware spreads are by people clicking on links in spam emails, even if they’re from people they know and trust. 

If you ever receive a message from someone asking for money to “unlock” your account, forward the message to authorities, so they can warn others about the scam. Ransomware can be delivered through different mediums, such as an email or through a corrupted attachment.


Malware consists of several types of malware, including viruses, spyware, adware, ransomware, and more. Malware can be installed on your system when you visit websites or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.

When you have malware on your device, your data is at risk of being stolen, corrupted, or damaged. It also means that every time you turn on your computer, it’s running slower and could even crash completely.

Social Engineering

Social engineering, or social hacking, is a form of hacking where the offender manipulates people to break security policies and give sensitive information such as passwords. Social engineering relies on human nature to trick people into revealing information they would otherwise keep secret.

These tactics can appear as phishing emails, phone calls claiming to be someone else, or online scams carried out on a massive level.

Zero-Day Exploits

Zero-day exploits use vulnerabilities in existing programs, systems, or networks that have not been discovered yet. Hackers often wait until these flaws have been publicly announced, then use them to attack a system that hasn’t been protected yet.

It can take a long time for software developers to discover these vulnerabilities and create patches. Zero-day exploits allow cybercriminals to exploit systems before anyone else knows about the vulnerability.

Basic Components of Cybersecurity

There are a number of components involved in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is often seen as a three-legged stool, consisting of:

  • Firewalls
  • Encryption
  • Antivirus Software


Firewalls are a vital part of any cybersecurity defense strategy. A firewall is a piece of hardware used to control what traffic flows into and out of a network. Firewalls work by establishing a barrier between the internet and your computer so that any traffic attempting to enter must go through rules set in place by the firewall. 


Encryption is another common tactic used to protect data from cybercriminals trying to steal it. This method uses complicated coding schemes with decryption keys that can only be unlocked with certain passwords or devices. Encrypted data can only be decrypted with the correct key. This ensures that data cannot be accessed by anyone who is not authorized to do so.


Another major step is to install some sort of antivirus software onto your device. An antivirus program will scan the files on your computer for viruses that could attempt to steal your personal information or damage your system. 


Cybersecurity involves all the practices to prevent all evolving threats. These threats can approach victims in various shapes. Cybersecurity education is extremely important in order to keep organizations and individuals secure from disastrous situations. 

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