It is an undeniable fact that over the last decades Information Technology (IT) has made great progress and the Internet is now an integral part of our lives. However, despite the significant advantages, there are major drawbacks involved as well. In fact, the more technology is growing, the more sophisticated online threats are appearing. Additionally, as information is nowadays stored, processed and shared in a digital form, protecting our electronic devices and all the electronically stored information seems vital.
Various ways exist to avoid the potential threats which are generally referred to as cybersecurity. But what exactly does cybersecurity mean? Experts state that cybersecurity is a subcategory of information security and according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary cybersecurity is defined as measures taken to protect a computer or computer system against unauthorized access or attack(Merriam-Webster, n.d.). Furthermore, cybersecurity is related to adopted and various actions and safety measures that are to defend information systems and to preserve the unauthorised users access and attack, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data (Bettina Jakobsen[Member of European Court of Auditors] et al., 2019, p. 6, p. 57).
Individuals face different cyber threats than businesses or organisations. A common experience that individuals encounter is, their social media accounts been hacked or personal information retrieved while people’s identities stolen (more practical examples are presented in Unit 2). Thus, new European Union (EU) regulations and laws came into force with the aim to protect personal data, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016 , while organisations are obliged to implement these regulations, otherwise they can receive fines. These laws are important steps towards protection and control of personal data, respecting the individuals’ fundamental rights in the digital age guiding organisations on and how they are allowed to process them.
Module 4 will give you a thorough overview of the most common cyber threats. Moreover, it will help you to recognise threats or fraudulent activity and how to defend against them.