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Cyber-security is the set of technologies and practices that keep computer systems and electronic data safe. Government, military, corporate, medical and retail organizations all generate and store staggering amounts of sensitive information on computers and other devices that can be vulnerable to unauthorized access or exposure. This information may include intellectual property, financial data, personal information and other types of information for which unauthorized access can have serious negative consequences.

In addition to building defenses against attacks, leading cybersecurity professionals also understand that the best defensive measures involve educating employees about basic security principles. Human error is one of the biggest threats to cybersecurity, as demonstrated by the numerous hacks and breaches that have made headline news in recent years.

Educating employees to avoid clicking on suspicious email attachments, using unsecure USB devices and other common security risks can significantly reduce the risk of a cyber attack. In addition, building and testing disaster recovery and business continuity plans can ensure that critical operations are able to continue even in the event of an attack or other disruption.

For the most severe attacks, cybersecurity professionals must implement a wide range of technology to protect their systems. These tools include firewalls, malware detection and removal, network scanning and monitoring systems, and more. More advanced cyber defenses include encryption and secure backups that ensure sensitive data is kept private even if compromised.