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Digital security is the practice of safeguarding computers, networks, software and data against cyberattacks. This involves a variety of methods, including firewalls, multi-factor authentication, antivirus and virtual private network software. It also includes simple things like not sharing passwords and using strong, unique passwords for each website, checking that websites have a secure certificate before you enter sensitive information and using two-factor authentication on your cell phone.

The cybersecurity world has evolved from just protecting the data on a computer to defending physical infrastructure, aircraft and even human lives. This has led to new terms and concepts, such as cyberwarfare and the United States Cyber Command. Defending against attackers, who can operate anonymously through proxies, temporary anonymous dial-up accounts or wireless connections, and can delete logs to cover their tracks, is a complex process — one that law enforcement officers often lack the time or resources to pursue.

Businesses often use cloud backup services, referred to as back-up-as-a-service (BaaS) to protect their data from unintended loss or deletion. Many businesses now encrypt their emails to prevent hackers from reading their communications and using them for malicious purposes. They may also employ zero trust protocols that verify device and system transactions as trustworthy – including those of employees’ personal devices. These tools include a combination of access authorization systems that control permissions and password management, as well as behavioral analysis systems to distinguish friend from foe. These help detect patterns that attackers might try to emulate, such as logging in from the airport at 2 AM on a Saturday.