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Cyber-security covers a broad range of activities and solutions designed to safeguard computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from attacks or misuse. It includes preventing cyberattacks by installing anti-malware software, firewalls, secure Wi-Fi access and strong password protection, as well as encryption to keep sensitive information safe. For businesses, cybersecurity is all about maintaining compliance with industry regulations and reducing the risk of costly data breaches.

Consumers also need cyber security to help protect their personal information and connected devices from hackers. The proliferation of hacks, ransomware, malware, and identity theft has led many experts to warn that cyber attacks are now the greatest threat to national security — even ahead of terrorism.

The goal of most attackers is to gain access to your system and steal or copy data. They may be motivated by the desire to sell that data, use it for other illegal purposes, or simply make a lot of noise (e.g. DDOS attacks).

Maintaining effective cyber defenses against the ever-changing threat landscape is challenging for most organizations. Traditional reactive approaches, in which most resources are focused on protecting against the most known threats, are no longer adequate. Taking a proactive approach, including ongoing risk assessments and regular updates to systems, improves an organization’s ability to quickly identify and respond to new risks. Additionally, educating end users about best practices – such as not downloading suspicious email attachments or plugging in unidentified USB drives – reduces the likelihood of an attack by teaching people what not to do.