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Cyber-security is the practice of protecting computer systems and networks from hacking, data breaches, malware and other security threats. Cyber-security professionals work to identify and mitigate these risks for businesses, industries, governments and individuals. They also help to create plans for resuming business operations after an attack and to continually improve security measures.

Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to attack and steal data, and it’s important to have a multilayered defense that includes cybersecurity tools like encryption, strong passwords and firewalls. Cybersecurity training helps staff recognize and report suspicious activity. The cybersecurity field is growing, and there are many classes, programs and certifications to choose from.

Some cybersecurity tools are designed to detect and block cyberattacks as they happen, while others provide prevention and detection services before an attack occurs. Some of these tools are able to detect malware, viruses and other malicious code that can contaminate a system or steal sensitive information. Some tools are able to detect unauthorized users, while others can monitor and protect critical infrastructure from attacks on the systems that control transportation, energy production, financial services and other vital functions.

Other areas of cybersecurity include endpoint protection (servers, desktops and laptops), which prevents unauthorized access to data by hackers using flaws in software applications. Another area is security by design, which aims to make it more difficult for attackers by designing and building secure systems from the ground up, with security as an integral feature.