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Cybersecurity is a field of information technology that protects networks, software, data and information systems against cyber attacks. It encompasses activities such as detecting threats, blocking access, identifying distrustful files and disabling compromised accounts. Robust cybersecurity can help organizations maintain business operations while minimizing risk and disruption.

Cyber attacks are a threat to every organization. They can steal sensitive data from businesses, government agencies and institutions that provide services to the public. They can damage a brand’s reputation, and lead to loss of customers and revenue. A single security breach can cost an organization millions of dollars. The importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated, especially in today’s interconnected world.

The world’s reliance on computers and information technology has increased the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks. Sources estimate that one cyberattack occurs every 11 seconds — double the rate in 2019 and four times the rate in 2016.

A strong cybersecurity team is necessary to protect the integrity of an organization’s assets, such as financial records, proprietary software and customer data. Cyberattacks can be caused by hackers acting as individuals or on behalf of organized crime groups, terrorist cells or foreign governments.

As a result, cyber security specialists need to have a broad range of skills and knowledge. They must understand and communicate with other IT professionals to ensure systems are designed in a way that will make it difficult for attackers to penetrate. They must also be able to think strategically and create plans that will limit the amount of damage caused by an attack.