Cyber Security is defined as the protection of computer devices from intrusion, damage or disruption to the services they provide or to the data they contain. With more and more devices able to access the internet, ensuring security and safety of use is a key concern, with costs to businesses expected to reach $2trn by 2019 . The rise of the ‘internet of things’ brings new opportunities to a rapidly changing sector, and many seek to take advantage of the disruptive potential in this technology through fair means or foul. To properly protect your networks, you need to know your enemy.

So what does cybersecurity look like?

The sector can be broken-down into a few different categories...

1.Application Security: During the software development process, it is crucial to ensure that steps are taken to identify and shore up the potential vulnerabilities in the product. This means that validation steps must be implemented in all key stages of the software development lifecycle including design, development and deployment, while any ongoing maintenance of the functionality should also be used as an opportunity to test for any weaknesses.

2.Disaster Recovery: If issues occur, either stemming from intrusion or unforeseen problems with the technology, procedures and fail-safes should be in place to minimise or mitigate any damage that may affect the system. These will ideally prevent data loss and corruption. At the very least they should allow those affected to identify the root cause of the problem and learn from it.

3.End-User Education: Once a piece of technology is in the hands of its intended user, a program should be enacted to help day-to-day users carry out their work without compromising the tool. Every end user should be aware of the key risks and how to prevent them.

4.Information Security: This focuses on stopping any unauthorised or unsanctioned access to the data on the system. It will ideally look to ensure the integrity of the data and prevent any disclosure, modification, unauthorised reviewing or deletion of data or content.

5.Operational Security: This process invites users to assess the information or data being held on the system and identify which information is critical, highlighting any threats, analyse, and review any vulnerabilities within the system. These would then be ranked and reviewed against the context of risk. Once the prioritised list is refined, appropriate countermeasures would then be put in place.

This may seem complicated, but any IT professional should be well equipped to identify any risks to your system (or systems). Make no mistake, cyber-terrorism is on the rise, and cybercrimes are becoming more and more sophisticated – just look at the recent spate of DDoS attacks, which even managed to take down Twitter .

With the IT Sector constantly changing and growing, it has never been easier to capitalise on the proliferation of data available at the touch of a button. But the biggest opportunity the sector has ever seen is also its biggest challenge. When everything from your laptop, your phone, and even your pedometer containing more information about you private and professional life than ever before, making sure that you are up-to-date with best cyber security practice is more important than ever.

Read more about cybersecurity in this section.