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What is Cybersecurity? Best Practices to Protect Your Network



Heloise Montini is a content writer whose background in journalism make her an asset when researching and writing tech content. Also, her personal aspirations in creative writing and PC gaming make her articles on data storage and data recovery accessible for a wide audience.

What is Cybersecurity? Best Practices to Protect Your Network


Heloise Montini is a content writer whose background in journalism make her an asset when researching and writing tech content. Also, her personal aspirations in creative writing and PC gaming make her articles on data storage and data recovery accessible for a wide audience.

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Cybersecurity plays a crucial role in ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information in the digital realm. The global cyber threat continues to evolve rapidly, with an increasing number of data breaches each year.

A report by IBM revealed that the global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was USD 4.45 million.

Governments worldwide are responding to this rising threat with comprehensive frameworks and guidance. In the U.S., the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a cybersecurity framework, emphasizing continuous, real-time monitoring of electronic resources. Similarly, entities like the U.K. government’s National Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Cyber Security Centre provide regular guidance on countering the latest cybersecurity threats.

This comprehensive guide aims to unravel the intricacies of cybersecurity, covering its definition, risks associated, and practical steps to enhance your digital defence.

What is cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use. It is also commonly known as information technology security or electronic information security.

The scope of cybersecurity is vast, encompassing various categories, each addressing specific aspects of digital defence.

Network Security

Network security focuses on securing computer networks from intruders, whether they are targeted attackers or opportunistic malware.

Its goal is to prevent unauthorized access and detect and halt cyberattacks, ensuring that legitimate users have secure access to network resources.

Application Security

Application security is dedicated to keeping software and devices free from threats. It recognizes that a compromised application can provide unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Successful application security begins in the design stage, emphasizing the importance of a secure foundation before deployment.

Information Security

Information security is the guardian of data integrity and privacy, both in storage and in transit. It extends its protective measures to digital files, physical documents, and even human speech.

The overarching goal is to thwart unauthorized access, disclosure, use, or alteration of critical information.

Operational Security

Operational security involves the processes and decisions surrounding the handling and protection of data assets.

This includes defining user permissions, establishing procedures for data storage and sharing, and ensuring the overall integrity of data assets.

Endpoint Security

End-user protection, also known as endpoint security, stands as a crucial aspect of cybersecurity. Recognizing that people can be the most unpredictable cybersecurity factor, end-user education addresses the role individuals play in maintaining digital security.

Security programs, equipped with heuristic and behavioural analysis, aim to detect, quarantine, and remove malicious code, ensuring the overall security of individual devices.

How to improve cybersecurity

By integrating the right measures into your cybersecurity strategy, you can significantly improve your defences against cyber threats and contribute to a more secure digital environment.

Disaster recovery and business continuity

While not cybersecurity technologies per se, disaster recovery and business continuity plans are integral to maintaining operations in the event of a cyberattack. These plans dictate how an organization responds and restores operations, ensuring continuity even in the face of adversity.

Recognize the risks

Understand the various risks associated with cybersecurity, including threats from hackers, malicious code (malware), and vulnerabilities in software, firmware, or hardware.

Stay informed and educated

Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity tips and guidelines. Refer to resources from cybersecurity authorities to keep updated on emerging threats and attack vectors, and for ongoing education.

For instance, follow the recommendations of organizations like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Understand vulnerabilities

Be aware of vulnerabilities in software, firmware, or hardware that can be exploited by attackers. Regularly update and patch systems to address these vulnerabilities to prevent cyber threats that exploit vulnerabilities to gain access.

Advantages of hiring a cybersecurity service

Many organizations are turning to professional cybersecurity services to fortify their digital defences and ensure the protection of networks and systems.

Here are the top three advantages of hiring cybersecurity services to improve your solutions:

Proactive threat detection and prevention

By leveraging advanced technologies, cybersecurity experts can deploy intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and real-time monitoring tools to identify suspicious activities and potential breaches. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of data loss or unauthorized access, ensuring the integrity of your digital assets.

Tailored security strategies

A cybersecurity service provider conducts thorough assessments of an organization’s existing infrastructure, identifies potential risks, and designs customized security strategies. This ensures that the security measures put in place are precisely tailored to address the organization’s unique challenges and digital architecture.

Expertise and continuous monitoring:

Cyber threats are dynamic and ever-evolving. Organizations need cybersecurity experts who are well-versed in the latest attack vectors, vulnerabilities, and defence mechanisms to counter these threats effectively.

Cybersecurity services bring in-depth expertise and experience to the table. Dedicated cybersecurity professionals stay abreast of the latest threats, ensuring that security measures are continually updated to mitigate new risks.

Why SalvageData

Our cybersecurity services are backed by a team of experts who understand the nuances of evolving cyber threats.

SalvageData not only understands the intricacies of cybersecurity but also specializes in creating personalized data recovery plans. This ensures that, in the face of a cyber incident, organizations have a tailored approach to recovering critical data swiftly and effectively.

Cybersecurity best practices

By applying cybersecurity best practices, businesses and individuals can ensure their data is protected and minimize the risk of a successful cyberattack.

Keep software updated

Regularly update operating systems, applications, and software to patch known vulnerabilities.

Run antivirus software

Install reputable antivirus software and keep it up to date with the latest virus definitions. Make sure to schedule regular scans to detect and remove malware from your systems.

Use strong passwords

Create complex, unique passwords for different accounts and devices. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and avoid easily guessable information like birthdays.

Implement multifactor authentication (MFA):

MFA ensures that even if an attacker obtains login credentials, they would still need additional verification, enhancing overall protection.

Install and configure firewalls

Properly configure firewalls to block unauthorized access and protect against various cyber threats.

Educate end users:

Conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training for end users. Teach them about potential threats, the importance of strong passwords, and how to recognize phishing attempts. The human factor is a critical aspect of cybersecurity.

Develop and test disaster recovery plans

Create a comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place. Regularly test these plans to ensure a swift and effective response in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

Endpoint security measures

Prioritize endpoint security by using cryptographic protocols to encrypt sensitive data. Implement real-time malware detection to identify and remove threats promptly.

Regularly review and update cybersecurity strategy:

Cyber threats are dynamic, so regularly review and update your cybersecurity strategy. Stay proactive in addressing emerging threats and adjusting security measures accordingly.

Risks of poor cybersecurity

Failing to prioritize cybersecurity exposes individuals and organizations to a myriad of risks, some with severe consequences.

Data breaches and unauthorized access

Poor cybersecurity leaves digital gates open, allowing malicious actors to breach systems and gain unauthorized access to sensitive data.


Personal and financial information may be exploited for identity theft or financial fraud. Businesses risk the exposure of customer data, leading to legal consequences, reputation damage, and loss of customer trust. Unauthorized access can also result in intellectual property theft, impacting a company’s competitive edge.

Malware and disruption of operations

Poor cybersecurity practices increase the likelihood of falling victim to malware, encompassing viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.


Malware can render systems inoperable, leading to downtime and financial losses. Ransomware attacks, a subset of malware, can encrypt critical data, demanding payment for its release. The failure to address malware promptly can result in permanent data loss, undermining the continuity of operations.

Financial loss and legal ramifications

Inadequate cybersecurity measures expose individuals and organizations to financial losses stemming from data breaches, business disruptions, and the costs associated with remediation efforts.


Organizations may face financial penalties for failing to protect sensitive data, especially in regulated industries.

The costs of investigating and remediating cybersecurity incidents, coupled with potential legal actions from affected parties, contribute to substantial financial burdens.

Reputation damage and loss of trust

A breach of cybersecurity erodes the trust of customers, clients, and stakeholders. The revelation of a security lapse tarnishes an organization’s reputation, impacting its standing in the industry and the eyes of the public.


Reputation damage is often irreparable and can lead to the loss of customers and business partners. Trust, once lost, is challenging to regain. Public perception plays a crucial role in an organization’s success, and poor cybersecurity practices can result in long-lasting negative consequences.

Operational disruptions and business continuity challenges

Cybersecurity incidents, such as ransomware attacks or widespread malware infections, can disrupt normal business operations. This can lead to a cascading effect, affecting supply chains, customer service, and overall business continuity.


Operational disruptions can result in financial losses and damage an organization’s competitive position. The inability to fulfill customer needs, meet contractual obligations, or maintain regular business functions can have long-term repercussions on an organization’s viability.

Regulatory and legal actions

Various industries are subject to stringent data protection and cybersecurity regulations and laws. Poor cybersecurity practices can lead to non-compliance, attracting legal actions and penalties from regulatory authorities.


Legal consequences may include hefty fines, sanctions, and mandatory corrective actions. Non-compliance can tarnish an organization’s standing within its industry and undermine its ability to operate within regulatory frameworks.