Security engineers learn cybersecurity predominantly to help their clients in two ways- setting up their security infrastructure or improving the same. With advancements in technology pacing up every day, improvements in cybersecurity are gaining stronger ground. It is essential to note here that the emphasis is on improvement since all established companies with a website and a plan to drive online traffic, have a security solution in place. This has not only made them considerably safer but has also made cybersecurity for beginners much easier. Although the students learn how to create the entire environment for all the new companies entering the race, some of the best cybersecurity courses, both online and offline, are also paying close attention to the inclusion of improvement strategies into their curriculum. This is of special significance since the periphery of knowledge has become wider than ever, especially for those with an innate knack for cybersecurity.
Ways to improve Cybersecurity
A career in cybersecurity is that of profit since the demand for security engineers is increasing with the introduction of new technology. However, the job does not get much easier due to the rapid rise in complexities of the role.
Nonetheless, a little respite can be found if a cybersecurity official asks the right questions and knows the basic hacks. These might not safeguard the company against bigger attacks but will work to improve the cybersecurity practices of the organization.
1. Computers should be kept updated
One of the simplest solutions to handle cyber-attack issues is to keep the systems updates. The upgraded version of the Operating Systems, be it Android, Linux, Windows, or Mac, always have the latest security packages as compared to their previous versions. Although not enough to keep a massive data leak at bay, their inherent protection software can ward off small breaches effectively. Hence, when the security engineers do not have to worry about trivial attacks, they can concentrate on the major ones.
2. More employee screening procedures
Employee screening procedures should ensure one main factor before recruiting an individual- their integrity. Irrespective of the candidate’s capability, they should be rejected if they do not show signs of integrity. The hiring team in a company must devise ways to screen candidates accordingly, maintaining a fair system of recruitment. Honest employees do not threaten their company in terms of security, and that is a good place to start if the management does not want unnecessary data breach issues.
3. Using strong passwords on all systems
More often than not, people tend to take strong password notifications lightly. In reality, a lot of inconveniences can be avoided if stronger passwords are used. A strong password contains a combination of upper case and lower case alphabets, one or more digits, and at least one special character. And the password must also be something that cannot be guessed easily by someone else. This safeguards the user against most small-scale and mediocre hackers, removing two-thirds of the threat.
4. Creating and storing backups
An organization needs to have backups of its data. The storage area for the backups should be completely different and be subject to premium access. Here, only the top officers of the company, such as the Founders and CxOs, should have any possible method to access this data. This routine will ensure that even if data is lost due to some massive data breach, the backup will still be available with the organization. Although the initial damage cannot be bypassed in such cases, losses can be reduced in the longer run.
5. WiFi security
Securing the WiFi network is also of much importance since hackers often target this web to introduce malware into the system. A cybersecurity engineer must work extensively to secure this network as the computers in an organization are, almost always, connected through a similar network.
Types of cybersecurity tools required by a company
The future of cybersecurity lies in using various types of tools for every aspect of the process. The cybersecurity courses like Stanford University conduct extensive lectures that teach in detail about these tools. They outline every category and suggest the best software available for each of them. A security engineer should, of course, stay open to using alternatives and explore the genre. They could also ask their clients for any suggestions they might have. Similarly, it is imperative to discuss the types of tools that will be used, with the company concerned. Their preferences must be taken into account too.
Here are the broad types that the software for cybersecurity analysis mostly falls under.
1. Network security tools to monitor the systems
Network security tools are typically used by security engineers to monitor the system. The utilities include but are not restricted to, network mappers, packet analyzers, and port scanners. They largely help their users track network vulnerabilities like DNS spoofing and DDoS, which may become a hotspot for hackers. Cybersecurity officials use the tools to typically conduct network penetration testing that identifies cracks in the said network.
2. Encryption tools
In a world where data privacy is of much importance and leads to controversy every other day, it is peremptory to encrypt messages transmitted digitally. All leading and developing interactive applications like WhatsApp have end-to-end encryption to keep out third parties from spying on a private conversation. As a security engineer, one must ensure that the locally connected digital methods of interaction within a company are properly encrypted to preserve privacy and confidentiality of data.
3. Vulnerability scanning software for web applications
Vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection, Cross-site scripting, and Command Injection harm web applications. Vulnerability scanning software, alternatively known as Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) tools, are of great significance here. They scan the web applications externally for any onus that show a sign of a potential breach. Using such software to secure the extrinsic connections that the company uses regularly, is mandatory.
4. Antivirus software
Antivirus software is the classic security tool available at the disposal of a security engineer. There are plenty of good options available, both free and paid. For an organization that is looking for durable, long-term solutions, it is better to buy good quality software that can protect their systems under all circumstances. A cybersecurity engineer should have the capacity to understand what the company will require based on its size and functionality.
5. PKI Services
Providing PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) services to a company can be quite daunting for engineers who are just stepping into the field of cybersecurity. It can be thought of as an advanced cybersecurity concept and takes an especially bright or hard-working beginner to get it right. PKI is essentially a set of software, hardware, roles, policies, and procedures required to store, distribute, create, use, manage, and repeal certificates present digitally. These are also used to control public-key encryption. It is pivotal for a company to build up its PKI and hence, they will always resort to an expert for the same. It is advised that security professionals pay close attention to mastering PKI as this warrants them to charge high.
Software mandatory for cybersecurity best practices
The following list of software contains some of the best applications available globally for cybersecurity practices. They are being constantly updated to accommodate the growing cybersecurity demand all over the planet, placing them at the top of experts’ list of favorites. If one aspires to become a professional with a coveted brand cover in the domain, then they must be adept at using the applications mentioned below.
1. Bitdefender Total Security
Bitdefender is software dealing with the complete advanced cybersecurity package. It works well for businesses of all sizes and provides some great facilities like layered protection from ransomware, protection of the network as a whole, etc. Bitdefender’s yearly subscription fee is $24.99.
For anyone looking to start a career in cybersecurity, CIS is a tool of great importance. From small companies to large, CIS is a brand that is trusted and used widely all across the globe. Some of their broader services involve complete protection to organizations, providing security to a particular platform, and tracking discrete threats.
For one looking to have a prosperous cybersecurity career, WireShark is bread and butter. The software is the staple of commercial organizations and NGOs alike. Catering to the requirements of governments across the globe, WireShark has assumed an important position with businesses, agencies, educational institutes, and any other kind of enterprise that needs cybersecurity.
WireShark decrypts protocols, provides outputs in XML, CSV, PostScript, or in Plain Text. Besides that, it also inspects several platforms for its users. The catch? It is free.