Types of Cybersecurity and their definitions

A breakdown of cybersecurity types

Cybersecurity can be categorised into five distinct types:

– Application Security

– Critical infrastructure security

– Cloud security

– Network security

– Internet of Things (IoT) security

An organisation should have a comprehensive plan to include all five types of cybersecurity. It should also consider the three components that affect security posture: people, processes, and technology.

Application Security

Application security is the precautions set out to prevent theft or hijacking of data or code in an application. Not only does it include methods and procedures for protecting deployed applications but also considers security concerns raised during development and design.

Application security covers the entire life cycle of the application, from requirements, analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance. Its purpose is to improve security practices by detection, repair and, ideally, the avoidance of security flaws.

Because applications are readily available over multiple networks and connected to the cloud, they can be more vulnerable to security attacks and breaches.

Authentication, authorisation, encryption, logging, and testing are all examples of application security elements. Developers can also use code to decrease security weaknesses in applications.

Critical Infrastructure Security

Identification, prioritisation and planning to protect physical and electronic infrastructures are all features of Critical Infrastructure Security.

By using both physical security such as EMP shields and cybersecurity, critical infrastructure security ensures that government and financial markets can continue to function with minimal disruption following an intentional attack or natural disaster.

There are different varied infrastructure sectors that fall under Critical infrastructure security including defence and national security, banking and finance, transportation and supply chains, communications, and healthcare.

Disruption of just one of these essential infrastructures can have catastrophic results. It is therefore essential to identify and categorise any threats and then design strategies to deter and prevent them.

Cloud Security

Cloud security is essential as a business moves toward their digital transformation strategy and begins to incorporate cloud-based tools and services as part of their infrastructure. Cloud security is a group of practices and technology designed to address both internal and external threats to a business’s security.

Network Security

Network security is the operation of protecting data, applications, devices, and systems that are connected to a network.

From setting enterprise-wide policies and procedures to installing software and hardware that can block and detect threats, to hiring security consultants to assess the level of network protection needed and implement security solutions, network security incorporates it all.

Network security protects networking components, hardware, software, operating systems and data storage systems from malware/ransomware, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and network intrusions.

This, therefore, helps to create a secure platform for users, computers, and programs to perform their functions within the IT environment.

Types of network security include:

Firewall protection – A firewall can either be a software program or a hardware device that prevents unauthorized users from accessing the network.

Intrusion detection and prevention – (IDPS) is a second layer of defence against dangerous impersonators, creating an extra stop for traffic before it can enter a network. An advanced IDPS can even use machine learning and AI to instantly analyse incoming data and trigger an automated process.

Network access control (NAC) – NAC can screen an endpoint device, like a laptop or smart phone, to ensure it has adequate anti-virus protection, an appropriate system-update level, and the correct configuration before it can enter.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) – software that protects a user’s identity by encrypting their data and masking their IP address and location. When using a VPN, there is no longer a direct connection to the internet but instead to a secure server which then connects.

Data loss prevention (DLP) – set of strategies and tools implemented to ensure that endpoint users don’t accidentally or maliciously share sensitive information outside of a corporate network.

Endpoint protection – a multi-layered approach, endpoint security involves protecting all of the endpoints – laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearables, and other mobile devices – that connect to your network.

Unified threat management (UTM) – multiple network-security tools such as firewalls, VPNs, IDS, web-content filtering, and anti-spam software.

Secure web gateway – prevents unauthorized network traffic from entering the internal network and protects users and employees that may access malicious websites that contain viruses or malware. Typically include web-filtering and security controls for web applications.

Internet of Things (IoT) Security

Internet of Things (IoT) security includes approaches that can be used to protect IoT devices against vulnerabilities and exploits such as malware, cyberattacks, and device hijacks.

Designed to overcome IoT device vulnerabilities through processes such as access control, behaviour monitoring and detached networks. Internet of Things (IoT) security is designed to protect against various security risks such as information theft and malware.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we live, communicate, and do business. But while we have managed to connect the physical devices around us to the Internet at a rapid pace.

IoT security is still playing catch-up, with innovative solutions needed to deal with complex threats, vulnerabilities, and issues.

About the Author

Ian Kamau​​​​ is project analyst at New World Tech. NWT have been in business for over 7 years and our complete service offerings encompass all aspects of technology. We have enterprise experience of designing and implementing solutions that enable your business to grow.

To discuss your business’s security needs contact New World Tech or check out our portfolio of Security services.