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What is Cybersecurity: A Comprehensive Guide

by | Nov 7, 2023

What is cybersecurity? In essence, cybersecurity protects systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks aimed at assessing, changing, or manipulating sensitive information, extorting money from users, or disrupting normal business operations.

Cybersecurity encompasses all aspects of protecting an organisation and its assets from cyber threats. With increasing cyberattacks’ sophistication and complexity, various cybersecurity solutions are essential.

A strong cybersecurity strategy provides a solid security posture against malicious attacks designed to access, alter, delete, destroy or extort an organisation’s or user’s systems and sensitive data. Cybersecurity is also crucial in preventing attacks that disable or disrupt a system’s or device’s operations.

With the growing number of users, devices, and programs in modern enterprises, combined with the increased deluge of data, the importance of cybersecurity continues to grow.

Learn more and understand how we can make our cyberspace safer.

The Paramount Importance of Cybersecurity

The importance of cybersecurity has never been more pronounced than it is today. With a surging number of users, devices, and programs in modern enterprises, alongside a growing volume of data—much of which is sensitive or confidential—the need for robust cybersecurity measures is imperative.

The escalating volume and sophistication of cyberattacks, coupled with the evolving techniques employed by cybercriminals, further exacerbates the issue. In 2022, Singapore witnessed a staggering 25.2% increase in scams and cybercrimes, with 33,669 cases reported. This surge highlights the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity awareness and skillsets in the region.

Moreover, employers are on the lookout for individuals equipped with cybersecurity knowledge. Whether you’re aiming to elevate your career by acquiring cybersecurity skills or venturing into the thrilling realm of the cybersecurity industry, our certification course is tailored just for you.

Leading Cybersecurity Challenges That You Should Know

Cybersecurity faces top challenges, including evolving threats, a data deluge, cybersecurity awareness training, workforce shortage and skills gap, supply chain and third-party risks. 

Evolving Nature of Cyber Threats

One of the most significant challenges in cybersecurity is the evolving nature of security risks. As technology progresses and is used in new ways, new attack avenues are developed. This necessitates continuous updates to cybersecurity practices and can be particularly challenging for smaller organisations with limited resources.

Data Deluge Issues

Collecting vast amounts of data increases the likelihood of cybercriminals wanting to steal personally identifiable information (PII). Organisations must take steps to prevent breaches, especially when storing PII in the cloud.

Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Employees can accidentally bring threats into the workplace or act insecurely, such as clicking links in phishing emails. Regular security awareness training is essential in helping employees contribute to their company’s cybersecurity. Online cybersecurity courses are now widely available in Singapore, which is a good sign of learning it everywhere.

Workforce Shortage and Skills Gap

The need for skilled cybersecurity staff grows as the data businesses use increases. The workplace gap between needed cybersecurity jobs and security professionals was estimated at 3.4 million, according to ISC2. Singapore’s government is working tirelessly to meet this gap by making awareness campaigns and offering subsidies to help learners.

Supply Chain Attacks and Third-Party Risks

Supply chain attacks and third-party risks are becoming increasingly complex security challenges. Organisations must address third-party risk in the supply chain and reduce software supply issues, for example, by using software bills of materials. 

These challenges can profoundly impact the future of cyberspace, but how can we help? Let’s discuss the main types of cybersecurity threats and what we can do to address these ever-evolving problems.

Main Types of Cybersecurity Threats

The digital world is fraught with numerous cybersecurity threats that can have severe implications for individuals and organisations alike. From malware to phishing and beyond, it’s vital to understand these threats to protect yourself and your assets. Let’s delve into the main types of cybersecurity threats that pose risks in today’s interconnected world:

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attacks involve multiple systems overwhelming a target’s network resources, such as a server or website, to disrupt its functionality and deny access to legitimate users.

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks

MitM attacks involve an attacker intercepting and relaying messages between two parties. They are communicating directly with each other to eavesdrop or manipulate the conversation.

Ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software that is designed to block access to the computer system or files until a ransom is paid. Paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee system restoration or file recovery.

Phishing

Phishing involves sending fraudulent emails that mimic reputable sources to steal sensitive data. Examples are credit card numbers and login information. It’s a common attack type, and protection measures include education and email filtering solutions.

Malware

Malware is software created to gain unauthorised computer access or cause damage. It includes various types, such as viruses, spyware and more!

Social Engineering

Social engineering manipulates individuals into revealing sensitive information or making monetary payments. Tactics include phishing, pretexting, and baiting.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a targeted phishing attack aiming to steal information or infect the system of a specific user, organisation, or business.

Insider Threats

Threats come from individuals within the organisation, such as employees or contractors, who cause security breaches, either maliciously or negligently.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

APTs are prolonged, targeted attacks where an intruder infiltrates a network, remaining undetected for extended periods with the goal of stealing data.

For those interested in tackling these threats and playing a vital role in safeguarding cyberspace, exploring career opportunities in cybersecurity is a commendable step. There are diverse and in-demand roles available in this field. Learn more about these career opportunities and find out how you can make a difference.

Career Opportunities and In-demand Roles in Cybersecurity

Acquiring future-ready skills is essential for staying on the top of the curve. With the evolving nature of the workforce, prioritising certain capabilities can be the key to ensuring long-term success. Here’s a snapshot of the priority skills identified by SkillsFuture Singapore for the Future Economy, along with their descriptions and demand growth:

Access Control Management

Manage access control to ensure authorised access in line with the organisation’s policies.

Demand Growth: 234.0%

Cyber and Data Breach Incident Management

Detect, report, and resolve cyber and data-related incidents, keeping stakeholders informed.

Demand Growth: 58.7%

Cyber Forensics

Conduct digital forensic investigations following standard procedures and prepare findings for legal proceedings.

Demand Growth: 48.8%

Cyber Risk Management

Identify security loopholes, evaluate business risks, and strategize for cyber-related risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.

Demand Growth: 69.4%

Data Protection Management

Implement a Data Protection Management Programme in compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012.

Demand Growth: 161.6%

Data Strategy

Design data strategies that drive business value, with an emphasis on legislative and business strategy alignment.

Demand Growth: 48.3%

Data Wrangling

Process media files from on-set production environments.

Demand Growth: 150.0%

Database Administration

Oversee database performance, backup, recovery, and reporting.

Demand Growth: 72.2%

Detection and Monitoring Application

Ensure safety from cyber risks through proactive detection and monitoring.

Demand Growth: 115.4%

Disaster Recovery Management

Implement policies and processes for efficient IT infrastructure and system recovery post crises or disasters.

Demand Growth: 2.4%

ICT Disaster Recovery Management

Formulate and refine IT recovery policies following crises or disasters.

Demand Growth: 123.0%

Infocomm Security and Data Privacy

Raise awareness about IT, information security, and data privacy risks.

Demand Growth: 167.8%

IT Asset Management

Optimise and protect IT assets while mitigating potential risks.

Demand Growth: 68.2%

IT Governance

Establish IT policies and practices in line with business strategies and regulations.

Demand Growth: 67.5%

IT Standards

Draft and review standard procedures and guidelines for effective and consistent IT-related tasks.

Demand Growth: 47.4%

IT Strategy

Design IT strategies and solutions to support business needs and strategic direction.

Demand Growth: 68.7%

These skills are pivotal for professionals aiming to make a significant impact in the future economy. It’s crucial to note that the skills and demand growth percentages mentioned are based on SSG’s annual skills report, shedding light on priority skills and job roles in high-growth economies.

Disclaimer: This report is derived from SSG’s annual skills article, highlighting priority skills in thriving economies.

How to Get Started with Cybersecurity 

Taking the first step towards a career in cybersecurity is crucial, especially given the rapidly evolving digital landscape. As outlined above, there is a pressing need for skills in various cybersecurity domains. To jumpstart your journey, consider beginning with the fundamentals of Cybersecurity at Vertical Institute. All courses at VI are IBF accredited, and students can benefit from up to a 70% subsidy. Moreover, the remaining fees can be conveniently offset using SkillsFuture and UTAP Funding support.

Don’t miss the opportunity to play a pivotal role in safeguarding Singapore’s cyberspace. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is soaring, and your success in capitalising on emerging opportunities hinges on your proactive approach towards learning and development.

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About Vertical Institute

We’re building the future of work. Vertical Institute prepares individuals for the jobs of tomorrow. We specialise in teaching in-demand skills, building the next generation of changemakers and inventors through our world-class tech courses and certifications.

Vertical Institute is accredited as an Approved Training Provider (ATO) by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and The Institute of Banking & Finance Singapore (IBF). All our courses are government-subsidised, eligible for SkillsFuture Credits usage, and NTUC UTAP Funding.

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