Cybersecurity – Meaning, its Significance, Varieties of Threats, Real-Time Examples

February 2021

With the increased dependency of nations on computer systems, they have become overly vulnerable to cybercrime. This has increased the significance of implementing cybersecurity systems, disaster recovery policies, and business continuity plans. Cyberspace has started emerging in the first few years of the diffusion of the internet. Cyberspace has expanded its size and established as a virtual world that allowed people to socialize and connect. It also allowed people to share and store data. This convenience has made nations and individuals become more dependent on these and become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and terrorism.

Cybersecurity- What is it?

Cybersecurity is an attempt or process to defend computers, servers, mobile phones, networks, or any other electronic systems for that matter and the crucial data they carry from the malicious attacks by hackers or cybercriminals.

Cybersecurity- Its significance and indispensability:

Β The internet has grown so wide, making the real world smaller in several ways. Cyber threats have emerged in various forms and thereby set forth the significance of implementing cybersecurity systems than never before. Cyber threats often focus on the secret, military, and political assets of the nation and individuals' crucial data.

The characteristics of digitally stored data allow hackers to delay, distort, modify, destroy or steal it. Cyber risks have taken forms that are extreme and thus appear catastrophic and uncontrollable, fatal sometimes. Especially cyber crimes involving child sex, terrorism threatens and affects the life of the individuals or the entire nation badly.

Types of threats that are commonly faced:

Cyber terrorism: Some skilled terrorists or their groups for their political propaganda take attacks on networks and telecommunication infrastructures to gain financial or recognition. They are generally politically motivated. Cyber experts and security analysts claim that they carry out ruthless methods to create panic across the nation or some physical disruption.

Cyberwarfare: There are a few forms that cyber warfare takes:

Denial of service attacks: One that prevents legitimate users from accessing the targeted systems, network resources, or devices; this form is called Denial of service attacks.

Hacking and theft: This is a common threat where institutions and governments, and individual businesses become victims.

Cyber espionage or cyber spying: This is an act of obtaining access to the holder's personal information without their knowledge to misuse them or corrupt them.

Some tools used to acquire the information are Proxy servers, cracking techniques, and malicious software like Trojan horses. Spyware.

Ransomware: The attacker purposely locks or gets control of the victim's information through encryption and demands payment to decrypt them.

Malware: The hacker uses this program to destroy the computer or network resources using computer worms, viruses, Trojan horses, etc.

Social engineering: This type of attack is made by socializing and via human interaction to break the security programs. End-user education is essential to control this kind of attack. Teaching the end-users to delete the suspicious files attached in the emails (Phishing), not plugging in unidentified USB drives, can help.

Real-time cyber threat incidents:

  • A series of powerful cyber attacks upon Ukraine on 27 June 2017 swamped their websites of various organizations, banks, ministries, electricity firms.

  • Cyberattack on Estonia in the year 2007 was a major Denial of Service attack that rendered the whole country offline. This affected the online banking systems, mobile phone systems, and health care centers and disabled them for a period.

This was due to the Estonian-Russian dispute, which had the basis of removing the bronze statue. This incident made Estonia join NATO in 2004 and prompt them to monitor their members.


Cyber threats and damages caused by cyber thefts have created a huge impact and realization to the world of their dependency on the internet and vulnerability. Organizations and governments now have taken serious efforts to combat these cyber threats. They also provoke individuals to take advantage of an integrated and automated "Next-Generation Security Platform that is designed to provide prevention-based protection. By doing so, a reduced level of cybersecurity risk is expected.

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