A word commonly circulating and thrown around in media is “cyber threat”. But what exactly are these cyber threats and are they any different from “cyber attacks”?
To fully understand the various concepts, let’s go a bit further into the expansions of cyber security in general and how engineers are thriving to create cyber peace.
What’s the Difference Between Cyber Threat and Attack?
A cybersecurity threat is a malicious act that seeks to damage or steal data or disrupt overall a digital workflow. Cyberattacks, on the other hand, include threats like computer viruses and data breaches.
An Attack to the system can cause a lot of harm such as data loss or monetary loss to the system. There are different types of attacks:
- Virus that is a piece of software to steal and damage computer
- Spyware that collects information against user’s own will
- Phishing that is mostly done through email like fraudulent system
- Worms that are self-replicating from one system to another
- Spam more common through emails. They are computer security threats
- Botnets or bots used to target and attack systems
- DOS attacks which mean bombarding servers with traffic to overwhelm the systems
Emerging Cyber Threats
Cyber threats are never static; to be highlighted:
- There is a new generation of “zero-day” threats that are able to surprise defenses because they carry no detectable digital signatures.
- Another worrisome trend is the continuing “improvement” of what experts call “Advanced Persistent Threats” (APTs). As Business Insider describes APTs, “It’s the best way to define the hackers who burrow into networks and maintain ‘persistence’ — a connection that can’t be stopped simply by software updates or rebooting a computer.”
The work of Engineerings to Achieve Cyber Peace
“Cyber peace consists of networks working together to promote global, just, and sustainable cyber security by clarifying norms for companies and countries alike to help reduce the risk of conflict, crime, and espionage in cyberspace to levels comparable to other business and national security risks.”
Where do engineers fit in all of this?
According to the site Silicon Republic, there has been rising international effort for cyber peace in the past couple of years, especially after growing challenges lead to the name “cyberwar”. An example of effort is notably a growing coalition between the governments of France and New Zealand to promote international standards of online behavior.
Engineers have a lot of pressure on their shoulders as they are involved in so many sectors, from IT security, hardware and software management, and machine development using technologies that require a lot of discretion and meticulous attention to server protection. And with the ever-growing and fast-moving digitalisation and widespread dependencies on IT systems, they’ve been noticing considerable triggers adjustments when it comes to enhancements of IT security and taking extra defensive measures for cyberspace.
Moreover, Among the 9 different and rich majors offered by ESiLV, the below 4 stand out in terms of preparing young engineers to face the challenges cybersecurity has to offer in their professional journey: