Cyber security is a vast realm and has seemingly endless branches. Some, for instance, apply cyber security to protect their assets and investments. Others use cyber security to achieve better safety.
The Core Branches of cyber security include:
- Critical infrastructure security
- Network security
- Application security
- Cloud security
- Website security
- IoT security
- Cyber forensics and incident response
- Endpoint protection
- Compliance and governance
- Intrusion detection
- Systems and devices security
- Malware/spyware analysis
In this post, we are going to explore the most common branches of cyber security in detail. Keep reading to learn innovative uses of cyber security and how it’s used to protect the world around you.
1. Critical infrastructure security can protect national interests
A few systems and infrastructure are essential for running a nation. Power grids, transportation, sewage, water purification- all are vital infrastructure for a nation. Today, these systems are connected to the internet and exposed to threats that exist online.
We have seen incidents where external forces have attacked the power grids of a nation. Nations need to secure their critical infrastructure to protect its citizens and economy.
The branch of cyber security dedicated to protecting critical infrastructure is called critical infrastructure security. In the US, Homeland Security is responsible for the job and is guided by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act.
2. Network security helps secure different Ethernet and wireless networks
Your home or office WiFi, network used by banks, home IoT networks- network security is important.
Any network is vulnerable to hacks, attacks, and malware. We all are familiar with basic cyber security measures to protect our home networks. VPNs, firewalls, malware scanners- various tools and strategies can help us secure our networks.
The branch of cyber security dealing with networks is called network security. This branch protects networks and unauthorized access, preventing attacks and data breaches. Several security protocols like antivirus and permission-based access help engineers secure networks.
Monitoring is also an active part of network security. You can use monitoring tools to get instant alerts when someone tries to break into your systems.
3. Application security helps secure web applications and software
Application security works on multiple levels to protect applications and connected devices. The process begins from the development stage when an application takes shape. Cyber security experts use a plethora of ways like encryption to ensure only authorized people get access to the applications.
Additionally, the security team works to uncover vulnerabilities and external threats that compromise applications. The team can also track system logins to ensure only the right people are let in. Experts may also use hardware methods to protect your applications.
Application security may also work to secure updates and implementations.
4. Cloud security can help protect data over the cloud
Cloud has become an integral part of every business and government. Our workflows and data are now on the cloud for superior performance and reliability. More and more workloads are moving to the cloud, making security a top consideration.
Needless to say, you need your cloud to be safe and secure to protect your investments. Cloud providers invest heavily to offer secure cloud solutions to businesses and governments. They can use several tools to prevent hacks, stop malware, and protect data.
Most cloud security tasks are automated, including monitoring. It resembles traditional data center security approaches, albeit with less cost and effort!
5. Website security protects websites and landing pages.
It's a no-brainer that you need to protect your website from malware and attacks - what we call website security.
A secure website starts with secure hosting from a reliable provider. A secure hosting does half of the job of protecting your website. However, you still need to strengthen your security to eliminate spammers and malicious content.
Firewalls, encryption, passwords- you can use many ways to secure your website. You can also get website security as a managed service from your hosting provider.
6. IoT security aims to improve security with proactive monitoring
The adoption of the Internet of things (IoT) is growing at an unprecedented rate. By 2027, the IoT market size is expected to grow to $1,463.19 billion at a CAGR of 24.9%.
From homeowners to governments, everyone is going for IoT for a connected world. However, the perks of IoT don't bring down the security challenges. Rather, so many devices, networks, data centers, and users make matters more complex for security experts.
As a result, a new branch of cyber security, IoT security, is now becoming popular. Vendors are investing heavily on tools and monitoring solutions to understand risks and develop resilience.
7. Cyber forensics and incident response helps mitigate extent of attacks
How do you find out who compromised your systems and networks?
Cyber forensics is a new and emerging field of cyber security. Forensic experts look for clues and evidence after a crime has been committed. Cyber forensics do the same job, but the only difference is they collect digital evidence.
Cyber forensic experts track, analyze, and document security breaches to help find the perpetrator. Their investigation can also help you find gaps in your cyber security measures and build up resilience.
Cyber forensics is still in its infancy - but we are witnessing a strong push for a mature market.
8. Endpoint protection keeps users and devices safe
Endpoint security refers to securing the connections to a network. These connections can be a source of malicious activity or unauthorized entry. Various tools help security personnel monitor the devices or networks connected to the main network.
9. Compliance and governance security helps stay legally complaint
Meeting regulations or standards are essential to protect your infrastructure. Governments also have laws when it comes to data security or privacy.
The compliance branch of cyber security uses risk-based controls to protect information and its integrity. Plus, enterprises can also operate within the cyber security laws of a country.
10. Intrusion detection is a specialized branch to detect system or network breaches
Even the most resilient cyber security setup is victim to attacks from around the web. A particular branch of cyber security is always alert and monitors networks for any suspicious activity. The proactive approach helps prevent many zero-day attacks and exploitation of existing loopholes.
Additionally, an intrusion detection system also prevents policy violations.
11. Systems and devices security secures your workstations
Protecting systems and devices is crucial if you want foolproof security and peace of mind. The simplest form of protection is a reliable antivirus for computers, laptops, mobiles, and tablets.
Security experts can also use many tools and methods, like VPN and access-control, for more safety.
12. Malware/Spyware Analysis helps understand and prevent infections
Preventing attacks is not everything. Becoming resilient by understanding the threats is also essential.
Analysis of malware or spyware reveals the loopholes of a cyber security setup. By studying malware, experts can devise new ways to prevent infection.
Cyber security can be applied to endless systems and processes. As a result, it's not possible to list down all the branches in cyber security. We have provided the most common branches that we come across every day.
You may find more branches or applications, especially as technology advances with time. Secure your systems and infrastructure to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. If needed, invest in quality antivirus and firewall to keep away the bad guys.