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What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity consists of technologies, processes and controls designed to protect systems, networks and data from cyber attacks. Effective cybersecurity reduces the risk of cyber attacks and protects against the unauthorizsed exploitation of systems, networks and technologies.

Cybersecurity definition

Cybersecurity is often confused with information security.

Cybersecurity focuses on protecting computer systems from unauthorized access or being otherwise damaged or made inaccessible.

Robust cybersecurity involves implementing controls based on three pillars: people, processes and technology. This three-pronged approach helps organizations defend themselves from both organized attacks and common internal threats, such as accidental breaches and human error.

Information security, is a broader category that looks to protect all information assets, whether in hard copy or in digital form.

How to protect against cyber security attacks - free green paper

Free PDF download: Cybersecurity 101 – A guide for SMBs

Cybersecurity requires careful coordination of people, processes, systems, networks, and technology. However, many SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) don’t know where to begin, and are at a disadvantage due to a lack of expertise and resources.

Download ‘Cybersecurity 101 – A guide for SMBs’ to find out how to get started with the basics of cybersecurity while keeping costs to a minimum.

Download now

The three pillars of cybersecurity

Robust cybersecurity addresses people, processes, and technology.



Every employee needs to be aware of their role in preventing and reducing cyber threats, and specialized technical cybersecurity staff need to stay fully up to date with the latest skills and qualifications to mitigate and respond to cyber attacks.



Processes are crucial in defining how the organization’s activities, roles, and documentation are used to mitigate the risks to the organization’s information. Cyber threats change quickly, so processes need to be continually reviewed to be able to adapt alongside them.



By identifying the cyber risks that your organization faces you can then start to look at what controls to put in place, and what technologies you’ll need to do this. Technology can be deployed to prevent or reduce the impact of cyber risks, depending on your risk assessment and what you deem an acceptable level of risk.

Why is cybersecurity important?

  • The costs of cybersecurity breaches is rising

    Emerging privacy laws can mean significant fines for organizations. There are also non-financial costs to be considered, like reputational damage.

  • Cyber attacks are increasingly sophisticated

    Cyber attacks continue to grow in sophistication, with attackers using an ever-expanding variety of tactics. This includes social engineering, malware, and ransomware.

    Find out more about the cybersecurity threats your organization faces >>

  • Cyber crime is a big business

    In 2018, the cyber crime economy was estimated to be worth $1.5 trillion, according to a study commissioned by Bromium. Attackers can also be driven by political, ethical, or social incentives.

  • Cybersecurity is a critical, board-level issue

    New regulations and reporting requirements make cybersecurity risk oversight a challenge. The board will continue to seek assurances from management that their cyber risk strategies will reduce the risk of attacks and limit financial and operational impacts.

    Find out more about US and International cybersecurity standards and frameworks >>

Cybersecurity checklist

Boost your cyber defences with these must-have security measures:

1. Staff awareness training

Human error is the leading cause of data breaches, so you need to equip staff with the knowledge to deal with the threats they face. Training courses will show staff how security threats affect them and help them apply best-practice advice to real-world situations.

2. Application security

Web application vulnerabilities are a common point of intrusion for cyber criminals. As applications play an increasingly critical role in business, it is vital to focus on web application security.

3. Network security

Network security is the process of protecting the usability and integrity of your network and data. This is achieved by conducting a network penetration test, which scans your network for vulnerabilities and security issues.

4. Leadership commitment

Leadership commitment is the key to cyber resilience. Without it, it is very difficult to establish or enforce effective processes. Top management must be prepared to invest in appropriate cybersecurity resources, such as awareness training.

5. Password management

You should implement a password management policy provides guidance to ensure staff create strong passwords and keep them secure.

Start your journey to being cyber secure today

IT Governance has a wealth of security experience. For more than 15 years, we’ve helped hundreds of organizations with our deep industry expertise and pragmatic approach.

All our consultants are qualified and experienced practitioners, and our services can be tailored for organizations of all sizes.

Browse our wide range of products below to kick-start your project.

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