The modern world transitions into the extensive use of computers, mobile devices, and other gadgets, while the associated privacy concerns become an essential topic of discussion. As the key assets of any organization, people are expected to ensure cyber security to protect such intellectual property as business plans, patents, copyrights, policies, and other corporate documentation. A well-established security mindset is one of the key goals of proper response towards digital security threats. The given course, Emerging Threats and Countermeasures, was rather beneficial to better understand the current challenges existing in the field of cyber security and potential strategies to address them.
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Practical Use of Knowledge and Theories
A lack of proper security awareness is one of the paramount reasons for incidents and multi-million losses incurred by companies. As a result of this course, it becomes clear that insufficient measures that are taken to protect the organization lead to information leakage and its unauthorized use by attackers. The real-life examples discussed during the course allowed comprehending the extent to which the security of the IT department is critical. This course also promoted an in-depth understanding of various types of cyber attacks, their structures, and the threats they pose.
In particular, the fact is that the national infrastructures of the United States experience the increasing levels of malicious cyber activity: they grew over 760% within 2006-2012 (Amoroso, 2012). Among the sources of the latter, it is possible to enumerate hackers, foreign nations, criminals, discontented employees, et cetera. While the federal agencies try to address the emerging threats, they fail to implement countermeasures, which make it important to constantly review the state of security in an organization.
Deception, a powerful protection tool, presents a viable option to combat adversaries by better understanding them and preserve the national security. The course made it clear that deception poses such security objectives as energy, analysis, attention, and uncertainty, which are associated with diverting the attention of adversaries and using honey pots. In practice, deception can be introduced in several stages, including scanning, discovery, exploitation, and exposing (Heckman, Stech, Schmoker, & Thomas, 2015).
The main idea of this theory lies in using deception methods to develop cyber weapons threat detection that is to be based on technology that distributes controlled baits and traps. It should be stressed, however, that the observation of intruder activity can be risky yet informative. In this connection, the local circumstances should be taken into account to prevent incidents.
The discovery of the strategies that can be used by IT specialists was the main focus of this course. For instance, the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a special dispatch system that collects information about the current activities of the organization, as well as their management. The advantage of SCADA is that it can provide the necessary information through indicators that are collected from different points of the business object in a real time.
Only in this mode of separation, it is possible to optimally manage the organization, making its operation continuous, without downtime, attack failures, and emergency situations. In order to implement effective management, it is necessary to integrate various applications responsible for solving the tasks into one single system. Such integration of different applications, which include solutions to specific problems, will help in designing the effective operation of an automated control system. Also, a synchronized exchange is to be created between the information data of various archives, databases, references, and through processes.
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The defensive measures compose another essential area that was studied in this course, which can be directly applied to the practice. For example, it became clear that both pre- and post-attack response actions are critical to ensure security in design, defaults, and depth. The forensic analysis in cyber security is especially important for the early detection of vulnerabilities and fending off attackers. Among the key problems existing in this area, it is possible to enumerate a lack of visibility, overwhelming alerts, and inadequate data. In this regard, the front-line experience should be viewed as the basis of the response to powerful threats, which needs to be included in the National Response Program.
According to the National Cyber Incident Response Plan, there is a range of guiding principles that should be followed: shared responsibility, respect for affected entities, enabling restoration, and the unity of governmental effort (“National cyber incident response plan,” 2016). These principles demonstrate the direction that should be adopted towards any cyber security incident.
To conclude, it should be emphasized that the Emerging Threats and Countermeasures course was useful to better understand the threats that emerge in the field of cyber security. For national infrastructures, the issue of protecting data requires an immediate and appropriate response from IT departments that ensure the sustainability and development of organizations. Knowledge and skills obtained through the given course allow considering the current vulnerabilities and methods to address attacks with greater awareness, which is beneficial for practical work with the prevention of threats. Thus, the course contributed to mastering the understanding of cyber security breaches and potential ways to minimize them.
Amoroso, E. G. (2012). Cyber attacks: Protecting national infrastructure. Waltham, MA: Elsevier.
Heckman, K. E., Stech, F. J., Schmoker, B. S., & Thomas, R. K. (2015). Denial and deception in cyber defense. Computer, 48(4), 36-44.
National cyber incident response plan. (2016). Web.