CyberSecurity FAQ - What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the collection of technologies, processes, and practices that protect networked computer systems from unauthorized use or harm. Broadly speaking, cybersecurity topics can be subdivided into two complementary areas: cyber attacks, which are essentially offensive and emphasize network penetration techniques; and cyber defenses, which are essentially protective and emphasize counter-measures intended to eliminate or mitigate cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks can take aim at the enterprise, government, military, and other infrastructural assets of a nation or its citizens, where these assets can include physical infrastructure (e.g., power grids, nuclear reactors) as well as computational infrastructure (e.g., computers, networks). Cyber attacks can be classified by their participating actors (states vs. non-states) and their attack mechanisms (e.g., direct attack, malware, exploits). See the Cyber Attack Classifications and Cyber Attack Mechanism Taxonomy sections on the Cyber Threats page for more information.

Correspondingly, cyber defenses must protect the enterprise, government, military, and other infrastructural assets of a nation or its citizens. As is the case with cyber attacks, cyber defenses can be classified by their participating actors (states vs. non-states) and their attack mechanisms (e.g., direct attack, malware, exploits). See the Cyber Defense Classifications and Cyber Defense Countermeasure Taxonomy sections on the Cyber Defenses page for more information.