Cybersecurity for Users of Cyberspace Q&A

Introduction

The purpose of this post is to provide fast answers to a reader who has one or few specific questions on Cybersecurity. You can quickly browse through the post until you got answer to your question. If your question is not included here, please post your question in the comment section and I will answer it.

Cybersecurity is a very complex problem. Any discussion on it requires use of some technical term, especially types of malwares. I have tried to minimize the use of technical terms. But it you are not familiar with various types of malware you want to read ‘Malwares: an Overview‘. That will not only make your reading this section easier, it also will expand your knowledge of malwares.

What is Cybesecurity?

Cybersecurity is security in cyberspace, including, but not limited to, security of (a) systems that make cyberspace, (b) systems that provide services to the users of cyberspace, (c) devices that are part of cyberspace, (d) devices that cyber-travelers (cyberspace users) use to get services from cyberspace, and (e) information of stored and streaming through cyber-highway.

From the answer above, cybersecurity seems to be a very complex problem. How such a complex problem can be to dealt with?

Cybersecurity is really a very complex problem. To solve this complex problem, it is divided into many smaller problems. Then, each smaller problem is addressed individually.

What are the smaller cybersecurity problems?

A four layer-architecture model of cyberspace divides it into (a) User layer, (b) App or application-layer software, (c) system software, and (d) physical layer. Then, security problems at each of these layers is addressed one at a time. For example, security of a device consists of  physical security, firmware security, and software security problems; each of these security problems is considered as separately, and it is addressed individually.

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Personal Information and Cybersecurity Q&A

Information security is a primary concern of information technology department of all organizations and entities. Similarly, common people are also now becoming familiar with information security. In this post types of information, especially types of personal information are introduced in a question-and-answer format.

What is personal information?

Any attribute that is associated with you the person and that identifies you is your personal information. For examples, your given name and you family name are personal information.

Many people have my given name. How can it be personal?

Personal does not mean unique. Your given name is just one of the many personal information attributes to identify you. For example, many people have given name Mike and driver’s licenses of all Mikes bear their names, but deriver’s license has more information. When all those information attributes are linked together, each Mike’s identity on the driver’s license will be unique. Moreover, assigned number is unique.

Okay, what if Mike change his name to Tom?

Good question. Personal information can be divided into two categories, static and dynamic. Given name falls into the dynamic category of personal information. So, given name may change dynamically with time and intention.

What is static personal information?

Personal information that cannot change with time fall into the static category of personal information. For example, date of birth, parents, and place of birth, etc.

Is my family or last name static personal information?

Yes and no. The family name or last name is usually inherited. But, when a girl get married her family name may be changed to her husbands family name. Also, if a child is adopted, her/his family name may be changed to the adopted family’s family name. Keep Reading

Cyberspace Q&A

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Cybersecurity is the security in the cyberspace. While cyberspace lives in the Internet, cyberspace is not the Internet. The Internet provides a framework for creating cyberspaces. In this post introduce cyberspace in a question-and-answer format.

Is it `Cybersecurity’ or `Cyber Security’?

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) calls it Cybersecurity.

What is Cyberspace?

First the term was coined by two artists in the 1960s for a series of their art work, but now there are two conceptual views in the age of information.
Answer A: An imaginary view: It is the space that people use to stay virtually-connected with other people or services.  Also, services can stay in touch with other services. Moreover, services can communicate with people and vice verse.  Furthermore, service providers can track people.
Answer B: A technical view: It consists of computer-networks created with a combination of hardware, firmware, and software along with end-user devices. All communication goes through these networks. An end-user connects with people or services connected to the networks. Sometimes we call it the Internet.

What are the hardware that necessary to create the Internet?

A set of host computers working as a gateway to connect end-user devices. A set of routers, and a set of links. The links are used to connect the hosts, routers, and end-users. The links could be wire links, optical links, or radio links depending on the devices’ interfaces. A device may have interfaces for one or more link-types. For example, a WiFi router at home has wire and radio links.

What is firmware?

A firmware is a low-level program stored in a semi-permanent memory that assists hardware and software to communicate between them. By changing firmware nature and functions of hardware components can be changed. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity: An Overview


Do cybersecurity concern you? I am sure it does. Actually, it should be a concern to all of us, because most aspects of our life — information and assets — are now intricately intertwined with cyberspace. They are available from cyberspace, even if you are not a direct cyberspace user. The security issues in the cyberspace are topics of cybersecurity.

Before I discuss cybersecurity, let us see how we address our safety and security in our daily life. Every civil society has laws, law enforcement departments, and judicial system. But citizens keep their houses and cars locked, and their valuables in safe places. Our behavior in the cyberspace should resemble to what we do in our physical space, but unfortunately most of don’t. That is because we, I mean everyone of us, do not know and understand enough about cyberspace and, hence, the cybersecurity risks there. Yes, cybersecurity professionals know much more than common people, but cyberspace is an evolving world and new security issues are exposed by hackers and malicious actors. Let us now return to our topic, cybersecurity.

 

 

Let us look at the diagram  for a simplified pictorial view. The six blocks shown within security perimeter requires cybersecurity measures. Namely, they are:

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