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Brody Kunce

Eng 102 19

Professor Newport

May 8, 2017

Cybersecurity Education in Todays World

What is cybersecurity? Why is it such an important topic today? Why are many people

not informed on how to protect themselves from cybercrime and dont know how cybersecurity

works? Cybersecurity is all about protecting data through technology. This paper will discuss the

ins and outs of cybersecurity as well as using different ways to define it. Although people say

that we should be grasping at the opportunity to use technology and the internet, cybersecurity

needs to be a topic businesses and citizens should focus on being educated in so they can learn to

limit their digital activity, prevent financial harm, and learn how to protect their data in various


Introduction to Cybersecurity

Cyber security refers to the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to

protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access

(Lord, 2017, para. 1). The early 1990s is when computer scientists first used cyber security to

pick out insecurities that were connected to networked computers; people theoretically realized

that cyber threats can have a great impact on society and realized how important it was.

(NissenBaum & Hansen, 2009, para. 2) Compared to physical security, cyber security occurs

most of the time on computers and the internet while physical security occurs in person. With a
companys physical security, the company would have security guards, body guards, or man-

made barriers such as walls, gates, or barricades. With a companys cybersecurity, they would

have network administrators, information technology consultants, tech support, and more

(Brandwagt, para. 5-10). Both cyber and physical security are like a persons wellbeing. Cyber

security is the emotional health while physical security is the physical health. Having both leads

to a persons healthy wellbeing and having both can also lead to a healthy company.

The term cybersecurity, if it were to be given in detail, can be seen like a king or his

people defending their castle. Another clan of warriors, who would be described as hackers,

would try to sniff around to see if there was any possible way to get inside the castle quietly.

Great cyber security analysts, who can be described as the king and the people, can sometimes

listen the clan of warriors outside trying to break in quietly so the king and his people can

prepare in advance for the attack. The clan of warriors are usually hungry and try to hit the

jackpot by taking over the king and his peoples castle and steal everything they own, which

would be a businesss money, and would ruin the king and his peoples lives. Average citizens

and business owners dont think that a cyber-attack would happen to them, and they think that

using technology is only for making things easier without thinking of any consequences.

Are Businesses and Citizens Educated Enough on Cybercrime?

There is no such thing as a companys data being 100% protected. As new

technology progresses and future technologies evolve, there are becoming more ways to hack

into companies and average citizens data. As an estimate, the global economy loses around $445

billion each year (Ashford, 2015, para. 2). Businesses should educate every one of their workers

including members higher up the chain. One of the most common reasons that companys data
gets breached is by phishing. Emails, instant messages and even voicemails can be tweaked to

include an attachment that is customized in a way that encourages the unwitting recipient to click

on it unsuspectingly. Once this happens, some part of the computer software that is considered

vulnerable will become exploited by the malicious program (Cybersecurity Zen, 2015, para. 2).

This is probably the most common way for citizens and businesses to get hacked since it targets

vulnerable people such as elderly people who grew up most of their lives without technology and

have no sense of if an email, instant message, or voicemail is a scam or not. This doesnt apply to

just old people, but it applies to everyone who doesnt have basic knowledge of cybercrime.

Cybersecurity is now important more than ever because of the cyber world we live in

today. The ins and outs of cybersecurity wasnt even a thing about 60 years ago and didnt even

exist because we didnt have computers, mobile phones, and other fancy technology. I personally

have experience in cybersecurity because information technology with an emphasis in network

and security is my major and I am currently taking cybersecurity classes online through a

website while attending college at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. I take a lot of passion

in cybersecurity because in the future I want to be part of the FBI or fight cybercrime through the

military. Age is a factor when it comes to Americans caring about cybersecurity or not. 61%

report feeling extremely or very concerned about the nations cyber security (Korwitts, 2015,

para. 3). It is even worse when it comes to corporate companies in that the rate of caring is even

lower. 27% people are worried about their companys cybersecurity, 28% say that their company

doesnt even require cybersecurity, and 14% people say their company has not checked their

devices using correct security (Korwitts, 2015, para 5). Companies need to get their employers

technology checked as well as provide better cyber education. Employees wont know how to
detect what type of emails, links, or files are scams or not if they are not properly taught how to

detect them.

Limit Digital Activities to a Minimum

People need to limit their digital activities to a minimum; just because we can use the

internet or online technology, should we? To minimize the chance of being hacked and having

valuable information stolen or even leaked, people need to do whatever it takes to avoid

conveying their information online or proceed to convey their information as safely as possible.

Some strategies to protect a persons information or hide their identity online can be but are not

limited to, installing HTTPS Everywhere (a google chrome extension), use two-factor

authentication with popular services, and use tape over anything that has a wireless camera to

prevent hackers remotely accessing them, or even taking pictures from them.

Some common cybersecurity terms included in this picture are spyware, update, virus, spam, identity,

firewall, password, internet, phishing, and hacker. This is just a brief list of the main terms used in the

cyber world.
Now that people have learned that they need to keep their digital activities to a minimum, they

can learn information and strategies on how to protect their personal information.

Learn How to Protect Passwords and Data

One of the best ways to prevent a hacker from hacking an account is to create a strong

password. People need to use different passwords for each account online such as banking

accounts, emails, social media, and more. 73% of users have the same password for multiple

sites, 33% use the same password every time creating an easy target for breaches and identity

theft (Martins, 2015, para. 5). Passwords should contain as many characters as possible ranging

between lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols. It gets harder and harder

for hackers to crack a password when the password increases in characters with the most random

combinations of characters possible. Other strategies that can help increase password strength

include eliminating the use of dictionary words, eliminating character patterns, and having

completely unique passwords from other accounts owned by a person (Martins, 2015, para. 13).

Planning on how to protect your personal information and data can lead to someone prevent

getting into a situation where a hacker is in play is key for preventing cybercrimes.

One of the biggest hacks of all time is when Sony Pictures got hacked by a group called

The Guardians of Peace. In the first round of leaks which started on December 1, 2014, they

leaked 47,426 social security numbers in which many belonged to Sony employees, both current

and former employees (RBS, 2014, para. 13). This was a massive security breach that left

everyone in awe. This is just one of the many great hacks ever since technology was developed.
Businesses that are well educated on cyber security and businesses who have a great IT setup

tend to succeed very well since none of their data is stolen or breached. The Guardians of Peace

could have sold these social security numbers anywhere, specifically the black market where

people could use those social security numbers to disguise themselves as somebody else and

steal all their money.

The lack of education in average citizen can be proven with hard evidence. One survey

that was taken on cybersecurity from SurveyMonkey proved this. When surveying a vast amount

of people, more than half of the people said that they did not use at least a lowercase letter,

uppercase letter, number, and symbol in their passwords, had a five or less on a cybersecurity

knowledge scale from one to ten, and most responses said that they buy stuff online at least once

a week. This hard evidence leads to the fact that the lack of cybersecurity knowledge is true.

People tend to not think about the possible consequences when using online technology and

digital activity. The sad thing is that someone would think that businesses would tend to be more

knowledgeable about this information and care about it more than a regular citizen, but in fact

many businesses do not even have cybersecurity or they do not even care for it. The result of this

is citizens and businesses lives to be destroyed if a hacker or group of hackers were to breach

their data and steal valuable information.

One example of a popular hack can be described as a dictionary attack. A dictionary

attack is where a hacker will attempt to gain access to a password-protected site or area by using

every word in the dictionary as a means of guessing the required input (Munson, para. 1).
This graph represents an analysis of 34,000 MySpace passwords that were recorded from a

phishing attack in late 2006

A dictionary attack is one of the most popular attacks that a hacker can use. If someone

has the password apples, it can be cracked within a second. If someone has a password of

myfamilyrocks5, it can probably be cracked with a few minutes. If a person is smart enough

and has a password like grizZz492$8Fuse2&, the password would be technically impossible to

crack and would take hundreds of years to crack. The performance of a computer also represents

how long it takes to crack a password using a dictionary attack. If a person has a high-powered

desktop, the weak passwords would be extremely simple to crack. A normal laptop on the other

hand would be slower to crack, even if the password was weak. In the Oxford English

Dictionary, there are about 171,000 words. The average citizen only uses a small amount

of these words which round to between 10 and 40 thousand words total. This means that if a

hacker tried to crack a password one time per second, they could attempt every word in the

Oxford English Dictionary a little less longer than two days (Atwood, 2009, para. 6). This is an

example of how easy it is to crack someones password when a password is weak or even only

moderately strong. Proper education of an individual or firm can prevent these types of things
from happening. The reason strong passwords are suggested is for this very reason. The length

and complexity of the characters in a password leads to how well protected an individual of firm

is. Dictionary attacks are the most formal way of stealing peoples passwords and information,

but few people think about how social engineering and manipulation is another way that hackers

steal from people. Hackers gain the trust of people and they also stalk them through social media

to grab the information they need. They are the social engineers, hackers who exploit the one

weakness that is found in each and every organization: human psychology. Using a variety of

media, including phone calls and social media, these attackers trick people into offering them

access to sensitive information (Bisson, 2015, para. 2). They use strategies such as phishing,

baiting, pretexting, and tailgating behind an employee to get into an unauthorized area in order to

gain a persons personal information (Bisson, 2015, para 4-20).

Businesses need to prevent financial harm at all costs

The main reason that hackers decide to hack firms and citizens in the first place is for

their financial gain. As stated earlier in this article, the global economy loses almost $450 billion

dollars a year to cybercrime alone. Cybercrime is getting increasingly popular as technology

advances, which leads to a greater amount of ways and backdoors to get into a company and

citizens data.


picture is an example of the total number of cyber incidents and the incident rate there is by industry.
One breach of any citizen or firm can bankrupt that individual or firm and degrade their

money to a minimum. Cybercrime can ruin many peoples lives and can make a successful

business go from successful to a failure as well as having major legal problems in just one day.

Many businesses decide to not invest their time in have a cyber security analysist because they

either dont put effort in, dont have the money to hire a cyber security analysist, or because they

dont have enough knowledge about the subject itself.

Citizens and Businesses Tend to Maximize the Use of

Technology Because It Tends to Make Things Easier and More


For businesses, the use of technology can help the company out to make things more

productive with lower costs. Some reasons that technology can improve business performance is

that it increases finances, gets the job done more effectively, keeps people productive, helps

customer service, and creates a more attractive workplace (Logan, para. 1-5). With the use of

technology, businesses dont have to write everything down on paper such as data and

documents. Instead, businesses are storing their information and private documents online

because it is easier that way. Technology also helps advance a business in various ways. One

example is at retail stores such as Walmart, Kmart, and Target, they have self-check-out where a

person can scan their own items and pay by themselves. This means that the companies can

spend less money on hiring more workers because the technology does the job itself. The

companies are more efficient because they can read off policies from a computer instead of going

back into the store to get a manual and customers can get what they need faster with the use of

point of sale systems. Another example can be online advertising. Whenever someone visits any
website on the internet such as a social media website, there will always be advertisements down

the page which can lead people to click on the link for a companys product, leading to increased

profits for that company. Companies will use this to their advantage in any way possible since

almost every single company is in a competitive market and needs to top their competitors.

Businesses will grasp at the idea of new technological advancements coming forward to not only

beat out their competitors, but to head towards their goal of earning profits for their business.

In this generation, the average citizen uses technology all the time with almost everything

they do. For example, almost every person that is a teenager or older owns a cell phone, laptop,

or other communication device. They use these devices to communicate with each other like

texting and calling to make it easier for communication when people are not physically with each

This image represents how companies target

mobile users for online advertising.

other. People use their devices to keep track of their bank statements and bills electronically,

store information electronically, play online games, and especially to use their social media.

Technology can help make life easier in many ways such as education. The use of online courses,

electronic drobox submissions, communicating homework assignments to students, and using

special programs supports the idea that people need to use technology more than we already are.
Without technology, there wouldnt be advancements in education and life would be a little more

difficult since most of the things that require technology now would have to be physically done.

Modernized resources are replacing academic tools such as pencils, notebooks,

highlighters, sticky notes, calculators, and more. Class websites, apps, and internet tools allow

students to manage coursework online instead of with pen and paper, and paper textbooks are

quickly being replaced by e-books (Kole, 2016, para. 4). The book world is transferring from

paper textbooks to electronic books that can be viewed online on a computer, tablet, mobile fun,

and more. Thousands of applications are hitting the market that are either web-based or include

online connections in some form. This provides a great contribution to the academic world and it

furthers students knowledge and makes homework more simplified. Computer simulations

enhance inquiry-based learning--in which students actively discover information--by allowing

scientific discovery within a realistic setting (de Jong, para 1). The world is so invested in

technology that it would be impossible to ban it. The use of digital technology helps with

communication in various ways. One example is that if a college student was traveling out of

country for a semester to study abroad, they can use online technologies such as Skype to voice

chat the college students family. Credit card technologies also work this way too since that

college students family can put money on their students credit card so they can use it in another

country. It is truly fascinating on what technology do for everyone and to be educated on the

topic in this generation is important.

The reason businesses and citizens need to be focusing on cybersecurity more than ever is

because of the time era that we live in with all the technological advances that are occurring.

People need to spend time researching the basics of cybersecurity so it can prevent harm to their

businesses and families because cybercrime is real, and many people do not realize how much it
affects society. Some other reasons that cybersecurity needs to be a topic businesses and citizens

should focus on being educated in that were not discussed in this paper is brute force attacks,

ethical hacking, the dark web, and what causes people to have the urge to attack innocent people

as well as why people are starting to study cybercrime.

This paper has shown how cybersecurity is an important issue in todays world and how

people can defend themselves as well as know the very basics of cybersecurity. A good idea for

todays education would be to start implementing a one week cybersecurity course for freshman

in high school and freshman in college that is required. That way society can help end the

unnecessary loss of data and help grow back our economy by blocking unethical hackers out.

With the knowledge learned about cybersecurity, our society can come together as one to take a

stand against the people who perform wrongdoing activities throughout the world. Golda Meir,

Prime Minster of Israel once said, Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks

of possibility into flames of achievement.

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