Cybersecurity is the process of protecting computer software, data, interconnected systems and hardware from possible cyber attacks. Therefore, cybersecurity ensures confidentiality, integrity and availability of data through the protection of access by unauthorised parties. Institutions invest a lot of resources in implementing robust cybersecurity systems to ensure application, information, operational and network security (Dawson, & Nuñez 2018). The cybersecurity systems provide safety by spreading multiple layers of security software across programs, networks and computers. However, to ensure the effectiveness of the cyber security systems, they must be operated by experienced personnel who are the ability to make smart cyber defence choices. Cybersecurity attacks and threats are classified into ransom, malware, social engineering and phishing attacks. The essay addresses the challenges that face cybersecurity and the possible solutions to the problems.
The evolvement of computer systems and software is one of the significant challenges in the world of cybersecurity. In particular, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence technology which enhances machine learning by mimic the functioning of the natural brain (Rudner 2013). AI technology has been evolving continuously and used in various fields such as medical surgeries, automation of vehicles, and neural systems in smartphones. More so, the AI machines can make their own decisions and way they respond based on learnings from past experiences. However, hackers are taking advantage of technology to make the threats more sophisticated. For instance, ordinary spear phishing attacks can become complicated when coded using artificial intelligence technology.
Additionally, hackers will have the capacity to intrude big networks within short periods and also prevent cyber security systems using the smart AI technology that can notice the security software. The intelligent power grid is more vulnerable to the AI-enhanced cyber attacks since data can be manipulated to activate a blackout which can be used to manage the users (Rudner 2013). More so complicated AI systems such as automated cars and surgery machines may cause massive damages if they get affected by malicious software. AI technology may also help the hackers in reduced the workload involved while cracking passwords by lowering the probabilities. The AI systems have high learning capacities and thus may be manipulated to collect personal data which can be extracted from social media platforms, code repositories and support forums. Therefore, cybersecurity professions need also to use the AI technology to come up with sophisticated security systems that can produce the AI machines from attacks thus protecting the innocent users.
Internet of Things
The interconnection of multiple devices is a significant challenge that many cyber attackers have taken advantage of due to the interconnection of computer devices. Currently most people have a tablet in their cars, a smartphone in their pockets, a computer at work and a tv at home where all the devices are interconnected to the same user (Lee, & Lee 2015). More so, the emergence of the internet of things has ensured that every device is interconnected to each other to an extent the refrigerator can update the user when the milk is almost finished. Alexa and google assistants, on the other hand, can make your coffee before you get home, control the lighting system of the house, order a pizza and can easily control the tv just by word of mouth. The interconnection comes with great benefits since the user can manage all their devices without much difficulty. However, the interconnection and internet of things pose many threats to the users since once one of the devices faces cyber attacks, the other methods can be easily manipulated. A recent study has revealed that 80% of the internet of things devices face serious security breaches (Stojkoska & Trivodaliev 2017). The vulnerabilities emerge due to insecure web interfaces, lack of authentication methods, and weak data transfers. More so, most users of the IoT lack sufficient knowledge on cyber attacks and thus leave them open to the attacks. Cybersecurity professionals must, therefore, be aware of the vulnerabilities that face the users by integrating the user verification, password requirements, two-factor authentication, sophisticated security protocols and time-out sessions.
State Sponsored Attacks
The most challenging areas of cybersecurity are the rise of nation-state cyber-attacks. Such attacks are usually motivated by politics and are not aimed at generating money but mostly to acquire information that is utilized to manipulate other politicians. Furthermore, the states’ trade, economy, infrastructure, communication, transport and business usually incorporate IT-enabled services, and thus, the attackers can weaken the economy or foundation of the nation. Recently, the US and UK revealed how state-sponsored cyber-attacks occurred when they presented a statement where the two countries blamed Russian for the cyber-attacks on businesses and citizens (Taddeo 2017). The state-sponsored cyber attacks also target electronic voting devices and system so that they can still vote or manipulate public opinions. The raids form a big challenge since they are well funded, complicated and target specific, which allows them to be highly disruptive. States must ensure the independence of the cybersecurity agencies to prevent manipulation by political parties. Governments should also provide significant security updates on the internal networks and also isolate them the internet.
Prevention of ransomware attacks has become a significant challenge in cybersecurity due to the increasing miniaturization of computers, CCTV cameras, sensors and smartphones in the internet of things. Ransomware attacks have been there and are continually increasing as more people become victims of the attacks. Hackers have developed new ways to spread virus and malware software into customers and business organizations (Hampton, & Baig 2015). Once affected, the ransomware can only be uplifted when the subject meets the demands of the hacker. The big challenge of the ransomware is that many people who fall, victims, usually do not back up data systems or disaster recovery solutions. Attackers may attack smart cars, target factory lines and other devices such as home appliances. The fear of ransomware was experienced in 2016 when significant companies’ servers, including Netflix, Twitter, PayPal and NYTimes were intruded, and customer personal data was stolen (Wang & Lu 2013). More so, lack of skilled and qualified staff in the cybersecurity system has contributed a lot in the ransomware attacks since the teams are not able to detect the attacks earlier enough before they happen. Less qualified and skilled staffs mean that firms will lack the required expertise to deal with the cyber-attacks. However, most organizations have decided to invest in robots using AI systems in providing a secure platform against the attacks. The robots are efficient since they can detect the attacks on time, learn other techniques and block the intruders from accessing or manipulating data. More so, the robot cyber will not need to be paid per hour like human labour thus increasing their efficiency.
In conclusion, cybersecurity faces many challenges, including the development of AI-based virus and malware, state-sponsored attacks, ransomware and vulnerability of the internet of things paradigm. Governments and private entities ought to invest in cybersecurity projects to compete with the ever-developing cyber-attacks. The rise of quantum computing and Artificial Intelligence technology lays both opportunity and challenges to cyber security. However, if the techniques can be used effectively, they can advance cybersecurity to another level by use of complex algorithms that can detect and eliminate malware and virus attacks.
Dawson, M., & Nuñez, P. M. T. (2018). Issues in Cybersecurity: Security Challenges and Problems in the Dominican Republic. Land Forces Academy Review, 23(3), 173-180. Dawson is a professor while Nunez is a computer researcher and his current project is High-performance IoT middleware development. Both authors are well knowledgeable on the issue of cybersecurity.
Hampton, N., & Baig, Z. A. (2015). Ransomware: Emergence of the cyber-extortion menace. The research paper is crucial in this article because it examines the evolvement of viruses and malware over three decades. More so, the research investigates the emergence of ransomware in cyber-attacks and thus portrays the key findings.
Lee, I., & Lee, K. (2015). The Internet of Things (IoT): Applications, investments, and challenges for enterprises. Business Horizons, 58(4), 431-440. Lee and Lee K are both specialists in machine learning, big data, cloud computing and IoT. Therefore, the authors display vast experience and knowledge in addressing challenges in cyber security.
Rudner, M. (2013). Cyber-threats to critical national infrastructure: An intelligence challenge. International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 26(3), 453-481. The author is a well-recognized research professor who has invested his research skills in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. The article addresses how AI technology poses significant challenges in cybersecurity.
Stojkoska, B. L. R., & Trivodaliev, K. V. (2017). A review of Internet of Things for the smart home: Challenges and solutions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 1454-1464. Both authors are professors within the faculty of computer science and engineering and have specialised in the internet of things technology. The book reveals how IoT faces significant cyber-attacks.
Wang, W., & Lu, Z. (2013). Cybersecurity in the smart grid: Survey and challenges. Computer networks, 57(5), 1344-1371. The article explains the concept of the smart grid, which is referred to as the power system of the generation and unveils the significant weaknesses of the system in cybersecurity. Additionally, the authors have specialized in wireless networking and networking security and thus give a deep understanding of the cyber security challenges within the smart power grid system.
Taddeo, M. (2017). Deterrence by norms to stop interstate cyber-attacks. Minds and Machines, 27(3), 387-392. Taddeo is a researcher in the Oxford Internet Institute and provides essential information about algorithms and other ways that can harden the cyber-security system. The article offers ways that cyber security can stop cyber attacks amongst nations and put an end to state-sponsored attacks.