Welcome to the introduction to cybersecurity.
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Hackers work hard to steal your identity, your money, and your access to your employer’s data and systems. You could be liable for the actions hackers take in your name, which could lead to serious consequences for you, your family, your coworkers, or your employer.
The threat of cyberattack is quite real, and hackers and thieves target individuals just like you. Security experts counted over eighty thousand new software attacks launched every day. Forty million people received an email from a hacker, a rate that increased by about 50% from the previous year.
Many cyber attacks are stopped before they can do damage, but far too many still succeed. The danger is real for individuals, businesses, and governments alike.
Hackers aren’t who you might expect: the lone wolves glamorized in movies and on television. They often work in teams striving to achieve a common goal. In fact, hacker teams usually fall into one of three categories: criminals, national governments, and activists.
Criminals are the most prevalent type of hackers, responsible for about 50% of reported attacks. Criminal hackers engage in typical criminal enterprises online, including credit card theft, fraud, blackmail, and the sale of illegal materials.
Criminal hackers are often behind email scams to steal credit card numbers, software that locks computers for ransom, lost thumb drives whose contents help find material for blackmail, and other money-making scams.
National governments also employ hackers to gather intelligence or infest computer systems ahead of an actual cyber warfare attack. These hackers are often behind attacks aimed at energy producers, unclassified military networks, industrial control systems, and other critical infrastructure.
Activists and protesters who cross the line into hacking make up the third common group of hackers, commonly known as hacktivists. Hacktivists aim to disrupt the operations of an organization, learn embarrassing insider information, or learn where and when organization executives may appear in public, all to publicly embarrass or harass their targets.
Hacktivists are often behind so-called “denial of service” attacks that shut down email, web services, and other Internet-based services. They are also often behind so-called “social engineering” attacks that use two-way communications to fool employees of target organizations.
In addition to those types of hackers, there is one more threat that often confronts employees. This is the threat of insiders, who are people with harmful goals and the IT expertise to achieve them.
Insiders may be disgruntled employees, your rivals, or outright embezzlers. They may use any of the techniques that other hackers use, but can often prey on your trust in them to be especially effective.
Considering the threat that hackers of every stripe pose to you and your organization, it is important that you do everything you can to protect yourself. No one expects you to become a cybersecurity expert overnight, but knowing a few basics will keep you safe in your daily life.
Our cybersecurity awareness training covers specific threats that cyber attacks pose and practical steps you can take to defend against those threats.
The topics we cover include malware; phishing; and the safe use of passwords. Your employer may have included other topics, such as the safe use of web browsers and removable media, as part of this training.
Now that you understand the urgency of defending against cyberattack, we will turn our attention to specific types of attacks and related defenses. The next few modules will train you to defend yourself and your devices in the rapidly evolving cyberspace of communications. To begin this training, please click “Continue” and then click the next module in this course.