What is Cyber Security | Definition, Threats & Solutions
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Cyber security definition

Cyber security is a term used to describe the protection of electronic and computer networks, programs and data against criminal or unauthorised access. Maintaining a high standard of security is essential to protect critical systems and data against cyber-attacks. 

With today’s cyber threats more sophisticated and persistent than ever, businesses are finding it increasingly challenging to defend against them. This makes it essential to approach cyber security as a continuous journey, involving regular assessmentand appropriate investment in people and controls. 


With so many threats, rapid
detection is essential

The proliferation of cloud services, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and remote working means that the latest cyber security threats have an even wider surface to attack. With new attack vectors capable of evading traditional preventative security such as firewalls and antivirus software, being able to detect intrusions as early as possible is vital to minimise cyber security risks.

Common cyber security threats include:


Malicious code designed to compromise a user’s privacy by stealing and destroying personal data can be introduced via a wide variety of sources, including email attachments, downloads, bogus advertisements and webpages. It's essential to identify and disrupt attacks before they spread.


A form of malware designed to cause widespread disruption by infecting multiple systems on a network, locking down machines and demanding a ransom for their return or decryption.

Password attacks

Brute force is a common method used by cybercriminals to gain access to user accounts. Using a variety of methods, including the use of automated applications that enter thousands of common word and number combinations in sequence, hackers can crack weak accounts in minutes.

Social engineering

By imitating the communications of known individuals and businesses, social engineering scams trick users into clicking infected links or divulging personal information like passwords. Highly personalised spear phishing and Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks target high privilege users and can be highly damaging.

Denial-of-service attacks

By flooding a network with high volumes of useless requests and data, DoS attacks overload vital services until they no longer function. A distributed DoS attack is conducted by many, often thousands, of sources so if not detected early can be very hard to stop.

Man-in-the-middle attacks

By sitting between the connection of two parties and observing traffic, cybercriminals are able to intercept and manipulate sensitive information such as bank account details. These difficult to detect attacks target key communication channels such as Wi-Fi, meaning that close monitoring is required to identify them.

How we can help

Here to help defend your business
against attacks

Redscan is an award-winning provider of cyber security services. Our range of services help organisations level up cyber security maturity to better prevent, detect and respond to current and emerging threats.

ThreatDetect MDR

Managed Detection and Response

Reduce breach detection time from months to minutes with ThreatDetect™ MDR.

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A range of security assessment services

Assessment Services

Gauge the effectiveness of defences with pen testing, red teaming and more.

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Managed Security Serrvices

A vendor-agnostic approach to security monitoring and technology management.

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Our approach

By adopting an offensive security mindset, Redscan’s cyber security experts help organisations of all sizes to defend against the latest cyber threats.

An outcome-focused approach and commitment to delivering the highest levels of service ensures our clients receive the support and insights needed to make continuous cyber security improvements.

Company Overview

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Cyber Security FAQs

Where to start with cyber security

With a huge range of cyber security solutions available, it can be difficult to know which ones offer the best protection. Organisations looking to better understand their security posture and where to invest should consider commissioning a vulnerability scan or penetration test to identify weaknesses.

The Cyber Essentials certification scheme is a useful mechanism to help businesses achieve a base level of cyber security assurance and demonstrate to employees, partners, customers and investors that cyber security is taken seriously.

Who needs cyber security?

With the threat landscape evolving at an unprecedented rate, no organisation is immune to cyber-attacks. Regardless of size or sector, all businesses need cyber security to protect their employees, customers and partners, and any organisation that neglects it is making itself an easy target.

Why is cyber security necessary?

Cyber security protects critical assets and confidential data. A cyber security breach can be hugely damaging for any organisation’s finances and reputation. Legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means that organisations face significant penalties if they fail to take security seriously.

How to improve cyber security

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to protect an organisation against all cyber threats. To make genuine, lasting improvements to cyber security, a strong blend of technology, expertise and processes is required.

While preventative security controls such as firewalls and antivirus software are a solid first line of defence, proactive network and endpoint monitoring is increasingly important to improve visibility of threats that bypass these defences. Regular security assessments such as vulnerability scanning and pen testing are also important in order to identify and address weaknesses before they can be exploited by attackers.

Who is responsible for an organisation’s cyber security?

In a large enterprise, a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Security Officer (CSO) are the employees with overall responsibility for cybersecurity. In smaller organisations, the responsibility commonly lies with an IT Director, Head of IT or IT Manager.

Regardless of organisation size, no one person or team should shoulder the entire burden of ensuring an organisation’s cyber security. All employees have a responsibility to raise awareness and follow recommended procedures and practices.

What are cyber security vulnerabilities?

Cyber security vulnerabilities are weaknesses in an organisation’s technology, people and processes that could allow hackers to obtain access to critical assets and data. Vulnerabilities can include flaws in unpatched software, weak passwords, insecure system configurations, and poor email security protocols.

What are the potential cyber security threats?

As attackers become increasingly persistent and well-funded, and the workplace is transformed by cloud services, remote working and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the number of threats targeting organisations is multiplying. Common cyber security threats include hacking, malware, social engineering, brute-force attacks and denial-of service attacks.

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