What Are Cyber Security Tools?

Nowadays, protecting yourself from malicious attacks on the internet is very crucial. Cyber security tools can help you. These tools can help you protect your data against unwanted access and provide you preventive measures against cyberattacks, including viruses, malware, hackers, phishing, and other network security attacks.


Why Do You Need Cyber Security Tools?

Whether you’re protecting yourself or your business operations, cyber security tools are a must, especially now that attackers are looming everywhere on the internet. Here’s why you need to equip yourself with these tools now.

It Protects Your Data and System

Cyber security tools serve as your shield against potential cyber attacks. With these tools, you can safely browse through the internet by protecting yourself against unwanted programs. These tools can also stop threats that make you susceptible to cyber crimes, such as identity theft and hacking, so you can stop worrying about your data’s safety.

 

It Helps in Increasing Your System’s Productivity

Cyber security tools are essential since it protects you against programs that slow down and crashes your system. When you increase your defenses with cyber security tools, you can avoid system downtime caused by these programs, allowing your system to work efficiently. Also, hackers and cyber criminals will not be able to take down your system easily if you have robust security.


Core Features of Cyber Security Tools

True enough, cyber security tools are handy. But knowing which one is the best for you can be overwhelming. Here’s a gathered list of core features that you need to look for when choosing your cyber security tools to make things simple and convenient for you.

Data Safety and Security

One of the main reasons why you need cyber security tools is because you want to protect your data, as well as your system. So your cyber security tool should be able to provide you all types of security you need to keep your data safe. Your computer has different parts, and each of these needs specific kinds of protection.

Disaster Recovery Plan

When running a business or a company, you must have a disaster recovery plan that will serve as your backup plan when unforeseen events take place. There are circumstances where you may lose all of your data when you encounter a disaster. Therefore, your cyber security tool should allow you to have a contingency plan so that you will be able to restore your operating systems quickly.

End-User Education

Your tools should be able to provide you an end-user education so that you can be aware of the different types of potential threats you can face. Your tools’ end-user training should include lessons about cyber security and its importance, as well as the different types of cyber threats and how you can prevent them.

Continuous Monitoring

A cyber security tool should regularly monitor your system, so you will know if your tools protect you adequately. Continuous monitoring will help you determine the tools that are becoming weak and ineffective so that you can update or replace them.

Incident Response Tool and Management Plans For Risks

Your cyber security tools should provide you different types of incident response tools, as well as risk management plans, on every possible threat and attack you may encounter on your computer system. These tools should help you when you face security breaches so that cyber attacks will not be able to cause too much damage to your computer system.


Types of Cyber Security Tools

There are several types of cyber security tools, and each one of them serves a different purpose. When choosing the right tool to get for you or your business, it’s also essential to get yourself acquainted with the various cyber security tools.

Antivirus Software

An antivirus is a cyber security software tool that helps you against viruses, bots, worms, scareware, and Trojan horses. The antivirus application scans each of your files for viruses and any suspicious patterns, malicious codes, and infected files. Upon detection, they are automatically separated from the clean files.

Best for 

Viruses, bots, worms, scareware, and Trojan horses

Pros of Antivirus Software

It decreases the chances of getting infected

The use of antivirus decreases your chances of getting infected with viruses, spyware, and malware since you can scan your system on a scheduled basis or anytime you want.

Cons of Antivirus Software

It slows down the system

An antivirus software can slow down your computer’s system because it uses a lot of storage space for installation and usage.

 

Spyware Detector Software

Spyware detection can protect you against spyware. Spyware is an unauthorized software that is installed into your computer systems against your will. This malicious program can record your data without you knowing, and it can record your routine and behavior patterns, which can be used by hackers for transactions under your identity. This crime is also known as identity theft.

Best for 

Spyware

Pros of Spyware Detector Software

It’s easy to download, install, and operate

If you need to use a spyware detector for your computer, you can easily find this on the internet. It is easy to download, install, and operate. However, you have to make sure that you get this from a trusted source.

Cons of Spyware Detector Software

It can come with additional malicious downloads

If you fail to download from a trusted source, there is a chance that the spyware detector will only bring you other malicious features. Instead of protecting yourself, you only end up bringing more harm to your data.

 

Password Authentication Software

Password authentication software is for verifying identities, so you can use these tools to protect your accounts and devices from cyber criminals. This software protects you in many ways, such as creating strong passwords and also providing you biometric options so only you can access your data.

Best for Personal sevice (e.g., Smartphones, Laptops) and websites with sensitive data

Pros of Password Authentication Software

Provides essential protection from financial fraud and identity theft

The use of passwords will prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the critical client data and files from your business, which they can use for fraud and identity theft.

Cons of Password Authentication Software

Hackers can use brute force attacks to crack passwords

Even if you use a secure password, hackers will still be able to decipher your password by making use of computer programs that can crack the password quicker.

 

Firewalls

A firewall is one of the essential cyber security tools that you can use, and it serves as your first line of defense against cyberattacks. You can use firewalls on both of your hardware and software. 

The firewall informs you when you enter an untrusted website, and it automatically prevents you from going into unsecured networks. It can also screen your messages to see if there is any malicious content. Malicious messages are flagged as spam to let you know that you shouldn’t open them because it may harm your data and system.

Best for 

Website servers

Pros of Firewalls

It monitors and reports internet traffic activities

You can use firewalls to monitor your internet activities that cause traffic to your server.

It’s your first line of defense against attacks

It’s effortless to access malicious websites on the internet today without you knowing. Thanks to firewalls, you are prevented from entering such pages, which decreases your chances of being a victim of cybercrime.

Cons of Firewalls

It requires a considerable amount of setup time

The downside to firewalls is that you need the help of an expert to set this up. The configuration also consumes a significant amount of time. If you’re setting this up for your business, do the installation before you start your operations.

 

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

Public key infrastructure (PKI) assures you that you are transacting with responsible parties over the internet through data encryption keys. PKI also uses multi-factor authentication systems and digital signatures to ensure security. You can use PKI services for your online transactions, especially when you have an electronic business.

Best for 

Electronic businesses and ecommerce websites

Pros of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

It’s a lot cheaper in the long run

If you run a business, the use of PKI services is for a long time. It’s also low maintenance since you only need to change your keys once in a while to keep your security working. These services are expensive at first, but they’re worth it as a business investment.

Cons of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

It relies heavily on computer resources

Because it mainly relies on computer resources, you have to keep up with this technology’s updates to maintain your system’s safety.

 

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) 

An intrusion detection system or IDS monitors servers and network activity in real-time. This cyber security monitoring tool identifies and issues you an alert when suspicious activity occurs in your system.

Best for 

Medium-scale and large-scale businesses

Pros of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) 

It can track and monitor potential threats

This kind of response tool will help you distinguish which parts of your system are being attacked and how it is affecting your network and your machine.

Cons of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) 

It can raise false positive and negative alarms

Not all IDS warnings are accurate. There may be times when there is a glitch in the system that can give you false signals.

 

Network Traffic Analysis Tools

Network traffic analyzers are cyber security analyzing tools that can help you examine actual traffic within a network, as well as its gateways. You can use this tool to track a particular activity or data process to find out which part of its flow is susceptible to attacks.

Best for Website servers and users

Pros of Network Traffic Analysis Tools

It provides secure network traffic and bandwidth monitoring

With the use of these tools, you can easily monitor which activities cause traffic in your server so that you can address issues immediately.

Cons of Network Traffic Analysis Tools

File server breakdown makes the server inaccessible

When your file server crashes because of too much traffic, you will also not be able to access your files until you fix the cause of the traffic.

 

Threat Intelligence Security Research 

Threat intelligence security research is a cyber security visualization tool that helps you visualize potential threats - its motives, targets, and behavior. This tool also puts proper cyber security tools and controls so you can handle things quickly when there’s a breach in your security.

Best for 

Organizations

Pros of Threat Intelligence Security Research 

It provides improved visibility and situational awareness

You can use this tool so you can be aware of the possible attacks that your system and network can encounter.

Cons of Threat Intelligence Security Research 

More information results in data overload

Because you are gathering information about every possible threat in your system and network, this may result in data overload, which may slow down your system.

 

System Back-Up And Recovery Tools 

You can use a system back-up and recovery tool to eliminate or minimize potential harm in your system by preventing data loss and damages, especially during emergencies.

Best for Businesses and organizations

Pros of System Back-Up And Recovery Tools 

It detects, warns, and recovers

You can use this tool to detect and prevent any attacks that may cause damage to your operations. If you fail to block the attack, you can still recover some of your files with the use of your backup.

Cons of System Back-Up And Recovery Tools ​​​​​​​

Your backup server can still be infected

Even if you use a back-up and recovery tool, it will not assure you that your system or network will not get infected at all. Your back-up files may also be affected if not protected well.

 

Penetration Testing Tool

If you want to test your system’s vulnerabilities in cyber security, penetration testing can help you. Also known as pen testing, you can use this tool to evaluate your system by intentionally exposing it to potential threats. Pen testing includes a simulation of possible attacks, as well as how you will resolve them. Two of the most common tests used for penetration testing are static analysis tools and dynamic analysis tools.

Best for Businesses and organizations

Pros of Penetration Testing Tool

Its reports will provide specific advice

This type of tool can help you rank and rate vulnerabilities according to your scale. You can use this report to address particular problems in your network or system.

Cons of Penetration Testing Tool

If tests are not done correctly, it can create more damage

If you use this tool for your business, you have to make sure that you hire a professional. If you fail to do the tests correctly, it can crash your server, expose and corrupt data, and cause other damages to your system.

 

Staff Training

For companies, staff training is considered a cyber security tool. It is vital that your employees know the proper way of securing data and how they can avoid cyber attacks. You should educate your employees regarding the data policy and security measures that you have in your business.

Best for Businesses and organizations

Pros of Staff Training

You can prevent most common threats

Educating and training your employees about how they can handle possible risks can increase the chances of preventing cyber attacks.

Cons of Staff Training

You can’t guarantee behavior changes

The downside of staff training is that you can’t control everything that your employees do. Some employees may forget about using security tools when doing their work, so this is where the possible threat or attack in your business comes in.


Who Needs Cyber Security Tools?

Critical Infrastructures

Critical infrastructures are one of the many users of cybersecurity tools. They use a computer system to sustain the availability of resources and maintain order in society. Computer systems in shopping centers and hospitals also use cybersecurity tools, since they hold vital information about their customers, so they must keep these secure. Other segments with critical infrastructures include electricity grid companies, water purification companies, and traffic light operators. 

 

Cloud Users

If you are a cloud user, you need to have cyber security tools in your cloud-based system. When you upload your files and data in a cloud-based system, you make yourself very susceptible to cyber threats and attacks. To prevent this from happening, you need to find the necessary tools that will keep you safe and secured while using this system.

 

Gadget Users

If you own any digital device, such as laptops and smartphones, you need cyber security tools. Cyber criminals can gain access to your essential files any time they want without your knowledge. These criminals can hack into any of your devices and use your information for blackmail or extortion purposes. The most common cyber security tool for gadget users today is antivirus software.

 

Cyber-Physical Systems

Cyber-physical systems include appliances, printers, security cameras, sensors, televisions, and wi-fi routers. If you are an owner of any of these appliances, you also need to protect yourself with cyber security tools so that hackers will not be able to gain or access control to your devices, which they can use for their illegal activities.


Frequently Asked Questions

Cyber security tools can offer you the following types of securities:

 

Application security

Application security protects an application’s source codes during its development phase against any vulnerabilities such as injection attacks and data breaches. Although this type of protection is mainly used during the development processes, there are still tools that developers use to protect the app even when they’re launched.

 

Operational security

Operational security focuses on protecting any sensitive information, such as a business’s analytical and risk management processes. Also known as procedural security, this will protect a company or organization by preventing unwanted access to their operational data. 

 

Information security

Information security focuses on preventing attacks against personal data, such as unauthorized access and changes to personal data, disclosure of confidential data, destruction of information. 

 

Network security

Network security deals with the protection of your computer when you access networks. This security prevents any unauthorized access to occur and make changes to your computer system. Some examples of tools that provide network security include antivirus software, email security, firewalls, and a virtual private network (VPN).

A web-based cyberattack is an attack on a website or web application of an organization. Web-based attacks include injection attacks, DNS spoofing, session hijacking, phishing, brute force, denial of service, dictionary attacks, URL interpretation, file inclusion attacks, and man in the middle attacks. To prevent an attack from happening, you can use cyber security tools to protect your devices.

A system-based cyberattack is an attack intended to compromise a computer or its network. System-based cyber attacks include viruses, worms, Trojan horses, backdoors, and bots.

 

         - A virus is a self-replicating computer program that creates a copy of itself into a computer file without your knowledge. This malware is similar to a worm, except that you need to trigger the virus first before activating it. 

          - A worm is like a virus because of its ability to self-replicate without your knowledge. Their only difference is that a worm does not need any activation processes so they can immediately cause the system to crash.

          - Trojan Horse is a malicious program that appears to be a regular application at first. Still, it makes unexpected changes to your system and causes unusual activities that are not permitting.

          - Backdoor, as the name suggests, is an application that can be a source of vulnerability because it can bypass your authentication processes.

          - A bot is short for robot, which means that it is an automated process that runs automatically to execute unauthorized commands.

The different types of cyber attackers are cyber criminals, hacktivists, state-sponsored attackers, and insider threats.

 

          - Cyber criminals are individuals or groups of people who use technology to their advantage to commit crimes. Cyber criminals stealing sensitive company information and personal data, so they can use it to extort money.

         - Hacktivists are individuals or groups of people who work to carry out propagandas. These hacktivists have common beliefs or principles that they strongly believe in, such as political agenda, religious belief, or social ideology.

         - State-sponsored attackers are individuals or groups of people who are “hired” by countries who have a political, commercial, and military interest against another state.

         - Insider threats are threats caused by people within the organization or people who have a close connection with the organization. These threats can be caused due to a lack of employee satisfaction or personal interests of a third party to the organization.

Insider threats refer to threats from within an organization. These security threats often come from employees within an organization, and they use their data for their intentions. Insider threats may be classified into: 

 

        a. A malicious threat causes potential harm to an organization’s structure or system. This threat can be in the form of system attacks, damages, ransomware, malware, and other types of risk to your system.

 

         b. Accidental threats, as the name suggests, are done without the intention of doing it in the first place. The damages caused by these threats are unintentional, such as an employee deletion of essential data.

 

         c. A negligent threat is caused by an employee’s negligence to follow company rules and policies. This threat happens when the employees do not follow the company’s guidelines in observing the application of cyber security in their system.

A disaster recovery plan serves as your backup plan when unforeseen events take place. There are many types of recovery plans, and here are the most common ones that companies and organizations use.

 

Data Center Disaster Recovery

Data center disaster recovery is a plan that involves the entire building where the data center is located. The data center, even in the presence of natural disasters, should still be working effectively to prevent its susceptibility from cyber attacks.

 

Cloud-based Disaster Recovery

Cloud-based disaster recovery is a plan that maximizes the use of a cloud provider’s data as a data center instead of the facilities that houses the data. With this recovery plan, your data files will not be physically destroyed during disasters. Because these files are located in a server, the only problem you can encounter with this is how you will retrieve it.

 

Virtualization Disaster Recovery

Virtualization disaster recovery is a plan where the main goal is to quickly and effectively reconstruct your physical server in case of a disaster. This plan is intended so a business can quickly recover in the event of an emergency, and make downtime of the system minimal.

 

Disaster Recovery as a Service

Disaster recovery as a service is a plan that is usually cloud-based. This disaster recovery plan is provided to you by a trusted cloud-based administrator where site-to-site service is done more quickly, and server replacement service is done in case of disasters. In this case, you are provided a secondary hot site, so your data recovery is fast and efficient.

You can perform manual or automated tests for your system. This test results in the exposure of your system’s vulnerabilities in the operating system, services, and applications. It also exposes improper configurations and other behaviors of end-users. To find out the best technique that you can use to resolve these vulnerabilities, you can perform further tests, such as porous defenses vulnerabilities, risky resource management vulnerabilities, and vulnerabilities related to insecure interaction between components.

The electricity grid and water purification companies make a lot of money from these common resources. Cybercriminals can work with the competitors of these companies to take them down, so they can monopolize the industry. This is why you need to install, monitor, and conduct cyber risk assessment from time to time.

 Traffic light operators maintain traffic rules and regulations to avoid accidents. If hackers get a hold of the traffic lights systems, they can use these during robberies and kidnappings to misdirect the police.

Cybersecurity is crucial in ensuring that key data do not fall in the hands of people in bad faith. Shopping centers and hospitals need cybersecurity tools in their system.

 

Every day, these establishments deal with sensitive and vital customer and client information, such as bank accounts and card details, medical records, and other personal information. Cybercriminals can use these data in illegal activities, such as unauthorized bank withdrawals and identity theft.


Step-by-Step Guide On How To Use Cyber Security Tools

Step 1: Get familiar with the core concepts of cyber security

To understand the use of these tools, you have to be familiar with the concepts of cyber security first. You should do research and know the terminologies that experts use in cyber security.

 

 

Step 2: Understand how cyberattacks and cyber damage can affect your cyber activities

You also have to learn the possible cyber attacks and damages that cyber criminals can do to your system. Being well informed about this matter allows you to prevent these attacks in the future and avoid significant computer damage.

 

 

Step 3: Install cyber security tools with the help of an expert

After you learn about the concepts of cyber security, ask for the help of an expert to install the necessary tools that you need for your computer.

 

 

Step 4: Use the cyber security tools regularly

Make sure that you use your cyber security tools regularly to avoid encountering problems during your cyber activities. If you use a password when logging in, make sure that you log out of your computer so other people will not be able to access your computer easily. To avoid malware and viruses on your computer, make sure that you do regular system scans to detect any program that can damage your computer.