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10.20.2022

7 Types of Cybersecurity You Should Know

By The Fullstack Academy Team

A cybersecurity analyst uses a laptop.

7 Types of Cybersecurity You Should Know

The digital economy has exploded, and so has digital crime. To fight cyberattacks, employers demand the expertise of professional cybersecurity analysts who specialize in different types of cybersecurity

  • The U.S. has over 700,000 job openings for cybersecurity analysts, according to Cyberseek.

  • Cybersecurity Ventures projects 3.5 million job openings for cybersecurity analysts worldwide by 2025.

  • Jobs for information security analysts will grow 33% by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—four times faster than the average profession.

Although it has the single aim of countering digital crime, cybersecurity is not a single field. It encompasses at least seven distinct areas. Understanding their differences can help a prospective cyber analyst decide which types of cybersecurity they want to focus on.

1. Network Security

Network security is one type of cybersecurity with a core function to protect computer networks against intrusions. It mixes technologies to create multiple lines of defense:

  • Firewalls are software or hardware gateways that admit authorized users and keep unauthorized users out.

  • Anti-virus software recognizes and neutralizes malicious programs.

  • Data loss prevention puts controls on the data types that end users can transfer, preventing confidential information from leaking.

  • Email security entails implementing measures such as spam filters to screen out suspicious emails and encryption to protect email contents.

2. Information Security

Rather than defend a network against outside intruders, information security, or InfoSec, guards the digital and physical data inside a network. It employs three key principles to guarantee that only authorized users can access and update information.

  • Confidentiality uses passwords and other forms of authentication to verify user identity.

  • Integrity protects data from alteration by unauthorized users, alerts administrators when someone tries to alter data, and maintains backups for restoring data.

  • Availability ensures that authorized users can get to data by making sure the network has enough resources to handle the volume of requests.

3. Application Security

When the security firm Veracode tested 85,000 software applications, it found 83% with at least one vulnerability, according to the cybersecurity news service CSO. Application security, or AppSec, looks for software flaws and patches them.

Besides passwords, this type of cybersecurity uses more sophisticated kinds of safeguards to prevent intrusions:

  • Two-factor authentication supplements password protection by sending a one-time code to a user’s phone or email, confirming their identity before letting them open an application.

  • Testing tools analyze software while it’s being developed or updated, looking for security holes.

  • Security updates get released by an application’s developer to patch newly discovered flaws and should be promptly installed.

4. Cloud Security

Rather than storing data and apps solely within their own networks, many companies subscribe to remote networks, known as cloud services. For small companies with limited resources, a cloud network can provide heightened security, but it can also create new threats because it offers new entry points for intruders, such as the connection between a user and the cloud.

Cloud security uses familiar controls, like passwords, to guard against those threats. But it adds other layers:

  • Virtual private networks encrypt the connection between a remote user and a cloud server to conceal a user’s data and IP address.

  • Threat intelligence software uses artificial intelligence to collect real-time information from multiple online sources about new cyber threats.

  • Cloud security posture management continuously monitors elements of a cloud network, such as traffic and data storage, to catch emerging risks.

5. End-User Behavior

The weakest links in a network are often the people using it. Besides ensuring hardware and software defenses are in place, cybersecurity analysts need to set best practices and conduct security awareness training to educate end users about potential threats. User best practices can include:

  • Identifying and avoiding suspicious emails, such as phishing scams, with links that try to steal information or download malware

  • Creating complex passwords and changing them regularly

  • Digitally locking and physically securing phones and tablets when not in use

6. Critical Infrastructure Security

In 2021, hackers demanding ransom shut down the nation’s largest fuel pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, for six days. Other vulnerable infrastructure can include power plants, water utilities, chemical plants, and heating and cooling systems.

Cybersecurity professionals work with such facilities to evaluate their internet connections and fix security gaps. They often collaborate with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)—the federal agency that assesses infrastructure weaknesses and shares information about threats and solutions.

7. Internet of Things Security

Smart equipment and appliances, such as locks, lights, and security cameras, offer convenience and efficiency, but retailers often ship them with minimal security provisions—making it easy to hack into the devices and the networks they’re connected to.

Professionals can enhance the cybersecurity of the Internet of Things (IoT) with precautions like:

  • Checking the security protections of devices before buying them

  • Setting them up properly within a network

  • Changing weak preinstalled passwords to strong ones

  • Installing firmware updates

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

The types of cybersecurity threats that can occur are extraordinarily diverse. The following widely reported incidents occurred within the first half of 2022 alone:

  • A group called Lapsus$ broke into Microsoft, compromising its Bing search engine and Cortana digital assistant.

  • Hackers stole 500,000 records from the Red Cross through a third-party contractor.

  • Attackers stole $32 billion in cryptocurrencies from users of the exchange Crypto.com.

  • Cybercriminals destabilized the network of German energy firm Marquard & Bahls, forcing the shutdown of 200 gas stations.

Because digital threats come in so many different forms, the cybersecurity industry must evolve to combat each specialized threat. Being acquainted with the seven types of cybersecurity can help a professional determine which specialization might be most successful on a case-by-case basis.

Explore Different Types of Cybersecurity Careers for Bootcamp Graduates

As companies struggle to keep up with cyber crime, they’ll continue to seek out and rely on professionals who specialize in many different types of cybersecurity. An intensive program like Fullstack Academy’s online Cybersecurity Analytics Bootcamp can equip students with the skills to get started in many types of cybersecurity careers.

The curriculum moves from foundations and security essentials to ways networks get attacked and ways to defend them. It culminates in a team project, with written and video documentation that professionals can include on their resumes. Discover how the cybersecurity program can help prepare you to protect businesses and society no matter the type of cybersecurity career you want to pursue.

Recommended Readings

Cybersecurity Job Demand: The Growing Need for Cyber Professionals

How to Get a Job in Cybersecurity

The Benefits of Learning Cybersecurity Remotely

Sources:

CNBC, “Ransomware Attack Forces Shutdown of Largest Fuel Pipeline in the U.S.”

CompTIA, “What Is Cybersecurity?”

CrowdStrike, “What Is Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)?”

CSO, "What Is Application Security? A Process and Tools for Securing Software”

CSO, "What Is Information Security? Definition, Principles, and Jobs”

Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, Infrastructure Security

Cybersecurity Ventures, “Cybersecurity Jobs Report: 3.5 Million Openings in 2025”

Cyberseek, Cybersecurity Supply/Demand Heat Map

Department of Homeland Security, Securing the Internet of Things

Security Intelligence, “IoT Security and the Internet of Forgotten Things”

IBM, What Is Cloud Security?

IBM, What Is Network Security?

Proofpoint, “What Is Data Loss Prevention (DLP)?”

TechRadar, “Top Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks of 2022”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts

U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Actions Urgently Needed to Better Protect the Nation's Critical Infrastructure”