Cyber Security Essay Writing Guide

Essay paper writing

Academic writing

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Nowadays, people spend much of their time on the Internet. This virtual world largely reflects the real one: there is crime, which unfortunately is an integral part of society. The growing exchange of information and electronic payments - this is exactly the tidbit that attracts criminals.

The structure of modern cybercrime is practically formed: there are already clearly defined relationships and business models. Profitability, risk management, development of new markets are also its important components.

Victims of cybercriminals, are private users, enterprises and organizations of all sizes. Economic damage from such malicious acts could reach $8 trillion by 2022. Among other risks, recent attacks have led to the closure of small businesses, delays in performing vital surgical operations and disruptions in the provision of public services.

Given the growing relevance of this topic, students of many educational institutions have to write computer crime essay. If you also received such an assignment, the facts outlined below will become a reliable basis for your academic paper.

essay on cyber crime

Information for an essay on different types of cybercrime

The pace of innovative development in the competition of ‘offensive’ and ‘defensive’ technologies is very high. More than 100,000 new samples of malicious software are being developed every day. A serious threat is a new unfolding arms race, during which sabotage acts and attacks are committed. Some modules are bought for more than $1 million. Cybercriminals are willing to pay such money because they are sure: the invested funds will pay off very quickly.

You can write about the following types of threats in a research paper on cyber security:

  • Along with traditional advertising mailings, there is malicious spam containing spyware or inviting users to sites with harmful content.
  • Unlike spam, target phishing is intended for narrow groups of people and contains messages with a social context that encourage a potential victim to open a dangerous file or visit a site with malicious code.
  • PDF-attacks: in recent time, a lot of serious vulnerabilities have been discovered in PDF documents.
  • SEO poisoning: interference of hackers into the search engine leads to the fact that sites containing malicious code occupy high positions in the rankings when entering a query. To prevent such threats, it's needed to use the latest version of the gateway antivirus and the intrusion prevention system.
  • Loss of performance: administrators can use traffic management or content filtering to limit or deny access to online resources.
  • Analysts warn about pernicious software that can spread through popular social networks. Content filtering and file locking should be used to minimize the risk.
  • Internet browsers are still considered the main source of threats.
  • The innovation of recent years is the transfer of hackers' efforts from browsers to web applications through which they can get direct access to the databases of companies of particular value.

The need to write network security research papers and perform a detailed analysis of this problem is connected with the fact that the percentage of vulnerability elimination is invariably low: up to 60% of the threats detected during the year do not have special patches from software vendors at its end.

The most vulnerable accounts are of privileged users, that is, system administrators. Today, monitoring their actions is a mandatory requirement on the part of various standards and regulators.  Illegal actions can be taken both outside the company and by the unscrupulous employees themselves. The dangers associated with privileged users include insider attacks when employees either knowingly steal data from their company or allow others to do this because of carelessness.

Mention in your cybercrime effects on corporations essay that many techniques applied earlier for home attacks are now used for business as well. These are modified banking Trojans intended for financial and accounting departments, various encryption programs. In addition, computer worms have gained popularity, for which removal requires the shutdown of the entire corporate network. When companies with a large number of branches located in different time zones face such problem, it inevitably leads to financial losses.

Measures against criminals to describe in cyber security essay

In order to effectively confront the threat which has so dramatically increased in recent years, companies need to consider information security as one of the key components of their operations. The issue of responsibility should become a top priority as the problem has become of strategic importance.

One of the first important steps which should be described in an essay on cybercrime and security is the introduction of the position of information security director in the organizational structure of the company.

As a rule, he is not a member of the management board but must have the right to direct access and report either directly to the Directorate or to an official who is maximum one step below the board members in the subordination hierarchy. The information security director is obliged to inform senior managers about the importance of measures to ensure information security and to seek the allocation of necessary resources.

The next decision taken at the level of the company's management is the compilation of a list of data and systems whose protection is of paramount importance. After determining certain units and systems, scenarios for countering attacks are developed taking into account the potential intruders, their goals, time and financial resources. Along with this, after the risk assessment, an information security management system should be implemented.

In a speech on cybercrime, it is worth mentioning that all departments should be properly involved in protective work at all stages. It is always very important to choose the best informative speech topics. Another significant point is awareness of the staff. It is necessary for each employee to have basic knowledge in the field of information security. In this case, workers can resist at least the simplest tricks that are often used by attackers, such as sending malware in email applications. Technology is not enough. Antivirus programs could only help people in making the correct decisions and doing the right things.

Your cybercrime research paper outline may contain the items listed below.

1. Firewall

Each company (including the small ones) must have a firewall that restricts access to the network. This is the first line of defense.

2. Access control

The use of the Internet by office employees should be closely monitored. In addition, organizations must have an antivirus protection and content filtering gateway.

3. Regular checks

Network administrators or managers should check all user accounts and data access rights each month or at least once a quarter.

4. Physical protection

Protection is not limited to data inside the computer. Organizations must also ensure the physical defense of their equipment. All visitors to the office must be accompanied by someone from the staff and the monitor screens should not be visible from the corridor.

5. Reliable passwords

Organizations must ensure the selection of strong passwords. This means a certain level of their complexity and a periodic change. The mother's maiden name is not a good option.

6. Avoiding stinginess

If it's possible, management should hire a data protection specialist(s). In addition, the budget should provide money for special equipment and software.

7. Vigilance

Office stuff must be taught to be watchful. A few simple rules can significantly improve the security of the company. Workers should never directly proceed to an unknown website whose address is sent by mail. It's better to delete any questionable messages and to never click the proposed links.

cyber safety essay

Social engineering

This category should be singled out in your cyber security argumentative essay. No technical means could confront the methods of social engineering. Scammers gather data armed with the knowledge of human psychology. In social networks, they send malicious links with news about users’ favorite music bands. An accountant may receive a document named ‘bill’ in which the virus is actually hidden.

A separate area of this direction is so-called ‘Nigerian spam’. Attackers send letters asking for help in the transfer of money allegedly taxed by the high commission. They report about the recent death of a very rich man ‘with the same surname’ and offer help in obtaining funds from the bank account of the deceased.

What to write in a how to prevent cybercrime essay about such cases? The only counteraction is completely ignoring the message. Even if a user enters into correspondence with a hacker in order to just write a refusal, he thereby confirms own email address. Subsequently, attackers can use it for other, more ingenious mailings.

Regular training of all employees of the company and informing them about existing types of threats helps to counteract social engineering attacks.

The latest trends in the world of cyber defense

Your criminals and cybercrime essay should be relevant, consist of facts and not conjectures. You can write about the important trends described below.

Cybersecurity Tech Accord

On April 17, 2018, 34 technology and security companies signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, an agreement between the world's largest groups of organizations engaged in protecting customers around the world from the malicious actions of cybercriminals. The 34 participants list included ABB, Arm, Cisco, Facebook, HP, HPE, Microsoft Corp., Nokia, Oracle and Trend Micro. Together, these enterprises represent the creators and users of technologies that provide the work of the global communication and information infrastructure.

The main activities of the association:

  • Enterprises will create a more powerful system of protection from cyber attacks. As part of this initiative, companies are obliged to defense customers around the world, regardless of the motivations and goals of online attacks.
  • Non-attack. Companies will not assist governments impose cyber attacks, will take measures to protect their products and services from hacking or malicious use at all stages of technological development and distribution.
  • Capacity improvement. Enterprises will make extra efforts to support organizations and private users of their technologies helping them to expand the self-defense capabilities. Such efforts may include the joint creation of new practical security standards and functions which companies can integrate into their products and services.
  • Collective actions. Participants will strengthen existing relationships, jointly create new formal and informal partnerships with other industries, civil society and research communities to increase the scope of technical cooperation, identify vulnerabilities, share risk analysis, and minimize the potential for malicious code to appear in cyberspace.

Despite the fact that many signatories complied with all these principles before concluding an agreement, although they didn’t disclose it, such an agreement constitutes a public joint obligation to cooperate in providing cyber security.

The tech accord remains open to other signatories from the private sector if they enjoy a high reputation, unconditionally adhere to strict standards and document principles, regardless of the scale or specialization of their activities.

Full list of Cybersecurity Tech Accord participants: ABB, Bitdefender, Cisco, ARM, BT, Cloudflare, Avast!, CA Technologies, DataStax, Dell, HPE, SAP, DocuSign, Intuit, Stripe, Facebook, Juniper Networks, Symantec, Fastly, LinkedIn, Telefonica, FireEye, Microsoft, Tenable, F-Secure, Nielsen, Trend Micro, GitHub, Nokia, VMware, Guardtime, Oracle, HP Inc., RSA.

Microsoft Security Intelligence Report

In April 2018, Microsoft Corporation published a report on information security threats for the period from February 2017. It is based on data received by the company's protective programs and services. Information was provided by corporate and private users who agreed to share it.

The report is devoted to three topics: botnets, popular methods of hacker attacks and viruses-extortionists. The purpose of the publication of the report is to raise user awareness about existing threats and methods of countering them.

The highest risk was recorded in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Ukraine (33.2% or higher), the lowest - in Finland, Denmark, Ireland and the USA (11.4% or less).

According to Windows Defender Security Intelligence, Trojans are the most common category of unwanted software. The percentage of their spread from February 2017 to January 2018 increased from 6% to 10%. Indicators of other types of malware were less than 1%.

It is worth mentioning the following in the cybercrime and identity theft essay: in 2017, methods of obtaining "easy meat", such as phishing, were used to get credentials and other confidential information from users. According to Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), phishing was among the most serious threats in Office 365 users' mailboxes in the second half of 2017 (53%). 180-200 million dangerous emails were detected monthly. The next most common risk sources were malware loaders (29%) and Java backdoors (11%).

Another target for attackers: cloud-based applications with a low level of security. The study revealed that 79% of SaaS-apps for cloud storage and 86% of SaaS-apps for collaboration do not provide encryption of either stored or transmitted information.

To protect corporate infrastructure, organizations must limit the use of cloud-based applications by workers who do not resort to encryption and monitor the labor process using the Cloud Access Security Broker, CASB.

Another trend of the second half of 2017: cybercriminals used legitimate embedded system facilities to distribute an infected document (for example, Microsoft Office doc) contained in a phishing letter and to upload an extortion program. The best way to avoid this type of threat is to update the operating system and software in a timely manner.

cyber security essay

Cisco Annual Cybersecurity Report

Malware does not cease to improve: today, attackers use cloud services and avoid detection owing to encryption that helps to hide the command flow. According to the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, experts begin to increasingly procure and apply the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) means to reduce the detection time.

On the one hand, encryption helps to strengthen protection. On the other hand, the growth of both legitimate and malicious encrypted traffic (50% as of October 2017) increases the problems for those who defend themselves in the process of identifying potential threats and monitoring their activity. Over the past 12 months, Cisco information security experts have recorded more than threefold growth in encrypted network traffic in inspected malware samples.

The use of machine learning helps to increase the effectiveness of network protection and over time will automatically detect non-standard patterns in encrypted web traffic, cloud, and IoT environments. Some of the 3600 information security directors interviewed during the preparation of the report of the Cisco 2018 Security Capabilities Benchmark Study stated that they trust AI and ML tools and would like to use them, but they are disappointed by a large number of false reactions. AI and ML technologies, which are now at the very beginning of their development, will improve over time and learn to determine the ‘normal’ activity of the networks they monitor.

Some results of the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report

The financial damage from attacks is becoming more and more real.

According to the respondents, more than half of all attacks caused financial damage (about $500 million) including loss of revenue, an outflow of customers, lost profits and direct costs.

Attacks on the supply chains become more complicated and gain speed:

  • Such attacks can cause large-scale damage to computers. At the same time, their effect can last for months and even years. It is necessary to remember the potential risks of using software and hardware by the organizations which do not take the issues of information security seriously.
  • In 2017, two strong attacks infected users with Nyetya и Ccleaner viruses through trusted software.
  • To reduce the risks of attack on the supply chain, it is necessary to review the actions of third-party organizations and test the effectiveness of information security technologies.

Protecting is becoming more difficult and vulnerabilities are more diverse now.

Organizations use complex combinations of products from different manufacturers. This complication, on the background of increasing variety of vulnerabilities, adversely affects the ability to repel the attacks and also leads to an increase in the risks of financial losses.

  • In 2017, 25% of information security professionals reported about using products from 11-20 vendors. In 2016, 18% responded so.
  • Information security specialists reported that 32% of the vulnerabilities affected more than half of the systems. In 2016, 15% responded so.

Information security specialists evaluated the use of behavioral analysis tools to identify malicious objects:

  • 92% of experts believe that the means of behavioral analysis are good at the task.
  • 2/3 representatives of the health sector and financial services industry consider behavioral analytics useful for identifying malicious objects.

The use of cloud technologies increases; attackers take advantage of the lack of modern security means:

  • This year, 27% of information security professionals reported using external private clouds (20% in 2016).
  • 57% of them place the network in the cloud for better data protection, 48% - for scalability, and 46% - for ease of use.
  • While the cloud provides increased security for data, attackers use the fact that organizations are not very good at protecting emerging and expanding cloud configurations. The effectiveness of protecting such configurations is enhanced by using a combination of best practices, advanced security technologies such as machine learning and first-line tools like cloud information security platforms.

Trends in malicious software growth and detection time:

  • Cisco's average time to detection (TTD) for the period from November 2016 to October 2017 was about 4.6 hours. In November 2015, this figure was 39 hours. According to the Cisco Cybersecurity Report for 2017, the detection time for the period from November 2015 to October 2016 was 14 hours.
  • Cloud security technology became the key factor for Cisco in the process of reducing the time to detection and keeping it at a low level. The shorter the TTD, the faster the attack is reflected.

Additional recommendations which may be enlisted in research articles on cyber security:

  • monitoring of compliance with corporate policies, and practices for updating applications, systems and devices;
  • timely receipt of accurate data on threats and the existence of processes that allow the use of these data for security control;
  • advanced analysis;
  • regular backup of data and verification of recovery procedures - critical actions in the background of the rapid evolution of network extortion programs and destructive malware;
  • conducting a security check for cloud services and application administration systems.

Prosecution of Infraud Organization members

On February 7, 2018, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment for 36 individuals belonging to the cyber-crime group Infraud. Their activities inflicted damage on consumers, businesses, and financial institutions for more than $530 million. The hackers intended to steal more than $2.2 billion.

The Internet is threatened with fragmentation due to cyber attacks

As a result of cross-border cyber attacks, the Internet can disintegrate into separate national and regional parts. This news was informed in The Global Risks Report 2018 presented at The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva.

Fragmentation of the Global Network can lead to the termination of its functions and the slowdown of technical progress. The development of cybersecurity will help to prevent the division of the Internet into parts. According to the authors of the report, a great deal of importance will be played by the dialogue between governments and technology companies.

Currently, more attention is paid to the creation of offensive and not defensive capabilities in cyberspace. Because of this, an uncertainty arises in which incorrect calculations can cause a chain reaction and a spiral of retaliatory punitive measures.

There is a possibility that a real source of cyber attack will be determined wrongly and the innocent target will suffer from a retaliatory strike. Then it will also respond and the circle of parties involved in the conflict will expand. As a result of attacks on incorrect targets, even physical and not cyber-weapons can be involved.

At present, the use of conventional weapons is regulated from the legal point of view. The report authors are sure that it is necessary to develop similar norms in relation to the conduct of cyberwar. With the help of such rules, it would be possible to ban entire classes of cyber instruments as it was done with chemical and biological weapons.

The clinic paid $55,000 to cybercriminals/h3>

In early January 2018, the Hancock Health Center in the US city of Greenfield, Indiana, underwent a hacker attack with the use of SamSam cryptographic virus, which paralyzed the work of the medical facility at the height of the flu epidemic in the state. To quickly restore the important data, the hospital management paid ransom in the amount of 4 bitcoins, which was about $55 thousand at the time of payment.

cyber security essay

Cyber crime essay writing rules

Before working on any academic paper, you need to think well about what exactly you will write, that is, to choose among computer security research topics the concept that best suits your preferences. In addition, it is important to know in what order the material should be stated. That's why it will never be superfluous to compile a preliminary cyber security research paper outline (approximate plan). You are free to do it each time before the starting work or to create one universal structure for all papers of this type.

How to compile plans for cyber security papers?

Essay genre has its own requirements. Traditionally, such papers include:

  1. Introduction with the formulation of a problem or topic.
  2. The main part of the presentation of theses and arguments. Often this section is divided into parts. Each new paragraph can be started with cyber security research questions and continued with answers, justified reasoning.
  3. Detailed conclusion.

Given this structure, many students think that the essay itself should be written in exactly the same manner. However, this is not quite a right approach. Often, those who choose strict plan can make a lot of mistakes. Beginning to write an introduction, students put forward some cyber security thesis topics. Then they begin to chaotically use questionable arguments. Thoughts often lead such authors to long abstract reasoning. And a completely incorrect result is obtained in the conclusion. Isn't it a common situation? The fact is that you have to use slightly different plan.

At the initial stage of writing a paper, it’s needed to consider what kind of thought you want to convey. Approach the choice of cyber security research paper topics with increased seriousness. This will be the main ‘core’ of your work. Then an introduction is compiled in which the main idea is described in detail.

What should you do next? Proceed to theses? No! Think about a conclusion. This is the secret of a successful essay. While students are just starting to work on their papers, you need to know what they will finish with, to sum up the answers to analytical essay questions on cybercrime topics with the argumentation of the basic ideas.

This is something like a thread to which you sequentially add beads. And as in a refined necklace, these ‘beads’ should be harmoniously combined with each other. That is, there should be an inner semantic unity between theses.

Editing of computer security research papers

When an essay, along with all its key elements, is ready, it is too early to rewrite it into a final variant. First, you need to thoroughly read the text, to check everything and think how to make it even better, that is:

  • to cut off the superfluous content by making the material concise;
  • to make the language more colorful using metaphors, allegories, associations, paradoxes;
  • to make the narrative captivating;
  • to assess whether the text expresses your position, individuality.

Cybercrime essay title can be formulated at the very end if it wasn’t specified by the teacher. At this moment, you will clearly see the finished work and will be able to express the main essence in a few words.

In the process of writing essays, various difficulties may arise, students can make mistakes. Excessive verbosity is one of the main mistakes. It can't be allowed. It is better to write less in terms of volume but at the same time qualitatively. Adhering to the described plan, you can write an argumentative essay about cybercrime law more thoughtfully and not face this problem.

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