What is Cyber Security and How Does it Work?

Cyber security is the term given to the methods, processes and technologies used to help protect the integrity, confidentiality and availability of data, networks and computer systems against cyber-attacks or unauthorised access. The main object of cyber security is to protect an organisation’s assets against internal and external threats from criminal sources, as well as against disruptive natural disasters. So that’s what cyber security is, but how does cyber security work?


How does cyber security work?


Because there are so many systems and processes in operation in any business, cyber security needs to be a multifaceted effort. It is therefore compiled of a number of different processes, including:


  • Application security
  • Information security
  • Network security
  • Operational security
  • Disaster recovery/business continuity planning
  • End user education


Largely, cyber security involves the use of software to protect systems and networks against cyber criminals. Whilst no software can guarantee 100 per cent protection, the use of software makes more challenging for the likes of hackers to create access points. Consider it a secondary layer of protection.


Cyber security incorporates the following:


Antivirus software


Antivirus software works by identifying and eliminating malware, as well as stopping it from getting into the system in the first place.


Malware is any type of software that can be thought of as harmful. Examples include Trojan horses, spyware, ransomware and, viruses.


Antivirus software works by scanning devices and systematically removing any items of malware that have been installed. It will also seek out potentially harmful files attached to emails or direct messages, and notify the recipients or remove the files before they can wreak havoc. Due to ongoing developments in malware, it is crucial to update antivirus software on a regular basis so as to stay protected.




You can think of a firewall as a first line of defence, capable of blocking some types of network traffic, and providing protection against untrusted networks.


Firewalls work by monitoring a device’s network traffic in real time, denying connection requests from any source it regards as malicious. A firewall acts as a filter for a network and provides an additional layer of security that works alongside antivirus software.


As with antivirus software, firewalls also require regular updates. It is vital that users never ignore security updates for this reason.




Encryption makes use of algorithms to convert data into complex codes. Users require a key (a decryption algorithm) so they can access any meaningful information.


Encrypting data reduces the risk of it being accessed and exploited by unauthorised users who would not have access to the necessary key. This type of protection is often used when sharing information over the internet, or storing it on portable devices.


Staff education


Whilst there are various physical steps you can take to protect against cyber-attacks, when it comes down to it, knowledge is power.


Cyber security and indeed cyber risk knowledge is vital when it comes to protecting systems and data. Lack of awareness by just one member of staff could lead to an entire network becoming compromised. For this reason, every employee should be thoroughly and regularly trained in cyber security processes.


Human error is one of the most common weaknesses that cyber attackers play on. Of course, this is a risk that can never be completely eliminated, but a good working knowledge of security practices can mitigate risks.


Cyber security threats are continuously evolving, making it crucial to stay up to date with all the current security measures and technologies, and provide regular cyber security training and refreshers.


Protect your business from the serious threat of cybercrime with help from PC Docs


At PC Docs, we offer a comprehensive package of cyber security solutions, all of which can be tailored to suit your specific business requirements and individual cyber risk assessment.


We offer a range of services, including anti-malware and adware systems, firewall and antivirus setup and management, internet and spam filters and email scanning software. We can also provide your organisation with general advice on cyber security best practice so that you can educate your staff.


To learn how we can help protect your business against cybercrime and better understand how cyber security works, please get in touch.

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