Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, applications, and data from digital threats, malicious attacks, and unauthorized access. It encompasses a range of strategies, technologies, and processes designed to safeguard digital environments from evolving cyber risks.

Why Is Cybersecurity Important?

The purpose of cybersecurity is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information and technology resources in the face of cyber threats, software vulnerabilities, and system weaknesses. To be most effective, however, cybersecurity needs to be proactive.  Instead of responding to incidents after they occur, proactive cybersecurity focuses on identifying and addressing vulnerabilities and threats before they can be executed. It is becoming increasingly clear that proactive security can only be possible with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Just as bad actors are embracing AI and applications such as generative AI to enhance their attack campaigns, defenders must employ automated protections through machine learning in order to maintain resilience in an ever-expanding arms race between cybercriminals and security teams. 

Achieving security with resiliency and effectively balancing the customer experience are the benchmarks of a positive cybersecurity model, with the understanding that threats (and mitigations) will never stop evolving.

On the other hand, erecting an unbreachable barricade around computing infrastructure and digital assets (e.g., a strict secure posture) is not in itself a successful cybersecurity strategy. Neither is security through obscurity. Security professionals need to accurately assess cybersecurity risk based on likelihood and impact; that is to say, the chance or probability that a specific threat will exploit a specific vulnerability, weighed against the impact or damage that would result if the exploit took place. Cybersecurity is a complex discipline, involving a constantly evolving threat landscape, a wide range of attack vectors, and the need to balance security with usability.

Additionally, security is becoming more business critical as organizations transform digitally, and has largely transformed from an operational cost model to a business enabler and competitive advantage. 

Common Threats and Terms

Cybersecurity threats are continually evolving as malicious actors develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). However, many risks have evolved from the following established forms of cyber threats, or are hybrid (or blended) attacks that combine TTPs for greater malicious impact. 

Malware is malicious software, often delivered via email or clickable links in messages and is designed to infect systems and compromise their security. Common types of malware include viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and increasingly, ransomware. 

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a system’s data, effectively holding an organization’s data hostage, with the attacker demanding payment (ransom) to unlock the data or provide the decryption key. 

Phishing are attacks that involve deceptive email or messages that trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or personal data.

Social engineering attacks involve manipulating behavioral or psychological traits to deceive victims into divulging confidential information, or to take actions or make decisions that compromise security. Phishing and social engineering are often used in combination to manipulate victims and can be quite targeted, such as a phishing email followed by a phone call from someone impersonating a trusted individual (i.e., from a bank or the IT department).  

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks degrade infrastructure by flooding the target resource with traffic, overloading it to the point of inoperability. A denial-of-service (DoS) attack can also be initiated through a specifically crafted message that impairs application performance; for example, a web request that generates a complex SQL query resulting in high CPU usage and degraded system performance. DDoS attacks involve multiple sources or a botnet, which is a network of compromised computers or devices under the control of an attacker who coordinates these multiple sources and launches the attack against the target.

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks occur when an attacker intercepts communications between two parties without their knowledge or consent, allowing the attacker to eavesdrop on the conversation, steal information, or even manipulate the data being transmitted. MitM attacks can happen in a number of ways: An attacker may intercept wireless communications within a public Wi-Fi network, or may engage in session hijacking, when attackers steal session cookies or tokens to impersonate users and gain unauthorized access to web applications.

Insider threats are security risks posed by individuals within an organization who have access to the organization's systems, data, or networks. These individuals may be current or former employees, contractors, partners, or anyone with legitimate access privileges. Insider threats can be intentional or unintentional and can result in various types of cybersecurity incidents including sabotage, data theft, mishandling of data, and falling for phishing or social engineering attacks. 

Web application attacks are malicious activities directed at web applications, websites, and web services, with the aim of exploiting vulnerabilities and compromising their security. App modernization efforts and the resulting evolution of many traditional web apps to API-based systems across hybrid and multi-cloud environments has dramatically increased the threat surface. 

There are many risks security teams must consider for web apps and APIs, including:

  • Vulnerability exploits, which are weaknesses or defects in software that criminals can target to compromise security, including execution of malicious code. These are often caused by unsupported or unpatched software, software bugs, or misconfigurations. 
  • Business logic abuse, which arise when attackers manipulate the expected behavior of a web application to achieve malicious objectives. This may entail manipulating an application’s workflows to gain access to restricted areas or to perform unauthorized transactions or access sensitive data. Bots and malicious automation now impact every aspect of modern life—preventing the purchase of concert tickets, stealing loyalty points, or committing fraud by taking over customer accounts. 
  • Bypass of authentication and authorization controls, which can occur when insufficient enforcement of access controls and authorization allow attackers to gain access to unauthorized functionality or data.
  • Client-side attacks, which are threats that target software or components in the user’s devices, such as a web browser or installed applications. A common form of client-side attack is Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), in which attackers inject malicious client-side scripts, such as JavaScript, into web pages viewed by other users. This can result in the theft of sensitive information, such as login credentials, personal data, or session cookies. Modern apps typically have many interdependencies, such as third-party integrations, libraries, and frameworks. Security teams may not have visibility into all these components that execute on the client side—opening a threat vector for attackers to execute malicious scripts and exfiltrate data directly from a web browser. 
  • Security misconfiguration, when attackers attempt to find unpatched flaws, common endpoints, services running with insecure default configurations, or unprotected files and directories to gain unauthorized access to a system. Security misconfiguration is an increasing risk as architecture continues to decentralize and becomes distributed across multi-cloud environments.
  • Cryptographic failures, which can result when data is inadequately protected during transit and at rest. 
  • For more information on web application attacks, see the glossary entry on the OWASP Foundation or the OSWASP Top 10 Application Security Risks homepage

Common Cybersecurity Terms and Concepts

Following are definitions and descriptions of specialized terms and concepts that relate to cyberattacks. 

Zero-day exploit refers to a cybersecurity attack that takes advantage of a software vulnerability or security flaw that has not been disclosed. These exploits occurs before software vendors or developers have had the opportunity to release a patch or fix for the zero-day vulnerability. Zero-day attacks are particularly dangerous because they target systems that could lack mitigation capabilities or visibility into the vulnerability exploit, as there is no available patch or potentially stopgap measures to protect against the attack.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are sophisticated, long-term cyberattacks carried out by organized cybercrime groups or nation-state actors with significant resources and expertise, often for the purpose of espionage, data theft, sabotage, or misinformation that can lead to global instability. APTs are characterized by their persistence and stealth, and these attacks often span an extended period, with the primary goal of maintaining unauthorized access to a target's network or systems while remaining undetected. The APT lifecycle can last for years, beginning with reconnaissance and initial compromise and extending through data collection and exfiltration. 

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) are cybersecurity solutions that combines security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) functions to provide real-time monitoring, threat detection, and incident response capabilities. SIEM systems collect, aggregate, correlate, and analyze security data from various sources across an organization's IT infrastructure to identify potential security threats and incidents. Key components of a SIEM system include:

Log Management, which store and manage vast quantities of log and event data. They provide tools for indexing, searching, and archiving this data, making it accessible for analysis and compliance purposes.

Security Event Correlation, which searches data from multiple sources to identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate security threats. This correlation helps in distinguishing normal activities from potential security incidents.

Threat Intelligence, which some SIEM systems offer by integrating third-party, real-time threat feeds to block or detect new types of attack signatures in addition to the system’s ability to identify known threats and indicators of compromise (IoCs). 

  • Penetration testing, often abbreviated as "pen testing," involves simulating real-world cyberattacks on computer systems and applications to identify vulnerabilities. In pen testing, skilled security professionals attempt to exploit vulnerabilities to determine weaknesses against different attack vectors before malicious actors can do so. There are three primary types of pen testing. 
    1. In black box testing, testers have limited or no prior knowledge of the target environment. This simulates a real attacker with minimal information about the systems. 
    2. With white box testing, testers have full knowledge of the target environment, including system architecture, source code, and configurations, which allows for a more comprehensive assessment.
    3. In gray box testing, testers have partial knowledge of the target environment, which may include some system details but not complete access to source code or architecture.
  • Automated threats refer to malicious attacks performed by bots, scripts, or hacker toolkits rather than by humans. These threats can exploit inherent vulnerabilities in web applications and APIs, leading to security breaches, data theft, account takeover, fraud, and other harmful consequences. Bot security is of paramount importance in today's digital landscape to safeguard against malicious activities and potential threats and bot management solutions play a vital role in identifying and mitigating bot traffic, distinguishing between legitimate users and malicious bots
  • Access controls are security measures and policies that determine who is allowed to access specific resources, perform certain actions, or use particular services within an organization's computing environment. Access controls play a fundamental role in safeguarding an organization's digital assets and sensitive information. Broken access controls, which result when insufficient enforcement of access controls and authorization allow attackers to access unauthorized functionality or data, are among the leading security risks identified in the OWASP Top 10 and API Security Top 10 projects. Authentication and authorization has never been more important given the shift of commerce to digital channels and pervasiveness of APIs, which may not have the same level of granular access control or testing as traditional web applications.

What Are Cybersecurity Measures and Best Practices?

Cyberspace is challenging to secure but the following measures and best practices provide a basic introduction to the range of tools and strategies available for helping develop and implement robust cybersecurity plans and processes

Authentication and Access Controls

Authentication and access control are fundamental elements of cybersecurity, helping to ensure that only authorized users can access systems, data, and resources. Implementing best practices in these areas, including the principle of least privilege and zero trust security, is crucial for safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining the integrity of an organization's digital environment.

Authentication and access controls methodologies include: 

  • Robust Password Policies. Strong passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to systems and data. A well-defined password policy helps ensure that users create and maintain secure passwords, though increasingly sophisticated password cracking tools mean that long passphrases are now much more protective than simple passwords. Policies should forbid password reuse, which is a leading cause of credential stuffing attacks and account takeover.  While robust password policies are essential, they are just one aspect of a comprehensive security strategy, and should be combined with other security features, such as multi-factor authentication or authentication intelligence solutions, which can safely authenticate customers without using strict security challenges like CAPTCHA.  
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). In addition to entering a username and a password or passphrase, MFA requires the user to present additional factors to gain access to an application, resource, online account, or other service. In common practice, this often involves entering a one-time passcode from an email or SMS message into a smart phone or browser, or providing biometrics such as a fingerprint or face scan. Well-designed MFA methods continue have a place in an organization’s security ecosystem, and MFA is required to comply with many global regulations such as HIPAA, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), GDPR, and the EU’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). However, MFA controls also generate considerable user friction, causing customer frustration and negatively impacting business revenue. In addition, MFA is no longer a silver bullet to stop fraud, because criminals now routinely bypass MFA defenses using an array of cyberattacks to gain access to data and accounts
  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). RBAC is a widely used access control model that restricts system access to authorized users based on their roles and responsibilities within an organization. In an RBAC system, users are assigned roles or job functions, and each is associated with a set of permissions and access rights that determine what actions the user can perform within the system.

Network Security

Implementing network security measures protect against various threats, including cyberattacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access, to help safeguard network infrastructure and digital assets.

Network security measures include the following:

Firewalls. Firewalls are an essential component of cybersecurity that help organizations protect their digital resources, maintain data privacy, and defend against a wide range of cyber threats, including malware, hacking attempts, denial-of-service attacks, and unauthorized access. They are typically deployed at perimeter points, such as between an organization's internal network and the Internet, to control traffic entering and exiting the device or network according to established security rules or policies. However, firewalls typically inspect outbound traffic as users traverse the Internet and lack the proxy and performance capabilities to adequately secure inbound traffic to web apps and APIs. There are multiple types of firewalls, including:

  • Host-based firewalls, which operate at the individual device level, such as a computer, server, or mobile device. They protect against threats such as malware or malicious applications that attempt to establish unauthorized network connections. They are also used in enterprise environments to enhance the security posture of endpoints and protect against threats that may bypass network-level defenses.
  • Network firewalls, which operate at lower layers of the OSI model, typically Layer 3 (network) and Layer 4 (transport). They are responsible for filtering traffic and making decisions based on IP addresses, port numbers, and transport protocols (e.g., TCP, UDP). They control the flow of traffic between different network zones, enforce broad network security policies, and protect against a wide range of network-based threats.
  • Next-generation firewalls (NGFW), which are a more feature-rich evolution of traditional, stateful network firewalls. A NGFW performs deep packet inspection to analyze the content of network packets at a granular level, including application-layer data and user context. They can identify and classify network traffic based on the specific applications or services being used, even if the traffic is on non-standard ports. This enables fine-grained control over which applications are allowed or blocked. NGFWs can also tie network traffic to specific users or user groups, which is particularly useful in environments where user-based access controls are in place. 
  • Web application firewalls (WAFs), which protect Layer 7 web apps by filtering, monitoring, and blocking any malicious HTTP/S traffic traveling to the web application, and prevent any unauthorized data from leaving the app. It does this by adhering to a set of policies that help determine what traffic is malicious and what traffic is safe; advances in machine learning enable some WAFs to update policies automatically, as the threat landscape evolves. WAFs are specifically tailored to address vulnerabilities and threats targeting web applications, like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and server-side request forgery (SSRF). To learn about important distinctions between a Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) and a Web Application Firewall (WAF), read WAF vs. NGFW: Which Technology Do You Need?
  • Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) solutions, which provide even more comprehensive safeguards, and defend the entirety of the modern app attack surface with integrated protections that include WAF, API Security, L3-L7 DDoS mitigation, and bot defense to defend against vulnerability exploits, misconfiguration, attacks on authentication/authorization, and automated threats that otherwise lead to account takeover (ATO) and fraud. A distributed WAAP platform makes it simple to deploy consistent policies and scale security across your entire estate of apps and APIs regardless of where they’re hosted, and integrate security into the API lifecycle and broader ecosystems. 

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are cybersecurity tools that analyze and assess the integrity of network traffic to identify known attack patterns, abnormal activities, and unauthorized use. When a threat is detected, these systems alert an organization’s security professionals so further action can be taken. It is important to note that IDS has lost popularity due to the advantages of Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS), which can detect and enforce in real-time; in part through efficient signatures. Two types of IDS tools are:

  • Network-based IDS (NIDS), which monitors network traffic for signs of unauthorized or malicious activity. NIDS tools analyze data packets traveling across a network in real-time and detect any anomalies or patterns that may indicate a security threat.
  • Host-based IDS (HIDS), which monitors and analyzes activities and events occurring on a single host, such as a server, workstation, or endpoint device. When HIDS detects suspicious or potentially malicious activities, it generates alerts or notifications, and maintains logs and data for forensic purposes, helping security teams to investigate incidents.  

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) establish secure, encrypted connections between a user's remote device and corporate infrastructure, often located in a different geographical location. When a user connects to a VPN, the Internet traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel, protecting it from potential eavesdroppers or hackers and masking the user's IP address. This enhances online privacy and security, as the data transmitted is unreadable without the decryption key. 

VPNs have become an integral part of many organization’s security strategies as they essentially extend the enterprise network perimeter and allow users to securely access corporate applications anywhere. VPNs became essential during the pandemic, as millions of remote workers working from home needed to connect securely to corporate resources over the Internet. VPNs are also commonly used for protecting sensitive information, accessing geo-restricted content, and maintaining anonymity onli

While VPNs provide enhanced security and privacy for online activities, they are not immune to security challenges. Because users typically initiate a VPN connection from a remote endpoint device, these endpoints become both access points and prime targets for attackers. Ensuring that the endpoint is secured before it is granted a remote access connection to the corporate network is necessary to protect the communication and the infrastructure to which it connects.

Strong authentication controls for both users and devices are also necessary to reduce the security risks that VPNs present. Ensure the use of strong passwords and multifactor authentication to authenticate users, and if possible, deploy hardened company-provided devices to remote workers, complete with client certificates and endpoint protection.

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Security Service Edge (SSE) are elements of cloud-based security. CASB is a security policy enforcement point that is placed between enterprise cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to interject enterprise security policies as cloud resources are accessed. CASB solutions offer a range of security benefits that allow enterprises to mitigate risk, enforce policies such as authentication and credential mapping across various applications and devices, prevent sensitive data leakage, and maintain regulatory compliance.

SSE is a network and security architecture that integrates multiple cloud-based security services and Wide Area Network (WAN) capabilities into a cloud-native solution. SSE is designed to provide comprehensive security and network services directly from the cloud, while maintaining enterprise security policies, making it an important component of the modern security landscape. 

CASB and SSE are important elements of a zero trust framework, which emphasizes the principle of "never trust, always verify." This means that no user, device, or system should be trusted by default, regardless of their location or network connection. CASB and SSE can enhance zero trust principles by providing additional visibility, control, and security measures for cloud-based resources. CASB and SSE solutions also support strong authentication and identity verification, as well as enforcement of granular access controls based on user roles and permissions, device trustworthiness, and other contextual factors, which are key elements of zero trust principles.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is a fundamental component of modern cybersecurity and is used to protect sensitive information in various contexts, including storage and transmission. During the encryption process, algorithms use encryption keys to convert regular data or information (“plaintext”) into code or “ciphertext” to protect it from unauthorized access or use. To reverse the encryption process and convert ciphertext back into plaintext, the recipient (or authorized user) must possess the corresponding decryption key. This ensures that even if someone gains access to the encrypted data, they cannot read or understand it without the appropriate decryption key.  

Three primary forms of encryption are: 

  • Symmetric, which uses the same key for encryption and decryption. Symmetric encryption is fast and efficient for large-scale or bulk data encryption but requires secure key distribution, because if the key is compromised during distribution, the security of the entire system can be compromised.
  • Asymmetric, which uses a pair of keys for encryption and decryption. A public key is used for encryption, while decryption requires a separate private key which must be kept secret. Asymmetric encryption offers a high level of security and facilitates secure communication and authentication, but it is computationally more intensive. It is often used for securing communication channels, authenticating digital signatures, and establishing secure connections. SSL/TLS encryption, which is a security framework for secure web browsing, uses asymmetric encryption. The latest version of the TLS protocol is TLS 1.3 which includes an important new security feature called Perfect Forward Security (PFS). The key exchange mechanism used in the PFS protocol is generated dynamically for each session and is used only for that session. Even if an attacker gains access to the private key used to encrypt current communications, PFS ensures that they cannot decrypt past or future communications. While TLS 1.3 and PFS improves encryption resiliency, it does not completely mitigate the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. Enterprises often struggle to balance end-to-end decryption, privacy, and risk, especially when tools within security ecosystems have varying levels of support for TLS protocols and cipher suites. Additionally, many security controls are not designed to perform decryption at scale. Leveraging a purpose-built solution for SSL/TLS decryption/encryption with support for dynamic intercept, service chaining, and policy-based traffic steering can help balance visibility and security with performance and user privacy. 
  • Hashing, which involves transforming data into a fixed-length code called a hash, message digest, or a checksum, and is typically a hexadecimal number or a sequence of characters. The hash is created using an algorithm and is usually designed to be a unidirectional function, so it is impossible to reverse the process to return the original data. Hashing has many cybersecurity functions, but is commonly used to ensure secure communication between two parties by verifying that messages have not been tampered with during transmission.

Patch Management

Patch management plays a critical role in ensuring the security and integrity of computer systems, applications, and networks. Developing policies with clear procedures and schedules can help organizations identify and apply updates promptly to address vulnerabilities, reduce the attack surface, and minimize the risk of exploitation by cybercriminals. This is increasingly important since the number of Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) being published is accelerating, and is expected to reach a cadence of 500 new CVEs in a typical week in 2025.

Effective patch management is an ongoing process and includes the following strategies:

  • Develop and enforce a patch management policy that outlines the procedures for testing and deploying patches. 
  • Create a deployment schedule that takes into account the risk of vulnerabilities and the potential impact on operations. 
  • Utilize patch management tools and automation to streamline the deployment process and reduce manual intervention. Automation can help ensure that patches are applied consistently and promptly.
  • Implement continuous monitoring of systems and networks to detect new vulnerabilities and identify any unpatched systems. Ensure that all systems, including remote and mobile devices, are kept up to date.

Incident Response and Recovery

Developing and maintaining incident response and recovery plans are critical components of a cybersecurity strategy that helps organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from cyberattacks and breaches. This strategy should include the following components:

  • Develop an incident response plan. This can play a significant role in mitigating security breaches by providing a structured and proactive approach to identifying and responding to potential cybersecurity incidents. This includes identifying stakeholders and determining roles and responsibilities in a clear chain of command for reporting and escalating incidents. Develop procedures for monitoring networks and systems for suspicious activities and signs of compromise and enact detailed step-by-step measures to contain and mitigate breaches. Regularly test the incident response plan to identify weaknesses and improve responses. 
  • Develop business continuity plans and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategies. BCDR plans help ensure the continuation of critical business operations in the face of disruptions, such as security breaches. An essential element of BCDR plans is regular data backups to ensure that data can be restored to a previous, clean state in case of a data breach or data corruption. All BCDR plans must be regularly tested through drills and exercises to confirm their effectiveness, and to allow organizations to identify weaknesses and refine response strategies.
  • Deploy a Web Application Firewall, which can serve as a critical stopgap to mitigate vulnerability exploits. 

Compliance and Training

Numerous compliance requirements and regulations establish cybersecurity standards that organizations and government entities must adhere to protect sensitive data and mitigate cyber threats. In addition, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, serves as a national hub for cybersecurity information, and the agency operates a 24/7 situational awareness, analysis, and incident response center. CISA provides a National Cyber Incident Response Plan that delineates the role that private sector entities, state and local governments, and multiple federal agencies play in responding to cybersecurity incidents. CISA also offers Incident Response Training that promotes basic cybersecurity awareness and advocates best practices to help organizations prepare an effective response if a cyber incident occurs, and strategies to prevent incidents from happening in the first place. Major compliance requirements and regulations include: 

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which defines privacy protections and obligations for companies that handle personal data originating in the EU. GDPR sets stringent rules for data processing, security, and cross-border data transfers, with significant penalties for non-compliance. Any company that processes personal data originating in the EU or the data of an EU resident—whether the company has operations in the EU or not—is covered by the GDPR.
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a governmental framework designed to help safeguard California consumers' sensitive personal information. The CCPA secures data privacy rights for Californians, including the right to know about the personal information a business collects, how it is used and shared, the right to delete personal information collected (with some exceptions), and the right to opt out of the sale or sharing of personal information.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), an information security standard designed to increase controls around cardholder data to reduce payment card fraud. PCI DSS delineates the minimum security requirements that merchants must meet when they store, process, and transmit cardholder data. The requirements include enhancements to ensure safe and secure online transactions to protect consumers, businesses, and card issuers during online commercial transactions. 
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law that protects the privacy and security of patients' health information in the United States and ensures the portability of health insurance coverage. HIPAA’s Security Rule establishes a national set of security standards for protecting certain health information that is held or transferred in electronic form. It also addresses the technical and non-technical safeguards that organizations must put in place to secure individuals' electronic protected health information.
  • The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government-wide program that promotes the adoption of secure cloud services across the federal government. By providing a standardized approach to security and risk assessment for cloud technologies and federal agencies, FedRAMP enables the federal government to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing by creating transparent standards and processes for security authorizations, allowing agencies to leverage security authorizations on a government-wide scale.

Training and Certifications

Increasingly sophisticated cyber threats highlight the need for ongoing security training and certification to keep current with the evolving threat landscape and gain necessary specialized skills. In fact, there is a general shortage of IT security professionals and many academic institutions and training programs struggle to keep up with the demand. Cybersecurity is a complex and multidisciplinary field that encompasses various domains and requires a curiosity mindset, and finding professionals with expertise in all these areas can be difficult.

Perhaps the most highly respected cybersecurity certification is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), which is awarded by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)². The CISSP certification is a globally recognized benchmark for information security professionals, and typically requires at least five years of cumulative work experience and passage of a rigorous exam. 

Another leading cybersecurity training and certification organization is EC-Council, which offers a wide range of courses and trainings for professional security positions, including a certification as a Certified Ethical Hacker. This program specializes in teaching how to test the security of computer systems, networks, and applications using the techniques of malicious hackers. By identifying vulnerabilities before cybercriminals can exploit them, ethical hackers help protect sensitive information and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. 

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is another leading cybersecurity training and certification organization. CompTIA’s Security+ is a global certification that validates the baseline skills necessary to perform core security functions and enables successful candidates to pursue an IT security career.

How F5 Can Help

Awareness of cybersecurity threats and best practices for mitigating them is crucial for protecting your organization’s sensitive information, critical assets, and infrastructure. This knowledge allows you to take proactive steps to protect against these threats and attack methods and put in place effective risk management and incident response plans that can enable your organization to respond quickly and effectively to unplanned events. This can greatly minimize the impact of a cybersecurity incident and speed up the recovery process.

F5 offers a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity offerings that deliver robust protection for apps, APIs, and the digital services they power. These solutions—including WAFs, API security, bot defense, and DDoS mitigation—protect apps and APIs across architectures, clouds, and ecosystem integrations, reducing risk and operational complexity while accelerating digital transformation and reducing total cost of app security. Our security solutions just work—for legacy and modern apps, in data centers, in the cloud, at the edge, in the architecture you have now, and the ones that will support your organization in the years to come.