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Your Guide to What Is Cyber Security?

What is cyber security

Your Guide to What Is Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity refers to the application of technologies, processes, and practices that safeguard digital devices and services against threats, attacks, or unauthorized access. We use various devices such as smartphones, laptops, computers in our daily lives to access services online or at work. It is important to protect personal information and confidential data stored on these devices. Thus, cybersecurity is the information technology security that protects devices and data from theft or damage.

What is Cyber security? Need for Cybersecurity

According to intelligence officials, cyberattacks and digital spying have been some of the greatest threats to national security in the recent decade. The ever-increasing transition of government, military, business, medical, and corporate sectors to digital mode has led to an unprecedented amount of information being stored online. While this increases ease of access, it also exposes them to a myriad of threats from cybercriminals.

Digital devices and the Internet of Things have become such an integral part of our lives that it is next to impossible for us to live without them. In this case, the only option left is to create robust and effective security measures to safeguard our digital lives. Technology is a fundamental part of modern life. It is now more important than ever to create technologies that withstand cyberattacks and damages.

The importance of cybersecurity can be highlighted by:

  • The rising costs of security breaches. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act (DPA), 2018 demand organizations to implement appropriate security measures. Failing that, substantial fines can be levied on organizations for security breaches, in addition to the obvious cost of a damaged reputation.
  • Increasing volume and sophistication of cyberattacks. Instances of cyberattacks have increased exponentially over the last few years. With advancements in technology, cybercriminals have also adopted various tactics to hack, steal, and damage data. Use of machine learning and automated techniques to phish and hack has become common.
  • Cybersecurity risk is a critical, board-level issue. New regulations demand constant assurances from the management that its cybersecurity risk strategies will be effective in reducing impacts on financial and operational impacts.
  • Cybercrime is an enormous business. According to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2020, cybercrime will cost $11.4 million every minute in 2021. If cybercrime were a country, it’d be the third-largest economy in the world. It is undergoing an industrialization wave. Cybercriminals steal and sell new technologies, trade secrets, and other sensitive information to give their consumers an edge over the competitors.  

What is Cyber security? Types of Cybersecurity

The practice of defending digital devices against malicious attacks can fall under various categories:

  • Network security: It refers to safeguarding computer networks against cyber threats and infiltrations.
  • Application security: It is the practice of protecting software and devices from threats. If an application is attacked, it could reveal the information it’s designed to protect. Ensuring security thus becomes an important step during the app designing process.
  • Information security: It focuses on protecting data or information, both in storage and transit.
  • Operational security: It refers to handling and protecting data assets. It includes the permissions that users need to access a network as well as how and where the data will be shared and stored.
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity: It refers to how an organization tackles cybersecurity threats or other incidents that lead to loss of operations or data. Disaster recovery is the process by which organizations restore their operations and information to the same capacity as before the loss. Business continuity refers to the organizations’ backup plans to operate without certain resources.
  • End-user protection: Unwitting and unaware people often accidentally introduce malware into otherwise secure systems. People need to be educated about the cyber threats that result from unidentified emails, USB drives, and other sources. Lessons about important end-user security practices are vital for any organization.

What is Cyber security? – 10 Steps to Cybersecurity

The National Cyber Security Service of the UK Government has provided guidance on how organizations can protect themselves in cyberspace.

  1. Risk management regime
  2. Secure configuration
  3. Home and mobile working
  4. Incident management
  5. Malware prevention
  6. Managing user privileges
  7. Monitoring
  8. Network security
  9. Removable media controls
  10. User education and awareness

Cybersecurity Startups 

Cybersecurity is a growing and flourishing industry from network and data security, IT governance, policy compliance, or risk management. According to C.B. Insights Emerging Trends Cybersecurity Report, the cybersecurity industry is estimated to be worth $300 billion by 2025. In 2020 alone, 268 cybersecurity startups raised $4.7 billion.

For UK cybersecurity startups, funding has increased by an incredible 940% during the pandemic. A total of £512 million were raised in 2019, while £496 million were raised in the first half of 2020 alone. Due to the increased instances of cybercrimes in recent years, and especially during the pandemic, investors have been rushing to invest in cyber risk management startups.

According to the UK government’s Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020, 1221 establishments offer cybersecurity products and services within the country. Cybersecurity businesses have increased by 44% in the last two years, indicating that a new business is being registered every week.

Here are some of the top-funded cybersecurity startups to watch.


OneTrust helps users manage security, privacy, and third-party risks by developing SaaS software. It was founded in 2016 and now has over 6,000 users, including big companies like Randstad and Adobe. Registered in England, the company now has headquarters in London and Atlanta, with 12 offices across America, Asia, Europe, and Australia, and employs 1,500 people.

The first funding received by the startup was a staggering £160 million. Shortly after, in 2020, it received a further £162 million by Insights Partners and Coatue Management. OneTrust’s total funding is over £322 million, ranking it as the top-funded cybersecurity startup.


Founded in 2015, Snyk has secured funds from Google Ventures, Accel, and Salesforce. Snyk has some of the most renowned customers on its books, like Google, Microsoft, Intuit, ASOS, Nordstrom, and Salesforce. Based in London and Boston, it alerts its users and helps fix security vulnerabilities in their open-source coding by developing appropriate tools. Its total funding has come to £200 million after scoring a large fundraising round in January 2020.


If you are still interested in what is cyber security still then this security management company relies on artificial intelligence to study online behaviour patterns and identify inconsistencies that signal a potential cybersecurity threat. It was founded in 2013 by mathematicians at the University of Cambridge and currently has more than 3,500 organizations relying on its security services. Its users include some of the big names like eBay, Samsung, and Rolls Royce.

It secured a £58.3 million equity fundraising in July 2017, and a further £38 million equity fundraising in September 2018, raising its total funds to a whopping £173 million.


It was established in 2014 and has headquarters in London, with offices in New York, Boston, Munich, Paris, and Singapore. It offers a wide variety of managed security services by developing software that allows extracting sensitive data sets by preserving the privacy of underlying individuals. Its clients mainly belong to the financial and healthcare sectors, including NHS, HSBC, and BT. It has raised a total of £120 million in funds, with the most recent funding round of £71 million in April 2020.

Onecom Group

It helps companies with threat detection by providing telecommunication services and products including IoT, mobile security, and broadband. It was founded in 2012 and is based in Hampshire. With the telecom sector expanding rapidly and the growth of better digital infrastructure in the UK, including 5G and superfast fibre, OneCom ensures security services are well placed for future success.

It is one of the fastest-growing telecom providers in the UK, with over 100k business customers. It has partnerships with firms like Apple, Samsung, and Vodafone. It secured £100 million in equity funding. 


Originally developed in the University of Cambridge, Featurespace has headquarters in Cambridge and Atlanta, with offices in London and New York. It has raised a total of £83.5 million in funds and is using the funds to support its continued growth and development. It has developed an “Adaptive Behaviour Analytics” platform to learn the behaviour of different online agents. This knowledge helps businesses differentiate between genuine customers and potential cyber threats.

Digital Shadows

Founded in 2015, it is currently co-headquartered in London and San Francisco. It protects social media and cloud computing users by developing a suite of online tools. Its product, SearchLight, helps reduce risks of cyberattacks and detect data loss, thereby minimizing cyber threats. Accenture, Pret, Regeneron, and Human Rights Watch are among its well-known clients.

Recently, Digital Shadows has announced its partner program to accelerate growth in the US, Canada, and Latin America. It secured £53 million in equity fundings and nearly £500 thousand in grants.


This London-based cybersecurity startup develops machine learning software to detect phishing, unauthorized and misdirected emails. It helps multiple financial services, technology, and law enterprises avoid security breaches. It was founded in 2013, and in February 2019, secured £31.8 million in a funding round. It has raised £44.4 million in funds and received a grant of £100 thousand for Artificial Intelligence Email Security, as a part of the IUK project. 

We hope you like our What is Cyber security? guide. If you did do check out our Cyber security companies UK guide

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