Kevin Andiappen’s Expanded Definition of cyber-security

TO: Prof. Jason Ellis

FROM: Kevin Andiappen

DATE: 10/22/2020

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of cyber-security


The purpose of this document is to give an expanded definition of the term cyber-security. I will be defining cyber-security in the context of information technology (IT). In this document, I will be discussing several definitions of cyber-security that I have discovered, followed by a few contextual examples. In closing my expanded definition, I will provide my very own working definition of cyber-security based off of my research.


The first definition comes from Gale eBooks. It defines cyber-security as, “A critical and necessary component of computer systems, implemented to protect computer users and networks from threats from nefarious cyber actors, to protect them from computer disruptions that are intended and unintended, as well as to prepare for unpreventable natural disasters.” (Harper, 2015, pp. 123). Cyber-security is looked at as a necessary component used to protect users and networks from hackers or anyone with malicious intent. Additionally, it can also help prevent disruptions in computer systems and networks whether it be intentional or unintentional and helps us prepare for disaster recovery. For example, say a company hires a new IT intern and gives him the responsibility of managing the user accounts on the domain. He creates a new user account and is supposed to give only the standard permissions to this user. However, he mistakenly grants the user administrator privilege’s.  This is a bad because the user will have equal access to the domain administrator and will be able to login to any of the workstations in the office and make unauthorized changes to all of the other employees’ files and applications. All of this can occur because of that technicality.

The second definition also comes from Gale eBooks. It says, “Cyber-security provides security against threats to data that resides on computer architecture, hardware, software and networks connecting in cyberspace.” (Harper, 2015, pp. 123). As we see in the first definition, cyber-security is defined as a tool or component used to prepare for and prevent cyber attacks and natural disasters. In this definition, cyber-security is described as providing security to the data that is contained in the system. This ranges from the architecture, hardware, software, and network. Cyber-security is defined here as protecting the data in the organization rather than focusing on securing the network or computer systems. For example, Netflix has millions of users that stream content to their devices. In order to use Netflix, you have to obtain a subscription, which requires your credit card information. If Netflix became victim to a cyber-attack, every user’s credit card information would become compromised. So you see, even though protecting our systems is a top priority, the data we have is even more valuable.

The third definition comes from It defines cyber-security as, “the practice of protecting technological systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks, damage, or unauthorized access.” (Barracuda, 2020, page 1). This defines cyber-security as a practice of protecting our computer systems from unauthorized attacks and access. Think of it this way, what is the purpose of having a lock on your front door? Why do we install security cameras in and outside of our houses? Its for protection. The same way cyber-security works. We install counter measures to prevent unauthorized use of our resources. This quote is similar to the first two I mentioned because we are talking about protection. Whether its about protecting the data itself or the system, the idea of anticipating and preventing cyber attacks is the common goal.


“Individual users can suffer greatly from a cyber-security attack. They risk identity theft, extortion, or total data erasure. This fallout of these attacks at a national level is even greater. Local and global infrastructure is built on connected technology and guaranteeing the security of this network is essential for the productivity and safety of an always online society.” (Barracuda, 2020, pp 1). This implies how important cyber-security is for everyone. Ranging from the everyday user, to national security. Without it, everyone is susceptible to having their identity/data manipulated or erased.

“Some fear we are creating future hackers by teaching students how to penetrate computer networks and systems, but that is not the case. To fix something, you first must know how it works; in essence, you must know how to break it in order to fix it. Once students know what is broken, they can fix it or make it more secure.” (Crespo, 2020, pp. 20). In this context, the term cyber-security is used as an educational tool. Students learn how to penetrate computer systems to understand the point of view of a hacker. The goal of this is, if you understand the mind of a hacker, then you will know how to anticipate their attacks.

Working Definition:

As it relates to my major/career field, cyber-security is the study and/or practice of the protection of computer systems and networks. With out this, our IT infrastructures would be completely open to disruptions and attacks. Cyber-security ensures that only authorized users are given access to certain systems and parts of the network. In addition, it also is used as a way of securing the data within the computer and the network. Essentially, it provides protection for both the equipment and the data kept inside the infrastructure.


Barracuda Networks. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

Crespo, M. (2020). let’s collaborate! cyber security. Technology & Engineering Teacher80(2), 20–21. Harper, K. A. (2015). Cybersecurity. In C. T. Anglim (Ed.),

Privacy Rights in the Digital Age (pp. 123-126). Grey House Publishing.

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