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What is Cyber Security?
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What is Cyber Security?

However, in order to clarify what we mean by cyber security, Carr (2016) proposes three fundamental questions: For whom? From what? And by what means?
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

‘Cyber security’ is a broad term which attracts a variety of definitions (Carr 2016).

Lord (2019) refers to cyber security as the combination of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorised access. This also extends to the integrity of our personal privacy online, the security of our infrastructure, e-commerce, military, as well as the protection of intellectual property (Carr 2016).

What is Cyber Security?

However, in order to clarify what we mean by cyber security, Carr (2016) proposes three fundamental questions: For whom? From what? And by what means?

According to Lord (2019), cyber security includes the following elements:

  • Network security
  • Application security
  • Endpoint security
  • Data security
  • Identity management
  • Database and infrastructure security
  • Cloud security
  • Mobile security
  • Disaster recovery/business continuity planning
  • End-user education

Additionally, Jenab and Moslehpour (2016) identify further elements that come under the umbrella of cyber security:

  • Trojans and backdoor attacks
  • Denial of service
  • Information security
  • Cybercrime
  • Intrusion detection
  • Spyware, phishing
  • Viruses, worms, man-in-the-middle attacks and passwords

Network Defence and Cyber Security

Essentially, network security/network defence is one of the key elements of cyber security.

Although the concepts of ‘cyber security’ and ‘cyberspace’ are not used by all countries, the scope of most strategies generally covers all information systems and networks (OECD 2012).

As highlighted above, while cyber tends to focus on the technical aspect, it is much more complicated than this. Cyber security is interdisciplinary in nature as it spans across computer science, social sciences, psychology and international studies.

Therefore, cyber security strategies reflect this by aiming to:

  • Protect society against cyber threats
  • Foster cyber security as essential for the further development of the internet economy

(OECD 2012)

In this short course and beyond, our focus is on exploring the role of network defence management in more detail.


Carr, M. (2016) ‘Public-private Partnerships in National Cyber-security Strategies’. International Affairs 92 (1), 43-62

Jenab, K., and Moslehpour, S. (2016) ‘Cyber Security Management: A Review’, Business Management Dynamics 5 (11), 16-39

Lord, N. (2019) What is Cyber Security? [online] available from https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-cyber-security [27 June 2019]

OECD (2012) Cybersecurity Policy Making at a Turning Point. Analysing a New Generation of National Cybersecurity Strategies for the Internet Economy. [online] available from http://www.oecd.org/sti/ieconomy/cybersecurity%20policy%20making.pdf [27 June 2019]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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Introduction to Network Security and Defence

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