Cybersecurity Controls Explained in Detail

By Niveditha P

Last updated on Mar 30 2022

Cybersecurity Controls Explained in Detail

Introduction to Cyber Security


Cyber security is a fast-growing industry in this era, where the main aim is to reduce cyber-attacks. Cyber security professionals are responsible for protecting IT infrastructure, controlling devices, networks, and data. So what is cyber security? Why is it so important? What are the effective controls used to oppose cyber-attacks? let us learn in detail in this article.

Cyber security is a technique that protects internet-connected systems such as computers, servers, mobile devices, networks, and prevents them from malicious activity. Cyber refers to technology that includes networks, programs, systems, and data. And security refers to safeguarding all the above-mentioned cyber assets.

Cyber security is also called electronic information security or information technology security.


Types of Cyber Security

Every organization wants to have an advantage when it comes to securing the system and information. So the systems should contain strong security features that should keep the organization's data secure. Therefore, cyber security provides the following domains,

  • Network security: It implements hardware and software devices of a system, to secure its computer network from unauthorized entry, intruders, attacks, disruption, and misuse. Network security helps an organization protect its data from internal and external threats.


  • Application security: It protects software and devices from unwanted threats. This security function can be used frequently by updating the apps and ensuring they are free from attacks. Effective security begins in the design stage, writing source code, verification, threat modeling, etc. before deploying the program or a device.


  • Information or data security: implementation of a strong data mechanism to maintain the integrity and privacy of data, both in storage and in transit i.e. (in transformation)


  • Identity management: It determines the level of access that each individual has within an organization.


  • Operational Security: This cyber security type processes and makes decisions to handle data and secure the resources.


  • Mobile security: It secures the regularly incoming and personal data stored on mobile devices.


  • Cloud security: It protects the information stored in a digital environment or data in the cloud for the organization. Cloud security uses various service providers known as AWS, Azure, Google, etc., to verify security against multiple threats.


  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning: It reviews the monitoring process, alerts, and plans of an organization responding to any malicious activity causing loss of data or operations. This security deals with policies that instruct to resume the lost operations after any disaster taking place to the same operating capacity before the event.


The above-discussed types are essential to bringing cyber security to life. 


Why is Cyber Security Important?

We live in a digital era where all of our lives revolve around the computer and other electronic devices. All of the critical infrastructures like a banking system, healthcare, financial institutions, governments, and manufacturing industries use internet-connected devices, to perform core operations. Some of their important information such as intellectual property, financial data, and personal data can be sensitive. To protect that data from intruders and threat actors who would want financial gain, cyber security is implemented.

Cyber-attack has now become an international concern where hacking, and all other security attacks will endanger the global economy. Hence it is important to have an excellent cyber security strategy, to protect sensitive information from high-profile security breaches.

Governments around the world are bringing more attention to cybercrimes. GDPR i.e. General data protection regulation is the best example through which changes are made in cyber security.

Cyber security contains essential security goals, which makes it more effective. Let us learn about cyber security goals in the following,


Cyber Security Goals

The main objective of cyber security is to ensure data protection. Cyber security offers three related principles to protect the data from breaches; the principle is called the CIA triad. CIA can be broken into three parts,

  • Confidentiality: It gives access to only authorized users, unauthorized users will be blocked. An example of this is Data encryption.


  • Integrity: This principle makes sure that the data is authentic, accurate, and safeguarded from unauthorized modification or accidental user modification.


  • Availability: Information will be made available only to authorized users. It ensures to block malfunctions and cyber-attacks to secure the system.


To secure data from malicious activities cyber security contains essential controls, let us know in the following what it has to offer in detail.


Read more about cyber security and the best protocols used for cyber-attacks.


What is Cyber Security Control?

The controls are created to ensure the CIA triad i.e. confidentiality, integrity, and availability of an organization’s information and technology assets. And controls revolve around four essentials of people, technology, processes, and strategy.

Cyber security control is a mechanism that is used to prevent, detect and reduce cyber-attacks and threats. Cyber security controls are every organization's need, as it is used to manage the security program of a company/organization.

Cyber security is the top priority of organizations, where they determine what control they need. Here are some of the effective smaller controls used by every organization,

Update OS: when a threat or intrusion is found in the software, the technical staff try to work on it and will provide an updated version of the software. Keeping the system updated will help control the threats and security features will get better.

Granted applications: Meaning that a computer is configured to only run an application that is permitted by the organization. This control is hard to manage application in cyber security if done, there will be no cyber-attacks or data breaches taking place.

Reinforce system’s security: Being aware of the programmable settings in the OS i.e. operating system and applications are configured for security. And it is recommended to regularly re-install parts of the OS that will never be used.

Implement Multi-factor authentication: adding two-step verification is going to do good, to keep your data secure. The best example is Gmail, where you can set two-step verification so that no one can get into your mail details.


Suggestion: get CISM certification and become a certified security manager


Need for Cyber Security Controls

All systems contain weaknesses where some might be simple and some are complex. If a cyber attacker gets to know about the weak points in the system they will try to exploit it. Measures taken by an organization to stop these threats are known as security control.

Cyber security controls are the countermeasures taken up to reduce the chances of a data breach or system attack. The essential and tough work to do in cyber security is to select the right control, but most organizations do it wrong.

Cyber threats are automated and aimed at by cyber attackers. The attacks can be in the forms of malware, formjacking, Cryptojacking, Domain name system attacks, and in various ways they try to get into the system. It becomes a challenge to face all these, cyber security controls help to mitigate most of the threats. Reducing the threats is always a need, errors that happen in the system can be controlled using essential cyber controls like,

  • Applying antivirus solutions.
  • Emphasize employee training and awareness
  • Maintain secure portable devices
  • Securely encrypt and backup data

 Controls in cyber security contain different classes that split up the types of controls, which are considered based on their importance and classification.


Types of Cyber Security Controls


The essential cyber security controls are derived into three types, technical administrative, and physical. The main goal to implement security control is preventative, detective, corrective, compensatory, or deterrent. Let us understand each of them in the following,


Technical Controls

Technical controls are also known as logical controls. That is used to reduce attacks on both hardware and software. And automated software tools are installed to protect the system.

Examples of technical controls that are used to protect the system are as follows,

  • Encryption
  • Antivirus and anti-malware software
  • Firewalls
  • Security information and event management (SIEM)
  • Instruction Detection Systems (IDS) and intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)

Technical control is implemented using two methods,

Access Control Lists (ACL): ACL is a network traffic filter that controls incoming and outgoing traffic. They are commonly used in routers or firewalls, but they can also be programmed in any device that runs in the network, from hosts to servers.

Configuration Rules: It is a set of instructional codes used to guide the execution of the system when information is passed through it.


Administrative controls

Administrative security controls refer to policies, procedures, and guidelines that define the roles or business practices of an organization’s security goals.

To implement administrative controls, additional security controls are necessary for monitoring and enforcement. The controls used to monitor and enforce are as follows,

Management controls: This control is used to mainly focus on risk management and information security management.

Operational controls: The security controls that are primarily implemented like technical and managerial controls executed by the people are saved by operational controls.


Physical controls

Physical security controls in cyber security are implemented based on cyber measures in a defined structure. That is used to detect or prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Examples of physical controls are as follows,

  • Closed-circuit surveillance cameras
  • Motion or thermal alarm systems
  • Security guards and picture IDs
  • Locked and dead-bolted steel doors
  • Biometrics


Preventative controls

These controls are used to prevent loss or errors. Examples for preventative controls are as follows,

  • Hardening: It’s a process of reducing attacks and tightening security controls.


  • Security awareness training: It’s a process providing formal cyber security education to the employee/stakeholders about security threats and the organization's policies and procedures.


  • Change management: Measures taken by an organization to describe and implement changes both internally and externally in the system. That includes preparing and supporting employees to take necessary steps for change.


  • Account disable policy: This policy will disable the account when an employee leaves the organization.


Detective controls

It is an accounting term, where it uses internal control to find errors within the organization. Examples of detective controls are as follows

  • Log monitoring – analyzing real-time data.
  • SIEM- A set of tools and services are offered to analyze various system operational logs.
  • Trend Analysis – Identifying the pattern from an application’s log output, to gather relevant information.
  • Security Audits- set of measures that focus on cyber security standards and guidelines.
  • Video Surveillance - Digital images, videos that are sent on communication networks are monitored.
  • Motion Detection – Sensors are attached to detect nearby motions.


Corrective controls

After system malfunction corrective controls are used to make the system effective to use. Examples of corrective controls include,

  • IPS – detection of anomalies in traffic flow to quickly prevent malicious activity.
  • Backups and system recovery – Process of creating and storing data copies that can be used as backup when data is lost.

Deterrent controls

Deterrent controls are used to reduce deliberate attacks that are usually in the form of a tangible object or person. Examples of deterrent controls include,

  • Cable locks
  • Hardware locks
  • Video surveillance and guards


Compensating controls

Compensating control is an alternative method that is used to satisfy the requirement of security. And certain security measures can’t be implemented due to financial or simple impractical reasons at the time.

Example of Compensating control,

  • Time-based OTP- One of the best examples for compensating control is OTP i.e. One-time password, where a code is generated by an algorithm that uses the current time of day as one of its authentication factors.



Cyber security is one of the important aspects of the growing world. Threats are hard to deny and overcoming them is also a difficult task. But there is a need to learn how to defend them and also to manage the security activities of organizations and individuals. That could be done by using proper security controls. Monitor the valuable assets and keep your organization away from cyber threats.

Learn more about networking and security and get certified by CompTIA through Sprintzeal.



About the Author

Sprintzeal   Niveditha P

Content Writer at Sprintzeal

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