There are many data groups that make up the different domains of the “cyber world”. When groups are able to collect and utilize massive amounts of data, they begin to amass power and influence. This data can be in the form of numbers, pictures, video, audio, or any type of data that can be digitized. These groups could become so powerful that they operate as though they are separate powers, creating separate cybersecurity domains.
Companies such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, could be considered to be data domains in our cyber world. Extending the analogy further, the people who work at these digital companies could be considered cybersecurity experts.
The word ‘domain’ has many meanings. Wherever there is control, authority, or protection, you might consider that ‘area’ to be a domain. Think of how a wild animal will protect its own declared domain. In this course, consider a domain to be an area to be protected. It may be limited by a logical or physical boundary. This will depend on the size of the system involved. In many respects, cybersecurity experts have to protect their domains according the laws of their own country.
Examples of Cybersecurity Domains
The experts at Google created one of the first and most powerful domains within the broader cyber world of the Internet. Billions of people use Google to search the web every day. Google has arguably created the world’s largest data collection infrastructure. Google developed Android, the operating system installed on over 80% of all mobile devices connected to the Internet. Each device requires users to create Google accounts that can save bookmarks and account information, store search results, and even locate the device. Click here to see some of the many services Google currently offers.
Facebook is another powerful domain within the broader Internet. The experts at Facebook recognized that people create personal accounts every day to communicate with family and friends. In doing so, you are volunteering a great deal of personal data. These Facebook experts built a massive data domain to enable people to connect in ways that were unimaginable in the past. Facebook affects millions of lives on a daily basis and empowers companies and organizations to communicate with people in a more personal and focused manner.
LinkedIn is yet another data domain on the Internet. The experts at LinkedIn recognized that their members would share information in the pursuit of building a professional network. LinkedIn users upload this information to create online profiles and connect with other members. LinkedIn connects employees with employers and companies to other companies worldwide. There are broad similarities between LinkedIn and Facebook.
A look inside these domains reveals how they are constructed. At a fundamental level, these domains are strong because of the ability to collect user data contributed by the users themselves. This data often includes users’ backgrounds, discussions, likes, locations, travels, interests, friends and family members, professions, hobbies, and work and personal schedules. Experts create great value for organizations interested in using this data to better understand and communicate with their customers and employees.
The Growth of the Cyber Domains
The data collected within the Internet is considerably more than just the data that the users contribute voluntarily. Cyber domains continue to grow as science and technology evolve, enabling the experts and their employers (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to collect many other forms of data. Cyber experts now have the technology to track worldwide weather trends, monitor the oceans, as well as the movement and behavior of people, animals and objects in real time.
New technologies, such as Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) and the Internet of Things (IoT), have emerged. These new technologies can track the health of trees in a neighborhood. They can provide up-to-date locations of vehicles, devices, individuals and materials. This type of information can save energy, improve efficiencies, and reduce safety risks. Each of these technologies will also result in exponentially expanding the amount of data collected, analyzed and used to understand the world. The data collected by GIS and IoE poses a tremendous challenge for cybersecurity professionals in the future. The type of data generated by these devices has the potential to enable cyber criminals to gain access to very intimate aspects of daily life.