Everything To Know About Python For Cyber Security

Ajay Ohri


The extensive escalation in the amount of data today has led to security threats such as malware attacks and advanced cyber threats. The Internet of Things (IoT) is yet another advancement increasing cyber threats. It has made it possible for almost every device now to access the Internet and get connected. Although it’s still prevalent and excellent, we tend to face numerous vulnerability issues. The need for protection against system and data threats has heightened. Nearly 64% of the companies have experienced and suffered web-based attacks to date. The hackers or attackers use malicious code to break into the networks and systems to compromise with the data, leading to cybercrimes.

  1. What is Cyber Security?
  2. Cyber Security – Significance and Purpose
  3. Cyber Security Threats
  4. Python Programming Language – Introduction and Benefits
  5. Python for Cyber Security – Purpose and Benefits

1. What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security is the practice of defending and protecting computer systems, mobile devices, data, networks, and servers from disruptive malicious attacks. It also ensures protection from misdirection or disruption from the services provided by them. A data breach leads to the loss of billions of dollars to companies and can also result in other destructive consequences for the employees or other people.

Cyber Security has become an international concern now because of the high-profile data breaches which have occurred, thereby raising serious concerns. From startups to tech giants, almost all companies have started emphasizing the importance of security, which is why Cyber Security has become one of the most in-demand fields.

The new and evolving Cyber Security threats day by day has put the information security industry alarmed on high alert. Even more sophisticated cyber-attacks involving phishing, malware, cryptocurrency, and ML and AI have placed the enterprises’ assets and data in jeopardy. The cybercrime epidemic is continually rising, and the stakes are even much higher, leading to an increased potential for:

  • Distortion: The intentional transmission of misinformation through chatbots and automated sources causes integrity trust of the information to be compromised.
  • Disruption: We rely on delicate connectivity which further creates the possibility of heightening the risk of ransomware being used to hijack IoT.
  • Deterioration: Speedy advancements in smart technologies and contrary demands posed by the individual privacy regulations and national security negatively affect enterprise’s ability to protect their information.

2. Cyber Security – Significance and Purpose

The Importance of Cyber Security is rising day by day. Sensitive and confidential information like social security numbers, bank account, and credit card details are now stored in Cloud storage devices such as Google Drive and Dropbox. 

  • Cyber Attacks affect the entire society.
  • Cyber Security is going to be a boom to the entire world.
  • Cyber Threats cause damage to businesses and loss of jobs.
  • New regulations and legislation can be incorporated to protect individuals from potential attacks.

Strong network security with an effective incident response plan in an organization ensures mitigation and prevention of cyber threats. For instance, end-user protection safeguards against cyber thefts or loss of data while scanning computer systems for malignant code. The enterprise stakeholders need to remain up-to-date with the emerging technologies and threats to protect valuable assets and information from any kind of cyber threats.

3. Cyber Security Threats

 The types of Cyber Security threats are many, which are described below:

  • Phishing: A fraudulent or fake party sends a mail or some form of communication that appears to arrive from an authentic or reputed source. It demands the victim some sensitive and confidential information such as bank or credit card details. The victim unintentionally enters and submits the information, and the attacker or the fraud gets access to all the information. Therefore, phishing can be very dangerous and may lead to severe consequences.
  • Malware: Malware is a common form of cyber-attack these days. It is a kind of dangerous or malicious software that breaches a network through some vulnerability. On being installed in the system or network, it ruptures the functionality and steals data. 
  • Man-in-the-middle attack: The attacker invades in the middle of a two-party transaction or conversation via malware or insecure Wi-Fi networks and swipes out valuable data to accomplish the task. 
  • Cyber-Physical Attacks: The same technology which has modernized and automated our infrastructure also brings us danger. Everything has become more vulnerable, representing even more of it in the future, with the ongoing threats of hacking transportation systems, electrical grids, water treatment facilities, and many more.
  • IoT Attacks: The Internet of Things (IoT) is found everywhere now and is going on maintaining and existing its existence day by day. It comprises laptops, smartphones, webcams, routers, smartwatches, automobiles, medical devices, household appliances, and even home security systems. Connected devices are in great demand today as they come in handy for the consumers, posing a greater risk. They make IoT connections more vulnerable to cyber invasions. IoT devices, once hacked, can create havoc and serious fallouts.
  • Password Attacks: A cyber attacker can obtain a wealth of information through the right password. There are a few types of password attacks like social engineering, outright guessing, or accessing a password database. Hackers rely on human interaction and trick people into breaking standard security practices.
  • SQL Injection: A cyber-attack that happens with the insertion of malignant code into a server using SQL. The server reveals confidential information when infected.
  • Denial of Service: A Denial of Service (DoS) is a kind of cyber threat that chokes a computer network so it cannot answer the requests.

4. Python Programming Language – Introduction and Benefits

Python as a programming language has been quite a lot popular now, with its growth being incredible over the past few years. It has been dominating the Cyber Security industry and has been around for a long time now. In recent years, it has even become the focus of Cyber Security professionals. Python supports syntax, which is simple and understandable and has a wide range of applications making it a versatile programming language.

There are a number of factors that make Python for cyber security a preferable language among the Cyber Security professionals. The factors are listed below:

  • Easy to learn, understand and implement: Python is quite simple to learn, design, and implement, making it a more comfortable programming language. It’s a user-friendly language meant to enhance syntax, implementation, and code readability.
  • Python is a free and open-source programming language: It’s designed as a complete open-source programming language, making it accessible for anybody to improve it further. It’s free to download as well.
  • It makes code debugging simpler: Python requires minimal coding because of the several in-built libraries present to perform some functionality, making it easier for the programmer to debug the code for errors, at the same time, decreasing the risk of language issues.
  • Extensive support libraries and user-friendly data structures: Python incorporates large libraries supporting extensive functionality and features such as string operations, protocols, and web services tools. This puts a limit on the length of code to be written by the programmers, thereby reducing bugs. It also encompasses data structures like in-built lists and dictionaries. It reduces the length of high-level data typing, thereby reducing the length of support code required.
  • Python ensures speed and productivity: The main reasons behind this language’s speed and productivity are the advanced control and text processing capabilities provided to the users. The experienced Cyber Security professionals find it implementing it as a hassle-free code.
  • It supports automatic memory management: Python supports in-built memory management features automatically by design. The programmers remain less concerned about the factors like partitioning, memory allocation, and caching.

5. Python for Cyber Security – Purpose and Benefits

Python is a general-purpose, server-side scripting language implemented by thousands of security projects. Some of the functionalities supported using Python’s base programming do not require any third-party tools, examples of which are given below:

  • Attacks simulation
  • Port Scanning
  • Web Server Fingerprinting
  • Access to mail servers
  • Load generation and website testing
  • Wireless network scanning
  • Traffic transmission in the network
  • Intrusion detection and prevention systems

To be an efficient Cyber Security professional, you need to build an effective portfolio and develop software, for which you need to equip yourself with the right Python frameworks and libraries prevalent in the industry.

  • Automation Tools: The day-to-day tasks of a security professional involve writing effective Python scripts to automate the tasks. Python is recommended because of its easy syntax and wide range of supported libraries with a lot of functionality. You need to acquaint yourself with Python’s automation tools as most of the security tasks require you to apply the same operation across several endpoints. The automation process reduces not only time but also errors to a great extent. 
  • Regex: Regex refers to regular expressions, and this tool enables you to search for specific patterns within some text. You can extract information from log files while investigating or scraping from the Internet using Regex. You can even locate IP addresses to detect the hacking activity by combining regex with other Python libraries for Cyber Security.
  • Pyperclip: You can directly access the clipboard from your Python scripts using Pyperclip in a very simple and efficient manner. It’s precisely helpful for the scripts containing extremely large bodies of statements.
  • Pen Testing: Pen Testing or Penetration Testing is the process of trying to hack into a system, network, or software to test security. This is a very important application of Python in Cyber Security. Professionals need to create their scripts and tools to achieve this effect.
  • Network Port Scanning: Python Nmap tool is used for network port scanning using Python    Socket Programming regardless of any third-party tool.
  • Packet Sniffing: Tools such as Wireshark or simply written Python scripts can be used for achieving Packet Sniffing. You require NIC to implement promiscuous mode in case of sniffing traffic on your local network.
  • Socket Programming: Socket Programming in Python requires the package socket to be imported first and then invoked by related methods. 
  • Geolocation Extraction: The ‘pygeoip’ module is responsible for extracting an IP address’s real-time location using Google APIs and Python.
  • Real-time Extraction from Social Media: You can use Python scripts for Cyber Security for downloading real-time live data from various social media platforms. 

Final Thoughts

Cyber Security has become extremely mandatory with an increase in the severity of cyber-attacks and technological advancements. As a resourceful language, Python has become immensely useful in Cyber Security as it supports and performs a multitude of Cyber Security functions such as malware analysis, scanning, and penetration testing functions. 

If you would like to study more on this topic, here are some references and source materials provided for you:

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