Failure to implement proper network security or security procedures at large can affect users, computers and the public at large. As this can cause private information, company secrets, financial data, computer equipment’s, items of national security and trade secrets being exposed to unauthorized users.
Importance of computer security
Security helps to keep data and equipment safe by giving only the authorized users access to certain information. And this should be given the highest priority, because in an event of lapse everyone is affected. There are many factors that affect security and these include theft, loss, network intrusion or damage. Unauthorized use of a network can expose confidential information and an attack that intentionally degrades the performance of a computer or network can also harm an organization’s or individual production.
There are mainly two types of computer security threats, which are typically physical and Data. A physical threat mainly involves the stealing, destroying or damaging equipment’s that are related to data storage. While data threats are events that involves gaining or denying access to, corrupting or stealing information from a company or individual. And these can further be divided into internal and external threats; the levels of destruction may differ greatly among the two categories.
Internal threat: subdivided into accidental and malicious threats. An accidental threat is where one unintentionally causes damage to the equipment or data, while a malicious threat is where one intentionally causes damage to data and equipment. This mostly involves people or individuals that already have access to the companies or individuals network, equipment or data.
External threat: mainly involves the use of different attacks in order to penetrate companies or individuals network to gain access over the network and data stored on their servers. This is mostly associated with users that have no access to the network or resources, and the use of a series of pre-connection attacks, gaining access and post-connection attacks in order to penetrate companies or individual network.
Common computer threats
With the advancement of technology most threats against data are constantly changing as hackers are finding new ways to gaining entry into people’s networks, websites and committing their desired crimes. Creating code with malicious intent and sending to different users. Often embedded or attached to software programs, images, documents and computer code. These are commonly known as viruses, and execute when the software program is run on a computer. Spreading and infecting other computers though emails, file transfer, instant messages and other mean of transfer between computers. With the capability to corrupt and delete computer files, even far worse when it erases your hard drive content.
There are many forms of viruses that are considered most deadly but that doesn’t mean that other forms aren’t dangerous too. Take for example a stealthy virus that lays dormant after infecting a computer and is only summoned when the attacker want to use it or a virus that records keystroke, makes it pretty hard for you to notice it and giving away sensitive or confidential information to the hacker. By the time you get to realized it, most of your bank information is gone. And I believe most people like to be hostile when it comes to such information. Although worms don’t need to be attached to a program they can be harmful as they self-replicate over the network, creating duplicates of its code. Hence, consuming most of your bandwidth, besides not harming data or applications. Although Trojan horses are technically worms, they are mostly hidden in software programs that tend to be doing one thing while their actual intentions are to do something else behind the scene.
The most common preventive measure is by doing regular computer maintenance. This helps in keeping your antivirus software up to date to quickly detect and disable harmful programs, and also prevent your antivirus from being outdated by applying recent updates and patches. Apart from the common viruses, worms and Trojans there are also adware, spyware and malware that are normally installed without the users consent while downloading software’s from the internet. Adware software is normally displayed as internet adverts on a computer while surfing and are distributed with downloaded software.
Spyware is similar to adware and are distributed without the user’s knowledge and once installed it monitors user’s activities and sends the information to the hacker or organization responsible for the spyware. Most malware or grayware are phishing attacks that give hacker access to personal information by persuading a user into unknowingly giving access to personal information through filling out of a form. There are many security threats out there that can cause seriously harm to organizations and individuals. As the value of data can cost five (5) times or more the cost of the equipment used to store the information, because information is power.
There are many forms that can be used to limit the loose of equipment and data at large. The use of cable lock with equipment and limiting access to the data storage room can minimize theft of hardware. While the use of password protection, data encryption, data backups and port protection to prevent unauthorized access to content or information.
My worries gradually keeps on increasing as technology broadens at a vast speed. With the number of malicious users also increasing as each day that goes by. Advancing their methods of interception and penetration of data. Making me wonder, are updates going to keep up and protect my data or will they phase out at some point. Or will cyber security protect and detect any abnormal behavior from norms of social propriety. Feel free to share your thought in the comment section below about computer security and threats, your contributions will be highly valued.