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Computer Security System

Potential Impact of Computer Security

Tina S
Tina S
Oct 28, 2009
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A computer can be considered secure if it and its software can be depended upon. This does not mean that it is absolutely impenetrable to crackers, viruses and other forms of unauthorized entry. The only computer that is absolutely secure is unplugged and locked in a vault somewhere. Security is a responsibility shared between the organization who owns the
system, the system administrator, anyone who uses the system, and anyone who walks in the room where the system is.

Computer security has been much in the news in recent years, whether it’s the latest computer virus spread via email, questions about the safety of secrets on the computers of our national weapons laboratories, or stories about hackers stealing thousands of credit card numbers from
an online vendor. Whatever the source of attack, the problem is the same: how to protect information and software from being accessed by unauthorized people. In response to this need,

It is up to the organization that owns the system to set security policies including

• who has physical access to the machines,
• who receives accounts on them,
• How security infractions are dealt with, and plan for dealing with emergencies.


Computer Security: A Practical Definition
Computer security is a general term that covers a wide area of computing and information processing. Defining "computer security" is not trivial. The difficulty lies in developing a definition that is broad enough to be valid regardless of the system being described, yet specific enough to describe what security really is. In a generic sense, security is "freedom from risk or
danger.Any computer which is attached to network is at risk. It does not much matter what kind of connection Ethernet, Dial‐up Modem, DSL or cables modem all present similar risks.

This can be re‐stated: "Security is the ability of a system to protect information and system resources with respect to confidentiality and integrity." Note that the scope of this second
definition includes system resources, which include CPUs, disks, and programs, in addition to information.

Security Domains

Computer security is also frequently defined in terms of several interdependent domains that
roughly map to specific departments and job titles:

1. Physical security ‐‐ Controlling the comings and goings of people and materials;
protection against the elements and natural disasters

2. Operational/procedural security ‐‐ Covering everything from managerial policy decisions to reporting hierarchies

3. Informational Security ‐‐Information security is the process of protecting information. It protects its availability, privacy and integrity.

4. Network security ‐‐ Protecting network and telecommunications equipment, protecting network servers and transmissions, combating eavesdropping, controlling access from entrusted networks, firewalls, and detecting intrusions.

5. BIOS and Boot loader security ‐‐ Password protection for the BIOS and the boot loader can prevent unauthorized users who have physical access to your systems from booting from removable media or attaining root through single user mode.

6. Host Security ‐‐ The security to which a warrant is attached.

7. Mail Security ‐‐ Many attempts to intrude on organizational networks are made either through the organization's email server or through sending mail directly to users of the network.

1) Physical security

If you are a home user, you probably don't need a lot (although you might need to protect your machine from tampering by children or annoying relatives). If you are in a lab, you need
considerably more, but users will still need to be able to get work done on the machines. Many of the following sections will help out. If you are in an office, you may or may not need to secure your machine off‐hours or while you are away. At some companies, leaving your console unsecured is a termination offense.

Advantages

1) If you are a home user, you probably don't need a lot (although you might need to protect your machine from tampering by children or annoying relatives).

2) If you are in a lab, you need considerably more, but users will still need to be able to get work done on the machines.

3) If you are in an office, you may or may not need to secure your machine off‐hours or while you are away. At some companies, leaving your console unsecured is a termination offense.

4) Many modern PC cases include a "locking" feature. Usually this will be a socket on the front of the case that allows you to turn an included key to a locked or unlocked position. Case locks can help prevent someone from stealing your PC, or opening up the case and directly manipulating/stealing your hardware. They can also sometimes prevent someone from rebooting your computer from their own floppy or other hardware.

5) It is also a good idea to store log data at a secure location, such as a dedicated log server within your well‐protected network.

6) If you have a webcam or a microphone attached to your system, you should consider if there is some danger of a attacker gaining access to those devices. When not in use, unplugging or removing such devices might be an option

Disadvantages

1) The locks are usually very low‐quality and can easily be defeated by attackers with lock smiting.

2) Some machines (most notably SPARC's and Macs) have a dongle on the back that, if you put a cable through, attackers would have to cut the cable or break the case to get into it.

3) The syslog daemon can be configured to automatically send log data to a central syslog server, but this is typically sent unencrypted, allowing an intruder to view data as it is being transferred. This may reveal information about your network that is not intended to be public

4) Some monitor may cause harm for eyes for children.

5) Improper supply of power can make accident for users.

 

2) Operations security (OPSEC)

There are a number of controls that organizations must consider to secure their operations.
This domain addresses issues such as implementing:

Advantages

1) Preventive controls to decrease the threat of unintentional errors or unauthorized users accessing the system and modifying data.

2) Detective controls that help identify when an error has occurred.

3) A system that provides a separation of duties by assigning tasks to different personnel preventing one person from having total control of the security measures.

4) Data backup in case a crash occurs and measures to otherwise restore systems.

5) Measures for tracking and approval of changes or reconfiguration to the system.

6) Employee background checks and screening for positions that have access to higher sensitive data or control security measures.

7) Appropriate retention policies as dictated by organization policies, standards, legal and
business rules.

8) Appropriate documentation such as organizational security policy and procedures, security, contingency, and disaster recovery plans.

9) Protections for hardware, software, and data resources.

Disadvantages

1) Maintaining today’s computer’s operational system is very tough and many users can’t fine the appropriate way.

2) Operating system interface sometimes may not help users.

3) Missing of system files corrupt many operations.

4) Problems in register make problem to take appropriate operations.

5) Error reports hamper usual works.

 

3) Information security

Information security is concerned with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data regardless of the form the data may take: electronic, print, or other forms.

Advantages

1) Computer security can focus on ensuring the availability and correct operation of a computer system without concern for the information stored or processed by the computer.

2) Governments, military, corporate, financial institutions, hospitals, and private businesses amass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research, and financial status.

3) Most of this information is now collected, processed and stored on electronic computers and transmitted across networks to other computers. Should confidential information about a business’s customers or finances or new product line fall into the hands of a competitor, such a breach of security could lead to lost business, law suits or even bankruptcy of the business.

4) Protecting confidential information is a business requirement, and in many cases also an ethical and legal requirement. For the individual, information security has a significant effect on privacy, which is viewed very differently in different cultures.

5) The field of information security has grown and evolved significantly in recent years.

6) As a career choice there are many ways of gaining entry into the field. It offers many areas for specialization including, securing network(s) and allied infrastructure, securing applications and databases, security testing, information systems auditing, business continuity planning and digital forensics science, to name a few.

7) Effective information security systems incorporate a range of policies, security products, technologies and procedures.

8) Changing passwords on your computer, and using combinations of letters and numbers, makes it harder for hackers to gain access.

Disadvantages

1) There are people who make a living from hacking or breaking through
information security systems. They use their technological skills to break into computer systems and access private information.

2) Software applications which provide firewall information security and virus scanners are not enough on their own to protect information.

3) There are people who make a living from hacking or breaking through
information security systems. They use their technological skills to break into computer systems and access private information.

4) One of the biggest potential threats to information security is the people
who operate the computers. A workplace may have excellent information
security systems in place, but security can be easily compromised. If a help
desk worker gives out or resets passwords without verifying who the
information is for, then anyone can easily gain access to the system.
Computer operators should be made fully aware of the importance of
security.

5) There has never been such a thing as a totally secure system. Hackers will always find more sophisticated ways to gain access.

 

4) Network Security

Advantages

1) It protects computer from hackers or competitors who may gain access to critical or sensitive data, possibly resulting in data loss, or even complete destruction of the system.

2) Appropriate network security is achieved when a user has to go through several layers of security before being able to access the desired network.

3) It will help keep unauthorized people in the company from changing any data on the servers.

4) A systems administrator will also build a secure firewall for the network, whichm may include an encryption layer and sentinel software that automatically repels an unauthorized program from gaining access.

5) The administrator may also place restrictions on employees' computers to prevent them from accessing websites that may have malicious coding or malware that will install itself on a user's computer.

Disadvantages

1) One problem that generally arises when network security is implemented is that of flexibility.

2) Malicious coding or malware creates problems for networks security.

3) As evidenced in dealing with past e‐mail and network viruses, security
breaches are costly and detrimental to production and efficiency.

4) They also require much RAM for high performance, and may require much hard drive space to store log information.

5) Firewalls with no single point of access, sharp systems administrators,
frequent security updates, and early installation of anti‐adware will all help
keep a network safe.

 

5) BIOS and Boot loader Security

Advantages

1) Many x86 BIOSs also allow you to specify various other good security settings.Check your BIOS manual or look at it the next time you boot up. For example,some BIOSs disallow booting from floppy drives and some require passwords to access some BIOS features.

2) If an intruder has access to the BIOS, they can set it to boot off of a diskette or CD‐ROM. This makes it possible for them to enter rescue mode or single user mode, which in turn allows them to seed nefarious programs on the system or copy sensitive data.

3) Some BIOSes allow you to password protect the boot process itself. When activated, an attacker is forced to enter a password before the BIOS to launch the boot loader.

4) Prevent Access to Single User Mode — if an attacker can boot into single user mode, he becomes the root user.

5) Prevent Access to the GRUB Console — if the machine uses GRUB as its boot loader, an attacker can use the use the GRUB editor interface to change its configuration or to gather information using the cat command.

6) Prevent Access to Non‐Secure Operating Systems — if it is a dual‐boot system, an attacker can select at boot time an operating system, such as DOS, which ignores access controls and file permissions.

Disadvantages

1) If you want to allow booting a kernel or operating system without password verification, but do not want to allow users to add arguments without a password, you can add the restricted directive on the line below the password line within the stanza.

2) Another risk of trusting BIOS passwords to secure your system is the default password problem.

3) Most BIOS makers don't expect people to open up their computer and
disconnect batteries if they forget their password and have equipped their
BIOSes with default passwords that work regardless of your chosen password.

4) Main threads are users of computer. Many users have no knowledge about BIOS.

5) System may fail for incorrect BIOS setup.

 

6) Host Security

Advantages

1) Attempts to get advisory information about originating user of connection.

2) Maintain information about proper state of

3) System and identify deviations from the norm.

4) Easy to use graphical interface.

5) Attempts to find matching encryptions using a large dictionary.

Disadvantages

1) Lack of expert for maintains.

2) Users are sometimes confused.

7) Mail Security

Advantages

1) Block many dangerous email attachments on your mail server or at your
firewall.

2) Many attachment types may contain code that can be run on workstations or servers and create a method for an outsider to gain control of that machine. If an executable attachment is sent to one of your users and they double click on the attachment.

3) All users have different name and passwords.

4) It is likely that the code will run and the attack will succeed. The only defense in this case is your antivirus software on the machine.

5) Social relations improve by mailing facility.

6) Many social sites like hi5, face book, MySpace, Big adda etc improve personal relationship.

Disadvantages

1) Many users are not so much educated about mailing option.

2) One user may create many accounts for public harassment.

3) Bad people can make fake account in social sites to disturb others.

4) Many crimes may take place by incorrect mailing.

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
Author's note:
Keywords: computer,security,system,host security,physical security,mail security,network security,bios security,information security,operations security(OPSEC),potential impact of computer security



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