Study Guide

Study Guide

1. Why Are Security Precautions Necessary?

  • In today’s technical workplace, almost every piece of computer hardware is connected to the internet.  Anything that is connected to the internet is susceptible to outside intruders across the globe. 
  • Almost daily, many E-Commerce, military, and other government or personal websites are experiencing a breach in security. 
  • Even a day of having a computer system down in a large corporation could mean thousands of dollars lost for the company.
  • Unethical computer users take advantage of these security leaks to steal consumer information ranging from passwords to credit card numbers. 
  • Computer viruses can also be harmful to a computer system connected to the internet.  Files downloaded onto a computer could contain viruses that destroy data or cause other security problems.
  • Security precautions, if followed correctly, can protect individual users, companies, and government agencies from a malicious computer hacker or computer virus.
  • Applications in Unix systems and cross platform applications are also at risk.  Security problems are no longer problems only for windows users. 

2. Security Precautions Are Not Easy

  • Companies are getting better at securing their computer systems, but they still have a long way to go.
  • Threats can even come from within a business.
  • System administrators have difficulty keeping up with the large amount of knowledge needed to reduce the risk of compromise.
  • The complexity of computer systems makes finding every single hole in security nearly impossible to find.  Crackers are continually searching for these, so computer administrators must be as well to keep up.  This has also led to the desire of more simple computing to help lower the risk of holes occurring.
  • The most important precaution one can do is to renew and update their antivirus software.  This is more efficiently done if the software automatically updates itself.
  • Distributed Denial of Service attacks allow a cracker to shut down a site trivially. 
    • Tracking down the source of a Distributed Denial of Service attack is very difficult.
    • Also, detecting an attack and filtering it off is just as difficult.

3. Ethical Responsibilities

  • It is very difficult to determine what actions are attacks on a computer system and what actions are not.  This causes system and network administrators to ignore warning signs that could have prevented a security attack. 
  • Why should a system administrator be concerned?
  • This leads to an ethical dilemma for the system administrator:
    • The system administrator could follow up on all actions on their network that seem suspicious.  However, this would take lots of time, resources, and money to do.
    • On the other hand, the system administrator could ignore all but the most suspicious ones.  This method would result in more security attacks passing through the network undetected. 

4. Security Precautions Awareness Is Growing

  • The fact that the internet is more vulnerable now than ever has led many companies to increase their security precautions.
  • Computer programs that monitor vulnerable systems for attacks are now available to companies.  These computer programs help companies to fend off attacks on their networks. 
  • Another option is for a company to hire security consultants to handle network security for them.  Many IT managers are having trouble managing security by themselves.
  • The United States, the European Union, and other governments are working on a treaty that would outlaw computer break-ins.  This would make the jobs of system and network administrators much easier.  The problem with this treaty is the different sets of laws that each country has on internet crimes.  What happens when a malicious computer user from the United States damages a computer network in England?  Which government is to prosecute the culprit.
  • Users are becoming more aware of security issues and are becoming more informed on safer surfing. 


5. Some Security Products That Could Help You

  • Spybot Search & Destroy – This program scans your computer for known adware and other system invaders.  If a possible threat is detected, it is compared to a database of known threats to determine if it is really malicious. 
  • Ad-Aware – This program has the ability to scan your RAM, Registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-Aware SE easily can clean your system, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web.
  • Panda TruPrevent – Panda TruPrevent detects and blocks unknown viruses, the ones that normal antivirus programs are incapable of detecting because they are still not updated against them. TruPrevent does not replace your present antivirus, but rather it reinforces it, offering you extra protection.
  • Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite - ZoneAlarm Security Suite is the easy-to-use, comprehensive security solution that is based on the world's best firewall to keep out hackers, viruses, worms, and other threats. It combines popular firewall with antivirus protection, Web site filtering, privacy protection, and instant-messaging security.