Computer Security. Essay

1948 words - 8 pages

As governments, organizations, and individuals increasingly rely on desktop, and laptop computers, other connected devices (handheld, smart phone, Blackberry, etc) and the Internet they lose control of the information processing that was present in the traditional data center. As the control of computing information moves to the personal computer and remote sites via networking, it is essential that managers understand the threats to this information and create security plans that will meet this new challenge. Computer security controls work with a different set of variables than those used for mainframes and LANs. For example, control over program changes, data security, system documentation, backup, recovery plans, and system testing are inherent in most mainframe (LAN) environments. However, desktops, laptop, and handheld computer systems seldom have this protection. One of the most critical security issues, one that has been compounded by the wireless, portability and LAN/WAN revolutions, is a lack of awareness, by executives and users, to the vulnerability of their critical and sensitive information. Other threats include computer and component theft, vandalism and sabotage. Computers have unique security problems that must be understood for effective implementation of security measures. These problems include: Data Communications, Networking, Software, Hardware, Physical Security and Accessibility, and Disaster Recovery.Data Communications is an area where there is a critical and continuing need for security countermeasures and controls. Our increasingly reliance on e-mail, the Internet, and mobile devices has open numerous opportunities for cyber criminals. It is astonishing to think, that in today's competitive environment, corporate America exposes it self by sending sensitive information through e-mail on the Internet. Everything from price lists, strategic plans, budgets, customer lists, mergers and proposals. Banks, financial institutions and the US Government have been using encryption technology for years, but not until recently has the technology been available to everyone. Intellectual property being the creator of wealth in the 21st century, it is imperative for companies to protect themselves from threats of misuse, abuse or theft of their sensitive information. Today there are numerous hardware devices and software packages that allow the encryption users' data files, e-mail messages, and even hard drives.Computer crimes take many different forms. Many computer crimes occur by utilizing a combination of operational functions (e.g. altering either input data or the program itself.) Fraud and embezzlement are common and costly computer-assisted crimes. Theft of proprietary information is a growing problem as companies resort to illegal means to overcome competitors. As the computer world reels in response to high-profile security incidents, industry analysts, government officials, and software vendors are sparring over how to...

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