Computer security is now an important area for any network administrator, systems analyst, information technology technician, databases administrator to the computer scientist. Although this list shows the professionals dabbling in Information Technology, it should not be misconstrued that the average computer user at home should not be concerned about computer security. A computer, be it a personal computer, a laptop or a simple netbook, is one of the features that adorn any home. Mobile phones too should not be excluded whenever the issue of computer security crops up since they are the latest targets for cyber criminals (SANS Institute). Inevitably, this has the led to the development and growth of a complex industry centered on Computer security.
The actual threats to computer security are many. These threats emanate from the state of technology of today’s computer, computer users who are ignorant of the ways to secure their computer machines, the current trend of data distribution without any restraints, and the advent of the mobile office (Vacca, J., 2009, 3-4). Firstly, the modern PC today has evolved from the Abacus, an implement that was used for simple mathematical calculations (Sadiku and Obiozor) to a powerful machine that can store and manipulate data (Vacca. J., 2009, 3). Sadiku and Obiothor’s work shows the evolution of the computer starting from the Abacus, to the machines made by such inventors as Blaise Pascal, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, Charles Babbage and Thomas of Colmar, to the electromechanical computer using punched cards, right through to the first digital computer using Integrated Circuits. It is the latter development, more so in the manufacturing of the Integrated Circuits, which has increased the power of the modern computer to not only compute difficult mathematical calculations but also to manipulate data. The powerful technology behind the modern computer is also complicated. Many average computer users, even many computer professionals do not fully understand how the computer works (Vacca, J., 4). It is this ignorance that enhances threats to company data or personal data.
Secondly, many computer users are not fully conversant with the strategies on how to secure their computers. This provides malicious computer users to launch attacks through outright manipulation of these users. For example, Vacca (2009) shows that through unbridled instaaltion of computer programs and the accessing of dubious websites online, users are able to act as conduits for malicious programs within a network (p. 4). It is through this technique that phishing scams occur and malicious programs such as computer viruses and worms are spread from one computer to another (Vacca, J., 2009, 4).
Thirdly, the aim of computer design was to increase the power of the machine (Vacca, J., 2009, 4). Consequently, the complexity of the computer’s technology increased proportionally to the computing power of the machines increase....