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When the term computer security is used, it specifically refers to the security of one computer, although the overall security of each individual computer is required for network security. When the term network security is used, it refers to the security of the network in general. This includes such issues as password security, network sniffing, intrusion detection, firewalls, network structure and so forth.

Security Violation Definition

Computer or network security has been violated when unauthorized access by any party occurs.

Why Security?

Computer security is required because most organizations can be damaged by hostile software or intruders. There may be several forms of damage which are obviously interrelated. These include:

  • Damage or destruction of computer systems.
  • Damage or destruction of internal data.
  • Loss of sensitive information to hostile parties.
  • Use of sensitive information to steal items of monetary value.
  • Use of sensitive information against the organization's customers which may result in legal action by customers against the organization and loss of customers.
  • Damage to the reputation of an organization.
  • Monitary damage due to loss of sensitive information, destruction of data, hostile use of sensitie data, or damage to the organization's reputation.

The methods used to accomplish these unscrupulous objectives are many and varied depending on the circumstances. This guide will help administrators understand some of these methods and explain some countermeasures.

Security Issues

Computer security can be very complex and may be very confusing to many people. It can even be a controversial subject. Network administrators like to believe that their network is secure and those who break into networks may like to believe that they can break into any network. I believe that overconfidence plays an important role in allowing networks to be intruded upon. There are many fallacies that network administrators may fall victim to. These fallacies may allow administrators to wrongfully believe that their network is more secure than it really is.

This guide will attempt to clarify many issues related to security by doing the following:

  • Help you determine what you are protecting.
  • Break computer security into categories.
  • Explain security terms and methods.
  • Point out some common fallacies that may allow administrators to be overconfident.
  • Categorize many common attacks against networks and computers.
  • Explain some attack methods.
  • Describe tools that can be used to help make a network more secure.

Some Terms

This paragraph describes some commonly used computer security terms.

  • Protocol - Well defined specification allowing computer communication.
  • Confidentiality - Information is available only to people with rightful access.
  • Integrity - Information can only be changed by authorized personnel. Integrity - The receiver of the message should be able to tell the message was not modified. Requires key exchange.
  • Availability - Information is available to only those who need it.
  • Verification - nonrepudiation - There is proof that the sender sent the message
  • Authentification - The receiver of the message should be able to be sure of the origin of the message. Requires a digital signature (One way hash, public key algorithm, and symmetric algorithm) or a public key algorithm.
  • Spyware - A computer program whose purpose is to spy on your internet activities usually for marketing purposes and usually done by a shady corporate entity.
  • Malware - A computer program with some evil intent. It may on the surface have a good or useful intent, but may be a trojan (with a hidden purpose) which can be used to gain unauthorized access to your computer.

Related Topics on Computer and Information security

  1. Software Vulnerability Control
  2. Firewall Protection
  3. Network Intrusion Detection
  4. Network Port Scanning
  5. Network Tools passwords
  6. Types of attacks
  7. Application Level Protection
  8. Systems Protection
  9. Mail and Security
  10. Hostile Software

For more topics and tutorials visit -

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