Today, we will be discussing computer security and then will go on to explore the importance of it, along with all the threats and vulnerabilities that it is capable of addressing. Below is a list of all the computer security concepts that we will be covering in this blog.
The Internet undeniably came with a tremendous positive impact and transformation in the way things worked or operated. But, with it came all the security concerns due to many threats and attacks. Being aware of the standard cybersecurity practices is the first step of protection against such vulnerabilities.
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What is Computer Security?
Computer security is the protection that is set up for computer systems and keeps critical information from unauthorized access, theft, or misuse. There are various practices in place that are widely in use, mainly for the protection of computer systems and networks and preventing potential malicious activities.
While computer hardware is secured in the same way that sensitive equipment such as lockers and doors are protected, critical information and system access and authorization, on the other hand, are protected through complex security tactics and practices.
That’s all for computer security definition. Let’s move on to the section of security threats and issues.
Computer Security Threats, Issues, and Vulnerabilities
Computer security threats are potential risks that have the capability of disrupting the normal functioning of computer systems. Cyber threats are on the rise each day, especially with the digitization of the world. Let’s take a look at all kinds of major computer security threats, issues, and vulnerabilities.
A computer virus is a malicious program that is installed into a computer without the knowledge of its user. This program can replicate itself and infect all the programs and files that are in the system. These viruses make the victim’s computer malfunction or, at the worst, completely unusable.
A computer worm is a software program that can undergo replication from one computer system to another without the need for human interaction. Computer worms use up all of the hard disk space owing to their replication capability and the speed of replication, which can wreak havoc on the system’s resources. They can even modify or delete files and introduce other malicious programs into the system. Computer worms are also capable of stealing information and introducing a backdoor for hackers to gain unauthorized access and control to the system.
Phishing is a form of cybercrimes, which involves someone posing as a legitimate institution over the telephone, email, or text message in an attempt to trick potential targets to give away personal and critical information like banking details and passwords. This results in financial loss and identity thefts. Even though most people are wary of such attacks, it is completely easy to fall victim to phishing, unfortunately.
A botnet is a network of connected computers that have been compromised by hackers without the knowledge of the users.Each of the infected computers in the network is called a ‘zombie computer.’ The infected computer, which now is the bot, is used for carrying out malicious activities in larger-scale attacks like DDoS.
A rootkit is a malicious software designed to provide unauthorized access to a computer or restricted areas while actively masking its existence. Through rootkits, hackers can change system configurations and execute files remotely on the host computer.
A keylogger is a type of monitoring software that can track and record all keyboard strokes and activities by a user without his/her knowledge. Also known as the keystroke logger, it is one of the common ways to steal a person’s login credentials.
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Importance of Computer Security
If a computer security system is not put in place until a problem arises, it could lead to major issues and concerns, and it will be too late to resolve them. Especially in a data-driven world, it is imperative to keep all kinds of information from malicious hackers and prevent vital information from falling into the wrong hands for misuse.
Computer security helps keep valuable information protected and maintain the health of a computer with no disruptive behavior in its performance caused by viruses and malware.
That’s all for the importance and need of computer security. Read on to learn about different categories of computer security.
Types of Computer Security
Here are a few types of computer security tactics that are used widely for the protection of software, hardware, electronic data, and network in computer systems.
Application security is the introduction of security features in applications during their development process. This actively helps prevent potential cyber threats such as data breaches, denial-of-service attacks (DoS), SQL injection, and many others. Some examples of application security tools are antivirus software, firewalls, web application firewalls, encryption, etc.
Information security is a set of practices that aim to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability (known as the CIA triad) of data from unauthorized access and misuse.
Network security is any activity that aims to protect the integrity and usability of a network and data. It consists of both hardware and software technologies that are specifically designed to prevent unauthorized intrusion into computer systems and networks.
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End-users are increasingly becoming the biggest security risk unintentionally. With no fault from their end, exempting the lack of awareness, the virtual gates of an organization are open to hackers and attacks. Most of the end-users are unaware of the ICT policy, and therefore, it is imperative that the users who handle sensitive information on a regular basis understand and be knowledgeable about all comprehensive security policies, protocols, and procedures.
Internet security is one of the most important types of computer security that come with a set of rules and protocols that focus on specific threats and activities that happen online. It provides protection against hacking, DoS attacks, computer viruses, and malware.
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Healthy Computer Security Principles and Practices
Since attacks on computer systems and networks are becoming relentlessly inventive day by day, the need for combating them is vital. Listed are a few of the healthy computer security practices that one must be aware of to safeguard against growing computer threats.
- Ensure physical computer security:
- Install security and anti-virus software
- Update your software and stay alert on news and the latest software
- Do not click on email attachments from unknown senders
- Make your passwords strong and change them regularly
- Ignore pop-ups and drive-by downloads when using the Internet
- Educate yourself on the fundamentals of computer security and the latest cyber threats
- Perform regular scans and create system backups periodically
In addition to the above, there are several other ways, such as computer cleaners and encryption, to protect your computer system.
Learn more about Information security from our blog on Information security systems.
Computer Security Careers & Jobs
Computer Security is a booming career and promises good career opportunities for those who have the proficiency.
Security Software Developer
Security Software Developers are responsible for building software and integrating security into the applications. Their roles may include developing strategies for software security, overseeing a team during the development of security tools, involvement in the lifecycle development of software, testing for vulnerabilities, and participating in software deployments to customers.
Salary: An average of ₹1,439,000 annually (as per Glassdoor)
Security Architects build and execute complete network and computer security for an organization. They create complex security frameworks and ensure their functionality. They are responsible for designing security systems that can counter hacking, malware, and DDoS attacks.
Salary: An annual average of ₹1,903,000 (as per Glassdoor)
These cybersecurity experts evaluate threats, risks, issues, and come up with effective security solutions for organizations. Security Consultants advise organizations on securing their physical capital and information. They have to work with a wide range of variables during the security assessments.
Salary: Average income of ₹815,000 p.a. (as per Glassdoor)
Information Security Analyst
Think of Information Security Analysts as the front-line defense of networks. They are responsible for putting up firewalls and encryptions for protection against security breaches, and constantly monitoring and auditing systems for suspicious activities.
Salary: An average of₹573,000 annually (as per Glassdoor)
Ethical Hackers require a CEH certification and are given the license to try and infiltrate their secured systems by their employers. These techniques help in testing existing security protocols and develop upgrades.
Salary: An average salary of ₹544,000 annually (as per Glassdoor)
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Computer Forensics Analyst
Forensics Analysts are involved in fighting cyber-crimes and collaborate with law enforcement agencies. Some of their tasks include:
- Recovering deleted files
- Pursuing data trails
- Interpreting data linked to the crime
- Phone record analysis
Computer Forensic Analysts maintain detailed records of their investigations and are often required to provide evidence in court.
Salary: An average of ₹377,136 per year (as per Glassdoor)
Chief Information Security Officer
The Chief Information Security Officer or CISO manages the affairs of a company’s IT security division. They plan, coordinate, and oversee all computer, network, and data security requirements. They determine the cybersecurity demands of an organization.
CISOs are also responsible for assembling a staff of security experts, which calls for a strong background in IT security architecture and strategy, communication, and HR.
Salary: An average of ₹1,742,000 p.a. (as per Glassdoor)
Penetration Testers attempt to (with permission) hack into a network or computer system to pre-emptively diagnose vulnerabilities, application issues, improper configurations, and more, as a preventive measure against potential threats, and attacks. Penetration Testers are highly skilled and often implement tools of their own design to hack secure systems.
Salary: An annual average salary of ₹303,000 (as per Glassdoor)
Also, have a look at our blog on the importance of cyber security in banking sector and explore the career option in banking!
IT Security Consultant
IT Security Consultants advise clients on how to protect their systems efficiently and effectively. They are typically hired by smaller firms and agencies with smaller budgets and sometimes big corporations to aid their in-house security team in providing an impartial outside perspective to system challenges.
Salary: An annual salary of ₹571,000 on average (as per Glassdoor)
Security Systems Administrator
A Security Systems Administrator’s work includes installation, administration, maintenance, and troubleshooting of data, computer, and network security systems. They are in charge of the daily operations of security systems. like monitoring systems, ensuring regular backups, and managing individual user accounts.
Salary: An average income of ₹498,879 per year (according to PayScale)
With security threats constantly evolving, security programs also continue to invent new defenses against these new threats and find new ways to combat them. Most computer security threats are largely avoidable, and understanding how to keep computer systems secure can take care of most other security concerns.
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