Network and System Security means protecting your system from different kinds of attacks by unauthorized users. With the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web, it is a field that is gaining a lot of importance. In this post, we will discuss various threats to network security and how to protect our system from such threats.
A worm is a program which simply creates copies of itself until the entire disk space in your system is filled up.
These are harmless-looking applications such as text editors which actually perform malicious functions without your knowledge (for example, deleting/modifying other existing files)
This is a kind of software which may get installed on your PC without your consent, tracks your activity and reports this information to people who are willing to pay for it. Spyware mostly finds its way to a PC by getting downloaded along with another file, or from the Internet when you visit a webpage.
Adware is a software that causes your computer to display unwanted pop-up ads. It reduces the performance of your computer, and is similar to spyware, with the difference that it may be installed with your consent. So it is important to go over the terms and conditions before you install any software on your PC.
This is a term used to describe the sending of e-mail in bulk by a known or unknown person. Spamming can also reduce system performance, and can even be used to spread computer viruses.
These methods of attack rely on tricking users rather than using sophisticated technology.
In this kind of attack, the legitimate users are not allowed to use the resources, information or capabilities of the system. This attack, however, generally does not allow the attacker to access or modify data. For example, an attacker may flood the targeted system with a barrage of requests.
These are messages (pieces of information) sent by a web server to a web browser so that the web server can track users’ activity on a webpage. They can help webpages load faster, and can customize the page for users who have already visited them. As they are merely text files, they cannot act maliciously on systems. However, any information you provide freely to a website (including sensitive personal information) will most likely be stored in a cookie, unless you disable the cookie feature in your browser. If someone found out the encryption key to your cookies, he/she could get your personal details. Cookies a threat to security this way.
Having discussed about various threats to network and system security, the question arises as to how we deal with these threats. There are different methods to deal with different kinds of attacks, some of which are listed below:
Solutions to Viruses, Adware, Spyware
Solutions to Spam
1. Protect your system by asking the user for a valid user-ID (authorization) and a valid password (authentication). Keep the passwords strong so that they cannot be easily guessed.
2. Install a firewall on your system. A firewall is a system (hardware or software) designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.
We saw a few ways in which a system may be compromised actively or passively and the way to counter them. Join me as I uncover more topics on yet another post on Information security!