WHAT IS COMPUTER SECURITY?
Computer security, cybersecurity, or information technology security is the protection of computer systems and networks from information disclosure, theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide
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
Types of Computer Security
In this post, we will focus on the different types of computer security such as application security, network security, internet security, data security, information security and end user security.
Types of Cyber Security for Organizational Safety
- Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. The critical infrastructure cybersecurity technique is deployed to secure the systems that have the critical infrastructure. …
- Network Security. …
- Cloud Security. …
- Internet of Things Security. …
- Application Security.
Common cyber security measures
Businesses should use different cyber security measures to keep their business data, their cashflow and their customers safe online. These measures should aim to prevent risks from various sources, including:
- internet-borne attacks, eg spyware or malware
- user generated weaknesses, eg easily guessed password or misplaced information
- inherent system or software flaws and vulnerabilities
- subvert system or software features
Essential cyber security measures
The following processes and tools are fairly easy to introduce, even for the smallest businesses. Combined, these will give you a basic level security against the most common IT risks.
Use strong passwords
Strong passwords are vital to good online security. Make your password difficult to guess by:
- using a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols
- making it between eight and 12 characters long
- avoiding the use of personal data
- changing it regularly
- never using it for multiple accounts
- using two factor authentication
Create a password policy for your business to help staff follow security best practice. Look into different technology solutions to enforce your password policy, eg scheduled password reset. Find different password strategies that could boost your business security.
Make sure that individuals can only access data and services for which they are authorised. For example, you can:
- control physical access to premises and computers network
- restrict access to unauthorised users
- limit access to data or services through application controls
- restrict what can be copied from the system and saved to storage devices
- limit sending and receiving of certain types of email attachments
Modern operating systems and network software will help you to achieve most of this, but you will need to manage the registration of users and user authentication systems – eg passwords. Read more about identity and access management controls.
Put up a firewall
Firewalls are effectively gatekeepers between your computer and the internet, and one of the major barriers to prevent the spread of cyber threats such as viruses and malware. Make sure that you set up your firewall devices properly, and check them regularly to ensure they have the latest software/firmware updates installed, or they may not be fully effective. Read more about firewalls in server security
Use security software
You should use security software, such as anti-spyware, anti-malware and anti-virus programs, to help detect and remove malicious code if it slips into your network. Discover how to detect spam,malware and virus attack
Update programs and systems regularly
Updates contain vital security upgrades that help protect against known bugs and vulnerabilities. Make sure that you keep your software and devices up-to-date to avoid falling prey to criminals.
Monitor for intrusion
You can use intrusion detectors to monitor system and unusual network activity. If a detection system suspects a potential security breach, it can generate an alarm, such as an email alert, based upon the type of activity it has identified. See more on computer security breach detection.
COMPUTER AND CYBER SECURITY TOOLS
Let’s describe all the above security tools briefly:
Formerly known as Ethereal, Wireshark is open-source network software that can efficiently analyze network protocols and enhance security in real-time. Since it is a console-based password auditing and packet sniffer tool, you can use this security software to sniff the network and monitor your network traffic in real-time. Security professionals use this efficient software to capture data packets and inspect the features that particular data packets exhibit, which further helps to identify the weaknesses in network security.
2. KALI LINUX
It is one of the most excellent penetration testing tools used by organizations to scan their IT systems and networks for vulnerabilities. This cybersecurity tool contains around 300 different software used for security auditing. Most of these tools are executable, which simply means that the users can monitor and maintain their network security systems with a single click. The most common characteristic of Kali Linux is that all types of users, from experienced to newbies, can use it to reinforce their security in networking. It does not need any specific set of expertise or degree to function.
3. JOHN THE RIPPER
Professionals use John the Ripper for testing password strength. This tool can quickly look for complex ciphers, encrypted logins, hash-type passwords and identify weak passwords, which can be a big threat to a protected system. The software can efficiently work with Windows, DOS, OpenVMS systems, and in Unix environments.
Metasploit is one of the best security software that contains various tools for executing penetration testing services. Professionals use this tool to attain varying security goals such as discovering vulnerabilities in the system, strengthening computer system security, weaving cyber defense strategies, and maintaining complete security assessments. These penetration testing tools can examine the different security systems, including web-based apps, servers, networks, and so on. Metasploit can instantly identify all the new security vulnerabilities as soon as they occur, thus maintaining top-notch security all the time.
5. CAIN AND ABEL
It is a password auditing and packet sniffer network security tool used to discover weaknesses in Windows Operating systems. IT experts rely on this software to strengthen security in networking and identify vulnerabilities in the Windows security password. You can use this free tool to discover password flaws and recover them accordingly. ‘Cain and Abel’ contains lots of functionalities such as recording VoIP communications, analyzing routing protocols, decoding scrambled passwords, cracking encrypted passwords, and so on. Also, this software is highly effective in cryptanalysis. You can consider using this security tool as a good start for all kinds of packet sniffing exercises.
Tcpdump is one of the most efficient packet sniffer security tools used to monitor and log TCP/IP traffic connected via a network. Since it is a command-based tool, it can efficiently define network security and the packet contents of system traffic.
Nikto is an open-source security software used to detect web vulnerabilities and take appropriate actions accordingly. The software contains a database that includes around 6400 different threats. Security professionals keep updating this database so that the users may easily identify the new vulnerabilities.
Forcepoint is a customizable security tool primarily designed for cloud users. The tool is used to define network security, restrict users from accessing particular content, and block various intrusion attempts. The security admins can customize Forcepoint’s SD-Wan to monitor and detect dubious acts in a network quickly and rapidly implement appropriate action. The tool adds an extra level of protection for more critical threats.
9. PAROS PROXY
Paros Proxy is a Java-based security tool that contains a variety of other tools like vulnerability scanners, traffic recorder, web spider, etc. Professionals use these tools to scan security tests for identifying web vulnerabilities and maintaining network activities in real-time.
Also known as Network Mapper, Nmap is a free network discovery and security auditing tool used by professionals to scan single hosts as well as large networks. Its key features include detecting unidentified devices and identifying network issues for testing security vulnerabilities.
11. NESSUS PROFESSIONAL
Nessus Professional is a highly useful network software used to define network security, rectify system security errors and improve network integrity. The tool can easily detect vulnerabilities like incorrect patches and software bugs, general security misconfigurations in software applications, IT devices, and operating systems and manage them appropriately.
Nexpose is one of the most convenient network security software that provides real-time characteristics for detecting vulnerabilities and reducing feasible weak points on a network. Nexpose further permits the users to allot a risk score to the detected vulnerabilities so that they may be prioritized as per the severity levels.
TrueCrypt is one of the most widely used computer system security software used for on-the-fly encryption. Since it is an encryption tool, it can easily encrypt a partition or the complete storage device and build virtual encrypted disks. The tool permits professionals to encrypt layered content. This is why TrueCrypt has been one of the most popular encryption tools for several years, even without being updated.
Netstumbler is the free network software that allows IT experts to identify network vulnerabilities, detect open ports on a network, and for wardriving purposes. The software is designed for the Windows operating system; thus, there is no facility for source codes.
Aircrack-ng is an all-rounded network security software suitable for enhancing overall network security. The tool contains a comprehensive set of functionalities to analyze Wi-Fi weaknesses. Aircrack-ng enables users to capture data packets connected via a network for constant monitoring. Also, it allows capture and injection, which is vital in assessing network cards and the performance of network cards. Besides, IT experts can use it to test the reliability of WPA-PSK and WEP keys.
KeePass is another efficient encryption tool used for identity management. It enables users to explore all the linked accounts using a single password. Since this tool combines security with convenience, it is a cut above the other identity management software. KeePass permits system users to make a master password to access and attach different accounts. KeePass is a highly applicable software in office settings as the users can use it to discover potential risks created by human resources.
KisMAC is another popular network defense tool designed for wireless security running on the MAC OS X operating system. The software encompasses a wide range of functionalities such as brute force attacks, exploiting flaws, etc., to crack the WPA and WEP keys. Its features are geared towards skilled IT professionals; thus, it might not be an amicable option for newbies.
18. BURP SUITE
Burp Suite is a robust computer network security software used for scanning networks, detecting critical weaknesses, and enhance network security. Burp Suite comes in three versions: Enterprise, Community, and Professional. The “Community” is a free edition, whereas “Enterprise” and “Professional” are paid versions. Burp Suite is good security software for businesses but can cost dear to small businesses.
Splunk is an all-rounded computer system security software used for monitoring network security. The tool is used for both conducting real-time network analysis and historical searches for threat data. This is a user-friendly tool that contains a united user interface to catch, index, and assemble data and generate alerts, reports, dashboards, and graphs in real-time.
Tor is an extremely useful computer system security tool that ensures that the user is undetectable. It gives privacy to users while using the internet. This is why it is difficult to trace their information or explore their identity on the internet. Even if Tor is efficient in preventing cybersecurity threats, it is more useful in safeguarding information security.
Nagios is another widely used network monitoring tool that allows security experts to monitor hosts connected to a system and network in real-time. The software alerts its users about any security intrusions occurring in a network. ICMP, POP3, SMTP, NNTP, and HTTP are a few of the network services that Nagios monitors efficiently.
OSSEC is an open-source network software used to discover network problems and give real-time analytics. The tool is compatible with various platforms such as Linux, Mac, Windows, VMWare ESX, BSD, and so on; hence, it is highly useful for users.
POf is one of the most widely adopted network monitoring tools used for scanning networks and detecting the hosts of operating systems connected to a network. Also, you can use it to make assorted queries, name lookups, probes, and so on. This streamlined security software is highly useful for advanced IT professionals. However, newbies can experience a little hardship in learning how to use it.
Snort is an open-source computer network security software used for scanning networks and preventing network intrusion. Security experts use it to conduct network traffic analysis to discover the signs of attempted intrusions. The tool alerts the users about the possible signs of intrusions and prevents the same by blocking malicious traffic. Besides, you can use Snort to perform protocol analysis, detect frequent attacks to a system, look for data captured from traffic, and so on.
Businesses often fear that hackers may attack their computer network security via internal threat/social engineering or directly through the firewall. They pay less attention to security risks that lie in web-based apps like login pages, shopping carts, online forms, etc. This is where Acunetix can help businesses. The tool enables organizations to define defenses against more than 4,500 cybersecurity attacks unique to the apps and sites. The software repeatedly moves through the system and executes convectional hacks to test the efficacy of your security defense.
ARGUS (Audit Record Generation and Utilization System) is an open-source computer network security software designed for network traffic analysis. Professionals use Argus to conduct in-depth data analysis done over a network. The tool is equipped with powerful features for providing quick and comprehensive reporting.
27. GFI LANGUARD
GFI LanGuard is another popular network security tool used for continuously monitoring network services, detecting network intrusions, identifying vulnerabilities, and applying patches wherever needed. The software provides network auditing to discover vulnerabilities in computers and mobiles linked to a network. The software is compatible with various operating systems like Mac, Windows, and Linux.
28. SOLARWINDS SECURITY EVENT MANAGER
SolarWinds is a cloud-based network tool, which helps to improve computer security by detecting threats, monitoring security plans, and protecting the network. This cybersecurity tool has an inbuilt integrity monitoring, an intuitive user interface and dashboard, and a centralization log collection, helping the users discover and respond to threats quickly.
Bitdefender is a cloud-based antivirus network tool that helps to keep your system safe from various cyber threats. The tool is equipped with new-age security techniques and technologies needed to protect one’s personal information and online privacy. Also, the software comes with Anti-Phishing and Anti-Theft features for complete real-time data protection, online privacy, and advanced threat defence.
Malwarebytes is the top network security tool used to protect your system against malicious websites, malware, ransomware, and other online threats. The threats that can’t be detected through the antivirus, Malwarebytes can easily detect and block them. On average, this cybersecurity tool detects and blocks more than 8,000, 000 threats every day. Malwarebytes adds multi-layered protection to your system, making it one of the best security tools for homes and offices.
VIPRE is one of the most widely used cyber security tools used to protect your home and business from malicious attacks, malware, and spam messages with no hassle. It helps you to stay safe against new cyber threats and crimes.
Avira is one of the best security tools for network protection, scheduling the scan, and traffic filtering. The tool comes with multitudes of solutions like Antivirus, VPN, System speedup. Hence, it offers a variety of security, privacy, and real-time protection during web browsing, video chat, voice calls, etc.
LifeLock offers all-in-one protection to your devices, personal information, identity, and online privacy. Professionals use this tool to monitor for identity theft and threats as well as to detect, alert and block cybercrimes.
Mimecast is a cloud-based security software used for email security and cyber resilience. IT experts use this tool for multiple purposes like Email security, Web security, information protection, cloud archiving, etc.
Webroot is a cloud-based security tool that helps to protect Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms from malicious cyber threats. The tool is highly useful for homes and businesses.
BENEFITS OF COMPUTER AND CYBER SECURITY
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CYBER SECURITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
- Protection for your business – cyber security solutions provide digital protection to your business that will ensure your employees aren’t at risk from potential threats such as Adware and Ransomware.
- Increased productivity – viruses can slow down computers to a crawl, and making work practically impossible. Effective cyber security eliminates this possibility, maximising your business’ potential output.
- Inspires customer confidence – If you can prove that your business is effectively protected against all kinds of cyber breaches, you can inspire trust in your customers that their personal data will not be compromised.
- Protection for your customers – ensuring that your business is secure from cyber threats will also help to protect your customers, who could be susceptible to a cyber breach by proxy.
- Stops your website from going down – if you are business that hosts your own website, a potential cyber breach could be disastrous. If your system becomes infected, it’s possible that your website could be forced to close meaning you will lose money as a result from lost transactions.
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