Securing Information Systems

Everyday people are becoming more and more dependant on technology. Let it be smartphones, laptops, tablets, even organizations with their IT Systems. With this constant increase in technology dependencies, comes the need to protect and secure information systems from catastrophic security disasters as well as the need for technology to work perfectly.

Cyber security is currently one of the main concern in the IT industry today. Cyber security is the protection of internet-connected systems which includes hardware, software and data from cyber-attacks.

There are various types of computer criminals and crimes. The most common type of computer crimes that almost everyone has encountered at least once during their time spent on technologies and information systems includes; hacking and cracking, computer viruses, worms, trojan horse, spyware, spam, and cookies.

Hacking and cracking both uses the same methods; collecting information, vulnerability assessment, exploitation and post exploitations. Hacking is the act of stealing personal and private data without the owner’s knowledge or consent while crackers edit a program’s source code or a key generator and tricking the application into thinking that a particular process has occurred.

The major difference between hackers and crackers is that a hacker is someone that uses their knowledge of computer logic and code for malicious purposes whilst crackers look for back door in programs and exploit them.

A computer virus is a destructive program that disrupts the normal functioning of computer systems. While some viruses are intended to be as harmless as pranks, others can be as fatal as erasing files of the hard drive or by slowing computer processing.

A computer worm is a standalone malware computer program tat replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. Most of the time, it relies on security failures on the target computer to spread itself using the computer network. It needs no host file to infect and it causes servers to crash, which denies user’s service to the internet.

Trojan horse is another category of destructive programs. The term is derived from an ancient Greek story of the deceptive wooden horse that led to the fall of the city of Troy. Trojan horse programs appear to be legitimate, but then it carries a destructive payload. They do not replicate themselves, but like viruses, trojan horses can do much damage such as by giving the creator unauthorized access to a system.