Software and computer security has raised concerns over the years in order to build trustworthy systems. This entails software and computer software modeling, features development, the specification and implementation of mechanisms that ensures security from risks and threats. Proper testing and implementation of the security measures enable the avoidance of flaws inside the software or the computer.
Software security is an ideology utilized to protect software from malicious attacks and hacking risks to allow for proper functioning under such vulnerabilities. This is to ensure verified authentication, integrity and availability to users. Without the aforementioned, the software will be insecure and can be attacked to steal information, vulnerabilities introduction, monitoring of the contents and cause overall damage. Software security is a category embedded in computer security or cybersecurity.
Computer security is the protection of computer system and information from damages, thefts, harm and authorized access by users- mainly designed to ensure total information security. The best recommendation is software that protects the computer from viruses and risks. This is also known as cybersecurity which protects the software, hardware, network and electronic data from attacks, threats, vulnerabilities and risks.
Types of cyber attacks on computers and software
Cyber attacks: are offensive actions targeted at computer systems, software, networks, infrastructures and even personal computers with the use of methods such as alteration, stealing, or the destruction of the data or information. The most common cyber attacks include;
Password attacks: this are the mechanism used to authenticate users access to an information system and it is the common and effective attack approach via sniffing, usage of social engineering, outright guessing, brute-force, dictionary attacks of encrypted messages.
Phishing attacks: this is the process of sending emails that appears as trusted sources with the aim of gaining personal information or influencing users to take an action.
SQL injection attack: this is a common issue with database-driven websites when a malefactor inject a SQL query using input data from the client to the server to read sensitive data, modify, update/delete, shutdown an administrative operations, recover lost contents and issue commands to an operating system.
Active and Passive Eavesdropping: attack through the interception of network traffic.
Birthday attacks: an attack on messages processed by a hash function to replace the user’s messages.
Malware attack: attacks through the installation of unwanted software without consent
Drive-by attack: attacks by spreading malware and the plant of a malicious script into HTTP or PHP code.
Types of software security
Anti spyware: this type of security software is implemented to protect and prevent unauthorized users from information theft that is saved on a computer system or being processed via the computer system. This helps to monitor the communication process between an external message receiver and a computer. The anti spyware notify the user of unauthorized communication and further block the communication/information. It doesn’t attempt to damage data files, the operating system but trigger the antivirus into taking appropriate action.
Firewall: firewall is designed to protect and prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to a computer or network without the restriction of authorized users with the proper implementation of the software. The major functions of the firewall are to monitor the incoming messages and restrict suspicious information. It is a gateway that control, limit who and what can access information.
Antivirus: there are 100,000 known viruses and with new ones detected daily raise the need for antivirus. Antivirus helps to prevent and protect malicious attacks such as code from a computer by recognizing the attacks before it strikes. It can also help to put a stoppage to an attack in progress that can’t be prevented as well as repair damages done by the attack. This mechanism is useful to address security threats such as attacks that has made it through the firewall and must continuously be updated for effectiveness.
Encryption: this is a process that enables the scrambling of data to make it undecipherable. This can be using the data resident in a computer and sent via the email to another computer which assembles the message using an installed encryption program to get the original format.
Types of Computer Security
Software/ Application Security: this is the addition of security features in a software or application to protect and prevent attacks such as cross site scripting, information disclosure. denial of service (DoS), data breaches, SQL injection, and other threats. The security tools such as firewalls, encryption, antivirus, antispyware are utilized to combat attacks. Input validation such is a procedure that ensures correct testing of any input by users to detect malicious users whose aim is to attack the software or application. It checks and validates all details entered into the system. Authorization is the mechanism that validates users’ privileges or access to the computer programs, files, data, and services and so on.
Network Security: this is a type of computer security which protect against unauthorized intruding into the computer networks. The set of rules and configuration process protect the confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of network systems and information. The tools utilized include; Behavioral analytics, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Email security, network segmentation, virtual private network (VPN), Network Access Control (NAC), Mobile Device Security and so on.
Information Security: this is a process and method used to protect the integrity, confidentiality and availability (CIA) of computer system from the unauthorized access, modification, use and destruction, it focus on the CIA triad model aforementioned without affecting the productivity.
Internet Security: this is an important part of computer security that creates a set of rules and actions to prevent and protect computer systems that are connected to the internet. This specifically deal with internet based attacks, vulnerabilities, threats and risks such as hacking, viruses, denial of service attacks and malware.
End Point Security: this is a security issue in which human errors are exploited by cybercriminals due to lack of awareness and ICT policies. Users can unintentionally place information in the hands of hackers and cyber attackers. Security policies, procedures and protocols can be taught to the users who can have in depth understanding while accessing the sensitive information through training program on cybersecurity aspects.
With software and computers, mounting a good defense mechanism cannot be under emphasized. There should be proper understanding of the offense and type of cyber attacks as there are many options out there to bring risks and threats. The security mechanisms must be kept up to date, training program, configuration of firewalls with the specific ports and host needed, keeping the password strong and secured, have regular backups, and continuously inspect the system regularly for suspicious activities and threats.
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