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Vulnerability on Internet sample essay

User vulnerabilities on the Internet In computer security, the term vulnerability is applied to a weakness in a system which allows an attacker to violate the integrity of that system the definition can be either formal or informal. Security policies are enforced by organizational policies or security mechanisms. A technical implementation defines whether a computer system is secure or unsecure. These formal policy models can be categorized into the core security principles of: Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.

http://www. utoronto. ca/security/documentation/policies/policy_index. htm The CA Mid-Year Internet Threat Outlook Report is based on data compiled by the CA Security Advisor Team, a global team of malware researchers. It outlines the impact that organized crime, evolving technology, and the ongoing efforts of malware authors on the safety and security of home computer use (Pato, 1992). Exposure of home computer users is on the increase as the computer has become the family communications and entertainment center.

The information contained in CA’s report is particularly important, since no computer, operating system, or software is completely invulnerable to the types of attacks that users can unwittingly expose themselves to. (http://www. rfc-editor. org). Kohl and Neuman (1993) proposes that everyone using the Internet should be aware of the nature and severity of online threats-especially gamers, social network users, seniors, young adults and their parents. They again add that it would be in order to teach those who use the internet for the first time about protecting personal information and handling cyber-bullies.

This is simply because-even though they may be more knowledgeable at using the Internet than their parents-they tend to be far less diligent about practicing safe online computing. ” http://www. rfc-editor. org Some of the threats that have been identified in recent studies include: Stealing online gaming accounts will become as profitable as stealing bank accounts. This implies that those practising this act are under siege. The second most common malware seen this year is designed to steal gaming passwords.

This is a case where characters and virtual money are sold in underground web sites that rival legitimate commodity markets (Kohl and Neuman 1993). Kohl and Neuman further adds that ‘Spear-phishing” will be on the increase while at the same time identity theft will surpass record levels. Almost 3. 25 million Americans discovered that their personal information had been used to open credit cards. Spear-phishers are shifting from pure opportunism to “spearing” specific individuals based on age, socio-economic status among others according to Kohl and Neuman..

Research has also indicated that Mozilla Firefox may no longer be considered more secure than Microsoft Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer and Firefox have been realized to be closely linked in terms of threats whereby they faced 52 and 53 vulnerabilities respectively and this is most likely to be on the increase if strong measures are not put into place. (Bellovin & Merritt, 1993). There is also likelihood that Cyber-criminals might in future use a “multi-step” approach in creating and distributing malware and this probably will increase with time according to Bellovin and Merritt.

Multi-component malware, such as sending spam with a Trojan allow such users to fine-tune the malware-making thus making it harder for security vendors to identify. (Bellovin & Merritt, 1993). As Botnets grow, so will the risk of “botherders” using information about victims’ behavior to offer demographics-based marketing. Such targeted efforts would rival the largest legitimate marketing. Based on current estimates, millions of home computers may be controlled by botnets today. As adware and hijackers continue to fade, the spyware category will be dominated by Trojans and downloaders.

The versatility of Trojans has clearly made them the tool of choice for malware authors. Downloaders will become attractive as new versions not only distribute spyware but defend against its removal http://www. rfc-editor. org. It has also been realized that criminals increasingly target lower profile but useful software, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Macromedia Flash, to exploit security holes. This implies that the number of vulnerabilities especially in Adobe Reader and Flash will be on the increase. Social networks are also being blamed for security weaknesses.

Not only are they subject to the same weaknesses as web sites-SQL injection, cross-site scripting attacks and forgeries-but also they have the ability to create web pages that allow internet criminals to post malicious code argues Kohl and Neuman (1993). On a social network, attacks on internet are on the increase simply because everyone is interconnected. Mobile social networks can also be easily attacked-providing information for stalking and other crimes. Security Policy Basics Security policies are high-level laws of the land regarding your security infrastructure. They are not procedures.

(Procedures tell you how to implement security policies. ) Upper management needs to hold someone accountable for drafting the security policies, overseeing their review, and implementing them (Kohl and Neuman, 1993). Without support from upper management, security policies often fall by the way side and never get written, understood, or implemented. The person being held responsible for security policies could be the Director of Information Security, the Chief Security Officer, the Director of Information Technology, the Chief Information Officer, or a knowledgeable employee appointed to be the information security officer.

http://www. rfc-editor. org Security is typically distributed, and security mechanisms should be built into all layers of the enterprise infrastructure. Security policies should describe the rules of the road for technology systems such as Encryption mechanisms, Access control devices, Authentication systems, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Firewalls, Messaging systems, Anti-virus systems, Web sites, Gateways, Mission critical applications, End-user desktops, DNS servers and Routers and switches. All security policies need to be written down however policies that exist in someone’s head are not really policies.

When your organization has finished developing security policies, and right when you think you can breathe easy, it will be the time to update your security policies. Since most IT organizations are deploying new technology continuously and retiring old systems, you will have to make sure your security policies still make sense for your new infrastructure. Similarly, when you are evaluating new equipment for possible procurement, you will want to make sure that the new equipment can properly be configured to meet your security requirements but if it cannot work then you may want to consider procuring alternative products.

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