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Computer Security By Alexander Gosling Security of data Security of data involves the protection of data from anything that could destroy it, or introduce errors to it, as this may corrupt data. Things such as hazards, for example fires and floods, or another person gaining access to the data and damaging it, can destroy data. The security of data is very important, as many people store extremely important documents on their computers, for example bank or health records which may contain personal and confidential information about a person, which when discovered could cause major problems. If somebody were to discover another persons bank details through data being insecure, money could be taken from their account, which would cause confusion and disruption for everybody. Data does need to be kept secure, and there are many ways to do this, for example by backing up data or putting passwords on your files. How data and software can sometimes not be secure There are a large number of ways in which data and software cannot be secure, in some of the following situations: * Files can be accidentally overwritten or deleted because of: * Fraud * Accident * Files could have the wrong data inputted They could be lost due to: * Losing discs * Damage to the hard drive * Files or discs destroyed * Deletion or corruption * Discs could be scratched * Viruses * The files could
· The small tab that is on tape cartridges can be snapped off which will prevent data from being over written. · The computer could be password protected so that nobody without the correct password would be able to use the computer · Peripherals such as the mouse or the keyboard could be removed, which would prevent anybody from using the machine unless they had spares with them, which would be unlikely. Safeguarding the network An organisation could safeguard its network from who used it by: · Using firewalls - These could be used to stop data coming into and going out of the network. Therefore hackers would not be able to gain access to the network, as the firewall would stop them. · Give every person that is going to use the network a unique username and password. Then anybody that didn't know the passwords would be unable to gain entry to the network. Also the server administration could allow different people access to different things throughout the network to limit and track damage that could be done. Passwords Passwords are used to limit who can gain access to a computer. For a password to be effective it would have to be changed regularly and be difficult for another person to guess. However there are programs that can guess passwords very quickly through word lists that are programmed into them.
· All of the data will be accurate and consistent, providing you set up the input masks correctly, as the input masks will make sure that all of the data is the same. · You do not need to waste time checking all of the data, as it is certain that it will all be correct. The disadvantages of input masks are: · When entering names, you could set it up so that the first letter of the 1st name and the 1st letter of the surname are capitalised. However when it comes to names such as McHugh, the check would not allow the third letter of this name to be capitalised. · Like validation rules, they can take a considerable amount of time to set up; time that could be better spent doing other things. The following characters can be used to set up input masks. 0 - A number required 9 - A number optional L - Letter must be entered ? - A letter optional. > - A capital letter < - A lowercase letter If you wanted to set an input mask up for a postcode, you would do so in the following manner: An example of a postcode may be CW5 6JY. The input mask for this would be LL09 0LL The "Ls" for capital letters, and the 9 would be there since some postcodes do have an extra number on the end, but not all therefore the number would be optional. 1
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