Computer insecurity is a concept in computer science which indicates a computer system is vulnerable to attacks from different quarters. The lack of computer security gives hackers and other unauthorized individuals the opportunity to access the information of organizations and individuals hence using it for their own benefits. Research indicates that increased insecurity of computers has put many individuals and organizations at risk as they continue losing vital information to unauthorized entities. Many problems are brought about by the lack of computer security within organizations and individual computers. Computer insecurity causes various problems, which include hacking of information hence leading to the loss of vital information, increased exposures to cyber terrorism, and increased costs of maintaining computers and repair of damages caused by insecurity. More so, it leads to increased internal compromise of computer networks by employees within organizations and the rise in the number of murders among individuals. Computer security is the development of mechanisms that secure the information and property within organizations. The key objective of computer security is to protect information and property from corruption, natural disasters, and theft while allowing only authorized users to access and utilize them. Computer security is the answer to the problems posed by computer insecurity. It helps to solve the problems by ensuring that the confidentiality of information is up held, it helps to protect computers from attacks, it makes it easier for organizations to trace hackers, and it prevents social engineering among employees in organizations. Therefore, all individuals dealing with computer networks are encouraged to protect their computers using passwords, encryption, firewalls, and honey pots. These security mechanisms would play an instrumental role in alleviating and even eliminating the problems emanating from computer insecurity.
This essay explicates the problems emanating from computer insecurity. More so, it expounds on how computer security can be an effective answer in addressing these problems.
Hacking is one of the key problems arising from computer insecurity within organization and personal computers. Many hackers have discovered and utilized the loopholes brought forth by computer insecurity. Hacking has led to the continued loss of both personal and business information to unauthorized individuals. The loss of vital information has affected the performance of many businesses and has made it difficult for individuals to achieve their objectives in society. According to Potts (2002, p 56), most organizations have lost their competitive advantages over others due to the loss of information to competitors who hack their information. Thus, many businesses have found it difficult to sustain competition and earn normal profits according to their targets. This has led to the rampant closure of businesses as they lose their competitiveness in the market. They have also lost vital information that could be use in the achievement of goals within the industry. Additionally, the loss of personal information to hackers has led to increased murder cases in society. Most of the hackers have utilized the information shared by individuals over unsecured networks to track and murder them. Therefore, the loss of vital information has continued putting many businesses and individuals at risk. It has forced most in individuals to use their computers with the fear that unauthorized individuals are gradually monitoring their steps with ulterior motives. Organizations have also continued being skeptical about the use of computers in speeding operations leading to the achievement of objectives (Potts, 2002).
Another key problem caused by computer insecurity is increased cyber terrorism among organizations. Many organizations face the problem of exposure to cyber terrorism due to the use of insecure networks in the performance of their duties. Notably, criminals have discovered the loopholes existing in unsecure computers and have significantly utilized them for personal gains. Property has been lost due to theft and terrorism caused by the utilization of unsecure networks within organizations. The manner in which business operations are conducted has enhanced Cyber terrorism leading to insecurity. This has led to the loss of strategic property among business organizations and individuals in society. Cyber terrorism and theft are always aimed at bringing down the most essential property that boosts operations within organizations. It ensures that businesses lose their relevance in the market due to the loss of strategic property. According to Gollmann (2011, p 76), the exposure to cyber terrorism due to computer insecurity has also been instrumental in discouraging individuals from establishing businesses within the economy. This has negated economic growth in most countries by discouraging individuals from taking part in business development. More so, it has pulled many economies backwards as growth is hindered due to property loss and destruction. With cyber terrorism on the increase, many individuals continue to look for effective means that would help solve the loss of their properties. Cyber terrorism and theft have continued being a key menace facing the maintenance of property within organizations. It continues to discourage many individuals from setting up computer systems as they would be lost at any instance.
The other key problem emanating from computer insecurity is the internal compromise of computer systems by employees. Employees have continued to take advantage of insecure systems within organizations to compromise information transfer within organizations. Social engineering, accidental associations, and the follow up of communication systems bring as uncontrollable employees continue infringing on the computer networks of the organization. The lack of security in the computers of the organization has given some employees the opportunity to sell some of the trade secrets to competing businesses hence giving them an advantage over their organizations. According to Gangemi (2006, p 103) accidental associations occur in cases where an employee accidentally discovers the passwords of the computer systems within the organization hence taking advantage of them to make personal profits. More so, employees within the organization have compromised the computer system through social engineering whereby they breach computer networks within the organization. This has exposed organizations to problems as they cannot utilize any confidential information for their own benefit. They are forced to lose trust in their employees as they operate towards the achievement of their goals. In addition, some of the employees have hindered effective communication over computer networks due to personal interests hence retarding effective operations within the organization.
Organizations also face the problem of controlling costs related to computer insecurity as they recur over several periods. Increased computer insecurity has led to a large increase in costs associated with repairs and the loss of property. Most organizations have continued losing large amounts of computer property and information and this has led to the escalation of costs used in the maintenance of computer systems. They also continue to incur large amounts of costs on seeking experts that are used in the correction of some of the problems associated with insecure computer systems. The high levels of insecurity have led to the increase in the costs that organizations dedicate to repairs and other factors. These costs could have been dedicated to other areas if the organization and used for the realization of other vital objectives. The increase in the costs associated with computer insecurity has also reduced the level of profitability within organizations hence rendering them insolvent. This has hampered the development of significant business opportunities that help in the promotion of the economy. In fact, most of the costs are going beyond the control of the business and have made most businesses inefficient in their operations. The escalation of costs is a key problem which is brought about by rise in unsecured computer systems.
Computer insecurity has led to the pivoting by some of the employees in the organization. It is the compromising of some computers to disable the firewalls in other computers and enhance the access of private information and ease the infection of the computers by viruses. These may come about because of the use of the internet. Viruses can be got from the internet enabling hacking. By disabling the firewalls, the computers cannot detect harmful and corrupted programs in the systems. According to Carroll (1996, p 90) (1996, p 90) the computers can get the virus from access to sites that advertise pirated works. They can also affect the computers in case the users download attachments on their E-mails from unknown sources. This may be done by the employees who feel their time in the organization is limited and would want to get the secrets of the Business such as the source of raw materials and the technical know- how of producing a product. He may then sell the information to the competitors or use it for his own benefit. It may also be caused by regular disagreements among the employees and some would want to manipulate the information of his colleagues by distorting the information that they send to their managers. This creates hatred in the industry hence affecting the overall performance of the firm. Pivoting could also be done by malicious employees to get information on the transactions and orders of the organization and compromising their contracts by sending the wrong information to the suppliers. This will affect both the market and the employee relations and reduce the profits.
Computer insecurity can be caused by the lack of protective measures such as antivirus programs, USB disk securities and malware and spy-ware programs. Computers that are often access the internet and transfer information through the use of flash disks are more vulnerable to attack by viruses. These viruses corrupt the files in the computer and may lead to the loss of vital information in the organization. For instance, information on human resource, suppliers and customers may be lost in the event of an attack on the computers by viruses if there is no back up set up. The virus also slows down the operation of the computers leading to the delaying of work and wastage of time. Some computers may even crash in the case of numerous viruses. Viruses also reduce the effectiveness of anti-malware programs which scan the computers and delete any harmful programs. Some viruses also distort the computer windows leading to the loss of all the programs and data concerning the organization. This leads to an extra cost to be incurred by the firm. It has to look for other programs and software for the execution of their activities. These costs would have been avoided if the computers were installed with effective anti-virus programs.
Computer security helps reduce the hacking of information by unauthorized and malicious people. Hacking refers to the illegal access to information through the manipulation of the computer system. These people trap the information being communicated from the sender to the receiver putting the organization at the risk of losing their secrecy and leakage of plans and information. Computer security through the creation of a firmware password can help safeguard the leakage of the information. According to Carroll (1996, p 65) enabling the password prevents an unauthorized user from booting from a disk, enabling the single user mode which is used for tutorials like creating a new administrator account. Organizations should also reset the default passwords since they are easily hacked by computer specialists. Computer security can also be enhanced by turning off the remote log in which enables one to access information in the computer. By turning it off when the computer is not in use, the organization will prevent the hacking of information. The organization should also install an anti-virus program on their computers to ensure adequate security. Some viruses create avenues for hackers to access the information. There are the full version antiviruses which are stronger and can clean the computer ink case of a new virus. The free antivirus is weaker and does not fully delete the threats. It does not have the ability to detect new viruses in the computer making it vulnerable to corruption of files and hacking of information. Anti-spyware programs can also be installed to ensure detection and elimination of harmful programs in the computer which can be used by the hackers to access information. These programs ensure security by scanning the computer regularly. The users should avoid sites that have pirated works and delete emails from dubious people as they may be used by malicious people to infect the computers with malware programs that distort security of the computer. This improves the security of the computer and prevents hackers from access to vital information.
Computer security helps reduce increased cyber terrorism caused by the trapping of the wireless networks by unauthorized people. This can be prevented by enabling a MAC filter on the cyber home network. Especially for those that use WI-FI networks, who are vulnerable to the hacking of the network and using the internet services freely at the expense of the cyber. They can also easily hack into the information in the cyber. The organization can alter the WEP encryption to WAP to reduce the capabilities of hacking. WAP was the industry standard for the first home WI-FI networks which leaked to most of the hackers. It mainly contained he name of the industry and in most case it was displayed while the industry was advertising its product. By changing to WAP, the organization will have reduced the risk of hacking since new and secret codes are set by the organization which is a combination of alphabets and numeric figures to reduce the chances of guessing. These should also be changed over time to ensure that employees who leave the industry do not have access to the new codes. Clients should not have the access to the network identification codes as they may use it to hack into the computer and network systems. As they use the computers, they should ensure that they do not gain access to harmful sites that may be used by hackers to get access to private information through virus infection. This may be prevented by blocking sites that bear not trusted by the organization.
Computer security reduces the cost of repair and maintenance of the computer hardware which are vulnerable to physical damage by malicious people and also the illiterate who do not know how to operate the computers. The organization should ensure the security in the environment is maintained at all tomes to prevent vandalism and theft of the hardware. In case of insecurity, the organization will experience great losses in replacing the stolen parts and repairing of the vandalized computer hardware. This can be done by employing security forces to watch over the computers and guide the users when in difficulties. They should ensure that anybody who vandalizes any computer part pays for the damage caused. Security surveillance cameras can also be installed in the organization to watch over the activities going on in the organization. According to Bishop (2003, p 98) before setting up the organization, the location of the business should be considered. It should not be located in an area that is vulnerable to calamities such as floods, looting, strikes and dust as these will lead to the destruction of the computer hardware causing losses to the organization.
Computer security helps avoid pivoting which refers to the use of compromised systems to corrupt other systems in the same network. This is mostly done by the malicious employees in the organization who want access to the secrets of the organization to leak it to other competitive organizations. Pivoting removes and weakens the restrictions set by firewall configurations. This gives the hacker total control over the entire organization as the firewall may be seen to be working yet it is ineffective. To ensure security and prevent pivoting, the organization should ensure regular scrutiny of the computers and the change of passwords. It should also use encryptions on the information so that the information being transmitted is only readable by the sender and the receiver. Proxy and VPN pivoting are the main ways of compromising the performance of other computers in the same network. These cause both revenue and informational loss to the organization. The hackers can also distort the transmitted information to suit their desires hence jeopardizing the operations of the computers. They can be used for spreading propaganda and hate speech from one network to the other. The organization could prevent this by ensuring the honesty of their employees is not questionable. According to Gollmann (2011, p 55), job rotation on a regular basis could also reduce the chances of pivoting. The software could also be secured by ensuring a regular and strong internal control system that ensures that they are not corrupted and updates them as technology advances. The employees should be adequately trained to equip them with thy skills of detecting hacking and pivoting of information. These will help improve the security of computers and safeguard the information. Pivoting can also lead to the employees deleting vital information such as transactional communication with the suppliers, customers and the shareholders. This leads to the loss of goodwill by the company. The affected will not trust the competency of the company and may revert to new firms. This may lead to the dissolution of the firm due to loss of profits.
In conclusion, computer insecurity is the vulnerability of loss and manipulation of information and data to unauthorized people. Computer insecurity could be in the form of hacking of information, cyber terrorism, pivoting, physical damage of computer hardware and internal compromising by the employees. Hacking refers to the illegal tapping of information by unauthorized person. The hacker could distort the information by deleting the essentials, adding of abusive information or literally gaining access to private data. Cyber terrorism occurs where the use of WI-FI enabled connections is compromised. Clients could gain access to the private codes and passwords that enable internet connections and unlimitedly access the internet without authority leading to great loss for the cyber owners. Pivoting is the use of one computer by the employees to compromise the performance of other computers in the organization by disabling the anti-malware and spy-ware programs. This will enable hem hack into the private information. Physical insecurity also leads to great loss in the firm as the employees and malicious people could vandalize the computer hardware. The organization will have to incur expenditure on the replacement and repair of the spoilt computers. To prevent these, the organization should ensure encryption of data before sending it. It should also use secretive passwords and identification codes to gain access to information. Physical security could be enhanced by employing of security guards and surveillance cameras to monitor the activities in the firm. Computer insecurity can also be improved by educating the users in how to operate the machines and how to detect defects. Regular audits should be conducted to ensure they are in good condition.