|The main threat to data security is computer hackers. Hackers can
be anyone, but the majority of them are young men, who are
motivated by achieving status for bragging rights to other hackers,
intent on performing a malicious act or they could just be doing it
for fun, like it was a big game. Studies also show that cases of
corporate spying and embezzlement of funds have increased in
The quickest way of protecting your data is by using passwords.
Passwords can be added to user accounts, shared folder locations
and even individual documents. But do not get a false sense of
comfort and think that just because you have a password enabled
that your data is secure.
If you use an insecure password which can be easily guessed, never
change your password, share your password or write down your
password, then there is little point in having a password enabled.
However, if you use a complex password (one that uses uppercase,
lowercase, numbers and symbols) that is at least 8 characters long,
it could take months for a hacker to crack the password.
If you combine a complex password with a password aging system is
in place, which forces you to change your password after X number
of days, then your chances of keeping your data secure multiplies.
Another good practice is to not use words found in the dictionary or
common names, as many hacker programs can compare your
password to an entire dictionary in a matter of seconds.
To make your information completely secure from the outside
world, the only solution is to completely separate your network
form access to the internet.
In this day and age, that is not an option for most companies that
want to remain in business. The transfer of information between
the company and the outside world is vital, but it cannot remain
unprotected. For external access, a properly configured firewall can
limit who has access to your network. Just remember that a firewall
on its own is not enough security to protect your data, it is just one
more layer of protection.
Other layers of protection are data encryption, spam filters for
email, and keeping administrator passwords among very few
people. These are not the only layers of protection that can be
introduced into your organization, but they give you an idea of the
options that area available to protect your data.
Each individual organization will have to do a risk analysis to
determine how much the data breach would cost the company, and
how much they are willing to pay to protect that data.
|The Basics of Computer Security
Part 2 of 3 - Data Security