Cyber Security

Every large organisation in the world now use computer systems to store and process data. These networks must be secure in order to comply with the legal responsibilities of  and also to that the organisation can run effectively. Unfortunately there are significant threats to networks, programs and data that these organisations use. Anything that can be done to prevent these threats is known as cyber security.

Threats

Social Engineering

Social engineering involves manipulating people into handing over confidential information. This confidential information could be used to gain access to accounts or to steal identities (e.g. take out credit cards and loans in someone else’s name).

Blagging

Also known as pretexting, this involves someone lying to convince someone to supply personal details or login information. The person may pretend that they need the information to confirm the persons identity or to secure their accounts.

Pharming

This is where uses are redirected to a ‘fake’ website. Users then enter their login details and maybe even their credit card details on the site. This can be done in a number of ways – malware could be installed on the users computer to redirect users on that particular computer. Or the DNS of the ISP could be compromised and all users could be redirected to the illegitimate site.

Phishing

This is where emails and messages (e.g. What’sApp messages) are sent to try and convince the recipient to supply sensitive information. The emails may tell the recipient that they have won a prize and so need to supply data or might pretend that they are from a reputable company that need to confirm their details.

Shouldering

This is very simple – people simply watch (sometimes over your shoulder) when you are tying in your login details on your phone, laptop or commonly at ATMs.

Malware

Mal (bad) -ware (software) is the name given to any piece of software that could cause harm to your computer or data on your computer. There are lots of different types of malware, these are some common ones:

Viruses

A virus is a piece of malware that is designed to spread across a network. The virus will remain dormant on a computer until it is executed, then it will spread to other programs on the computer and potentially to other devices.

Trojan Horse

In Greek Mythology the Greeks used a large wooden horse to infiltrate the walls of the city of Troy. During the war the Greeks gifted a huge wooden horse to the Trojans as a sign of peace and pretended to retreat. The Trojans accepted the gift and brought it in to passed the walls to the centre of the city. During the night, when the Trojans were asleep, Greek Soldiers crept out of the horse and took over the city.

Trojan Horse Malware operates on the same principle. Users may download a file thinking it is a free movie or game. When the file is executed, the malware carries out it’s objective.

Spyware

This software is designed to spy on users. This could take different formats, from a simple keylogger that tracks the keys strokes of the user or a screen recorder that captures a video of the users actions on the screen.

Adware

This software simply presents adverts on the users screen usually as pop-ups. This can be very annoying for users, particularly if pop-ups are frequent.

 

 

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