What is Secure Computing?
security (Also known as cyber security or IT Security) is information security as applied to computers and networks. The field covers all the
processes and mechanisms by which computer-based equipment, information and
services are protected from unintended or unauthorized access, change or
destruction. Computer security also includes protection from unplanned events
and natural disasters. Otherwise, in the computer industry, the term security — or the
phrase computer security — refers to techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer cannot be read or
compromised by any individuals without authorization. Most computer security
measures involve data encryption and
passwords. Data encryption is the translation of data into a form that is
unintelligible without a deciphering mechanism. A password is a secret word or phrase that gives a user access to
a particular program or system.
Diagram clearly explain the about the secure computing
Working conditions and basic
needs in the secure computing:
If you don’t take basic
steps to protect your work computer, you put it and all the information on it
at risk. You can potentially compromise the operation of other computers
on your organization’s network, or even the functioning of the
network as a whole.
Technical measures like login passwords,
anti-virus are essential. (More about those below) However, a
secure physical space is the first and more important line of defense.
Is the place you keep your workplace computer
secure enough to prevent theft or access to it while you are away?
While the Security Department provides coverage across the
Medical center, it only takes seconds to steal a computer, particularly a
portable device like a laptop or a PDA. A computer should be secured
like any other valuable possession when you are not present.
Human threats are not the only concern.
Computers can be compromised by environmental mishaps (e.g., water, coffee) or
physical trauma. Make sure the physical location
of your computer takes account of those risks as
The University’s networks and shared information systems are
protected in part by login credentials (user-IDs and passwords).
Access passwords are also an essential protection for personal
computers in most circumstances. Offices are usually open and shared
spaces, so physical access to computers cannot be completely controlled.
To protect your computer, you should consider setting
passwords for particularly sensitive applications resident on the computer
(e.g., data analysis software), if the software provides that capability.
Because we deal with all facets of clinical, research,
educational and administrative data here on the medical campus, it is important
to do everything possible to minimize exposure of data to
Up-to-date, properly configured anti-virus software is essential. While
we have server-side anti-virus software on our
network computers, you still need it on the client side (your computer).
Anti-virus products inspect files on your computer and in
email. Firewall software and hardware monitor communications between your
computer and the outside world. That is essential for any networked
It is critical to keep software up to date, especially the operating
system, anti-virus and anti-spyware, email and browser software.
The newest versions will contain fixes for discovered vulnerabilities.
Almost all anti-virus have automatic update features (including
SAV). Keeping the “signatures” (digital patterns) of malicious
software detectors up-to-date is essential for these products to be effective.
Keep secure backups:
Even if you take all these security steps, bad things can still
happen. Be prepared for the worst by making backup copies of
critical data, and keeping those backup copies in a separate, secure
location. For example, use supplemental hard drives, CDs/DVDs, or flash drives to store critical,
If you believe that your computer or any data on it has been
compromised, your should make a information
security incident report. That is required by University
policy for all data on our systems, and legally required for health, education,
financial and any other kind of record containing identifiable personal
Benefits of secure computing:
Protect yourself – Civil liability:
You may be held legally liable to compensate a third party should they
experience financial damage or distress as a result of their personal data
being stolen from you or leaked by you.
Protect your credibility – Compliance:
You may require compliancy with the Data Protection Act, the FSA, SOX or other
regulatory standards. Each of these bodies stipulates that certain measures be
taken to protect the data on your network.
Protect your reputation – Spam:
A common use for infected systems is to join them to a botnet (a
collection of infected machines which takes orders from a command server) and
use them to send out spam. This spam can be traced back to you, your server
could be blacklisted and you could be unable to send email.
Protect your income – Competitive advantage:
There are a number of “hackers-for-hire” advertising their services on the
internet selling their skills in breaking into company’s servers to steal
client databases, proprietary software, merger and acquisition information,
personnel detailset al.
Protect your business – Blackmail:
A seldom-reported source of income for “hackers” is to·break into your server,
change all your passwords and lock you out of it. The password is then sold
back to you. Note: the “hackers” may implant a backdoor program on your server
so that they can repeat the exercise at will.
Protect your investment – Free storage:
Your server’s harddrive space is used (or sold on) to house the
hacker’s video clips, music collections, pirated software or worse. Your server
or computer then becomes continuously slow and your internet connection speeds
deteriorate due to the number of people connecting to your server in order to
download the offered wares.