Sources of computer security problems

Knowing the source of security problems is essential to avoid them.

Most of us entrust sensitive data to more or less fragile and more or less transportable devices. We do it because the advantages it brings us far outweigh the risk we run when using them. In the previous article we were wondering If using Linux is a sufficient security measure, we will now look at the sources of computer security problems.

Since the decision not to use them may sound a bit extreme, there are measures and tools that we can use to guarantee the integrity and inviolability of our information.

Sources of computer security problems

5 years ago Google suggested that I put a password on my mobile device, two days later that phone was stolen. I will always have the suspicion that thanks to their large database they managed to know that they were going to rob me, but it was probably just a standard reminder. Anyway, I followed the advice and in the time it took me to get home and change all the passwords, I was able to prevent the theft of my bank accounts. Security is annoying, but it serves a very important function.

By the way, although the biggest security risk is usually between the keyboard and the back of the chair (Or in a more modern version, between the screen and the wall) software developers usually bear their share of the blame. Either because they suffer sabotage or simply because the code is written by human beings who have bad days. Some of the security problems in recent years were because companies use open source components to reduce costs, but they do not contribute to these projects and volunteers do what they can.
From the users' point of view, the sources of computer security problems can be divided into two categories:

  • Software
  • humanware

Software

Malware is a category of computer programs whose objective is to cause damage to information systems and networks or to defraud users. The best known types are:

  • Virus: This is the name given to applications that have the ability to replicate themselves by inserting copies of their code into other files or programs. Their ability to replicate is not only local, through removable devices or files attached to emails they extend their radius of action to other computers. Its actions consist of modifying or deleting files, and slowing down or even hindering the operation of the operating system.
  • Worms: Unlike viruses, they do not need a host to install and replicate. They infiltrate through vulnerabilities in networks that connect computer systems.
  • Trojan: Short version of Trojan horse. It is a malicious program disguised within or as a legitimate program. When executed, attackers gain access to the host device.
  • Ransomware: Encrypt system or user files. He will have to pay a ransom if he wants to have access again.
  • Spyware: They are programs that obtain sensitive information from a system and transmit it without the knowledge or consent of users and administrators.
  • Adware: This is malware that is more annoying than harmful since its purpose is not to prevent the use of the system or steal data. Displays advertising in the form of pop-ups.

humanware

This neologism refers to security problems that are caused thanks to action, inaction or ignorance on the part of human beings.

Some more common security problems are:

  • Weak passwords: Passwords related to dates or names that can be easily associated with the user are used.
  • Overconfidence: Sensitive data is provided to pages, applications, email addresses or profiles on social networks without checking whether they are authentic. Also falling into this category is believing that by using a certain operating system, there is no risk of suffering computer attacks.
  • Greed/Jealousy: Applications are downloaded or links are accessed that offer access to benefits such as free payment programs or access to other people's devices.
  • Laziness: Periodic updates of the operating system and the programs used are not made or new versions are installed when the current ones no longer have support.

In the next article we will see the tools that allow us to protect the security of our devices.


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