A secured network is something that not only businesses but also regular day to day people with personal computers must have. Unless you want a computer that will start to run slow and/or is infected with many different types of viruses which will ultimately lead to the crash of your system then it is a good idea you invest in network security.
“The term virus refers to malicious software that requires help from computer users to spread to other computers.
Computer infections such as viruses and worms spread over networks of contacts between computers, with different types of networks being exploited by different types of infections” (Balthrop, 2004, para.2). In the past year it was reported that 82 percent of companies contracted viruses, worms, or other attacks, and one-third of those said that their networks were breached by unauthorized users (Villano, 2005, para.2). The year 2003 is said to have been the worst year so far regarding network threats. Different types of viruses halted or hindered operations at numerous businesses and other organizations, as a result, ending up disrupting cash-dispensing machines, delaying airline flights, and even affecting emergency call centers.
One virus that had a significant impact was the Siborg virus which has been said to have caused upwards of $30 billion in damage (Balthrop, 2004, para.3).
There are many different products out there that will help protect and provide extra security against the current threats out there in today’s computer world. With no security anybody can go take a look on your computer while you get up and go do something.
Even worse hackers could get onto your system and even take a look at your even most personal information and/or files. Windows itself comes with small little security features including a password option you can either turn on or off so that when you turn on your system you will have to put in a password before it will actually log on to windows. The small features that come standard with your computer will not be enough to protect you from the high risk attacks that are out there. Therefore, you will need added protection from current aftermarket programs. The question is what will be sufficient enough of security for your certain computer needs based on home personal use all the way to large corporations. If you are not into typing in a password every time you turn on your computer then you can look into getting a fingertip reader, which ranges from $50 – $170 depending how many extra features you are looking for. You can get one that plugs right into the USB port and instead of typing in a password you just use your fingerprint as your password to log onto your system. Passwords can be figured out and cracked by hackers but a fingerprint is one of a kind. There is also one that is built straight into an optical mouse so it is all one unit (Bertolucci, 2004, pg.123-128). Most people would not go as far as a fingertip reader bust stick to the more sensible security products such as anti-viruses, pop-up blockers, firewalls, and some spyware and ad-ware programs. There are numerous amounts of basic programs under all of these that are on the internet for free under www.download.com, and you can also purchase the ones with added features with all of the kinks either on the internet or in the stores. Some brand name anti-virus programs out there that you might want to try out include Norton, AVG, a Vast, and AntiVir.
The problems with free anti-virus programs is that they have not yet been tested by the large, independent antivirus labs, Virus Bulletin, ICSA Labs, and West Coast Labs, though they generally use the same scanning engines as their related for-pay products, which have been. All three for-pay versions received the VB100% award from Virus Bulletin and certification for virus detection (but not cleaning) from ICSA Labs. AVG Professional also has a West Coast Labs checkmark for virus detection but not for removal or Trojan horse detection. (Rubenking, 2005, pg.79-82)
If you happen to get infected by some sort of virus or worm there are different things you can do to get rid of it. You could try running your anti-virus software and hope that in return it catches the virus or worm in time before it does any real damage to your system. Viruses, once in your system can end up doing multiple things depending on how they were designed and what the purpose of it is from whom created it. They can delete files on your system, it could be just a virus that grabs everyone in your e-mail address book and emails them the virus, and can even go as far as grabbing your personal information such as passwords for different things like your bank account online and any personal information that might be on your computer and e-mail it to the person who infected you with the bug. If your system is left untreated and ends up crashing then you can try and take it to a specialist and see what they can do if they can do anything at all. There could be a chance that the virus has destroyed your system and there is not much that you will be able to do.
The rule of thumb is that if you have a computer, be it at home for personal use or if you own a business and use multiple computer systems it is wise to devise a plan to protect your system(s) against the attacks that are out there. If you do not think it is worth the time and money to invest then you will really regret it in the long run when you are infected with multiple “bugs” and end up having to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a new system.