Computer Security Term Paper

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First, we have to understand these type of computer crimes such as below because they will let us know the computer crimes often happen in our lives.

1. unauthorized use, access, modification, copying, and destruction of software or data (Bill Smith, the computer consultant, was convicted under recently enacted statutes covering this category of crimes);

2. theft of money by altering computer records or theft of computer time;

3. theft or destruction of hardware;

4. use or conspiracy to use computer resources to commit a felony; and

5. intent to obtain information or tangible property illegally through use of the computer (Doney 2) .

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As seen above, these types of problems are almost all related to computer security. Shortly after, I will show you the statistics of computer crimes given by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They show that in most of the crimes that happen on the Internet, almost 50 percent of the companies are breached. We also find the companies lose their money if they neglect the computer security, and the increasing trend of unauthorized access is from 1996 to 1997 from the tables below.

Table 1

Companies reporting financial losses attributable to specific types of high-tech criminal activity and other factor in 1996-1997.

Factor Percentage

Virus Infection 65%

Laptop Theft 57%

Abusive Use Of Internet 31%

Unauthorized Computer Use 16%

Telecommunications Fraud 16%

Information Theft 14%

Financial Fraud 12%

Sabotage 11%

Network break-in 8%

source: computer security institute survey for the FBI (McCollum 9).

Table 2


Companies' responses when asked if their computer systems had been used without authorization.

1996 1997

YES 42% 49%

NO 37% 33%

DON T KNOW 21% 19%

source: computer security institute survey for the FBI (McCollum 10).

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In fact, these data are lower than reality, since we can t be aware of all the activities of the Internet. So these facts prove that a computer system is very weak if it hasn t the complete computer security. To avoid becoming a victim, improving the security is necessary for every computer system.

Next, we will practically understand the real situation of business and government. First, government agencies are always going to be targeted, but by no means can every agency oppose the hacker s assault. Therefore, according to statistics made from the questionnaire of three hundred corporations and government agencies by American Bar Association (ABA) in 1987, seventy -two(24%), claimed to have been the victim of a computer-related crime in the 12 months before the survey. After 2 years, in 1989, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) surveyed 898 public and private sector organizations that use computers for their business. Eighty-eight (25%) reported they had been victimized by computer criminals (Carter and Katz 2). To protect the public and private agencies, the FBI established Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) in 1992. CART s mission is to examine computers, network, storage media and computer-related materials in support of FBI investigation (Owens 2). The government fully realizes the importance of computer security because it is related to the safety of the country.

We also find the importance in businesses. Unlike public agencies, private agencies will consider the budget whether they can do it or not. In fact, in order to save on the cost of computer security, businesses will suffer the biggest loss. Because once hackers trespass to their computer system, they spread the computer virus, steal vital data,

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and clear the whole database, even though they just put a small program like dictagraph to spy on all the activities of companies. They aren t harming your computer system itself, but they are spying on your activities. According to statistics, we survey seven hundred fifty companies and find five hundred sixty-three companies that reported said they had been victimized by computer-related crime. Fifty-nine percent of the victimized companies averagely lose $401,600 per company (McCollum 2). We can t have the intention of taking a chance because we can t afford the consequences of having the computer system breached.

From the statistics above, we discover that if you own a computer system, you will be assaulted sooner or later. And when your system is intruded upon, you will suffer a lot of consequences. Right now, computer security is more valuable. If we install the complete computer security system, we can obtain a lot of advantages; for example, first, we can protect and assure the confidential data. Under the security protection someone who wants to destroy the computer system is immediately detected or his trace will be recorded on the system security log. We can easily catch the intruders. Second, it assures the integrity of the computer system. Someone may use a computer virus to halt the computer system through the Internet. The consequence will result in the system s inability to restart. It s necessary to take much time to fix the system. The cost to the company is hard to evaluate. Thus, if your company has computer security , it will restore the system in the normal situation because the computer automatically backups the system data every day. We don t worry about hackers ruining our system. So it s proved that a computer system can run smoothly with computer security.

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