5.0 Security

5.2 Summarize the following security features

  • Wireless encryption

    • WEPx and WPAx
    • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption is an outdated technology that was used to protect wireless networks. WEP is based on encrypting data transmitted between two wireless devices. It has become a somewhat insecure technology and should only be used in cases where it is the only technology supported.

      Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is an improved standard of encryption for wireless protection, which eliminates some of the weaknesses associated with WEP and was designed to be the replacement for WEP. Most WEP devices can be upgraded to WPA. It is available in two versions, WPA-Enterprise for large networks, and WPA-Personal for small business and home networks. WPA typically uses the TKIP encryption protocol with a 128-bit per-packet key, meaning that it dynamically generates a new key for each packet.

      WPA2 is an updated version of WPA. Like WPA, WPA2 is available in both Enterprise and Personal versions. WPA2 uses an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) rather than the TKIP protocol used by WPA and when supported, is recommended as a stronger, more secure form of wireless protection.

    • Client configuration (SSID)

  • Malicious software protection

    • Viruses
    • Viruses are computer programs, usually short pieces of code, that can be spread to other computers through downloaded material, email attachments, or redirected web pages. Many are capable of reproduction, making the removal of these annoyances often quite difficult, and even more are introduced daily. The presence of a virus may often be indicated by browser redirects, unwanted pop-ups, sluggish performance, or even system crashes.

      Anti-virus software is designed to protect your computer from certain types of attacks. Some work in conjunction with firewalls to prevent your computer from being used to pass infections on to other machines. Any computer that does not have up-to-date anti-virus and firewall protection can fall prey to viruses, worms, Trojans and other threats.

      Anti-virus programs should be updated on a regular basis. Commercial programs should be renewed and licensed at least annually, but the virus definition files used by these programs should be scheduled to update at the very least weekly.

    • Trojans
    • A trojan, or trojan horse virus, is malware that is often transferred through what appears to be a legitimate e-mail or update and will produce a variety of effects. Some are simply a nuisance and do mischief like changing your desktop icons or changing other visual features. Other trojans are designed to destroy computer files, folders and programs. Trojans may also create backdoors allowing access to personal and confidential data. Unlike a worm, trojans do not replicate.

    • Worms
    • A worm is a malicious program, similar to a virus, except for the manner in which it's spread. A worm duplicates itself, unlike a virus which attempts to infect other files.

      The most common type of worm is the email worm. Email worms do not infect other files as do viruses, but spread by sending copies of themselves to any email addresses found on the infected system, and in turn, any of the recipient systems that become infected will also spread copies of the worm to any email addresses on their system. Email worms can spread globally within moments by using this simple tactic.

    • Spam
    • Internet spam is essentially no more than electronic junk mail, typically unsolicited. It is usually designed to offer you some form of merchandise or service at a price, but may also be used to conceal security threats.

      There are a variety of ways that your email address can become the target of spam. You may have registered to an online service or newsletter of some sort. Generally, these services require an email address for registration. In most cases, your email address is added to a mail list and used for regularly scheduled mailings. In some cases, it may also be added to a larger listing and sold to commercial advertisers. Email address that are posted on websites for contact purposes can also be extracted through the use of programs called "spiders" that scan millions of web pages daily for addresses.

    • Spyware
    • Spyware is a software designed to monitor user activity for advertising purposes. Spyware is similar to a Trojan horse as it is typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs. Spyware can gather e-mail addresses, passwords, or banking information and transmit information in the background to another party. They have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files, install other spyware programs, read cookies, or change the default home page on the Web browser and can lead to system crashes or general system instability.

    • Adware
    • Adware is a form of spyware that collects information about the user in order to display advertisements in the Web browser. Some applications that contain adware also track your Internet surfing habits in order to serve ads related to you. When the adware is intrusive like this, it becomes something you should avoid for privacy and security reasons.

    • Grayware
    • Grayware (or greyware) is a general term sometimes used as a classification for applications that behave in a manner that is annoying or undesirable, and yet less serious or troublesome than malware. Grayware encompasses spyware, adware, dialers, joke programs, remote access tools, and any other unwelcome files and programs apart from viruses that are designed to harm the performance of computers on your network.

  • BIOS Security
  • The security section of the BIOS allows for the application of specific system settings and passwords to prevent unauthorized changes to the BIOS.

    • Drive lock

    • Passwords
    • Most versions of BIOS offer a large number of security features. Unless you have other ways of protecting your computer, password protection should always be activated to prevent unauthorized users from making changes. In most cases, the password should be checked either when the computer is first booted, or when someone tries to access the BIOS settings. In some cases, you might specify different passwords for different levels of security (i.e., supervisor password, user password).

      If passwords are applied at this level and forgotten, the BIOS will have to be manually reset to factory defaults by temporarily moving a jumper on the motherboard.

    • Intrusion detection

    • TPM

  • Password management / password complexity

  • Locking workstation

    • Hardware

    • Operating system

  • Biometrics

    • Fingerprint scanner