Threats to data and information

Deliberate, accidental and technical failure

Overview

The value of data may range from mealy being useful, to being vital in the day-to-day functioning of the organisation. Threats that can affect data and infomration are deliberate, accidental and technical failure to a systems hardware or software which can cause loss of or stolen data and information.

Deliberate Threats

This can be split into two groups being physical and logical. Physical is refering to the stealing or breacking of equipment and logical refers to gaining access to confidential files on a restricted site via an Internet connection.

Examples...

Computer viruses, hacking/cracking, information theft, vandalism of hardware and theft of hardware

Computer Viruses

Computer viruses are made by people to access a computers system and tamper with the files that it holds by randomly deleting files and send information to contacts on the address book therefore losing files and sharing them to others. A computer virus is much like a virus in a person were it effects many parts of you and makes it hard to opperate at your full potential.

In the late 1980's one of the first viruses were made and when it hit the screen would display a message 'Your computer is now stoned' which ment there was a problem within the system.

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Information Theft

This can be as simple as a competitor sneaking into an office and taking pictures of plans and documents and leaving no trace while being there, but with a computerised information system, this can be done by a cracker setting at there computer. This means data can be stolen with no physical break-in. This could be someone breaking in thorugh the information system or an employee working for a rivial organisation to gather information.

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Theft of hardware

This can consist of robbers stealing large desktop computers, laptops, RAM chips, hard disks, scanners, digital cameras, external storage devices and CD's or DVD's. They ussally target the smaller items becuase things like a desktop computer tend to be bulky and hard to varry. Gangs often will target schools, large company offices or warehouses due to the concentrated equipment locations. This can cause important data to be lost would stop organisations from using there information systems.

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Accidental Threats

Accidental threats are threats that are usally done by users accidently not pressing the right buttons or following the right procedures. This catorgaory has to sections which are user error and failure to follow file-management prcedures.

Examples...

User Error

This can cuase a great deal of damage. This often happend when the user is unfamiler of how to operate the equipment properly and not have being trained in the correct ooperatining procedures. Examples of this are copying an older verion of a file over a newer version or formating a disk that contains important information. To safegaured this many organisations have there programs ask twice for certain procedures and when files are deleted that they only go to the rycyle bin just in case they need that file.

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Failure to follow file-management procedures

This can lead to loss of files due to lack of following proceduers such as naming a file or saving in desierd spots. Often the reult of these failures are

-file extensions have been left off

-non-descriptive filenames were used

- folders were improperly used

To help this many programs have a three character extension similer to the word (docx) which help organisations find all the files that were created by that program to locate lost files.

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Technical Failure

Example...

Technical falure inclucdes the CPU, CD drive, graphics and hard disk failures. This can lead to huge inconvenences. It can also include software apllications not operating properly and not saving data the right way. This is mainly cause by being old, to hot or electricity problems and also lack of care towards the product.

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