Investigating Security Technologies

Learn about Forensic Computing, Biometric Scanners & others!

Nowdays, everyone desires privacy and security but many think that they aren't that safe. However, there are so many security technologies that keep you and your information safe each day! This smore will have a look at some of those security technologies.
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Security Technologies- A Definition

Security Technology is the use of mechanical arts (for e.g. barriers) and applied science (for e.g. electrical/electronic engineering, etc.) to make available or enhance the security of people, property and important information.
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PIN Numbers

PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) are numbers that are given to an individual and are used to confirm electronic activities, which are mostly financial. Most PIN numbers consist of four to twelve numbers. They are used in baking systems, when making a money transaction.

PIN numbers are used for secure payments, as they are the best possible protection with your own secret number! You can pay more quickly then when you have to use your signature, which can be copied but PIN's can't be copied or taken that easily!

There are approximately 10,000 combinations (for four digit pins!) and almost one in every ten people use the same pin-1234! If everyone picked any four number (from 0-9) at random to form a PIN, this problem wouldn't occur! However, because of people's 'lack of imagination,' and their compulsion to select predictable numbers keeps them in a position of being hacked.

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Legislation is a law that was introduced in 1990 and was called 'The Computer Misuse Act.' It was made to deal with the following crimes:

  • Hacking: This is considered as unauthorized access to a program or data in a computer.
  • Computer Fraud: This is known as using computers, the Internet, Internet devices, and Internet services to fraud people, companies or government agencies for money (in most cases!).
  • Viruses: This is considered as changing of the contents of computers, and also the impairment of operations of any program or trust of data.

Under this law, the crimes could be dealt with in a proper way. Here are the penalties that came with committing such offences:

  • Hacking: Maximum fine of 2000 pounds and a six moth jail sentence.
  • Computer Fraud/Blackmail: Unlimited fine and maximum five year imprisoning.
  • Viruses: Unlimited fine and maximum of five year prison sentence.
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Biometric Scanners

Biometric Scanners are programmed to recognize people based on their physiological or behavioral characteristics. This means identifying them through their various features, such as their face, fingerprints, hands, handwriting and iris, among others.

This type of security technology is often preferred over passwords and PIN's. This is because of various reasons, for example; it is required that the person has to be physically present to be identified, and this helps ensure that 'buddy punching' doesn't happen! 'Buddy punching' is a term that is used to describe a situation when an unauthorized personnel tries to use a genuine card so that he/she is able to go to a specific area.

Another reason why Biometric Scanners are really helpful is that you have no need to remember a password/code or carry around a identification card, you just need your own body! This discards any chance of theft of cards or passwords and you won't have to constantly replace the passwords/check the cards.

This type of system is also efficient because people in organisations/companies can be quickly and easily be removed or added from systems. On the other hand, organisations or companies that use a card or token based system, have to give new cards to newcomers. Though these scanners are a bit expensive this is due to the fact that they are on of the safest form of security technology. However, you only buy them once but cards you have to keep buying to supply to all those that need it (in your office building).

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When you don't want anyone (except a few people or only yourself) to get a file/document, you would encrypt it! To access an encrypted file or document, then you would need a secret 'key' or password, which would allow you to open the file/document. This is one of the most effective ways to protect your data.

Encryption has been around for ages! One of the earliest examples of encryption is when a general wanted to send a secret message to his city, he had one of his soldier's head shaved and had the message written on the soldier's head. When the soldier's hair had grown enough to conceal the message, he was sent to the city. The soldier arrived at the city and the city official shaved his head to reveal the message, as he knew the secret 'key.'

Nowadays, encryption has become quite important to us, it has also become sophisticated. However, the purpose of encryption has still stayed the same; delivering a secret message from one place to another without anybody else seeing it.

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Forensic Computing

Forensic Computing is to search information on computing devices. This is mostly used in gathering digital evidence for trials. This is very useful because not all crimes happen in the physical world, sometimes they happen in the virtual world!
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