IT security offers various measures, not only on the technical side. To make people aware of malware or harmful, unconscious behaviour in the company or in their private lives is usually already worth a lot.
To that effect, training courses and workshops are often offered, which can prevent the one or another IT problems in your private life. Within companies, sometimes entire strategies are designed to integrate IT security holistically and as comprehensively as possible into processes. However, this cannot work without first raising awareness among the staff.
Nevertheless, investments in information and awareness raising are of course not enough – so what else does IT security do?
The obvious first: there is so-called anti-virus software that automatically scans your IT system and checks for malware. This should happen in short, regular intervals and is useful in both private and business environments. Security gaps and malicious programs that want to be downloaded from the Internet can thus be detected and banned.
You already know it, but you still can’t rely on it 100 percent. Sometimes malware is simply not detected as such – or secure software is identified as malware, automatically removed, and then the computer stops working. Blindly trusting an antivirus program is therefore not advisable.
So-called firewalls are also popular means in both private and business contexts. They deal with the network connections of IT – for example with the WLAN. Here, unauthorized access from outside via the network can be detected and prevented. In most cases, such firewalls are already integrated in anti-virus software products.
Sandboxes are something especially exciting, not only for children. In IT security, a sandbox stands for a program that locks up malware. This relatively new concept is particularly effective for special data types. For example, PDF documents are opened in a separate “sandbox”, separate from other programs. If the PDF is damaged, in the worst case only the sandbox program is attacked – the rest of the system is spared.
Using different software and sometimes trusting smaller providers can pay off, by the way – the more “diverse” the IT is, the more difficult it becomes to crack the system as a whole. Sometimes the best-known antivirus software companies are particularly affected by hacker attacks – simply because they are the most common.
Access control does not simply mean an overly long password. Companies help each other here with different user rights. Only very few people in the company have access to all data usually these are limited and divided according to the function in the company.
Restricted access to Internet pages or the prevention of external software on company computers can also be implemented. The company WLAN can also be designed so that only a very limited selection of applications and programs can be downloaded and used.
In addition, there is also the possibility of preventing “active content” – self-executing software (often these are utility programs) is turned off in this way. This can also be effective against potential malware. The measures mentioned here are of course more likely to be applied in a business context.
However, cryptography can be used for business and private purposes. This means nothing else than an encryption of data. Not only is access to the data secured with a password, but the data itself is also “encrypted”.
Cryptography of data and information – end-to-end
End-to-end encryption is a common standard in data cryptography. Here, sender and receiver have a translator code. Messages or images are sent by the sender. However, the translator code automatically changes the message data into incomprehensible sequences of numbers and symbols. The recipient receives these and can in turn display and understand the message or image in its original form due to the translator.
This simply serves the purpose that data possibly intercepted in the send process cannot be put into a context and thus remain incomprehensible as information.
Backups and Updates
Regular updates of the software to keep it up to date also helps, of course. The older a software is, the sooner its errors are known. Especially operating systems and anti-virus programs should be updated promptly, as the greatest threats are posed by external access.
Of course, there is only one thing that can help against data loss (if, for example, the computer is broken or stolen): regular backups, i.e. copying the data and information yourself – preferably kept separate from the IT system on an external hard disk or in the so-called “cloud”. Cloud systems are external servers and storage locations that are available via the Internet. Here, a backup can also be automated, but of course there is also the risk that the cloud provider itself becomes the victim of an IT attack.
Making people aware of the correct handling of IT security, both privately and in companies, is already worth a lot.
There is also a number of IT security measures: