Threats to Information System

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Threats to Information System

Anything which has the potential to cause harm to the information system is called a Threat. Threats exploit the vulnerability of the information systems by breaching the security and provide a clear idea of how to make a system more secure and efficient. In other words, we can say that a threat is anything that can disrupt the operation, functioning, integrity, or availability of a network or system.

Threats to Information System

Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability is an inherent weakness in the design, configuration, or implementation of a network or system that renders it susceptible to a threat. Most vulnerability can usually be traced back to one of three sources:

1.    Poor Design

Hardware and software systems that contain design flaws that can be exploited. In essence, the systems are created with security holes.

2.    Poor Implementation

Systems that is incorrectly configured, and therefore vulnerable to attack. This type of vulnerability usually results from inexperience, insufficient training, or sloppy work.

3.    Poor Management

Inadequate procedures and insufficient balances. Security measures cannot operate in a vacuum; they need to be documented and monitored. Even something as simple as the daily backup of a system needs to be verified. There also needs to be delineation of responsibility for some functions and dual custody for others.

In this manner, an organization can ensure that procedures are being followed and that no one person has total control of a system.

Identification

Identification is simply the process of identifying one’s self to another entity or determining the identity of the individual or entity with whom we are communicating.

Availability

This refers to whether the network, system, hardware, and software are reliable and can recover quickly and completely in the event of an interruption in service. Ideally, these elements should not be susceptible to denial of service attacks.

Attack

The use or exploitation of vulnerability. This term is neither malicious nor benevolent. A bad guy may attack a system, and a good guy may attack a problem.

Attacker

The person or process that initiates an attack. This can be synonymous with threat.

Exploit

The instantiation of vulnerability; something that can be used for an attack. A single vulnerability may lead to multiple exploits, but not every vulnerability may have an exploit.

Target

The person, company, or system that is directly vulnerable and impacted by the exploit. Some exploits have multiple impacts, with both primary targets and secondary targets.

Attack Vector

The path from an attacker to a target. This includes tools and techniques.

Defender

The person or process that mitigates or prevents an attack.

Compromise

The successful exploitation of a target by an attacker.

Risk

A qualitative assessment describing the likelihood of an attacker/threat using an exploit to successfully bypass a defender, attacks a vulnerability, and compromise a system.

Threats models are used for optimizing information security and the security of systems. A good threat model exploits the vulnerability of the system and the information and in this way we get a clear idea of what are the weak points of the system that are vulnerable to attacks and we can build a secure and efficient system.

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