What kind of threats are there from using information technology and how can they be prevented?

Essay by manginaboyHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2003

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As the name suggests, information technology has built on existing ways of storing information for various reasons including better security, accessibility and data integrity. Although there are various other reasons for using information technology, these are the reasons of primary importance and hence are necessary for the discussion of threats and prevention through various means.

Security is by far the most common reason for using information technology. Originally, important paperwork and confidential documents were stored in locked file cabinets so that even if someone did gain access to the room where the files were contained, their access would be limited to a lock. Thieves that wanted to retrieve the information would need to break or bypass the lock to retrieve the information.

In information technology, a computer is used in place of a filing cabinet (although there are still a number of firms that rely on old technologies or combinations of the two).

Like the filing cabinet, the computer is only able to give access to those who have a "key" or password. A computer can also have a secondary security system in which different users have different access limits. This is equivalent to only having certain people in the office having access to different information. Furthermore, files in the computer can be locked by a particular user which is equivalent to locking a file in a filing cabinet which delays or prevents theft.

At this point we discuss why a computerized information system is either more or less secure than traditional methods. One of the primary ideas behind computers is that the computer key or password is unique for each person or group and can be changed as often as necessary with no cost other than time. Changing a real lock, however, is difficult because all of the keys...