Internet Security Overview

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Overview of Internet Security
As of 1996, the Internet connected an estimated 13 million computers in 195 countries on every continent, even Antarctica (1). The Internet is not a single network, but a worldwide collection of loosely connected networks that are accessible by individual computer hosts in a variety of ways, including gateways, routers, dial-up connections, and Internet service providers. The Internet is easily accessible to anyone with a computer and a network connection. Individuals and organizations worldwide can reach any point on the network without regard to national or geographic boundaries or time of day.
However, along with the convenience and easy access to information come new risks. Among them are the risks that
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Security is strong when the means of authentication cannot later be refuted - the user cannot later deny that he or she performed the activity. This is known as nonrepudiation.
Why Care About Security?
It is remarkably easy to gain unauthorized access to information in an insecure networked environment, and it is hard to catch the intruders. Even if users have nothing stored on their computer that they consider important, that computer can be a "weak link", allowing unauthorized access to the organization 's systems and information.
Seemingly innocuous information can expose a computer system to compromise. Information that intruders find useful includes which hardware and software are being used, system configuration, type of network connections, phone numbers, and access and authentication procedures. Security-related information can enable unauthorized individuals to get access to important files and programs, thus compromising the security of the system. Examples of important information are passwords, access control files and keys, personnel information, and encryption algorithms.
Judging from CERT® Coordination Center (CERT/CC) data and the computer abuse reported in the media, no one on the Internet is immune. Those affected include banks and financial companies, insurance companies, brokerage houses, consultants, government contractors, government agencies, hospitals and medical laboratories, network service providers,
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