H I K E Y L I M I T E D

Network security is the identification and mitigation of undesirable information flow. Understanding the impacts, ramifications, and options requires a basic background in general computer security processes, network
theory, and for some protocols, a basic understanding of cryptography. This
knowledge can be used both offensively and defensively. Ethics determine whether
the knowledge is used to increase social value.

Security is an assessment of risk. Secure environments do not just appear; they are
designed and developed through an intentional effort. Secure solutions must be
thorough; one weakness can compromise an otherwise secure system.
In today’s online and connected world, where computers outsell TVs
[CNET1996] and e-commerce surpasses brick-and-mortar sales by a significant
margin [Oswald2005], secure network environments are an ever-growing need.
Weaknesses within the network have lead to the rapid growth of identity theft and
daily computer virus outbreaks. Software developers and network administrators
are being held accountable for compromises within their systems, while attackers
remain anonymous

Within the security community, some words have specific meanings, whereas other
words commonly associated with computer security have virtually no meaning.
Common security vocabulary [Schneider1999] includes the following:
Vulnerability: A defect or weakness in the feasibility, design, implementation,
operation, or maintenance of a system.
Threat: An adversary who is capable and motivated to exploit a vulnerability.
Attack: The use or exploitation of a vulnerability. This term is neither malicious nor benevolent.

Within the security community, some words have specific meanings, whereas other
words commonly associated with computer security have virtually no meaning.
Common security vocabulary [Schneider1999] includes the following:
Vulnerability: A defect or weakness in the feasibility, design, implementation,
operation, or maintenance of a system.
Threat: An adversary who is capable and motivated to exploit a vulnerability.
Attack: The use or exploitation of a vulnerability. This term is neither malicious nor benevolent.

Within the security community, some words have specific meanings, whereas other
words commonly associated with computer security have virtually no meaning.
Common security vocabulary [Schneider1999] includes the following:
Vulnerability: A defect or weakness in the feasibility, design, implementation,
operation, or maintenance of a system.
Threat: An adversary who is capable and motivated to exploit a vulnerability.
Attack: The use or exploitation of a vulnerability. This term is neither malicious nor benevolent.

Attacker: The person or process that initiates an attack. This can be synonymous with threat.
Exploit: The instantiation of a 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 (e.g., theoretical vulnerabilities).
Target: The person, company, or system that is directly vulnerable and impacted by the exploit. Some exploits have multiple impacts, with both primary
(main) targets and secondary (incidental) 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, attack a vulnerability, and
compromise a system.

Conventional wisdom says that security is used to keep out undesirable elements
and keep honest people honest. In actuality, security does not just mean saving the
system from bad guys and malicious software. Security means preserving data integrity, providing authorized access, and maintaining privacy. Thus, preventing a
user from accidentally deleting or corrupting an important file is just as essential to
security as stopping a malicious user

Security does not mean “invulnerable.” Even the most secured computer system
will probably lose data if it is near a strong electromagnetic pulse (i.e., nuclear
blast). Security means that, in a general-use environment, the system will not be
openly vulnerable to attacks, data loss, or privacy issues. Attackers may still be able
to access a secured system, but it will be much more difficult for them, and attacks
may be more easily detected.
In computer networking, security is the mitigation of undesirable information
flow. This includes both reactive and preventative measures. Risk management
refers to the processes for mitigating security issues. For example, the risk from an
unwanted network access can be managed by using a firewall. Although the firewall
may not prevent 100 percent of the threat, it reduces the risk to the point of being
considered secure. Security is a relative term to the environment, based on a measurement of acceptable risk. A solution may be secure enough for a home user but
considered insecure for corporate or government environments.

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