There are essentially two major types of computer security — software and hardware security — with a number of other categories within them. Software security usually consists of server protection and security, system security from viruses and other malicious software programs, and data security through theft prevention and safe computer practices. Hardware security usually consists of physical devices, including server mainframes, computers, and external or portable memory and storage devices.
Most types of computer security practices or considerations can easily be viewed as either regarding software or hardware security. Software security refers to ways in which attacks can be launched on data streams and software, without physical interaction of different devices or hardware. One of the most important security measures for many businesses is network and server security. This usually refers to the ways in which a business protects and secures its networks and any Internet services it may offer, including commercial sites and private data storage.
Other security concerns involving software include issues with malicious programs, such as viruses or spyware. These programs can get onto a system and remain unseen, causing damage to data, providing intruders with access to remote systems, and otherwise creating problems for businesses and private individuals. Data theft is also a serious security consideration for many companies and individuals, as this can result in loss of information that can be used for identity theft and the compromise of corporate secrets or private information.
Hardware security refers to practices regarding how physical devices and computer hardware are handled and overseen. The physical server mainframes that often house various networks and Internet websites can be damaged, resulting in loss of data, or they could be physically attacked in an effort to steal information directly from the system through data transfer between devices.
Many companies and individuals should also be aware of considerations regarding different types of computer security and physical theft. As computer technology improves, memory and data storage devices have become increasingly smaller. This means that someone can steal a single computer tower or laptop from a business or a person’s home and potentially obtain vast amounts of data and information that may be private. Small data storage devices, such as thumb drives, should also be protected, as someone may carelessly forget such a device at a public computer terminal and create a very real opportunity for data loss.