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Antivirus Security
1. What is information or an enterprise security?
2. Define a computer virus, Spyware, Malware and Spam?
3. What is antivirus software?
Information security

Information security means protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction. The terms information security, computer security and information assurance are frequently incorrectly used interchangeably. These fields are interrelated often and share the common goals of protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information; however, there are some subtle differences between them. These differences lie primarily in the approach to the subject, the methodologies used, and the areas of concentration. Information security is concerned with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data regardless of the form the data may take: electronic, print, or other forms. Computer security can focus on ensuring the availability and correct operation of a computer system without concern for the information stored or processed by the computer.

Governments, military, corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, and private businesses a mass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research, and financial status. Most of this information is now collected, processed and stored on electronic computers and transmitted across networks to other computers. Should confidential information about a business' customers or finances or new product line fall into the hands of a competitor, such a breach of security could lead to lost business, law suits or even bankruptcy of the business. Protecting confidential information is a business requirement, and in many cases also an ethical and legal requirement. For the individual, information security has a significant effect on privacy, which is viewed very differently in different cultures. The field of information security has grown and evolved significantly in recent years. There are many ways of gaining entry into the field as a career. It offers many areas for specialization including: securing network(s) allied infrastructure, and securing applications and databases, security testing, information systems auditing, business continuity planning and forensics science, to name a few, which are carried out by Information Security Consultants

Computer virus
A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code) when its host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it over a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB drive. Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer. As stated above, the term "computer virus" is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, even those that do not have the reproductive ability. Malware includes computer viruses, computer worms, Trojan horses, most root kits, spyware, dishonest adware and other malicious and unwanted software, including true viruses. Viruses are sometimes confused with worms and Trojan horses, which are technically different. A worm can exploit security vulnerabilities to spread itself automatically to other computers through networks, while a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless but hides malicious functions. Worms and Trojan horses, like viruses, may harm a computer system's data or performance. Some viruses and other malware have symptoms noticeable to the computer user, but many are surreptitious or simply do nothing to call attention to themselves. Some viruses do nothing beyond reproducing themselves.

Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified adsspam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, transmissions, social spam, television advertising and file sharing network spam. Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings. Because the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of unsolicited mail has become very high. The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. Spamming is universally reviled, and has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions. People who create electronic spam are called spammers.

Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects little bits of information at a time about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as key loggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users. While the term spyware suggests that software that secretly monitors the user's computing, the functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habits and sites that have been visited, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting Web browser activity. Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/ or loss of Internet or functionality of other programs. In an attempt to increase the understanding of spyware, a more formal classification of its included software types is captured under the term privacy-invasive software.In response to the emergence of spyware, a small industry has sprung up dealing in anti-spyware software. Running anti-spyware software has become a widely recognized element of computer security practices for computers, especially those running Microsoft Windows. A number of jurisdictions have passed anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is surreptitiously installed to control a user's computer.

Malware is a software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The term "computer virus" is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, including true viruses. Software is considered to be malware based on the perceived intent of the creator rather than any particular features. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware, most rootkits, and other malicious and unwanted software. In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, for instance in the legal codes of several U. S. states, including Californiaand West Virginia. Malware is not the same as defective software, that is, software that has a legitimate purpose but contains harmful bugs.Preliminary results from Symantec published in 2008 suggested that "the release rate of malicious code and other unwanted programs may be exceeding that of legitimate software applications." According to FSecure, "As much malware [was] produced in 2007 as in the previous 20 years altogether."

Malware's most common pathway from criminals to users is through the Internet: primarily by e-mail and the World Wide Web. The prevalence of malware as a vehicle for organized Internet crime, along with the general inability of traditional anti-malware protection platforms (products) to protect against the continuous stream of unique and newly produced malware, has seen the adoption of a new mindset for businesses operating on the Internet: the acknowledgment that some sizable percentage of Internet customers will always be infected for some reason or another, and that they need to continue doing business with infected customers. The result is a greater emphasis on back-office systems designed to spot fraudulent activities associated with advanced malware operating on customers' computers. On March 29, 2010, Symantec Corporation named Shaoxing, China as the world's malware capital. Sometimes, malware is disguised as genuine software, and may come from an official site. Therefore, some security programs, such as McAfee may call malware "potentially unwanted programs" or "PUP".

Antivirus software
Antivirus (or anti-virus) software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware - including computer virus, worms, and trojan horses. Such programs may also prevent and remove adware, spyware, and other forms of malware. A variety of strategies are typically employed. Signature-based detection involves searching for known malicious patterns in executable code. However, it is possible for a user to be infected with new malware for which no signature exists yet. To counter such so-called zero-day threats, heuristics can be used. One type of heuristic approach, generic signatures, can identify new viruses or variants of existing viruses by looking for known malicious code (or slight variations of such code) in files. Some antivirus software can also predict what a file will do if opened/run by emulating it in a sandbox and analyzing what it does to see if it performs any malicious actions. If it does, this could mean the file is malicious.

However, no matter how useful antivirus software is, it can sometimes have drawbacks. Antivirus software can degrade computer performance. Inexperienced users may have trouble understanding the prompts and decisions that antivirus software presents them with. An incorrect decision may lead to a security breach. If the antivirus software employs heuristic detection (of any kind), success depends on achieving the right balance between false positives and false negatives. False positives can be as destructive as false negatives. Finally, antivirus software generally runs at the highly trusted kernel level of the operating system, creating a potential avenue of attack. In addition to the drawbacks mentioned above, the effectiveness of antivirus software has also been researched and debated. One study found that the detection success of major antivirus software dropped over a one-year period.
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