Computer and network security helps to ensure that only authorized personnel have access. It also helps to keep data and equipment functioning properly. Threats to security can be internal or external to come from the inside or outside of an organization, and the level of potential damage can vary greatly:

Theft, loss, network intrusion, and physical damage are some of the ways a network or computer can be harmed. Damage or loss of equipment can mean a loss of productivity. Repairing and replacing equipment can cost the company time and money. Unauthorized use of a network can expose confidential information, violate the integrity of data, and reduce network resources.

An attack that intentionally degrades the performance of a computer or network can also harm the production of an organization. Poorly implemented security measures on wireless network devices demonstrate that physical connectivity is not necessary for unauthorized access by intruders.

The primary responsibilities of a technician include data and network security. A customer or an organization might depend on you to ensure that their data and computer equipment are secure. You might perform tasks that are more sensitive than those assigned to the average employee. You might repair, adjust, and install equipment. You need to know how to configure settings to keep the network secure but still keep it available to those who need to access it. You must ensure that software patches and updates are applied, antivirus software is installed, and antispyware software is used. You can also be asked to instruct users how to maintain good security practices with computer equipment.

This chapter reviews the types of attacks that threaten the security of computers and the data contained on them. A technician is responsible for the security of data and computer equipment in an organization. This chapter describes how you can work with customers to ensure that the best possible protection is in place.

To successfully protect computers and the network, a technician must understand both types of threats to computer security: