Unlike industrial era that it takes many decades to mature, Internet era has a tangible impact on the daily lives of many people all over the world —at work, at home, and how they communicate each other – in relatively short period. However, the superior marketing strategy means nothing if the e-companies could not provide their customers with high level of security. Therefore, security issues in online transaction continue rising since customers fear of new kind of e-crime that enable the criminal to steal personal information like credit card information and copyright violation.
Concerning the security issue of computer systems, this paper will elaborate issues about computer hacking, the trend of computer security attack, losses, and steps to protect computer systems from hacking. 2. Computer Hacking Computer hacking is a practice of altering settings of computer hardware and software to enable the hackers their intention (Wise Geek, 2007). Due to possible damage that computer hacking may provide to a computer system, therefore, computer hacking becomes a phenomenon that network administrators pay attention carefully. Figure 1 shows several security attacks that occur since 1980s.
Figure 1 Understanding Security Attacks-Past, Present, and Future Source: Cisco Systems, 2007 3. Needs for Secured Computer System To the increased security of a computer system, a corporations that have vital data must be aware of developing secured network to prevent malicious attacks. An article in The Internet Security Alliance website reported that 80% of 52,000 reported incidents are common to all corporations, regardless of industry, location or size. In addition, the article also provides appropriate elaboration on socio-technical aspects by addressing six trends on security of Internet.
The six points are automation, sophistication of attack tools, faster discovery of vulnerabilities, and permeability of firewalls, increasing asymmetric threat, and increasing threat from Infrastructure attack. According to a global survey on financial service industry conducted by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young’s it is found that security in e-commerce becomes important issue since it reached peak in 1997 and 1998 when e-commerce started taking off the ground of traditional commerce. Often, hackers, people who commit hacking, do their actions onto several e-commerce sites to take benefits of ‘free’ merchandises.
Figure 2 shows losses due to several security threats including unauthorized access (hacking) that stands in the second place as the most dangerous threats to computer systems. Figure 2 Losses Due to Computer Security Incidents Source: Cisco Systems, 2007 4. Preventing Computer Hacking 4. 1 Protecting Web Sites from Hackers Like traditional office that is prone to be stolen, computer systems face similar condition in electronic form. We call them as hijacking or hacking. In order to prevent our web sites from hijacking or hacking, Schwartau suggests several ways to protect our web sites as follows:
1. To prevent our computer systems from unsolicited and malicious actions, make sure to isolate our server. 2. To figure out who is coming into computer system network administrator of the company can install and implement a detection system that provides early warning to the company. In this manner, we can detect a hacker and prevent him from achieving his goal 3. To improve security of computer systems, we can install biometric reader (voice recognition, retina, fingerprints etc) hardware for administrators who have root authority are who they say they are.
Application that is very useful to prevent ant thief is by employing a VeriSign SSL Certificate installed on the web server of my web hosting service. This condition enables the company to protect sensitive information and prevent any malicious attacks to steal confidential information. 4. 2 Developing Secured Computer System 4. 2. 1 Defining the Secured E-Commerce Architecture As first step of deployment of secured e-commerce, we should define what factors or elements that we consider as confidential.
Based on the discussion and literature review, we define that following factors need to be incorporated in the design of the company’s secured computer systems: • 24-hour computer system, 7 days a week availability. This component suggests that we should employ reliable network hardware that works endlessly every minute without significant downtime. • The computer system must address user scalability and performance that can handle thousands to millions of transaction simultaneously. It highlights the needs of employing huge database system powered by high-speed processor in our server.
4. 2. 2 Building the Basic Secured E-Commerce In order to meet the three objectives of e-commerce, therefore, we can consider several network architectures that fulfill the criteria of being a secured e-commerce site in my company. In addition to simple and common architecture of secured e-commerce, in this second step, we also develop our design of secured e-commerce that displays building blocks of the architecture. Figure 3 exhibits an example of my proposed architecture of my e-commerce network that composes of two slim layers of protection.
The use of firewalls in this design becomes the primary source of protection for computer systems although it is insufficient to prevent attacks from this new threat. Figure 3 A more detailed Architecture of Secured E-Commerce Site Source: RSM McGladrey, Inc. , 2006 5 Conclusion Concerning security threats on computer systems, we witness that the discussion on the security becomes important issues in today’s networked society since the number of transactions and communications in a company depends on the secured connections that company has.
In order to prevent any malicious attacks like hacking, there are many options for a company when dealing with the computer security. Each involves specific requirement sets with regard to robustness, security, imperceptibility, and the volume of data that needs to be embedded. However, although this paper has significantly provided qualitative solution for the research question as written in the introduction section, this observation is limited in its scope.
This is due to like other observation-type research paper; people would argue that the findings and claims we made on the relation between security and e-commerce cannot be generalized to other contexts.
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