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Computer Science Program Resources

Top 3 High Profile Information Security Breaches of the 21st Century

Rapid technological advancement has shaped the quality of human life over the last fifty years. From travelling to the moon to the rise of cell phones to medical advancement, technology has allowed modern man to go further, connect more and live longer and healthier than ever before. However, this massive cultural dependence on technology has put just as much at risk – if not more – than it has advanced or improved. The major (and myriad) information security breaches of the 21st century have shown us that the Achilles heel in our national security and financial structures may be the very thing that propels us forward: our technology systems. Here are three of the top high profile information security breaches in the 21st century, what they tell us about our technological weaknesses, and why individuals who receive their MS in Information Security are key defenders of civilization at the next great frontier.

The Evolution of the Computer Virus

Computer viruses have been plaguing individuals, organizations and government agencies for the past 40 years. Evolving over time, these viruses have kept pace with the newest advances in technology, much to the consternation of information technicians who work to keep networks and systems safe. With a rise in technological advances, society increasingly becomes at risk for hackers or other forms of cyber-attacks. Identifying how computer viruses have grown over time helps the unsung heroes of systems information keep our data safe.

Security Concerns in the Cloud

New methods of data storage have been introduced in the past decade, and as the world of information technology moves forward, advanced security measures are being taken to ensure the protection of user identities and data. Cloud Storage in particular is being scrutinized for its security dependability.

Security Concerns for Wireless Systems

Wireless systems have become the norm in recent years for efficient, functional businesses and homes. Home Internet providers now offer wireless coverage plans to accommodate a range of devices for an average sized family, and public businesses such as coffee shops, restaurants and shopping malls now routinely offer free wireless internet access for patrons. However, wireless systems have notable vulnerabilities and concerns that need to be addressed and monitored in order to maintain secure data, proprietary content and financial records. Read on to learn more about the kinds of security breaches that can occur between point A and point b on a wireless route, and what preventative measures can be taken to avoid or derail such attacks.

NSA's Surveillance Program: PRISM

In May, Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA, broke his confidentiality agreement and came forward to the American news press about the NSA's surveillance program, PRISM. He told his story to both The Guardian and The Washington Post. Hailed by some as a whistleblower and denounced by others as being a traitor, Snowden is now a political fugitive with asylum in Russia. Whether Snowden is a patriotic talebearer or a devious turncoat, the issues he raised about the NSA's intrusion on privacy cannot be ignored.

Insider Threat Detection

Companies and the information they house are exposed by a variety of attacks that could destroy or manipulate electronic information, unless adequately protected. Most people see these attacks as a threat from outside of the organization, as most viruses and malware make their way into the system from external sources. However, in many cases, the greatest threats to companies originate inside their own system.