Managing Computer Viruses

Overview

The emergence of a new type of threat to computer security?the computer virus?has attracted much attention from the media, researchers, and software producers. Such viruses create sets of frequently destructive instructions that propagate automatically throughout entire computer networks. The effects can range from temporary disruption to wholesale havoc involving huge losses of data. The problem has been exacerbated more recently by a deluge of superficial media comment that has sensationalized the topic while ...

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Overview

The emergence of a new type of threat to computer security—the computer virus—has attracted much attention from the media, researchers, and software producers. Such viruses create sets of frequently destructive instructions that propagate automatically throughout entire computer networks. The effects can range from temporary disruption to wholesale havoc involving huge losses of data. The problem has been exacerbated more recently by a deluge of superficial media comment that has sensationalized the topic while offering little in the way of concrete facts or knowledgeable guidance. This book is intended to help managers of today's complex information systems respond to the genuine threat posed by computer viruses in an informed and efficient manner. It presents a concise overview of the problem and a detailed strategy for minimizing the potential risk. It provides a nontechnical explanation of computer viruses based on a conceptual framework adaptable to the constant emergence of new kinds of viruses and their antidotes. The book suggests practical management approaches that are workable within large-scale, integrated systems including those with ongoing security and control devices. There are a number of useful technical appendices, however the book is written to be read and used by those who may not have a technical background, including information systems managers, security consultants, and teachers and advanced students of management interested in information systems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198539742
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/3/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The destructive potential of computer viruses
The problem 1
Management concerns 2
The purpose of this book 3
2 The nature of computer viruses
Computer pests 5
A brief history of computer viruses 7
How computer viruses work 10
Classifying computer viruses 15
Symptoms of computer virus infections 18
Known computer viruses 22
Motives behind virus attacks 23
The severity of the problem 27
The law and computer viruses 30
3 The biological analogy
The validity of the biological analogy 34
Biological and computer viruses 35
Epidemiology 38
Limitations of the analogy 43
Implications of the analogy 44
4 Protection against computer viruses
General considerations concerning computer security 46
Computer viruses as a security issue 51
Policy formulation regarding computer viruses 54
Standards and contracts 63
Security control and planning 64
Insurance planning 77
Disaster recovery planning 79
Implementation 80
Operation and maintenance 81
Monitoring and auditing 81
Recovery 82
5 Computer viruses - current and future
The incidence of virus attacks on businesses 85
Current virus prevention practices by businesses 86
Management attitudes towards viruses 87
Expert opinions of viruses 87
Summary of the current situation 90
Computer viruses, trends in computing, and the future 91
6 Virus control methodologies
A virus control methodology for large organizations 97
A virus control methodology for small organizations 105
Management recommendations 108
7 Conclusion
The objectives revisited 113
Key management issues 114
Implications of the computer virus threat 115
Glossary 118
Notes 123
Appendix 1: A generic DOS virus 134
Appendix 2: Known viruses 136
Appendix 3: Turing machines 161
Appendix 4: Biological viruses 163
Appendix 5: Information storage in cells 164
Appendix 6: Reviews of anti-virus software 166
Index 169
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