Security: playing it safe. p1

Nouns: ransom, theft, espionage, imposter, forgery, advocate, fingerprints, distortion, purchase, vendor.
Verbs: safeguard, entitle, claim, arise encrypt. evade, circumvent, override.
Adjectives: vulnerable, legitimate, thorough, distinct, promising, plain, secure, particular.
Word combinations: white-collar crime, to keep secret, under way, by chance, needless to say, security provisions, credit cart holder, at the intersection of.


(1) The computer industry has been extremely vulnerable in the matter of security Computer security once meant the physical security of the computer itself – guarded and locked doors. computer screens were given dark filters so others could not easily see the date on the screen. But filters and locks by no means prevented access, More sophisticated security means safeguarding the computer system against such threats as burglary, vandalism, fire, natural disasters. theft of data for ransom, industria espionage, and various forms of white-collar crime

(2) Emphasis on Access and Throughput. Fоr the last decade or so, computer programmers have concentrated or making in easy for people to use computer systems. Unfortunately, in some situations the systems are all too easy to use; they don’t impose nearly enough restrictions to safeguard confidential information or to prevent unauthorized persons from changing the information in a file.

(3) It’s as if a bank concentrated all its efforts on handing our money as fast is it could and did very little to see that the persons who requested the money were entitled to it Of course, a real banк works just the opposite way, checking very carefully before handing out any money. Computer systems that handle sensitive personal and financial data should he designed with the same philosophy in mind.

(4) Positive Identification of Users. A computer system needs a sure way of identifying the people who

art authorized to use it The identification procedure has to be quick, simple, and convenient. It should be so thorough that there is little chance of the computer being fooled by a clever imposter. A the same time, the computer must not reject legitimate users. Unfortunately no identification svstem currently in use meets all these requirements.

(5) At present, signatures are widely used to identify credit-card holders, but it takes an expert to detect a good forgery. Sometimes even a human expen is fooled, and there is no reason to believe that a computer could do any better.

(6) A variation is to have he computer analyze a person’s hand movements as he signs his name instead of analyzing the signature itself. Advocates of this method claim that different persons’ hand movements are sufficiently distinct to identify them. And while a forger might learn to duplicate another persor s signature, he probablv would not move his hand exactly the way the person whose signature he was forging did.

(7) Photographs are also sometimes used for identification. But, people find it inconvenient to stop by a bank or credit card company and be photographed. Companies might lose business if they made the pictures an absolute requirement. Also, photographs are less useful these days, when people frequently change their appearance by changing the way they wear their hair Finally, computer programs for analyzing photographs are still highly experimental.

(8) Cash-dispensing systems often use two identificatior numbers: one is recorded on a magnetic stripe on the identification card, and the other is given to the cardholder.

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Security: playing it safe. p1