AQA Computer Science GCSE
Cyber Security - Detecting and Preventing Threats
There are a range of different ways we can combat cyber-security threats.
Lots of these rely upon educating users - for example, to combat social engineering threats. Then there are obvious technological solutions such as using up to date anti-malware software (anti-virus software).
The syllabus then lists five technological solutions that you need to know enough about to be able to write a longer answer on. These are:
- biometric measures
- password systems
- CAPTCHA style systems
- E-mail or SMS confirmations (including two-step verification)
- Automatic software updates
Some of these have been covered in other areas of this unit, so focus on biometrics, CAPTCHA and e-mail/SMS confirmations.
Managing Cyber-Security slides - intro slides from class
Five methods resource - textbook double page spread
Two-step verification - slides from class
You can find more information of two-step verification at Google's guide to how it works on their systems.
To find out more about CAPTCHA systems, check out a digital guide on them.
Other cyber-security threats
You might remember that there are other threats you could consider. Physically restricting access to systems by locking them up is a simple way to do so. You might also want to consider the issues associated with physical threats such as squirrels or even solar flares.
It's also possible to restrict particular systems from being used if they are considered to be vulnerable: Huawei's 'shoddy' work prompts talk of a Westminster ban (BBC, 8 April 2019). This details the issues with vulnerabilities in the engineering underpinning Huawei's 5G networks and includes a handy video about the possible vulnerabilities of 5G networks to DoS cyber-attacks.
Huawei, a Chinese company, have been named as a potential security threat in terms of accessing confidential information held by western companies.