In this digital age, computer programs and related technologies have infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. To fulfill the growing demand for impressive technologies, computer scientists are working even harder than before to design, develop and apply software and hardware that can revolutionize the world.
How Vulnerable are Canadian Companies to Cyber Attacks?
Did you know that more than one-fifth of Canadian companies were hit by cyber attacks in 2017, according to Statistics Canada? Everybody has a question. Are you curious about how Wilfrid Laurier University’s Master of Computer Science degree helps develop skills that can help you define the future of programming? Get in touch with us today so we can answer your questions!
However, despite the seemingly endless variety of applications available, network security and software reliability are still a matter of concern for many computer experts. Wilfrid Laurier University’s online Master of Computer Science program, the only online program of its kind in Canada, aims at helping IT professionals stay abreast of the current threat landscape and latest cybersecurity trends. In this article, we review what cybersecurity is and look at different ways of improving network security and software reliability.
"Cybercrime damges are anticipated to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. This projection calls for the need to deploy effective security strategies and systems that reduce vulnerabilities through real-time detection of malicious acitivites on digital devices."
What is Cybersecurity and why is it Important?
Cybersecurity, a superset of network security and reliability software engineering, is a vast concept to cover in a single article. Generally speaking, cybersecurity is a practice of protecting computers, networks, programs and information from unauthorized access, intrusions, attacks, theft or damages.
Cybercrime has become one of the most critical concerns for organizations today because it can irreparably damage the entire continuity of a business. According to a 2016 report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime damages are anticipated to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. This projection calls for the need to deploy effective security strategies and systems that reduce vulnerabilities through real-time detection of malicious activities on digital devices.
Since cyberspace and the associated threats are evolving rapidly, both government and private institutions are on the lookout for talented individuals who possess in-depth knowledge in this domain. As a computer science professional, you can deepen your understanding of the subject by enrolling in the online Master of Computer Science program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Lauriers MSc program is designed to foster and strengthen the skills of IT professionals through advanced real-world insights in an effective online learning environment -- and you can study at your own pace on your own schedule.
Ways to Improve Network Security
Perform Network Auditing and Mapping Regularly
It is important to have a clear understanding of the entire network infrastructure before you begin implementing any network security measures. For example, you should know about the basic configuration of firewalls, switches, routers, wireless access points and ethernet cabling and ports. Moreover, you should be aware of what computers, servers, printers and other devices are connected to the network, where they are connected and what are their connectivity paths throughout the network. This auditing and mapping will help you identify security vulnerabilities and network loopholes that need to be fixed.
Keep the Network Up-to-Date
Check for firmware or software updates on all network infrastructure components regularly to protect the network from all the latest security threats. Make sure the operating system and drivers are up-to-date, the antivirus is updated and running, passwords are set and firewalls are active. Ensure default passwords have been replaced with stronger passwords. Don’t forget to review the settings for any insecure configuration, otherwise, it can put your network security at risk.
Enable 802.1x Authentication
There were times when WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK network security key was considered the only beneficial security mechanism you could put in place for user authentication. However, it required a shared password for all users to access the network. The 802.1x authentication solved the problems around personal-level password or port security network protocols by allowing user authentication, irrespective of the device. The ability of 802.1x authentication to dynamically assign users to VLANs further sets it apart.
Ways to Improve Software Reliability
Keep it Simple
You can reduce the possibility of failures to a great extent by keeping the software design path and construction simple. Code complexity has the potential to add layers of problems. Before implementation, be sure to identify code that is overly complex and look for ways to make it simpler.
Test for Reliability
Software reliability engineering (SRE) is a discipline that focuses on certain techniques to predict the reliability of software systems. It checks the ability of a component or system to perform at a specific instant or interval of time. Software reliability engineering also emphasizes the aspect that failure data should be properly measured by various means during phases of software development. This gives you a better chance of finding and fixing software problems before they occur.
Be Prepared for Failures
No matter how hard you try, failures will happen. One thing you can do to ensure software reliability is to make sure that your design has the capability to handle failures. Identify all the potential loopholes and look for ways to reduce the risk. Understand how the software performs during worst-case scenarios and implement measures to prevent it or recover.
Wilfrid Laurier University’s online Master of Computer Science program focuses on helping computer professionals identify potential causes of software failures and devise a solution to reduce the risk through real-world programming skills.
Want to improve your skills and abilities as a computer science professional? Learn why Canada’s most in-demand degree is a master’s in computer science.