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A computer threat is a possibility of danger that might harm the vulnerability of a computer system and breach the security to cause damage. It can have an intentional cause like hacking or an accidental cause of natural disaster or computer malfunction. ISO 27005 states that a threat is a potential cause of incidents that may harm an organization or a system. The NIST describes the term as – “Any circumstance or event with the potential to adversely impact organizational operations (including mission, functions, image, or reputation), organizational assets, or individuals through an information system via unauthorized access, destruction, disclosure, modification of information, and/or denial of service. Also, the potential for a threat-source to successfully exploit a particular information system vulnerability.”

Types of security threats

  • Computer virus threat is probably the most well-known security threat where a computer virus in form of a computer program is written to change the way a computer operates without the permission of the owner or main user. A computer virus generally executes all by itself and repeats the process.

  • A spyware threat is one of the most harmful security threats that monitors the online activities of a user and sometimes installs a program without letting the user/owner know. It is usually for the profit of the spyware installer or to gather valuable personal information about the user.

  • Hackers are the programmers who make threatening programs to victimize the users by breaking into computer systems to steal or change or destroy information. Hacking is a form of cyber-terrorism and has strict penalties by the government.

  • Phishing scammers usually show themselves as trustworthy sources or businesses and try to steal sensitive financial and personal information through sham messages or emails.

 

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