What are the Different Types of Computer Security?

September 7, 2020 • April Miller

Computer security is an essential part of modern life, in both home and work. Despite it being such a widespread, everyday practice, you may not know all that much about it. For instance, did you know that there are different types of computer security?

Just like there are various kinds of threats to computer systems, there are several types of computer security to combat them. Here are a few major categories you should know.

1. Application Security

Instead of protecting an entire computer or network, application security focuses on individual apps. It’s the process of developing security features within software that a company uses. A lot of this takes place when they design the application, but it applies to finding and fixing future vulnerabilities too.

Application security often involves things like:

  • Authorization, or what the software can access
  • Input validation, or making sure any information is coming from the user, not someone or something else
  • Encryption
  • Sandboxing, or isolating software so that any failures don’t affect the whole system

2. Network Security

Network security is a much broader category, dealing with securing an entire computer network. It covers both hardware and software, and usually involves several layers of defense. The goal of network security is to prevent unauthorized access into a network, especially malicious access attempts.

When you think about cybersecurity in the workplace, you probably think of network security. It includes:

  • Firewalls
  • Antivirus software
  • Monitoring internet use
  • End-to-end encryption

Network security is so broad, you may see people file other types of computer security under it as well.

3. Endpoint Security

Endpoint security is similar to network security but focuses on the devices within a network. Instead of looking for threats coming from the network, it looks at those coming from connected computers and phones. A lot of endpoint security is making sure people use their devices properly.

Endpoint security involves things like:

  • Privileged user control
  • Intrusion detection
  • Disc and email encryption
  • Insider threat protection

Teaching employees to use company devices safely is a big part of endpoint security. Businesses can avoid a lot of endpoint threats by holding regular, thorough security training.

4. Internet Security

Internet security is one of the most common types of computer security, especially in today’s world. As you might’ve guessed, it deals with threats coming from the internet, like hackers or denial-of-service attacks. When many people say “cybersecurity,” they’re specifically referring to this category.

Internet security should be a top concern for individuals, not just companies. More than a third of consumers have been hacked, and 14% of people have been hacked more than once. 

Internet security involves:

  • Website encryption
  • Spam email filters
  • Multi-factor authentication

5. Cloud Security

Cloud security is a relatively new type of computer security, given how recent the trend of cloud adoption is. As the name tells you, cloud security revolves around securing anything on the cloud. This is a specific kind of internet security, but it’s prominent enough to have its own category.

This type of security includes:

  • Cloud-native protection systems
  • Cloud network monitoring
  • User identity verification
  • Advanced encryption practices

Cloud computing generates more than $250 billion a year, so this type of security is becoming more critical. As more people move their work to the cloud, securing the cloud becomes a more pressing concern.

All Types of Computer Security Are Crucial

Computer security is a vast category because computers play so many roles in modern life. Computers and their networks have a lot of variety, but nearly all types are essential today. As a result, computer security contains many sub-categories, but all of them are important.

Knowing the various types of computer security can help you know how you can protect yourself. No matter what you use, there’s a security option out there for you.

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