This is from an actual question I fielded as Antibotnet alternate Yahoo ID at yahoo Answers > Security….
Information security – threat? In information security what do we call a “threat” exactly? Hacker? or action itself aka eavesdropping/ system intrusion? Kinda confused about the concept http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130420123253AAJSqc2
MY ANSWER AS ANTIBOTNET YAHOO id (ALTERNATE id)
Best Answer – Chosen by Asker
Not sure if you mean general average user or actual IT Security ? The term threat to the average user computer is several fold.
Threat generally means malware such as a computer virus, worm, trojan, spyware etc. Malware can pose a threat to the actual operating system (Windows etc) as destrutive to the system and even hardware. It can destroy the operating system rendering it inoperable via corruption of files and/or actual deletion of system files such as by a worm.
Threats by spyware are generally referring to comprimising personal information generally always meaning financial information such as account numbers and pins etc that might be stored by a user in a document or text file etc. Another spyware category threat as “keylogger” can record everything being typed such as purchases online etc. Threat here means ultimately as an attempt as ID Theft, but also includes like personal photos and media etc that can be copied and transmitted in stealth from the infected unprotected computer. As well these threats to information includes all email contacts and any information there as a phone number, address, etc. – such as copy/transmitting these via spyware or even some viruses from the Contacts/Address Book information stored in the computer email programs contacts area. When you consider a broad term as “Social Engineering” you can place together additional areas of crime as stalking etc outside the computer system and worldwide web – robberies, kidnaps, and worst – due to threats to information or “data” stored in the computer.
Quality antimalware installed on the computer prevents these.
Threats also mean hackers trying to break into and take over a computer, and an acute looming threat if there is no personal software firewall installed.
Threat may also refer to security holes in the operating system and/or other softwares installed. These get patch/fix/update/upgrade through as example Windows Updates or similar in other operating systems as Linux, Apple/Mac etc.
It is on the enterprise corporate level in IT Security that refers to computer security for Home/Small Businesses all the way up to major companies/corporations etc. These are hired to address computing security for businesses against malware threats and much more. Computer forensics is an additional add-on or hired outside the/for the firm.
Biometrics security refers generally to physical type preventions as voice and retina and fingerprint recognition etc. to even gain entry into like a security firm as a major antivirus company as example. These too may include similar to even access a company computer. Threats to these areas are another area other than malware and an up to date fully patched computer.
SEE Zero Day threats…. also:
List of threats to PCs…. http://bluecollarpc.us/threats-faqs/