The main difference between protection and security is that the protection focuses on internal threats in a computer system while security focuses on external threats to a computer system.
An operating system provides a mechanism to prevent interference with logical and physical resources. Protection and security are two of them. Although these two words are used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between protection and security. Protection involves guarding the user’s programs and data by interference from other authorized users of the system. On the other hand, security involves guarding the user’s programs and data against interference by external entities such as unauthorized users of other systems.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Protection
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is Security
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the Difference Between Protection and Security
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Protection
Protection deals with the internal threats of the system. Assume an example as follows. There are four users in a computer system. They are u1, u2, u3, and u4. There are two resources called r1 and r2. The user u1 and u2 can only access r1 resource. The user u3 and u4 can only access r2 resource. If the user u3 tries to access resource r1, that user is prevented from accessing that resource. Protection technique handles these internal threats.
There are multiple advantages of protection. It allows safe sharing of a common logical address space or common physical address space. Considering the logical address space, if there is a directory of files that has to be shared among multiple users, the protection techniques help to accomplish safe sharing. Considering the physical address space, multiple users can have access to the memory. Furthermore, it also provides fair and reliable resource usage.
What is Security
Security deals with the external threats to the computer system. Assume that there is an external user called x who is from some other computer. This user is trying to access the resources r1 and r2. Since r1 and r2 are internal resources, the external user is prevented from accessing them. Security techniques handle these external threats.
Security is defined by three attributes: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Confidentiality is the prevention of unauthorized modification of information and resources. Integrity is the prevention of unauthorized users. Availability is the prevention of unauthorized withholding of information or resources.
The external threats can be of two types as direct threats and indirect threats. A direct threat is an attack on the system from a hacker or a disgruntled insider. An indirect threat is a random attack such as a computer virus, worm, Trojan horse, etc.
Difference Between Protection and Security
Protection is a method used in operating systems that manages threats within the system to maintain the proper functioning of the system. Security is a method used in operating systems that handles the threats from outside of the system to maintain the proper functioning of the system. This constitutes the basic difference between protection and security.
The main difference between protection and security is that while protection focuses on internal threats of the system, security focuses on external threats to the system.
Protection provides a mechanism for controlling the access to programs, processes, and user resources. Security provides a mechanism to safeguard the system resources and user resources from external users.
Another difference between protection and security is their policy. Protection policy specifies whether a user can access a specific resource. The owner of the resource performs this function when creating it. Security policy specifies whether a person can become a user of the system. It is performed by the system administrator.
Furthermore, protection involves mechanisms such as setting or changing protection information of a resource and checking whether that resource is accessible by a user. Security involves mechanisms such as adding, deleting users, verifying whether a specific user is authorized, using anti-malware software, etc.
There is a distinct difference between protection and security even though these two words are used interchangeably, The difference between protection and security is that protection focuses on internal threats in a computer system while Security focuses on external threats of a computer system.
1. Protection & Security Introduction | Goals of Protection | Domains of Protection, Easy Engineering Classes, 4 Apr. 2017, Available here.
2. Protection and Security in OS, Ignousocis, 15 Oct. 2008, Available here.
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