Network Security, its Components and Treats
As modern networks have continued to grow and as more and more networks have been connected to the public Internet, the threats to the integrity and privacy of a company’s networks have also grown. The attacks that are made on a network are increasingly more complex and pervasive, and the tools used for such purposes are easy to acquire. In such case Network security helps to protect a network from threats to its integrity.
A network security plan should be as comprehensive as possible. This not only includes physical aspects, such as locating your servers in a secure room, use of fault tolerance and power protection, but also includes all the steps taken to protect the data on your network.
Network security is accomplished through hardware and software. The software must be constantly updated and managed to protect you from emerging threats.
A network security system usually consists of many components. Ideally, all components work together, which minimizes maintenance and improves security.
Network security components include:
1. Anti-virus and anti-spyware
2. Firewall, to block unauthorized access to your network
3. Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), to identify fast-spreading threats, such as zero-day or zero-hour attacks
4. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), to provide secure remote access
With network security in place, a company will experience many business benefits. It is protected against business disruption, which helps keep employees productive. Network security helps your company meet mandatory regulatory compliance. Because network security helps protect your customers’ data, it reduces the risk of legal action from data theft.
Appropriate network security is achieved when a user has to go through several layers of security before being able to access the desired network. The more layers the system has, the more secure it is. The systems administrator is often in charge of network security since he has administrator privileges on the system.
Threats to network security include:
Viruses: Computer programs written by devious programmers and designed to replicate themselves and infect computers when triggered by a specific event.
Trojan horse programs: Delivery vehicles for destructive code, which appear to be harmless or useful software programs such as games.
Vandals: Software applications or applets that cause destruction
Attacks: Reconnaissance which prevent access to part or all of a computer system.
Data interception: Involves eavesdropping on communications or altering data packets being transmitted.
Social engineering: Obtaining confidential network security through technical support person and asking for people’s passwords.
Network security involves all activities that organizations, enterprises, and institutions undertake to protect the value and ongoing usability of assets and the integrity and continuity of operations. An effective network security strategy requires identifying threats and then choosing the most effective set of tools to combat them.
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