Network security is as important as securing your own home. Since the online businesses are in hype these days, one can find multiple networks all around us, as large or small businesses all rely on their computer network to keep running smooth. Network security is not as easy an issue as it sounds. There are many technicalities involved especially when your network is the backbone of your business. Increasing the number of networks brings with it new and lethal security threats. Since all the important information circulates through your network, thus the network security is of paramount importance.
Network Security in General
Network security means any measure taken to ensure that the network is secure and it is not vulnerable to different types of cyber attacks. Efficacious network security includes measures taken to help protect your network from various security threats that can spy on your network or worse, can take over the whole network. It is important to understand all the major threats that are possibly out there that can infest your network and the protective measures that can be taken against them.
Common Network Security threats
Networks can be vulnerable to numerous attacks that can inflict damage in one way or the other. The common threats include:
- Complete Unauthorized access
- Data theft
- Spywares and viruses
- Denial-of-service attack
These types of attack can potentially infer large amounts of damage and losses if not taken into consideration. Here is some explanation of each above-mentioned attack.
Complete Unauthorized Access
As the name suggests, attackers can gain complete access to a system and can easily control and modify any information to their will. This can be very lethal, as the attacker would have all the privileges to that system.
Here the attacker might not have full control of the network, but can read or modify some of the information and use it to inflict some sort of damage to the owner.
Spyware and Viruses
These are certain programs that are specifically designed to get into the system and modify or keep track of the information that is circulating the network without the attacker having direct access to your system. These programs have the ability to multiply once getting access to a computer system. Spyware and viruses are the most common form of internet threats and can be dealt with easily, but if proper security measures are not taken then spyware and viruses can cause a considerable amount of damage.
This may affect the proper functionality of your network. This can interrupt the services that are intended for the authorized user and can give attacker an opportunity for further future intrusions. In this sort of attack, unwanted traffic can be directed towards a network to divert the attention of the authorized users so that the attacker can carry out other disruptions. The symptoms of these sort of attacks can be a very slow network or availability of unwanted content.
There few types of spoofing including IP address spoofing and Email Spoofing. Through IP spoofing a fake IP address is created and thus access is gained to a network as the network system might confuse the fake ID address with an authorized IP Address. Similarly, Email spoofing involves the creation of email messages with a fake email address that is an impersonation of someone else. Again, this sort of method can be used to expose a system to further intrusions in the future.
Spamming involves sending out a large number of unwanted emails or messages. These emails might not be potentially dangerous in some situations but other times these emails can contain spyware or viruses attached.
Protection against Network threats
There are a number of ways to protect the network from security threats. It requires certain hardware and software for a network security system to be effective and there should always be a backup so that if one security system fails to work the backup would start providing protection. In this way, your network would not become vulnerable to attacks even for a short period.
Effective Protective measures include:
- Antivirus and Anti spyware programs
- Restricting physical access to the server
- Strong Firewalls
Here is some explanation on the above-mentioned ways to protect your system.
Antivirus and Anti spyware programs
These are programs especially created to detect and delete viruses and spyware from a system. However, it is important to keep these programs updated to the latest version to help protect the network from newer forms of viruses and spyware.
Restricting physical access to the server
Server is the backbone of a network and controls the whole network. It is indispensable to restrict physical access to the server. Biometrics systems that involve finger print and eye scans can be used to ensure only the authorized personnel gains physical access to the server.
Firewalls monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic in network. It is essential to have sophisticated firewalls installed to protect the network from intrusions.
The importance of Network Security for any organization
It is quite clear that only a network that is secure will help any business and organization to flourish and to avoid the confidential information being leaked out and the losses that some network users face due to inadequate network security.
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