Network Security Basics


What is network security?

Network security is the process of securing the network infrastructure from unauthorized access. Nowadays everyone relies on the internet to carry out personal and professional tasks, but have you stopped to think if your network is secure? Some people out there want to attack computers connected to the internet, therefore If you fail to take necessary steps to prevent this from happening, your privacy will be violated. Businesses use a network of computers to carry out day to day tasks, As a result, network security has become a main topic in cyber security resulting in implementing network security measures for businesses to perform their day to day tasks in a secure environment.

What is a network attack?

A network attack is a method used to maliciously attempt to compromise network security, Firstly let’s look at the types of network attacks.

  1. Active attacks
  2. Passive attacks

Active attacks

In an active attack, the attacker will try to change the data transferring over a network. For example: If you send a message to your friend via a network which is not secure, then there can be more people in this network, In other words You, your friend and the attacker. As a result, the Attacker has the ability to change the content in your message.

  • The original message – I want to meet you.
  • Edited message          – I don’t want to meet you.

Therefore, Active attacks are aggressive attacks.

Passive attacks

A passive attack involves the attacker monitoring the system without any affect to the system resources. For instance: You are sending a message to your friend through a network which is not secure against attacks, however, an attacker who is in the same network as you and your friend can see the message. If you send any sensitive information such as bank account details then the attacker can collect the information. Therefore, The purpose of a passive attack is to gain access to the system without detection.

Types of network security

There are a many components to a network security system so Let’s discuss about some of them.

  • Access control -> It’s important to block the unauthorized users and devices from accessing the network, Therefore only provide access only to the employee who is assigned to carry out network related tasks.
  • Application Security -> Application security is detecting vulnerabilities in software, hardware to ensure the security of your network.
  • Firewalls -> A firewall can be hardware, software or both. Firewall controls the traffic in a network, so It acts like a gatekeeper. As a result, A firewall can block unauthorized users from accessing the network.
  • Virtual private networks -> VPN can encrypt the connect from an endpoint to a network (The internet) so It creates a secure encrypted tunnel across the internet.
  • Behavioral Analytics -> IT executives who monitor the network behavior should know what normal behavior looks like since they should detect suspicious network behavior and take necessary actions to block attackers. They can use behavioral analytics tools to automatically analyze suspicious network behavior.
  • Wireless security -> Wireless networks are not secure, as a result Cybercriminals usually targets mobile devices, Therefore, You have to make sure which devices have access to the network.
  • Intrusion prevention systems -> These systems have the ability to scan network traffic and identify attacks, Additionally, the system has access to the databases of known attack techniques which is used to identify attacks.

These are the fundamentals of network security but Let’s dive deeper into this topic in another article.

References

1.Edureka. (2018). What is Network Security | Fundamentals of Network Security. [online] Available at: https://www.edureka.co/blog/what-is-network-security/#NetworkSecurity [Accessed 6 Mar. 2020].

2. www.guru99.com. (n.d.). Types of Computer Networks: LAN, MAN, WAN, VPN. [online] Available at: https://www.guru99.com/types-of-computer-network.html.

3.Comtact (n.d.). The causes of network downtime: What are they!? [online] www.comtact.co.uk. Available at: https://www.comtact.co.uk/blog/the-causes-of-network-downtime.

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Matt Parks

Matt Parks

About the Author: President & CEO, Matt has over 20 years building and leading high functioning teams
delivering exceptional results