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An overview of network security fundamentals, security threats and issues





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An overview of network security fundamentals, security threats and issues
As cybercrime increases, network security has become of primary concern to most companies. Cybercriminals or even former employees can harm a company’s data confidentiality by bringing down its computer network. Network security involves procedures, software, hardware and policies designed to protect the company’s computer system. The software and hardware components of the network security consist of multiple levels which guard the company’s computer system against damage.

Five basic security fundamentals are critical to government regulation compliance, downtime prevention and reduced liability:

 Updates current and keep patches
Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in web browsers, browser plugins, operating system, and software applications when system administrators are not keen about updates and applying patches.

A company’s computers must use current versions of the best and popular programs such as Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft internet explorer, java, Oracle, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat and Reader. A catalogue should be maintained to ensure that each device is updated regularly and timely, including the mobile devices and network hardware. It is essential to have automatic updating in Windows and apple computers.

 Strong passwords
Often users are not aware of the danger of writing passwords on post-it notes and plastering them on their screens. Passwords must be secured. To make them reliable, they should have at least six characters,a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols.

For highly secure passwords; avoid proper nouns, foreign or words from a dictionary. Numbers should be avoided as passwords as they are easy to detect using the user’s mail. Also to be avoided is anything relating to one’s nickname, name or pet. One should choose a phrase that has meaning to oneself; some numbers and the first letter of each word can be used and made into something meaningful. Passwords should be changed regularly, every 90 days at most.

 Secured VPN
For secured VPN; data encryption and identity authentication are two essential features. An open network is vulnerable and can easily be exploited by hackers, especially when data is travelling over the internet. VPN and server software documentation are to be reviewed to ensure the most robust protocols for encryption and authentication are in use.

Multi-factor authentication is appropriate for a more secure method of identity authentication. Creating additional steps for identity authentication increases security. For example, users can be required to enter any random code generated by authenticator every 1 minute or PIN, with a password. Also, to separate VPN network from other networks, Firewall can be used. Instead of using a VPN, more tips like cloud-based file sharing and email should be utilized. Policies on users’ access must be created and enforced. Access by employees, business partners or contractors should be controlled and restricted.

It is vital to train employees should on how to secure their wireless home networks. The company’s system can be harmed by any malicious software that attacks their home network through an open connection of VPN. Before giving mobile devices access to the system, it is crucial to ensure they have a Firewall, spam filters and anti-virus software.

 Security threats and issues
Excess access privileges of internal data can present a danger to the company. It can happen when someone with privileged access rights in the company quits or where system administrators who have full access to servers go against the company.
Social engineering: social engineering is being done on the social network and is no longer limited to the phone. Information shared on the social network can become the weak link a scammer requires for information.

Third party employees could have unencrypted data access. Occasionally, companies own negligence is the reason for such threats. As cloud servicing has no transparency in services, it is not reliable for ensuring adequate security measures. Attackers may have employed fake certificates in attacks. Surveillance, tampering and theft can be done by one.
Political hacking: Politically motivated hacking is on the increase. Appropriate steps should be taken to prevent this. Policies must be defined and clarified to avoid misuse.

 Network security recommendations
Network security consists of VPNs and Firewall: Firewall is software or hardware based security of security that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It is the wall between a trusted and secures the network and other networks that may not be secure.
Software based firewalls are employed by many operating systems of personal computers to guard against threats. Firewall can also help in communication between 2 routers.

A VPN is made by establishing a virtual point to point link with the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols and traffic encryption. VPN securely links all offices of an organization that are geographically separated. VPN can also be utilized by people to secure their location and identity.

Firewall can work in multiple ways to boost the network security of a company. Usually, sophisticated firewalls are employed by large organizations to ensure that their vast networks are secured. Firewalls are configured such that anything confidential or sensitive can not be sent, and work in various ways to increase security.

Large corporations have very sophisticated firewalls to protect their vast networks. IT professionals can configure Firewall in many ways to enhance security. With the Firewall in a place, external computers cannot access the secured network. Firewall can also be deployed to block some sites or content on a computer.

Comodo Firewall is a popular and recommended firewall. It provides features such as advanced Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) that prevent critical system resource changes. It can be adjusted to meet one’s needs.

In remote locations, the company should use a VPN to create a secure connection to a private network over the public system. With VPN, voice, video and data can be transmitted via a secured network channel from host to client device. VPN technology utilizes features such as tunneling protocols, data encapsulation and certified connections that are used to secure identity.

VPN offers all benefits of Local Area Network (LAN) without using a hardwired connection. Using VPN protects communication and provides privacy to clients, security to browsing sessions, and access to sites or content can be blocked.





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