The Need for Network Security
Network security is an increasing phenomenon that is used to combat the increasing threat of attacks on the private information being transferred and stored on the internet. The need for network security has increased due to the increase in the traffic on the internet, the rapidly advancing technology available to everyone at low costs, and the high skill and orientation of the people in the market about information technology, LANs, and WANs.
Network security is required to manage the compliance issues a company may have with the government for the industry. Aside from this, network security is also required for controlling malware, controlling the guest access to the systems and the network, controlling the endpoints by scanning all the devices that are connected to the network for identifying if there is any unauthorized device infringing upon the network.
Moreover, remote access also needs to be managed so that no other parties aside from the authorized users can have access to the networks. The main objective being implementing network security is to protect sensitive and private information for outsiders as well as insider threats. Therefore the focus of the network security should be more upon the protection of the data being stored on the network, and the data being transferred through the network, instead of simply protecting the network architecture. “Such marketing measures should come from IT security staff, based on the views given by speakers at the Forrester Research Security Conference.
According to Claudia Nadenson, chief information security officer of Diageo, the parent company for alcoholic beverages, security is such an important issue, and thus, the company has sophisticated, internal marketing videos to promote data security.” (Green, 2006) For this audit, patch processes can be employed and the existing investments in the field of information technology can be geared for network management and security. Moreover, by investing in network security it is also possible to save up on costs related to loss of data in the incident of hacking of the network and protectionism against public lawsuits filed b customers and stakeholders for not safeguarding private data.
The Importance of Focusing on Network Security
Network security is highly important for people who use the network at home, for business, and the network that is using din corporations. This is because of identity theft on the internet through the illegal access of personal identification and credit card information on the internet. The impact of such fraud and illegal activity on the net can drive the corporations as well as the people using the network at home and for the business to face heavy setbacks in terms of financial loss.
Aside from this the hackers and pranksters on the internet are increasingly becoming a nuance. They can release viruses of such nature that make the recovering of information as well as the hardware connected to the internet virtually impossible in some cases in the event of a virus attack. Virus attacks are possible when a person is simply browsing the interest, or downloading information, or media from the internet onto their personal computers.
Even emails and websites can be used to launch spyware that infringes the privacy of the people. Emails with attachments from unknown people are one of the main sources of viruses. Additionally, junk mail is also a form of personal space infringement whereby third parties send spam mail to the people relevant to their target market.
The network in any business is as strong as its weakest link, therefore the network administrator needs to manage the security of the internet at all points of connection and access that are feasible. A string approach towards network security in a company or a business can result in a competitive advantage for the company in terms of better safeguarding of the data and the resources of the company. “Limiting access to its business records and files is important for any company. Limiting access to a real-time, mission-critical computer and communications activities is paramount to the continued safe and secure operation of the world’s electricity grids.” (Newton, 1997)
The biggest challenge however is caused by the open nature of the internet where intruders can easily lurk on the internet and seek to steal private information like passwords and credit card information that can provide them with sources of illegal financial gain.
The Evolution of Network Security
The evolution of network security is highly dependent on the evolution of the network systems their increasing functions and characteristics as well as the evolution of the infringement and hacking strategies employed by the network attackers and invaders. The nature of the network has fast developed in the past three decades from being based on coaxial cable-like wiring to wireless and virtual private networks based on satellite communication and broadband lines. “The evolution of different wireless standards (known as 802.11 standards) in the late 1990s produced an astonishing volume of global demand for wireless networks.
Many organizations and residential computer users have embraced the convenience and mobility of the wireless networks.” (Vakil, 2005) However, the nature of the networks which makes them mobile and accessible from remote locations has made network security more difficult a task for the telecommunication network manager and administrator. Increasingly complex programs, software, and firewalls are required to protect such networks against unauthorized access
In the case of broadband lines, many people share the same medium of data transfer making it highly exposed to hackers. Similarly, the satellite-based communication that supports the wireless networks is open to third-party intruders who have the technical know-how of developing and demolishing firewalls. Businesses, especially those which share large public spaces with their private networks have put in protectionism policies and measures to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the sensitive data and controlling the network. “In retail stores, for instance, a WLAN network could be deployed in the storage room so the staff could use wireless devices to update the inventory.
The deployment would be limited to this room and would consist of two or three access points directly connected to the LAN in a distributed architecture. The management would be separated and the information exchanged wirelessly would not contain confidential information. Several vendors have introduced centralized architectures based on WLAN access points and a WLAN security switch” (Klassen 2004).
The Future of the Network Security
the future of network security lies not only with the trained professional in the telecommunication management field and the network administrators but also with the people who log on to the networks and unknowingly expose their private information to third parties intent on misusing the information. The current status of the lack of understanding about the operations of the networks on part of the users has resulted in the high levels of phishing and hacking taking place on the interment.
Complex and intelligent viruses can jump the firewalls and can be undetected by virus scanners, as a result, new evolutionary practices have to be adopted for establishing proper network security. “In general, the WLAN community has recognized that the need for a multi-faceted security model is needed to overcome both perceived and real threats to the data integrity of their customers’ businesses. Additionally, it has reacted by both focusing on a long-term solution centered around the 802.11i work and by innovative and timely delivered techniques, such as Rapid Re-keying, to deliver a broader and more effective toolset to the user community.
This focus on enhancing the options available and the quick reaction of the industry to security issues demonstrates that WLANs can not only be designed to match the threat profile of the environment but also that the focus on security as an integral element of WLAN technology has moved to the very core of the development of both the IEEE802.11 standards and the products being developed by the leading vendors.” (Roese, 2002)
The increasing dependency of the people on the internet for routine and daily tasks, as well as the increasing dependency of the business on the internet and network-based communication technology, has created a need for proactive and efficient network security management tools and practices.
Greene, T., (2006), IT staff needs to sell security, Network World, Vol. 23 Issue 35, p16-16, 0p. Web.
Klassen, K., (2004), Wireless security is evolving, Communications News, Vol. 41 Issue 11, p6-6. Web.
Newton, C., (1997), Don’t downplay the importance of T&D network security, Transmission & Distribution World, Vol. 49 Issue 12, p12, 1p, 1 bw. Web.
Roese, J., (2002), The future of WLAN security, Wireless Week, Vol. 8 Issue 38, p20, 0p. Web.
Vakil, F., (2005), Wireless Networks and Security Issues, Review of Business, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p10-12, 3p, 1 chart. Web.