Computer network security refers to the policies, practices and procedures adopted to detect, avoid and protect unauthorized access, malicious modification, access and abuse of a computer network and its associated resources. In order for information to be secure in a computer network, a strong firewall is a prerequisite. A packet filter is a simple device used to filter network packets before passing them on to the rest of the network. There are many types of firewalls available in the market including IP, SSL, VPN, L2TP and ASymmetric (shared) VPN.
Wide Area Networks or WANs use a central server to control the Internet connection. The Internet service providers or ISP’s filter messages that are sent and received by clients. They can either use content filtering or content assurance mechanisms to block certain words or phrases from being transmitted over the network. Some ISPs use their own content filtering equipment called routers while others use what is known as a ‘hosting router’. A ‘gateway’ connects the client computers to the ISP’s WAN through these routers.
The computer network security includes the installation of anti-virus, spyware and firewalls on the PCs and other devices. Passwords for the administrative control panel of the system are also used. These control panels usually include the Windows operating system and are configured with password codes that need to be protected. Another feature that needs to be enabled is the ‘HTTPD’ or Hypertext Transfer Protocol server. This enables secure data encryption and the transfer of sensitive personal data.
Achieving Computer Network Security
Another aspect of computer network security is physical security. Physical security involves various levels of security measures. The most basic physical security would be Hardened security hardware such as routers and switches. Modern routers and switches are very expensive and have limited capabilities. For instance, a router that is used for communication between two offices could be secured using physical security measures, but it would not be able to protect confidential information.
Digital communication networks have additional challenges. For digital communication networks, passwords need to be protected and controlled. Passwords are usually an eight-digit code that allows authorized users to access a computer network. However, it is very easy to create a password that allows any user to access all files and folders in a computer network. There are many software programs that can be easily used for creating passwords and digital communication networks are often vulnerable to the attack of ‘aptware’.
Tracing and monitoring attacks on computer networks help administrators find the cause of the intrusion and take steps to stop them. Identification of the attacking computer system is important. Security measures include controlling the distribution of the confidential documents and preventing the unauthorized creation, copying, dissemination and use of such documents. Other important features of this include controlling the attack on the system, protecting against spoofing, blocking malicious email, scanning networks for security flaws and performing proactive security monitoring.
Computer systems that are using the Internet for business purposes are highly susceptible to data loss due to hacking. Therefore, Internet security must be improved to make the system more secure. Companies must provide firewall protection along with anti-phishing and anti-virus programs. Some companies may also want to use intrusion detection systems to detect any hacking attempts and stop them before they succeed.
Hacking attacks are only one of the major threats to a company’s data. Corporate databases and files can be stolen through malicious activity such as viruses, spyware, worms and Trojan horses. An intruder can also expose company data through a data loss, hackers or malware. Hacking is a serious threat to a company’s confidential information because it can lead to legal liability. Computer network security helps prevent intrusion attacks and data loss so that confidential company data is maintained safe at all times.