Network Security Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

networking and TCP/IP and internetworking. Also discussed are risk management, network threats, firewalls, and also more special purpose network devices. The paper will provide a better insight on the general aspects of security and also get a better understanding of how to be able to reduce and manage risk personally at the workplace and at home.

In today's world, the Computer has become a common feature in any organization anywhere in the world. This may be due to the fact that a computer can be accessed by anybody who knows how to handle it and also because it can store a lot of information both confidential and general. A computer is connected through a physical network that allows a person or many persons to share any information necessary. (Conceptual Overview of Network Security) Though network security in Information Technology is an issue that has been discussed endlessly, implementation has definitely taken a back seat in this part of the world. There is a lot of discussion on how an unauthorized stranger can access a persons emails and files; on how the management of a company has a need to keep track of employee activities through the monitoring of the network but the fact remains that there is great fear of a virus infection and not every company has done anything regarding network security for the protection of the company. The action, if any, is taken as a reaction to a threat of a virus attack, since viruses are extremely common in these parts of the world. The companies involved keep not even records of such attacks. Hackers have been known to take over persons or a company's bank accounts or even stealing database from its database server that is the sole property of the company. This proves that it is better to be prepared in the event of such an attack. (Network Security - a functional approach)

Body of the Paper

Networks among computers are generally made to share resources such as printers, folders, etc., and within an organization, networks are used for more efficient cooperation between the various departments by the use of e-mail, instant messaging, etc. A local area network can make available folders and other documents to any user on the other side, through a server. In fact, any number of users can avail a single printer; the printer can be shared from one computer on the network and users can print their work without even having to rise from their seats and walking to the computer. (Network Security - a functional approach) The fact is that though they have to get up to collect their printouts, they do not have to copy their work onto a diskette and then carry it to the printer and than get their work done. This type of extra work can easily be avoided in this day. In other words, computer networks make operations easier; communications easier, cut down on expenses and dramatically improve productivity. But all this improvement does not come without a hitch! It entails an increased security risk and the need for definitive measures to be taken to combat this risk. (Network Security - a functional approach)

However, the only problem that may arise is that the information must be accessible to the person for whom it is intended. Anyone who gains access to information from the computer can read and modify it very easily. This is where computer security is needed. Computer security prevents unauthorized persons from gaining illegal access to information that has been stored on the computer while network security protects any one from retrieving information being transmitted through the network. (Conceptual Overview of Network Security)

In the past, network security was considered as a very complicated subject that was handled only by experts in the field. But as more individuals got themselves accustomed to the using of the network, it became essential that they all have a basic knowledge of networking. A network can be defined as a set of interlinking lines that was similar to the net, like a network of roads or an interconnected system or a network of alliances. It is important that to understand the various principles of network security that we have a basic knowledge of computer networks. In the last twenty five years odd, a lot of different kinds of networks and network protocols have been made distinct, out of these the emphasis to be laid upon in this summary is that of two networks, that are both used in public networks. (Introduction to Network Security)

Any individual to connect to these networks and also they can use these networks to connect to their host computers together without actually connecting to the public network system. These different types of network providers use different methods to provide their network support. The UUCP or the Unix -to Unix Copy was first introduced to connect Unix hosts together. But since then it has also been used to connect various other architectures also like PCs, Macs, Amigas, AppleIIs, VMS hosts, and a lot of other architectures. After UCCP there have also been many other principles too that have been developed, and these entire support batch oriented systems. In this system of networking, all the processes are added on to a queue and are executed one after another at a specified time. (Introduction to Network Security)

The Internet can be considered as the world's largest network of numerous networks. The actual fact about the Internet is that when we actually try to connect to the Internet we are not really accessing the Internet but connecting to a network that is eventually connected to the Internet backbone that is a network of extremely fast network components. The Internet is actually a network of networks and not a network of hosts. A very simple and concise network can be assembled using the same protocols without actually connecting it to anything else. There are a number of networks that are actually connected on a backbone that is a network of all networks. This backbone is then connected to various other networks, out of which one of them is connected to the Internet Service Provider or the ISP that has a backbone that is in turn connected to other networks out of which one of them is the Internet backbone. The TCP/IP or the Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is actually the language of the Internet. In the sense anything that can operate on the TCP/IP can work on the Internet. (Introduction to Network Security)

The actual way that the Network and the Transport layers in the ISO/OSI reference model works is that IP has a lot of important features that actually makes it a very tough and accommodating protocol. While talking about the security of IP or the lack of it, we realize that it is actually possible to attack the IP in numerous ways. Most frequently this is because of the fact that the IP does not really execute a tough mechanism for authentication. In such a network if a packet claims to have originated from a particular address there would be no proof to prove it otherwise or to make sure that what is being put forth is the truth. Though this may not counted as a back lag but at the same time it is a weakness in the model that indicates that it is essential that we bring about a high layer of authentication in the ISO/OSI model. In most application these days where such an authentication is required like in the cryptographic application this is performed in the application layer. (Introduction to Network Security) computer virus is one security risk that attacks a computer easily. A virus can disturb a network and even corrupt it beyond repair. It is amazing that people actually put in a lot of time and effort into attacking or rather, hacking, as it is called. Such people even create software or hardware for such illegal purposes. This fact emphasizes the importance of computer security that can control such activities to a certain extent. The various methods employed by these hackers are outlined as follows: some of the important networks are Ethernet 1, Wireless, and CATV. Some networks use links to broadcast by nature wherein a lot of other people can access what is being transmitted; if the link is actually point to point, the invader can still attack. This is where encryption comes in. This is a method whereby the information sent from person A to person B. could remain confidential; it is called confidentiality. (Conceptual Overview of Network Security)

But the crux of the problem is, how can person A be sure that he is, in fact, communicating with person B. A person, C, could be accessing information from A or B. pretending to be one or the other. He could communicate with A using the IP address of B. this is called IP spoofing. This means that person A and person B. have…

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