Network Security

Network Security

In this tutorial, you are going to learn about Network Security, methods to achieve it and terms related to network security.

Network Security

First of all talking about network, it is a collection of computers/devices also known as nodes which are connected to each other in a certain pattern and can communicate with each other by following some set of rules.

Network Security is any set of action taken to protect the integrity of computer network from unauthorised access and risks as internet is an untrusted platform and any thing coming from it could be potentially dangerous. Network security refers to the set of technologies, policies, and procedures that are used to protect networks and devices from unauthorized access, misuse, and disruption. It is a critical aspect of modern information technology and is essential for protecting sensitive data and maintaining the availability and integrity of networked systems.

Network security is basically required to computer networks that are involved in the action of conducting business within the government, individuals or businesses. It is essential for these organisations regardless of their position in the market to protect them from ever growing environment of cyber threats or any kind of attempts.

Basics of Network Security

Protection : Proper configuration of network and system is must.

Detection : You must be able to recognise when some network traffic indicates a problem.

Response : After recognising the problem, you must quickly respond to them and return to a safe state as soon as possible.

Methods to Achieve Network Security

Network Security is achieved using both software and hardware technologies that performs the scrutinization.

  1. Firewall
  2. Intrusion detection systems (IDS)
  3. Virtual private network (VPN) gateways
  4. Antivirus and Anti-malware softwares

What is a firewall ?

As the name itself suggests, it acts as a barricade between the intranet (trusted network) and the internet ( untrusted network). They simply follow the rules made by the user to deny or permit the traffic at the border.  All communication between the intranet and the internet happens through this firewall.

How does a firewall work ?

Each firewall has an access control list as explained below-

  1. Every point in a firewall is called a rule.
  2. Each set of rule scutinizes the headers of the packet. The source and destination IP address, ports, etc. are inspected.
  3. The header information gets compared with each set of rule in the firewall.
  4. When a packet follows a specific rule then, the steps designated underneath that rule is applied.

What is IDS ?

Basically Intrusion Detection System (IDS) is referred to a physical hardware or a software application that is positioned at particular locations in the network. (Intrusion : when an unauthorised user logs on to a system.)

It further investigates the contents of packet header and if the outcome of the investigation indicates an intrusion, then a warning note/message is sent to the administrator.

What is a VPN ?

A virtual private network is an assistance that allows a user to associate to the internet through an encrypted passage to make sure that their online activities are private and their sensitive data is protected.

Benefits of using VPN :

  1. It enables the user to connect to an organization's network in a secure manner.
  2. Hides the IP address of the user.
  3. It protects the user from the untrustworthy public Wi-Fi networks.

What is Antivirus and Anti-Malware Softwares ?

Antivirus and Anti-Malware Softwares tend to protect an organisation or an individual from a wide line-up of mischievous softwares which may comprise of viruses, trojans and ransomwares.

Different Aspects of Network Security

One of the main components of network security is the use of firewalls, which are devices or software programs that act as a barrier between a network and the internet. Firewalls can be configured to allow or deny traffic based on specific rules and criteria, such as IP addresses, ports, and protocols. This allows organizations to control who can access their networks and what types of traffic are allowed.

Another important aspect of network security is access control. Access control is the process of granting or denying access to network resources based on predefined policies and rules. This can include things like user authentication and authorization, as well as methods for controlling and monitoring user activity.

Encryption is also a key aspect of network security. Encryption is the process of converting data into a code so that it can only be read by someone with the appropriate decryption key. This is used to protect sensitive data, such as financial transactions and personal information, from being intercepted and read by unauthorized parties.

Another important aspect of network security is vulnerability management. This involves identifying, assessing, and managing known vulnerabilities in software and systems. Organizations use vulnerability scanning tools to scan their networks and identify potential vulnerabilities, and then take steps to remediate these vulnerabilities by patching, upgrading or configuring systems.

One of the most critical security issues is to protect against malware, which is malicious software designed to damage or disrupt a computer system or network. Malware can take many forms, such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware, and can spread rapidly through networks, causing widespread damage. To prevent malware attacks, organizations need to use robust anti-malware software, keep their systems and software up to date with the latest patches and updates, and educate employees about safe browsing and email practices.

Finally, incident response and disaster recovery are critical elements of network security. Incident response is the process of identifying, responding, and mitigating security incidents when they occur. Disaster recovery is the process of restoring a network to full operation after a disaster, such as a natural disaster or cyberattack. Organizations should have detailed incident response and disaster recovery plans in place to minimize the impact of a security incident or disaster.

This tutorial on Network Security is contributed Ayush Mathur (BCA, Sharda University). If you like TheCode11, then do follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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