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What is meant by network security?

Security is a thing of vital importance in every day’s life. One needs security in almost every pace of life and this holds good for networking too. Our lives are now so much involved with networking that we share a lot of personal info over the net for the various purposes such as social networking, business, online money transactions, e – mails and so on.
All this information if comes into wrong hands can cause us a great loss. This is why we need network security.

Importance of Network Security

– It secures our information over the network while it travels all over the world.
– It is not just one single concept rather it’s a mix of many policies and provisions that a network administrator adopts in order to monitor and prevent the unauthorized access, modification, misuse and denial of network services and its resources.
– Authorization of data access in a network forms an important part of the network security.
– This authorizing activity is controlled by the administrator of that network.
– Users either choose themselves or are assigned an ID with a password or some other authentication information using which they can gain access to the programs, info and resources that lie within the authority of the network.
– Network security spans over various networks including both the private and public ones.
– All these are the networks that are involved in conducting the everyday transactions as well as communications within business organizations, individuals and government agencies.
– Network security is an integral part of any enterprise, organization and other institutions whose daily business depends a lot up on the network.
– Network security, while securing the network also oversees and protects the operations that are carried out.
– Assigning a unique name and password to a network is the most common and simplest way of providing it security.

How is network security done?

– Network security begins with the authentication of user possessing a user ID and a password.
– This kind of authentication involves only one detail i.e., password which is known by the user, so this is called as one – factor authorization.
Another kind if authentication is the two – factor authentication which involves authorization through something that the user has such as mobile phone, ATM card, dongle or a security token etc.
– On the other hand a three – factor authorization involves what the user is i.e., retinal scan or fingerprint etc. once the authentication is over, the firewall comes into play.
– Its duty is to enforce the access policies which state what services a particular user is allowed to access.
– This component even though prevents the unauthorized access, is not capable of checking the content that might be potentially harmful such as Trojans, worms and so on.
– This problem is solved by software such anti-virus or IPS (intrusion prevention system).
– Such software help in detecting and inhibiting the action of such malware.
Another kind of system called anomaly based intrusion detection system can also help in monitoring the network traffic for harmful content to protect the network resources.
– All the individual events taking place are logged and analyzed later.
– Encryption of the communication taking place between two host systems on a network is also done for the maintenance of privacy.

How to handle different situations concerning network security?

– All kinds of situations concerning network security are managed differently.
Security needs of a small office or a home are small while large businesses require very high security against spamming and hacking.
– For home and small office a basic firewall and antivirus software will do.
For medium sized businesses a strong firewall along with a UTMS (unified threat management system) will do.
– Further, they can install internet security software and antivirus software.
– Password should be changed on regular intervals of time.
Large businesses require a strong firewall plus a proxy and a network guard.
– Internet security software and antivirus software package are strongly recommended.
– Employees should know about the physical security precautions.

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