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What is Network Security?

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NETWORK SECURITY

Network security consists of the policies adopted to prevent and monitorunauthorized access, misuse, modification, or denial of a computer network and network-accessible resources. Network security involves the authorization of access to data in a network, which is controlled by the network administrator.


Network security is a complicated subject, historically only tackled by well-trained and experienced experts. However, as more and more people become "wired'', an increasing number of people need to understand the basics of security in a networked world. This document was written with the basic computer user and information systems manager in mind, explaining the concepts needed to read through the hype in the marketplace and understand risks and how to deal with them.

What Is Network Security and How Does It Protect You?

After asking What is network security?, you should ask, What are the threats to my network?

Many network security threats today are spread over the Internet. The most common include:

·         Viruses, worms, and Trojan horses

·         Spyware and adware

·         Zero-day attacks, also called zero-hour attacks

·         Hacker attacks

·         Denial of service attacks

·         Data interception and theft

·         Identity theft

How Does Network Security Work?

To understand What is network security?, it helps to understand that nosingle solution protects you from a variety of threats. You need multiple layers of security. If one fails, others still stand.

Network security is accomplished through hardware and software. The software must be constantly updated and managed to protect you from emerging threats.

A network security system usually consists of many components. Ideally, all components work together, which minimizes maintenance and improvessecurity.

Network security components often include:

·         Anti-virus and anti-spyware

·         Firewall, to block unauthorized access to your network

·         Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), to identify fast-spreading threats, such as zero-day or zero-hour attacks

·         Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), to provide secure remote access


Some history of networking is included, as well as an introduction toTCP/IP and inter networking. We go on to consider risk management, network threats, firewalls, and more special-purpose secure networking devices.

Security is a very difficult topic. Everyone has a different idea of what ``security'' is, and what levels of risk are acceptable. The key for building asecure network is to define what security means to your organization. Once that has been defined, everything that goes on with the network can be evaluated with respect to that policy. Projects and systems can then be broken down into their components, and it becomes much simpler to decide whether what is proposed will conflict with your security policies and practices.

Many people pay great amounts of lip service to security, but do not want to be bothered with it when it gets in their way. It's important to build systems and networks in such a way that the user is not constantly reminded of thesecurity system around him. Users who find security policies and systems too restrictive will find ways around them. It's important to get their feedback to understand what can be improved, and it's important to let them know why what's been done has been, the sorts of risks that are deemed unacceptable, and what has been done to minimize the organization's exposureto them.

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