Custom «Network Security» Essay Paper Sample

Network Security

This paper deals with the issue of network security. Before this issue can be addressed, there is a need to define exactly what network security is. The first part of this paper will explain the concept of network security, how it is protected, the possible attacks to this protection and the goals which need to be achieved. As the following paragraphs will indicate, network security affects everyone. It is not limited to one's personal access to a private computer. As a matter of fact, the following paragraphs will indicate that the more important data one holds, the greater the need for network security.

The following paragraphs will also indicate that the concept of network security is not a 1 man show. It involves the aspects of security and risk management, assessment of risks, planning and implementing a strategy to combat threats to the network. Network security, definition, attacks and objectives: Network security broadly refers to the policies implemented by a network administrator to guard against unauthorized entry, use and modification of a computer network and it's accessible resources. The first step towards this end is via the authentication of a username and password. The second step is the formation of a firewall which determines the extent to which users may avail themselves of the network's resources (Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia).

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A network attack takes place when an attacker (or hacker) uses technological means to maliciously compromise the security of the network. This could be for the purpose of using the data from corporate networks for financial gain or corporate espionage; to gain access to user accounts and privileges; to damage or corrupt data by implanting a virus; to steal data and software; to prevent the legitimate users of the network from using network services, along with other reasons (Responding to Network Attacks and Security Incidents).

Hackers can resort to different attempts to invade a network. Footprinting is usually the first step. This is the process of creating a map of the network to determine it's operating systems, applications and the address ranges being used, and to identify possible access ports. Port scanning, another strategy, is the process of collecting information about the services of a target network. Enumeration is the process of collecting information on applications and hosts on the network, and the user accounts on the network. Then there is privilege escalation wherein a hacker manages to get a higher level of access to control the network. Backdoors can be installed for accessing the network in the future with the assistance of access granting codes (Responding to Network Attacks and Security Incidents).

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Network security has 4 main goals:

Confidentiality - the information involved is intended by the sender for particular recipients only;

Integrity - the sender and recipient need to be assured that the information sent and received are not altered in the delivery process;

Authentication - senders and receivers need to be able to confirm each others identity and the level of security must allow enough measures to trace back sources of information, as well as measures to track the path by which information travels;

Availability - the needed information and other resources needed from the network must be accessible (Matik).

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