Network Security is a set of procedures, techniques, and also practices that minimizes the risks of interconnecting information systems over a network. It is the protection of network components from natural or artificial destruction, modification, interrupts, and disassembly.
Implementation of Network Security
A security policy is an organization’s formal statement to its employees and other interested parties regarding how it will protect classified or sensitive information. It should include a description of the management, operational and technical controls in place, and moreover, a commitment from employees on what types of behavior should be expected.
An example of a security policy would be enforcing password strength, including a minimum number of characters allowed, and also not containing common names from birthdays or other personal information.
Areas of Network Security
Communications Security (COMSEC)
This involves protecting the confidentiality and also the integrity of transmitted or transferred data.
Operations Security (OPSEC)
Initially used by the military, OPSEC involves controlling the access, use, and also distribution of information.
Information Systems Security
This involves controlling physical access, protecting the information system from unauthorized access or modification in the information system and its uses.
How Attackers Breach Network Security?
To manage network security risk, it is essential to understand the value of information assets, threat sources, and vulnerabilities. Implementation of a balance of safeguards using preventive measures (e.g., policies) and detective measures (e.g., monitoring). Managing this risk can involve implementing some or all of the following steps:
Understanding potential threats to your organization will help identify where you require protection. Common ways that an attacker may attempt to breach an organization’s defenses include:
Denial Of Service Attacks
This type of attack aims at making a computer system or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting the services of a host connected to the Internet.
DoS attacks can be preventable if a network has a firewall and most importantly which blocks all incoming traffic except for what is necessary to close open ports.
This occurs when an unauthorized person assumes the identity of another individual or organization and gains access to information systems without proper authorization.
This type of attack directs users to be fake but legitimate-looking websites that ask for login data such as passwords and credit card details that attackers then use illegally. Phishing attempts may also include malware downloads and an increased risk of infection from clicking on web links.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN protects sensitive data sent over an unsecured network (e.g., public Wi-Fi). Encryption – This is the process of disguising plain text into code that can be deciphered back into its original form. Two types of encryption algorithms are Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption.
Systems use a single key to encrypt and decrypt data, while Asymmetric encryption systems use two keys, one for encryption and another for decryption. Primary public/private cryptography forms include Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) and Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP).
Safeguarding Network Security
There are three types of controls to safeguard risks in Network Security; Administrative, Operational and Technical.
Policies, procedures, guidelines, and any other necessary actions required to safeguard an organization’s information systems. They are management-driven, which means that they are at the top level of an organization’s hierarchy to ensure that all employees adhere to security processes.
Organization controls mean the actions taken by personnel throughout the organization to protect information systems from unauthorized access.
which use computer hardware or software procedures to safeguard data or manage vulnerabilities. The two major categories under technical controls are:
Detection and Prevention. Detection measures describe the actions taken to identify a problem, while prevention measures explain how to eliminate vulnerabilities.
To sum up this topic, network Security is all about protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. Securing a network requires an understanding of attacks that may infiltrate it and how to prevent, detect and respond to those attacks. The first line of defense for any organization’s Network Security is policies that guide what actions need to be taken to keep information private and are also accessible only by the appropriate users. Once this has been established, administrators can implement different controls depending on an organization’s needs.
There are many ways to stop cybercriminals from exploiting your data. Several operational security controls are used, including Password Strength Policy, Change Management Policy, Access Control Policy, Application Whitelisting / Blacklisting Policy, etc. As for technical controls, there are too many options to list. However, some common ones include Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Encryption, Two-factor Authentication, and other security technologies. Together these controls should be implemented for a fully secured environment.