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Improving Network Security

Improving Network Security


 

Introduction

In this post I will talk about the different ways and methods that can be used to help improve network security as well as help configure different policies to suit the needs of a network.

Usernames and passwords

When allowing users to have passwords, it is important it is secure and remains consistent to provide the correct level of protection for the computer system, to do this many company’s require the passwords to have certain characters or numbers and even then so, require the password to be changed on a routine basis, this can be anywhere for 60-80 days usually.

Using this kind of security is very effective when it comes to networking; this is because if each individual user and a username and also a password then each account is unique to the employee helping improve the security level. This also makes each user responsible for their own account , meaning if there are any breaches in organizations polices then it falls to the user as they was provided a level of security that was miss-used.

 

Wireless network

Wireless networks are used to give out a signal that allows device to connect to so they are able to transmit and receive information to the server wirelessly, however when using a router, there is also the option to connect wired devices via Ethernet cable. With this option you can choose to disable the wireless network making it simply a wired network to add extra levels of security. Some routers also allow for more security by adding the option to disable the transmission of the SSID (Service set identifier) this makes the network much harder to find.

 

Encryption

The encryption of information helps the networks security by protecting the access to the network with different methods of encryption, the basic level which almost all home and organizational networks have is a password for access to the network, it is important that when setting this password that it is a long random sequence with letters and numbers, this improves the level of security as it makes it harder to guess for anyone trying to connect to the network. , wireless networks have three different options of encryption , they are known for using WPA,WPA2 and also WEP , the best of these variations being WPA/WPA2 as they provide a higher level of encryption overall to the network , however the higher the level of encryption the lower the speed of data transmission will be.

Mac filter

When it comes to different devices each one has unique addresses , like IP addresses , a mac address is assigned to each device that is capable of network connectivity, these addresses allow you to know the identity of the device, with this a mac filter can be set in place to block mac addresses, this is similar to blocking an IP address however it blocks the device permanently as the mac address cannot be changed , this is very useful if a device is caught on the network without authorization

 

Connected devices

Routers and networks are very powerful tools when it comes to managing different connections as well as sending and receiving information. Using the router you can find out all the connected devices that are connected to the network if it be wireless connections or wired connections, this is done using a machine with a networking operating system such as windows server 2000, with these tools you can also manage the different connections on the network removing or blocking them from gaining access if they are accessing the network without permission.

Windows firewalls

Firewalls are a software that are used as a barrier to stop unwanted connections to your network, the job of this barrier is to prevent unauthorized access and modification from occurring, it does this by only allowing traffic from authorized systems from flowing backwards and forth however there are ways past this type of protection, there are also virtual firewalls such as a router, a router contains a password to prevent anyone coming onto your network.

 

Zone alarm

This system is used by network managers to detect and unauthorized connections to the network. It does this by alerting the system administrator in case any connections are made , the admin can then remotely cut off (disconnect) that computer system from the network instantly to help prevent the access from continuing , if this is not set in place it may cause for file theft , loss of data and even modification of information. An example of this software would be something such as zone alarm.

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