Computer Network Security

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whether a business is large or small, computer network security is always a major concern. Networks are a series of interconnected computers. Connecting these systems yield some important benefits including the ability to share files or to share an Internet connection. The need to keep these systems secure has become a necessary fact of life in today's business world. Achieving business computer security involves keeping users who are not authorized to enter a system from gaining access. Equally important is the detection of intruders or other types of malicious use within the system. If intrusion is detected, a trained professional can find out how much damage has been done and take steps to repair this damage. Obviously, taking preventative measures before an attack can occur are a top priority for any organization. The risks to valuable information, not to mention the potential loss of business in the event of a successful attack, make the implementation of solid safety measures a mandatory step in building successful businesses.

The fact that an outsider could gain control of another person's PC without that person knowing it is an unfortunate reality. Individuals who use their system for personal work and communication value their privacy. Business owners do as well, and all the more so since their livelihood depends on a well defended system. Once an intruder gains access to a system or network, they can gain control of the device, use it to hack into other systems, or examine confidential records. These hackers can also do malicious damage, reformat hard drives or make changes in important data. Many software programs work to provide business computer security, but even as these programs are developed, malevolent intruders look for ways to take advantage of any weaknesses. Businesses need to know that confidential information will only be available to staff and employees who need access and that access should be available whenever it is needed. Changes in this information should only be made by authorized staff. An efficient security system should make sure that these important needs are continually met. Other risks could include hard disk failure, or physical damage to a system.

Achieving computer network security in the business world is generally best handled by an information technology professional or specialist in this area. In addition to confidentiality, integrity, and availability risks, there are any number of attacks that a business network faces. Other assaults could include attacks against Internet protocol as well as Internet protocol spoofing. In these attacks, an intruder impersonates a host or IP address that does not belong to them. Another method of harassment is the Internet protocol session hijacking. In an IP session hijacking, a hacker can see what a user is doing and take over control in anyway the hacker wishes. A major danger of this type of attack is that the user is generally not even aware that the intrusion has taken place. A skilled professional in computer network security will know how to prevent attacks like this.

Another type of assault on business computer security could come in the form of a DoS, or denial of service attack. This intrusion basically consists of sending multiple requests that overload a system. For example, if the host system can only process six hundred requests per minute, the attacker might create a program that will send seven hundred requests per minute. Stopping these attacks while still maintaining the ability to process legitimate requests can be a challenge. Up to date protection software can go a long way toward preventing such intrusions. More destructive aggression against a system could come in one of these two categories, data diddling or data destruction. The data diddler presents a major threat to computer network security by fooling with important information and making malicious but undetected changes. Not only is the problem difficult to detect until after the damage has been done, but it can also be very difficult to trace and locate the perpetrator. Data destruction happens when a hacker gains access to a system and then randomly damages or deletes important information. Other threats could include back door attacks, e-mail spoofing, Trojan horse programs, and viruses. Having an efficient system of data backup is an important protective step.

There are a number of precautionary measures that can be taken to insure computer network security. Anti-virus programs are a must and should be programmed to check for updates automatically and on a regular basis. Spyware and adware detectors are also vital tools that should not be ignored. These programs should also be updated on a regular basis to remain effective. A good firewall is an absolute necessity. Any programs that can be run from the Internet should be checked for viruses before they are installed or run. Extreme care should be taken in opening attachments to e-mails and all e-mails should be scanned for viruses. Important documents, files or e-mails should be protected by passwords. Frequent and extensive data back-up is crucial. Recovery plans in the event of a system crash should also be in place. Hackers can gain access to a system through a variety of ways including Internet connections or even by access to the actual device. Malicious attacks can come from the inside of an organization as well as from the outside. Whatever the source of attack, wise planning for business computer security will pay off in the long run.

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