Network Security. This lesson will cover:. Understanding the security risks on a network. Understand ways of keeping a network secure. Know some of the problems that network malfunctions cause. Computer viruses.
Understanding the security risks on a network.
Understand ways of keeping a network secure.
Know some of the problems that network malfunctions cause.
A virus is a computer program which copies itself on a machine (without the user’s knowledge) and spreads to other machines.
At the very least, viruses take up memory, but most viruses will also damage the computers they infect.
Many viruses are spread via e-mail but some viruses can also be easily transferred between computers in networks, so security is essential.
Creating viruses is illegal under the Computer Misuse Act, but individuals still make them for a variety of reasons.
Computer worms are self-replicating programs which arespecifically designed to target networks. It uses the networkto send copies of itself to other devices on the network, and as it is not a virus, it does not need to attach itself to a program.
Worms and viruses can
cause millions of poundsworth of damage, mainly due to the time and labour it takes to remove them but also because files on infected computers may be lost or damaged.
The Melissa worm of 1999 cost businesses around $1.1billion and the I Love You virus of 2000 cost around $5.5billion.
As well as protecting the network from external and
technical threats, it is also the job of a network manager toensure each individual’s personal files are kept secure.
The best way of doing this is to set up user accounts which require logins and passwords to connect to the network.
You can set up useraccounts via the user accounts section in the Control Panel.
From here, you can also
set access levels.
Because wireless networks rely on radio waves, security needs to be even tighter. Unknown users with wireless network cards are able to log onto any wireless networks which are unsecure. This process is known as piggybacking.
WEP – Wired Equivalent Privacy is a way of securing a wireless network by encrypting data sent via radio waves. This is what the Nintendo DS uses, but experts have discredited this system, by showing specialist software can hack it.
WPA – Wi-Fi Protected Access is a more secure Wi-Fi security protocol which is now used in many areas.
Bluetooth wireless technology allows all sorts of different devices to connect to each other and share data. Bluetooth devices communicate through short range networks known as piconets. These are set up automatically as devices move in and out of range.
Bluetooth devices can handle voice and data transmission at the same time.
This means that Bluetooth phones can have hands-free headsets and can easily synchronize data with laptops and PDAs,
so appointments made on one device automatically update in the others.
Because Bluetooth devices transfer their data invisibly without wires, it is easy to forget that other people can connect to your data without you knowing.
It would also be possible to make calls from someone else’s phone without them knowing. Some phones are more vulnerable than others. This is known as bluejacking.
If you mostly use Bluetooth to connect your own devices, you can switch to non-discoverable mode when in public. It is wise to only accept data from trusted devices.