Computer Network security

First and far most important task which is required be done after developing a network on any scale is to protect the network. This section will cover network security, and solutions, tips to avoid anti spamming, Trojans, viruses, malware etc. All networks face one or more issues mentioned above. It is Computer network administrator or IT manager job to keep himself updated regarding latest threats and maintaining the computer networks.

it is right of the users of the network to get smooth working network system, without any interruption by annoying messages or experience slow communication between computers. This is only possible if network administrator keep the network secure for malicious software, worms and other threats. Keeping different biometrics and using authentication procedures can help to only certain levels. Hackers and intruders are always on search to get some loop wholes to exploit corporate sector including financial data and other sensitive information, in all scenarios data integrity and security can never be compromised. Therefore keeping network secure and running flawlessly IT manager and Computer network administrator needs to be on monitoring ends all the time.

IT manager and Network Administrator Role:

The most important factor in maintain the security of network is knowledge of IT manager or network administrator(NA), role of these personals are extremely important in any organization when it comes to keep the network secure. Network administrator should always be updated for all the possible and latest threats and attacking techniques to the network and of course know how to avoid them and solutions to them when it happens. NA should search on internet for latest viruses on role, latest security threats, malware, Trojans and email attachments etc and find solution to these threats before his own network become the victim of these threats. He should always be ready to scan the entire network for malware, Trojans, virus etc and if any system is found, it should be removed and fixed to keep rest of the network secure. Spyware and small network intrusions are design to target certain companies just to steal or upload confidential information without being noticed, NA should always scan all the systems for such activities, and all the systems should kept shut down when they are not in use.

Reasons of Security Issues to Networks :

There are multiple reasons for any network to get victimized by viruses, malware, worms and other security threats. Most common reasons for such security attacks in small sized companies are not using proper, licensed versions of Anti virus software. And of course using risky sites also download dangerous malware when network is not properly secured, which infects the entire network.

When any network uses non genuine, non licensed or cracked versions of anti virus and similar software, they do not update the latest virus signature file to protect the system till date. When new viruses are launched, this software doesn’t have latest viruses threats defined in their signature files, hence it exposes the entire network to these virus threats, and more often or a not network does get infected. As much as NA knowledge is important I couldn’t emphasize more on end user awareness as well. End users are those users who put the entire network to use and put on risk at the same time. Their education is very crucial and has importance as well. The end user education on security threats and how do avoid them can play major role in keeping network up and securely running.
There is another major type of attack which most of the companies ignore and eventually pay for it. These attacks are commonly known to be inside attacks. Ex employ of the company can be serious threat to the company networks, especially if ex employee had network related job, since all the critical information related network can be known in such cases, they can easily connect to the networks by making remote connecting using VPN, or through other sources, they can transfer viruses, malicious software which can leak secret and important information for organization point of view. There can be many other threats which can make any company life uneasy. To avoid such incidences, make sure to update all information, username and password as soon someone from network related jobs get vacant.
Admin information should always be updated once in 24hrs any way to keep network safe from any unwanted situations.
It is responsibility of NA to keep closer look to all the employees of the network, they should be aware about their activities being logged and looked upon. There would be fewer chances of any inside security attacks if users are under an impression of being watched closely.

Recommended Steps for Network Safety:

There are six recommended steps which are of great importance keeping security of network in mind. If these steps are properly followed by NA, there are greater chances to avoid security threats of computer networks at the first place.
a) Larger computer networks should be divided in segments for management of the network and ease in finding culprit systems. Internet access should be filtered by blocking port1433 and port 1434 or one can use different firewall software to implement such type of filters. All unwanted or not required ports should keep blocked for any chance of being misused; only required communication ports should be open to data transfer. Internet access to SQL systems should be allowed from outside.

b)  Keep closer look on open ports, Port 80 is the most commonly used port for http access.

c) Network administrator should make sure to keep all the systems including server updated operating system files and latest patches. These critical updates and patches keep the system secure from vulnerabilities. NA make sure to keep clients automatic update option enabled in windows platform, so that whenever updates are released clients machines download and installed them and secure them to the maximum level, same should be done for server operating system but keep closer look in update server OS. Third party security tools are also available and can be installed after testing for meeting better security measures. IT managers can also use powerful authentication methodologies to keep the network secure from security threats.

d)– Some times having limited Network administrators can help in keep network secure as the lesser the people managing the network lesser the chances for security malfunctioning, it is also important to not give any local client computer admin rights, If any application which require admin rights for installation, only NA should installed it, providing admin information to anyone else for assistance can be very risky.

e) Older known threats can attack again, it should be in mind of NA to keep computer network secure from latest ones should also be secured from previously known attacks. Windows known services Talnet, Clipbook should not be disabled, they have certain task to perform, do not disable any default service until you are sure and you know what you are doing.

f) Create, configure and implement security policies, implementing security policies can be useful in keep network secure. Keep network users educated on these policies and make sure to send out notice to all clients if any updates are made in these policies.These security measures are useful and come with prices. Deploying, maintaining and implementing all these methodologies can increase security costs. NA should be very careful in following above mentioned points. He should also regularly update network users for latest threats and what should and should not be done for keep things smooth and secure. He should also help networks users to assist in unwanted emails which can be risk to network.