There has been an increase in security incidents in the computer industry in the recent past. The complexity of threats that have been experienced have been increasing daily and regularly in the computer and networking field. There has been need therefore for efficient and effective means to counteract these acts of insecurity. Of major target have been data centers and networks. Datacenter managers need therefore to be well armed with the necessary tools and skill to tackle the problems realized in the industry. This paper discusses some of the security issues in computers and networking industry (Stallings, 2007).
People security Problem
There are a number of problems in the computer industry associated with people. Some of the problems are caused directly by factors that can be solved easily. People are the weakest link of attack on any network or computers systems. In most cases, people are not keen to safeguarding their network and therefore expose them easily to the possible attack. All systems rely on access control measures that are implemented to safeguard the systems against unauthorized attacks and entry. An example of how an attacker can gain access into a restricted system is by having a “post it” note with a password within the reach of any one. Care should be taken by people not to expose their systems to such great danger by anyhow exposing their access codes. Default password should not be left in systems at all if proper security is to be realized.
Understanding the network
In order to protect the network well, a clear understanding of the same should be developed. An organization should strive to achieve this understanding by documenting resources assets and systems involved in the network project. A criterion for assessing their importance to the organization should be developed and as such, have a clear assignment of levels that depict the level of asset value a particular system or device is. Some of the devices that should be included in the management include servers, workstations, storage systems, routers, switches, hubs, printers and other network links (Schneier, 2000).
After developing a clear understanding of the level of importance each system is associated with, there is need to understand the physical location of the devices and systems in question. A documentation of equipment location should be done as well as providing notes describing their physical security status.
Implementing security measures without actually understanding the threats the system is likely to be exposed to is tantamount to providing no protection at all. It is important, therefore, to identify potential threats in any network set up if proper solution is to be provided (White, 2003).
There is a categorization of threats based on two environments: internal and external threats. Threats can also be intentional or unintentional. Most intentional threats are caused by human factors while unintentional ones are caused by natural factors that might not be foreseen.
The table below offers a summary of some of the threats that can be encountered in computer network set up.
Threat Nature Consequences e-mail with virus Can originate externally but affects internal systems and operations Virus embedded in a mail can affect the systems since the speed with which it can spread can be very fast.
The common points of entry of network viruses are the network ports, which in many cases might not be protected. This can compromise the whole network and even lead to denial of service
Web based virus
Browsing an external corrupt side internally.
In the process of browsing, users can navigate to external sites that might contain viruses or other malware. In this case the viruses can travel through the network browsers and affect the system Web server attack (hacker).
Web servers should be secures at all time. If the web server were compromised, there would be a likely hood of hackers gaining easy access to the entire system. This can cause undesirable outcome like loss of important information or even introduction of dangerous malware in to the internal system.
Denial of service
Any attack o a router can jeopardize operations internally. This can lead to denial of service
Network user attack by internal disgruntled employees
This attack cannot be solved by application of just traditional firewalls. Proper segmentation of the network can be used to solve this problem. Segmentation would prevent anyone from accessing a level that is not allowed to access.
General practices o solving security problems
Below are some of the best practices that can be applied to ensure network security in any organization;
i. Installation of firewalls at all transit points to public – private networks
ii. Development and deploying of well controlled versions of firewall rule sets
iii. DMZ protection of networks
iv. Disabling unneeded services in any network
v. Centrally manage and well updated implementation of antivirus software
vi. Use of authentication mechanisms such as Kerberos
vii. Monitoring of network and regular update of outdated systems
viii. Have a well documented incident response mechanism
As the number of threats increase daily, security in networks is no longer an option to be considered. There is need to provide both logical and physical security to all equipment in the computer industry. The greatest barrier to maintaining and application of strict security practices in an organization is the need for increased administration that comes with it. There is need, therefore, for more research in this area in order to define practices that will not result in conflict of interest between the administrations overhead and security implementations.
Russell, D. & Gangemi, G. T (1991). Computer Security Basics. Sebastopol CA: O’Reilly and Associates.
Schneier, B. (2000). Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World. New York NY: John Wiley and Sons. Inc.
Stallings, W. (2007). Data and computer communications. New York NY: Prentice hall
White, G. (2003). Security + in information systems. Emeryville, CA: McGraw-Hill/Osborne