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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Network Security - All About Firewalls

The Importance of Firewalls to [Network Security]

Most networks should have a firewall in place before they are up and running. A firewall is the most common form of"network security" employed by companies large and small. If you own a personal computer your anti-virus software company may at one time or another have offered you firewall protection.

A firewall on a home [network security] is just as important as one on a corporate network. Why? Most smaller networks have as many [network security] issues that larger corporate networks have. A firewall helps protect a network against potential data loss, corruption and hackers.

What Is A Firewall

A firewall is nothing more than a fancy term used to describe a blockade that prevents outside forces from accessing your [network security]. It is called a firewall because it prevent information or data loss from one place to another. Typically a firewall is some program or hardware that you have to install in your computer that helps filter information coming from the Web to your computer network. A firewall provides a series of filters that screens information allowing only safe information to pass through to your network.

In a large company, multiple computers are often linked using network cards. Companies usually provide multiple connections to the Internet. In order to protect all of these computers a firewall is necessary so that only certain people can access corporate computers through the Web (those that are authorized to do so). While a firewall is not foolproof it basically does a good job of protecting computers from Internet threats at their connection points.
Article by Frank Owen, visit his web site on network security for more information on network security
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How to Secure Your Network?

Network security is a method of preventing your computer network from the unauthorized user access, email spoofing, Trojan horses, denial of service, hacking, viruses, spyware and intruders etc. There are different securities mechanisms are being employed to protect the network. If a hacker gets control of your computer or network, he can send viruses or steal your company’s confidential data. Similarly if any computer in your network is infected with the viruses or spyware, all other computers will also be infected if no proper security system has been implemented. Securing a network is most important job description of the network administrators, security specialists, network engineers and IT managers. You can secure your computer network by the following security methods.

Network Security Tips

Use Virus Protection Software
Don’t open unknown email attachments
Use regular backup of your critical data
Make boot disk
Use Firewall program
Authenticate users
Implement Security Policy in your network
Keep an inventory of your software and hardware and make a list of all the devices.
SCAN TCP/UDP services
Don’t provide more rights to the system resources than necessary.
Perform the network security testing and find the holes and fix them.
Place your server at very safe place.
Prepare an Assistant Network Administrator and train him/her about all the security related matters so that he/she can control the network in your absence.
Monitor the user’s activities on the internet and block all the unwanted websites, web applications which have security risks.

If you have wireless network then the following methods are very helpful in securing your wireless network.

Wireless Network Security

SSID (Service Set Identifier) –
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol)
MAC Addressing (Media Access Control)
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
B. Bashir manages this website Networking Tutorials and regularly writes articles on various topics such as Computer Networking, Network Troubleshooting Tips Wireless Networking, Computer Hardware, Certifications, How Tos, Network Security Guide and computer tips.

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Why Conduct A Network Security Check?

These days a lot of organizations of different kinds have realized the benefit of having a network and, hence, are eagerly seeking to establish networks on their premises. Having a network on the premises facilitates faster data exchange across the organization. At the same time, there has also emerged a need to conduct network security checks in order to prevent unauthorized intrusion or data leakage. Losing data through such incidents may translate in to severe losses for the concerned organization.

In order to avoid the security threats posed by unsecured networks, a lot of security measures are required to be implemented. At the same time, we need to realize that having a security system in place will solve the problem once and for all. These security threats can raise their heads even when you have taken precautions like installing network security software or if you have an IT team dedicated to this particular task of keeping a watch on all activities within the network. In order to keep your network free of security threats and to run it in a smoother way, you need to integrate your network security by implementing all the latest tools.

But you may still be confused as to which is the right time to update the network security software and what are the other solutions? It is very difficult to know the best possible solution to the problem of network security. Threats tend to modify themselves with passage of time. What you can do is to develop some policies for your business in order to check security.

The data that is to be protected may be structured or unstructured. The data may include credit card and other such documents. Most of the data leakage is internal. Therefore, it becomes important to have integrated enforcement capabilities for all kind of communication, be it internal or external. All the security policies and rules should be put in place or designed keeping in mind what the user wants, the data type or the destination. All the variables should be related and it is then to be decided what information is to be sent by whom, where and how. All of these arrangements should be updated automatically with each and every change. These policies should be made considering organization's requirements.

You should take care that all the security software that you are implementing should be easy to handle and use. The access control policies should be clearly defined and should be able to integrate with existing processes. A good network security solution should be able to report properly, should be able to monitor all the activities inside the network and should be able to prevent it against any security threats. It can be bolstered by a regularly conducted network security checks.
Tommy Jackson owns and operates and Wireless Network Problems

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Wireless Network Security

It seems that more and more home users are going with wireless networks rather than the tradition wired networks with wires hanging everywhere and running wild around the house and in the crawlspace. What seems like a good idea quickly turns into a nightmare if you don’t vamp up the security of your wireless network.

Speed is of the essence. Typically, one thing matters to new users of wireless, getting connected and browsing that first website. While wireless connectivity can accomplish this, it’s best to set up your wireless connection securely before venturing out into cyberspace. Below are some tips to help secure your wireless network.

Change the default admin password. Admin passwords are easily figured out by attackers when they are left as the default. Not changing your wireless admin password opens your network to attack and can lead to many problems depending on the attacker’s agenda.

Another wireless security measure you will need to take is turning on encryption. Enabling WEP encryption on your wireless network will help you protect your privacy and all your info won’t be floating around outside your home waiting to be picked up by a passerby. It’s important to remember that all your devices on the wireless network will need to have the same encryption. So find the strongest encryption possible that will work on all devices of the wireless network.

Stop the auto-connect feature. Do not allow your devices to auto-connect. Allowing auto-connect may connect to a network that you don’t particularly want. Example, you don’t want your laptop connecting to your neighbor’s network and sending info.

It’s also a good idea that you install firewalls on all devices that connect to the wireless network. Even if the wireless router is firewalled, it’s important to also install firewalls on all computers that are connected to the wifi network. It’s important that these firewalls be set up correctly and block any intrusions that may compromise your wifi network.

Position your wireless router close to the center of your home. Although the reach of wifi networks can vary greatly, it’s important to not allow the signal to float around great distances from the main access point. It virtually impossible to stop all leakage from exiting your home. But minimizing the risk to your wifi network will help to protect it.

Another good idea for wifi network security is to not allow broadcast of the SSID. Your router may have SSID broadcasting set up by default; however you should be able to change this setting in the configuration. This feature is only useful for mobile environments, and is not needed in home wifi networks.

These are just a few tips to securing your wifi network. It’s always a good idea to check for firmware updates to your router as new exploits and vulnerabilities arise. Some routers will have an auto update feature and it’s important to use it. Using auto update will help keep your wifi network secure without the need of remembering to check for updates.

About The Author
Jake Forrester writes Wifi Security articles for SX Security. Learn more about Wireless Security by visiting