Why is Network Security Important?
Wherever there is a computer network, wired or wireless; there are threats. Some people are easily put off setting up a home or office network with the fear that anything stored on their hard drive could be accessed by neighbors or hackers.
Potential threats to network security have evolved, and constant computer network system monitoring and security should be an ultimate priority for any network administrator.
If the security of the network is compromised, there could be serious consequences, such as loss of privacy, and theft of information.
When it comes to network security, the main concern is making sure that any wireless connections are protected against unauthorized access.
Most business transactions are done over the Internet, In addition, the rise of mobile commerce and wireless networks demands that security solutions become flawlessly integrated, more transparent, and more flexible.
Network attack tools and methods have evolved. Back in the days when a hacker had to have a sophisticated computer, programming language, and networking knowledge to make use of rudimentary tools and basic attacks.
Nowadays, network hackers, methods, and tools have improved tremendously, hackers no longer required the same level of sophisticated knowledge, people who previously would not have participated in computer crime are now able to do so.
Types of Network Threats and Attacks
As the types of threats, attacks, and exploits grow, various terms have been used to describe the individuals involved. Some of the most common terms are as follows:
- White hat– These are network attackers who look for vulnerabilities in systems or networks and then reports these vulnerabilities to the owners of the system so that they can be fixed. They are ethically opposed to the abuse of computer systems. A white hat generally focuses on securing IT systems.
- Hacker– This is a general term that is used to describe a computer programming expert. These are normally used in a negative way to describe an individual that attempts to gain unauthorized access to network resources with malicious intent.
3. Black hat or Cracker- The opposite of White Hat, this term is used to describe those individuals who use their knowledge of computer systems and programming skills to break into systems or networks that they are not authorized to use, this, of course, is done usually for personal or financial gain.
4. Phreaker– This term is often used to describe an individual who manipulates the phone network in a bid to perform a function that is not allowed. The phreaker breaks into the phone network, usually through a payphone, to make free or illegal long distance calls.
5. Spammer– This is often used to describe the persons who send large quantities of unsolicited e-mail messages. Spammers often use viruses to take control of home computers and use them to send out their bulk messages.
6. Phisher– Uses e-mail or other means to trick others into providing sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or passwords. A phisher masquerades as a trusted party that would have a legitimate need for the sensitive information.