You probably use a WiFi network every single day without even thinking twice about it. While many people are aware of some of the more common digital security threats, like computer viruses, people tend to know less about network security. This guide is here to help you learn all you need to know about network security to help you stay safe and secure against the threat of cybercrime.
What Is a Network?
Before going into the details of network security, it is first necessary to define what the term network actually means. A network connects two or more devices, such as a laptop, a TV, a printer or a phone. A network can be facilitated through the use of cables, telephone lines, or satellites. Most commonly nowadays, it is a router that facilitates the exchange and traffic that occurs on a network.
There are different types of networks that are used all over the world. Different types of networks include:
- Local Area Network, LAN
- Municipal Area Network, MAN
- Wide ARE Network, WAN
- Personal Area Network, PAN
The main difference that distinguishes the different types of networks is their size. For example, a MAN can connect devices across an entire city, whereas PAN only works at short range. Now that you know a little bit more about what a network actually is, it is time to focus on network security.
Why Is Network Security Important?
Both individuals and businesses tend to neglect the importance of network security; however, this can be a real risk. As 24×7 IT Solutions explains, neglecting network security can leave you open and venerable, making yourself a target of network security attacks.
The consequences of a network security breach can include:
- A Loss of Productivity
An interruption in your network can result in downtime, reducing productivity, sales and potentially damaging your relationships with customers.
- A Data Breach
A data breach can result in further problems, such as financial loss, legal repercussions and downtime.
- Damage to Data Integrity
The consequences of a network security breach are not always instantly visible; sometimes it can result in damage to data integrity that takes some time to realize.
How Does a Network Security Breach Occur?
A network security breach can occur as a result of many different types of cyber-attacks. The list below outlines some of the most common types of cyber-attacks that target networks.
- Packet Sniffing
This attack targets broadband traffic, and allows hackers to eavesdrop to discover personal, financial and account information.
- Denial of Service
Otherwise known as a DOS this is an attack that overloads a network, causing it to crash. Once a network has crashed the cyber-attacker is then able to perform an attack with fewer security restrictions.
This is an attack in which a hacker will secretly monitor the traffic between two parties to discover private information.
- Address Resolution Protocol
An ARP Poisoning attack involves a hacker mimicking another address to divert traffic.
- Smurf Attack
This form of attack works by overloading a victim’s IP address with traffic.