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What is Network Security?

Companies strive to protect their entire network of computers.
Network security helps keep information on computer networks safe.
Article Details
  • Written By: A Kaminsky
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Network security comprises the measures a company takes to protect its computer system, and it is a prime concern for every company that uses computers. Compromised network security means a hacker or competitor may gain access to critical or sensitive data, possibly resulting in data loss, or even complete destruction of the system.

Appropriate security for a network is achieved when a user has to go through several layers of security before being able to access the desired network. The more layers the system has, the more secure it is.

The systems administrator is often in charge of network security since he has administrator privileges on the system. In fact, only the systems administrator and his assistants should have administrative access to the mainframe server and related computer terminals. This will help keep unauthorized people in the company from changing any data on the servers.

A systems administrator will also build a secure firewall for the network, which may include an encryption layer and sentinel software that automatically repels an unauthorized program from gaining access. The administrator may also place restrictions on employees' computers to prevent them from accessing websites that may have malicious coding or malware that will install itself on a user's computer. Anti-adware and malware programs are available for individual computers, as well as for networks.

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One problem that generally arises with this type of security is flexibility. Management must balance security issues against employees' ability to access websites for their work. Communication among management, the systems administrator and employees is critical for network security to operate and for the employees to be able to work with it.

As evidenced in dealing with past e-mail and network viruses, security breaches are costly and detrimental to production and efficiency. U.S. companies spend millions of dollars each year in network security measures. A company's best defense against breaches is a multi-pronged attack. Firewalls with no single point of access, sharp systems administrators, frequent security updates, and early installation of anti-adware will all help keep a network safe.

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Discuss this Article

barryherne
Post 4

My company pays special attention to network security. We have hired several network security specialists and we also implement very highly effective monitoring software for networks. I think this is the only way to feel safe and secure when we speak about the company network security. Do you know any other ways? Can you share them?

anon935349
Post 3

I think that the main principle of network security is to set up and use a reliable network monitoring software to try to be proactive and to be able to foresee all kinds of problems that might happen.

watson42
Post 2

A good tip for people using personal computers, either for fun or for work, is to make sure you back up your data in case your computer does get a virus, and that you know how to cancel things like online banking in case they are hacked. While new reports in recent years have become more interested in larger business' network security attacks, it does not change the number of ordinary people whose computers are victims of things like viruses and data mining.

aaaCookie
Post 1

Some network security risks are almost not enough to bother with the prevention; a lot of spyware out there actually adds more cookies and other spam to your computer, rather than preventing it. However, if you go on the internet a lot, it is a good idea to have some sort of firewall for your computer, to generally avoid websites which seem to lack security, and of course not leave yourself logged into websites if you are using a shared computer.

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