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Technological advancements have contributed significantly to socioeconomic improvement. Research has ensured that the technical platform's speed, ease, and efficiency grow on a regular basis. To stay up with the changes, the dynamic nature of both physical and logical structures in technology has necessitated a considerable deal of attention from diverse stakeholders in the area (Tokuyoshi 24). Despite the many benefits that information technology has brought to the world, security remains a major danger to the effectiveness and longevity of most systems. Several technology companies have made significant efforts in creating system security. Similarly, hackers are investing significant resources to stay up with these advancements and attack any technical platform, regardless of complexities or improvements in security systems. Most programmers including the established businesses in the IT sector such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have done their best to ensure airtight secure system, but still, they cannot guarantee that their platforms are impenetrable(Chen et al. 21). Information security has remained the greatest challenge to computer systems and networks globally compromising their progress and perfect efficiency.
Understanding security infrastructure is the primary step to comprehending the operation of various information systems. Computers and networks involve three types of security systems. These include network, cyber, and information. Information security, commonly known as InfoSec, is the primary structure that ensures that all technological physical and digital data remain secure from unauthorized access(Stallings and Tahiliani 111). InfoSec ensures that there is no disclosure, copying, duplication, disruption, or destruction. It differs widely from cybersecurity because unlike the latter that only protects digital data; it guarantees the safety of any form of information. Cybersecurity is a subset of information security. It is the practice of physically and technologically defending entity’s networks, digital data, and computers from any form of compromise. The focus in cybersecurity is to ensure that there does not exist any form of digital information compromise or access by unauthorized individuals. Network security is a subset of cybersecurity that ensures that there does not exist tapping, rechanneling, or extraction of digital information that is being sent through devices in a given network(Kahate 67). The forms of attacks in the three sectors include viruses and malware, hacker attacks, spyware and adware among many other threats.
Network security systems have tremendously evolved over the last three and a half decades starting from about 1982. Before then, the systems comprised a handful of components that performed separate tasks yet were efficient and excellent in meeting their objectives. The number of users and information online back then had not attracted so much attention as witnessed in the modern day technological endeavors. Today, architects strive to develop sophisticated technological systems that can communicate with each other to ensure an airtight security for all the computing systems on related links(Knapp and Langill 45). The individual security links are no longer a guarantee of impetration, and hence the need for meshed networks at the terminals and in the cloud to ensure enhanced protection. Designers and specialists have managed to eliminate all the bottlenecks that these systems faced in the 80s. Application specific IC’s have enhanced data transmission and filtering at wire speed making passage and authentication through security checkpoints fast and efficient. All changes that have taken place in computer networks and system security revolve around firewalls, secure web gateways, malware sandboxing, network access control, and cloud access security broker.
Some network security systems such as firewalls, next-generation firewalls (NGFW), secure web gateways (SWG), and network access control (NAC) have been around for over two decades and IT specialists have vetted their capability and advanced them to keep up with modern requirements(Pierson and DeHaan 77). For instance, firewalls never had a vetting process, and that made them easier to infiltrate without detection. The modern-day meshed computer network incorporates application specific integrated circuits with supersonic speed data comparison rates. These systems ensure that data at the receiver end is a replica of the information from the source. The firewalls guarantee data security by protecting systems from injections and tapings that corrupt and lead to information loss respectively. The complexities of information security are not unique to the traditional systems. They have incorporated other features such as data comparison and meshed networks that have advanced the older structures hence enabling monitoring of data at every step. The modern architects have established continuous information between the source, the destination, and the system. The traditional structures did not adhere to monitoring of flow, and that has been the key advancement in security.
There exist countless computer information systems and security threats that research is handling at the moment, but this section will deal with the most common ones. Trojan tops the threats list because of its ability to escape antivirus and sometimes make way through the firewall undetected. It then steals information and compromises an entire network or data associated with it. Spyware is another threat to networks as well as information system. It gathers a user’s information and transfers it to the source of the malware leading to data loss or even worse. Keyloggers have proven to be major threats to networks as they collect all private information including firewall disabling codes and administrator access codes that can be used by perpetrators to gain unauthorized access to systems. Backdoors have also created key problems in network security and data protection. Programmers always leave a window for access as a contingency measure(Lafuente 48). Sometimes these avenues turn to be security threats. Their control has posed a major challenge for most IT and networking specialist because of their advanced structures. Phishing has caught up with many computer users globally and sometimes major organizations like governmental agencies. These are sites that look like the main one that tricks users into entering confidential information that the perpetrators can then use to access the main site.
The impacts of systems and security breach are tremendous for individuals, business, and governments. The biggest problem with infiltration is access to classified information. Hackers have always obtained crucial and private information from governments that can help develop nuclear weapons or sometimes formulas for biological weapons that can wipe out the human race if implemented. Some information should never get into the wrong hands because of the repercussions of a such a leakage. In some cases, perpetrators have managed to access the location of prisoners such as terrorists and broken them out of prisons or killed them alongside other civilians to prevent such individuals from informing on the others. The federal government in Qatar has lost experienced operatives due to information leakage via network compromises. Businesses have suffered greatly due to network compromise. For instance, hackers can obtain a new technology before its implementation and sell it to a competing firm or organization that can them make the first production and sales compromising the effort of the initial founders and researchers. Some businesses have had the information of their customers’ credit cards stolen from their databases leading to financial loss and hence reduction in the number of customers as well as their trust. Individuals, businesses, and governments have suffered blackmails and incurred tremendous resources to pay for mistakes or other aspects of their existence through relentless blackmail of individuals possessing private information acquired through network infiltration. The impacts of networks compromise are detrimental and hence the need to invest in security to minimize the possibility of unauthorized access to these systems.
Different entities employ varying types of network security depending on the threat that the organizations strive to eliminate. Access control is the most basic type of network security. It involves system administrators assigning different levels of access to users so that there exist different grades and levels for every group of individuals. Antivirus and antimalware securities are common and have been in place since the 80s. They look for any stray program and either delete it or notify the administrators and other users of its existence. Application security and behavioral analytics have become common to ensure that safety prevails and through monitoring of orthodox processes and detecting any anomalous occurrence. Firewalls are the oldest type of network security. They create a barrier between the external world and an individual’s or organizational system hence guaranteeing safety. All these security types are efficient, but none of them on its own or even a collection of two or more can guarantee total safety. Perpetrators always manage to find a way around these structures. There exist eight levels of network and information security that help enhance data and strive to protect it from unauthorized entities. These include:
Risk management framework
Logging, monitoring, and reporting
Environmental and physical information
Information/ data assurance
Identity and access privilege management
Cybersecurity and associated research are at their peak at the moment. Organizations are working on avenues to ensure airtight systems by employing encryption and biometric systems that will guarantee the safety of all the computing devices. A few companies like Google and Apple have made tremendous success in ensuring that their systems are impenetrable. However, they are still investing in research to establish better technologies. Companies are working on driverless cars and automated productions in the nuclear industry and other sensitive fields. However, these developments remain underdeveloped because of the fear of insecurity and hence the great research to incorporate meshed structures, application based security systems and biometrics control.
Overall, technology has made tremendous advancements, but network and information insecurities remain stumbling blocks to the betterment and advancements of the existing systems. Malware, spyware, and backdoors have continuously granted unauthorized personnel access to organizations that have led to instances of blackmail, loss of revenues, and leakage of classified information. Some companies have been working on advanced systems such as the driverless cars, but they cannot indulge in massive production because of the high level of threats posed by infiltrations. Nonetheless, there exist many precautionary measures and security structures that are under improvement to make airtight protection a guarantee for future technologies and developments.
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Kahate, Atul. Cryptography and Network Security. Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2013. Print.
Knapp, Eric D, and Joel Thomas Langill. Industrial Network Security: Securing Critical Infrastructure Networks for Smart Grid, Scada, and Other Industrial Control Systems. Syngress, 2014. Print.
Lafuente, Guillermo. "The Big Data Security Challenge." Network security 2015.1 (2015): 12-14. Print.
Pierson, Greg, and Jason DeHaan. "Network Security and Fraud Detection System and Method." Google Patents, 2015. Print.
Stallings, William, and Mohit P Tahiliani. Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice. Vol. 6: Pearson London, 2014. Print.
Tokuyoshi, Brian. "The Security Implications of Byod." Network Security 2013.4 (2013): 12-13. Print.
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