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Network security entails all the activities developed and designed to safeguard and protect the integrity along with usability of specific networks and its data. Hence, a network security primary purpose is to manage accessibility to a network, by pursuing potential threats and stopping these threats from entering and spreading within the network system (Rhodes-Ousley, 2013). Conversely, with concerns about network systems securities, a vulnerability can be described as any weakness within a network system that reduces the system’s information assurance. Therefore, this paper seeks to briefly discuss the system vulnerabilities previously identified and further suggest recommendations regarding these threats. The identified weaknesses were third-party applications, weak passwords, mail serves and USB flash drives.
Third-party applications can be defined to be all applications utilized by users in their various devices, like netbooks, tablets, phones, and laptops. Most of these devices are unencrypted and therefore pose the most significant risks to a network system. These gadgets tend to be portable and discreet at the same time; more so, these devices have full operating systems and can be easily connected to a network. The threats are realized through cached passwords, VPN connections, and emails (Baum et al., 2013). Sensitive data (for example, company’s secret recipes, salary information, home addresses and medical record) stored in these devices must be protected. It turns out to be very dangerous when such data is stored on these unsecured portable devices. Consequently, for an organization to safeguard such information from reaching the wrong hand, it can be recommended that the network security system should instill strict and clear data handling policies as well as facilitate data encryption on affected devices. Also, sensitive access details (such as Wi-Fi access code, DV, and VPNs), should not be persistently stored on the aforementioned devices.
E-mail is among the most frequently used method of communication in organizations, both internally and externally. The emails are customarily used to send and receive data, which is often misused. For example, a message containing company’s confidential information may be efficiently transmitted to external targets. Furthermore, these emails can also be used by attackers to carry viruses or in other cases be used to phish access credentials. In any case, all it takes for a rogue insider to obtain sensitive data could just be a missing patch on a particular server which will allow illegal command prompts into a network system (Baum et al., 2013). Once this sensitive information reaches the wrong hands, they can be leveraged for use in attacks to the network systems and ultimately the entire organizations. Concerning email security, the network security should insist on email source identification, through employing tools like PGP to identify senders or before merely dispensing sensitive information, some array inquiries must be made to assist in determining the sender of an email. Also, alia-based email addresses might be prescribed to manage access to the network systems. Lastly, staff members are encouraged to update their software and operating systems with the newest security patches.
Knowing what we know about passwords, they should not be part of a network security concern argument. Nevertheless, most database servers, web applications, and content management are mostly configured with default or/and weak passwords (Todd, Koster, & Wong, 2016). Employees tend to overlook network security threats to enable direct access to data without SQL injections or file inclusions. Therefore, to eliminating these security threats, regularly changing and testing passwords is encouraged, besides access level and authentication policy. The policy implies that a specified employee can only access information necessary to fulfill a specific task and special requests should be tolerable to teams and not individuals on the authorization of the application.
USB flash drives
USB drives are the most common way in which network systems are infected within a firewall. They are conventional devices because they are small and portable, can be used between multiple computers, and can hold a vast amount of data. The ubiquity of these devices has compelled hackers to develop viruses and malware which automatically execute upon connection. Worse, operating system’s default configurations are designed to let programs (as well as malicious programs) to run automatically (Barnhill, 2014). An excellent scenario is the case of electric garage doors, where these doors remotes can be used to open all the electric garage doors in the neighborhood. Therefore, with concerns about network security, an organization should develop strict policies restricting the use of personal devices, who can access these devices and under what circumstances.
In conclusion, to effectively safeguard and protect an organizations’ network systems from potential vulnerabilities, the company’s data management team should: instill strict and clear data handling policies as well as facilitate data encryption on affected devices. For instance, sensitive access details should not be persistently stored on the gadgets above. Also, the team should insist on email source identification, along with alia-based email addresses policies to control access to the network systems. Besides, employees should look forward to updating their software and operating systems with the newest security patches. Concerning passwords, to eliminate these threats, regular changing, and password testing is encouraged. Organizations are also encouraged to adopt access level and authentication policies. Lastly, with USB thumb drives, organizations should develop strict policies restricting the use of personal devices, who can access these devices and under what circumstances.
Barnhill, J. A. (2014). U.S. Patent No. 8,635,316. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Baum, M., Dawes, P. J., Kinney, M., Raji, R., Swenson, D., & Wood, A. (2013). U.S. Patent No. 8,473,619. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Rhodes-Ousley, M. (2013). Information security: the complete reference. McGraw Hill Education.
Todd, M., Koster, S. R., & Wong, P. C. M. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,264,441. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
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