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Security in Computer Networks - Research Paper Example

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Millions of computer users across the globe today are exposed to the Internet that has raised safety concerns with respect to personal data and information. The use of computers for online banking and monetary transactions as well as communicating with friends and associates online has left the users vulnerable to hackers and spywares…
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Security in Computer Networks
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Security in Computer Networks

Download file to see previous pages... The paper provides a broad discussion on threats to security in computer networks and techniques used as control mechanism. The discussion provides a comparative analysis of these control mechanism and their relative effectiveness in implementing computer network security.
Computer security is the "protection afforded to an automated information system in order to attain the applicable objectives of preserving the integrity, availability and confidentiality of information system resources (includes hardware, software, firmware, information/data, and telecommunications)" (NIST, 2008). Some of the threats facing the computer networks include spywares, viruses, and hacking codes or programs that expose the users to potential dangers of data loss and fraud activities. Most of the computer users are unaware of the dangers or potential abuse related to these applications and can cause extensive damage or increase the chances of fraud or identity theft or damage to the computer systems and files. It is a challenging task to prevent cyber crime owing to the unlimited expanse and use of Internet that provides extensive scope to fraudsters. Programs like spyware, adwares, viruses or hacking software can be prevented from being downloaded into the computer system through the use of firewalls, adjusting browser settings and installing anti-spyware protection applications.
There are many techniques and protocols devised and are in use to protect or secure the computer networks and the data traveling through the network. Depending on the security policy of the computer network one can choose and deploy the security protocols at different layers of the network. The extent to which a computer network is secured depends on the encryption technology and the algorithm used to do the authentication.
Comparison of different protocols and architecture
Transmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and Open System Interconnection (OSI) are two protocol models widely used in the network architecture.

Firewalls are the techniques that are employed within the network to protect it from the external security threats. The firewall can be deployed through a hardware device with preloaded firmware connected within the network as well as it can be a deployed through software system working purely based on the set of algorithms or it can be a combination of both.

Secured Socket Layer (SSL) is used to secure the transfer of data / authentication information over the network. This technique uses the good combination of private key and public key cryptography for securing the data over the network. This works over and above the TCP.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): Establishing a protected network between two secured network services or nodes located in two separate protected networks but is separate by unprotected channel or network.
For the purpose of explaining the security mechanism in computer networks the paper focuses on TCP/IP and OSI models followed by a comparative analysis with other techniques.
Implementation details
In TCP/IP model the media transmission happens through five layers. Application layers, network layers and transport layers are the part of software layer in the network. Data link layers and physical layers are the part of physical layer in the network. Physical layers are mainly data-link cables and signals. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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