Networking Essay - 2869 Words - Essay Prowess

Networking Essay – 2869 Words

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Networking

The population of internet users continues to grow at an enormous pace as penetration thrives in countries allowing for a more fluid adoption of global economy oriented interactions. Through social media, internet users are offered the opportunity to network with likeminded people thereby appraising the development of work and trade related associations. Networking on a global and even local scale has however had some overarching setbacks relative to internet security (Mueller, Schmidt, & Kuerbis, 2013). Online users are exposed to cyber threats which take on many evolving forms. Governments, multinational organizations, international bodies, local agencies and a myriad of professional entities are concerned with the risks that users are exposed to while using the internet. Online security is a vital facet of networking that not only addresses threats to internet users but also present people with greater opportunities to exploit the seemingly limitless opportunities of work and skills available in the Information Age (Mueller, Schmidt, & Kuerbis, 2013). The global internet network is a vast system that may not be operating impressively as it does today without the intricate cyber security strategies in application. These strategies have paved ways for professionals in the field to promote greater adherence to internet use protocols like integrity, authentication, confidentiality and controlled internet usage amongst internet users reliant on internet resources. This paper places much emphasis on security concerns based on the legal as well as ethical application of the numerous internet based resources available today.

Numerous challenges are presented to contemporary internet users in the quest to ensure the privacy of personal or organizational data on the internet. The magnitude and variety of risks posed continues to mount pressures on IT professionals to sustain as well as improve the degree of confidence with which users have to present internet resources (Al-Fuqaha, Guizani, Mohammadi, Aledhari, & Ayyash, 2015). Malware, viruses, digital stalkers, spams, and numerous others tend to significantly dent the trust users may have concerning the internet. Such situations not only plague individuals but large organizations and governments too. For instance, there are organizations whose associations with registered users, clients and workers require that they keep large amounts of personal data on internet connected servers (Al-Fuqaha et al., 2015). Hackers often continually try to penetrate the internet security defenses and where successful have disastrously affected operations. On the same note, the current American administration is reeling under the possible truths that its electoral process was compromised by other powerful nations to the effect that democracy is compromised.

To begin with, basic internet resources such as email have been transformed into a significant security threat for all levels of internet users. Unethical users transmit infections, tricks, connections, adware, spyware, worms, and direct unwitty users to terrible sites exposing them to numerous dangers (Jing, Vasilakos, Wan, Lu, & Qiu, 2014). The dexterity of cyber criminals is such that it makes it nearly impossible for the average as well as knowledgeable internet user to adequately recognize such threats.

Links or URLs to unscrupulous sites which essentially seek to make users vulnerable to internet threats continue to grow by the millions each year. Such links are basically online destinations which infect user PCs or other devices with keystroke lumberjacks and Trojan Steeds (Jing et al., 2014). The sole aim of such intrusions is to steal private data which is useful in progressing financial fraud.

Social Media has positively impacted on the lives of billions of online users. Through sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more, one is not only able to keep in touch with loved ones from any area on the world map but also exposed to numerous other benefits. Such sites allow of users to gain new information on a real time basis and more importantly have allowed for better educational outcomes as well as the economic development of users (Skarmeta, Hernandez-Ramos, & Moreno, 2014). However, the issue of internet based crime makes the same benefit accrue into major liabilities. Users of such users normally employ virtual avatars such that it nearly impossible for a user to authentically prove whether the intentions of a “friend on social media” are honest (Skarmeta et al., 2014). Fraudsters, data miners, pedophiles, extortionists, cyber bullies and so on exist in such online platforms making these sites great security risks.

Internet security offers strengths and bears qualities with the capacity to shield user data from possible online threats. It also appraises the effectives of the internet towards driving economic growth on a global scale (Skarmeta et al., 2014). The first line of defense ought to be concerned with information dispensation. It is critical that internet users are continually informed of the risks associated with improper or reckless internet use as a control measure against cyber criminals.

SWOT Analysis

Presented below is an assessment of the threats, opportunities, weaknesses, strengths of internet security requirements available to contemporary users.

Strengths

With regard to internet security, the most vital question to ask relative to organizational online defenses is what are an administration’s security features? Minor enterprises are essentially in a capacity to have better internet security strengths given that operations are on a relatively smaller scale making defenses easier to set up, monitor, maintain as well as upgrade (Pasare, Ciuchi, & Botan, 2014). It is therefore critical that to further ensure strength as an entity grows in size that the organizational leadership should uphold a robust security culture that proactively embeds security and protection protocols in all quotas of administration. For larger organizations, the massive scale of operations and dependence of technology for administrative purposes makes the level of internet security far stretched to the extent that such entities are most likely to suffer attacks in comparison to smaller organization (Pasare et al., 2014). However, these organizations bear the financial acumen and professional expertise to invest in protection of its internet resources failure to which can easily damage its abilities to continue functioning as a going concern.

Weaknesses

Weaknesses with regard to internet security are extensive. For instance, a security culture or program that appears to be below par with other industry players is in itself a major shortcoming. The IT function in any organization has to be strong which appraises capacities to ensure desired security features failure to which exposes an entity to progressive organizational preparedness for cyber risks (Pasare et al., 2014). A failure to invest wisely in online security also presents an organization’s weaknesses to cybercrime. This is founded on the fact that security threats are becoming more specialized in nature to the effect that significant capital resources remain a bare necessity for administrative heads to allow for. More importantly, it is imperative that all stakeholders within a firm be carefully sensitized on the issue as external attacks generally occur as a result of internal weaknesses.

Opportunities

Fortunately, every organization understands the exponential benefits sourced from investing and exploiting available internet resources. The opportunities are therefore many and quite extensive. The benefits far outweigh the security threats though there are risks where if they occur have the potential to pull down an entire organization (Pasare et al., 2014). In the contemporary job market, there is a specialized pool of IT security professionals which an organization can hire to improve their internet security situation. On the same note, the use of IT within the education system implies that all employees coming into the organization will have above average internet security skills compared to five years ago (Pasare et al., 2014). With little investment in further training on the ethical application of internet resources, an organization is well positioned to take full advantage of the necessary resources while at the same time being confident on the robustness of adopted security parameters.

Threats

From an internet security standpoint, online oriented risks are generally easy to describe and prepare for. Major legislations and professional bodies in this field such as the PCI, HIPAA, SOX, and DSS ensure that there is conformance to guidelines which safeguard against associates risks and threats (Pasare et al., 2014). Any organization that fails to head the wisdom of these guidelines is bound to encounter disaster at an astronomical scale. It is worthy to point out that the cost of con-conformance is in essence a threat to business continuity which makes expenditures towards conformance a worthwhile investment.

Contemporary Ethical and Legal Concerns

Ethical Concerns

It is important to note that considerable uneasiness exists with respect to what can be termed as the ethical scope of internet or network security. Such fears emanate from the unethical use of an individual’s or corporate information by another with the sole aim for benefiting from stolen data (Kshetri, 2014). Motivations of such events may include:

Theft of service: Every internet infrastructure offers a noble degree of administration such that security professionals have the capacity to ensure vital safeguards are in place (Kshetri, 2014). However, there are vulnerabilities that unethical hackers tend to exploit such as online data systems which misuse of privileges may expose them to considerable threats.

Valuable Files: Hackers simply seek to attack IT systems with the sole intention of stealing information considered to be of value. These individuals target organizational or personal data that translates to financial gain albeit in a criminal way (Kshetri, 2014). PIN access codes, credit card numbers, and so on are considered to be of good value and is often targeted during intrusions.

Vengeance: in organizations, there are always internal stakeholders who feel aggrieved by other employees in the administrative structure and seek revenge in a number of avenues. Internet users can gain an easy means for anonymity which makes such platforms viable avenues for revenge missions (Kshetri, 2014). This unethical approach to settling disputes not only damages internal operations but compromises the level of trust amongst organizational members and the internet systems in place thereby compromising organizational output.

Thrill or Excitement: Even in the education system such as in high schools, there are instances where students bet amongst each other as to whom will be the first to bypass security parameters so that students have access to free internet resources such as WIFI. Such students have nothing to gain other than the thrill of being able to do it and gain notoriety from peers. Similarly, there are external threats that target organizational IT infrastructure which is considered as robust simply for show (Kshetri, 2014). Unfortunately, such escapades tend to have expensive consequences for organizations though these are at times embraced as positive ventures towards assessing the levels of vulnerability to a given system.

Experimentation: The are professional referred to as ethical hackers who attempt intrusion into established internet security systems not for the thrill of it but with the objective of gain knowledge on means to better strengthen existing security infrastructure (Kshetri, 2014). These experimental hacks indeed serve the hackers well as those who qualify to successful engage in such experiments often gain contracts as security upgrade experts.

Legal Concerns

These offer a rationale for which to base ethical issues on concerning internet security. There are a number of legal and legitimate fears that need consideration when an individual or corporate entity is seeking web security. To this effect, there are robust and carefully thought out pieces of legislations and regulations aimed at defending clients from intrusions or hacks as well as countering against attempts to unlawfully trade user information held in remote databases (Popescul & Georgescu, 2014). Typically, framework access is normally protected via passwords though the reckless handling by clients or administrators often exposes them to vulnerabilities.

The U.S. Department of Home Land Security (DHS) is mandated by law to implement the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) guidelines (Kshetri, 2014). As an orientation and lexicon system, it offers catalogues which ensure adherence to CVE guidelines by organizations operating under American law. Such protocols play an important part in appraising adherence to security parameters such as password strengths which often appraise internet security susceptibilities (Popescul & Georgescu, 2014). They ensure that passwords employed within an organization are not easily predicted by hackers.

The Firewall remains one of the most commonly trusted internet security measures to date. This is an essential component of basic IT infrastructure that serves to screen computer or internet enabled devices collaborations via the internet (Sicari, Rizzardi, Grieco, & Coen-Porisini, 2015). The Firewall is designed to capture, break down, and store the progression of data transmissions between an organization’s computers interacting in the internet. It basically acknowledges requests and holds them for a brief period prior to determining whether or not to allow for any intended executions. It also bears a distinct database in which all suspicious summonses are flagged as inconveniences (Sicari et al., 2015). Through this process, it is able to disregard some data relays thereby ensuring the internet infrastructure and users’ online security.

Virus monitoring and detection software exist and basically integrate information with logic towards scanning and pinpointing the extensive variety of computer viruses before they are exposed to an organization’s network infrastructure (Sicari et al., 2015). Virus detection codes are continually being upgraded as unethical software developers continue to innovatively attempt to compromise internet security safeguards. For example, some viruses, worms, and malware are packaged as e-mail attachments in an effort to bypass Firewall defenses and evade antivirus software (Sicari et al., 2015). If such an attachment is opened by an unwitty user, it may compromise an organization’s entire IT systems infrastructure at great expense.

Contemporary Internet Security Enhancements

Numerous startups, individuals, and organizations have entered into the field of network security to offer innovative breakthroughs towards appraising defenses against online threats in the past few years. This has been boosted by the number of internet ready devices accessible to billions of internet users in attempt to safeguard client interests and internet user experiences (Sicari et al., 2015). Security planners’ objectives and philosophies basically abide by such security measures as authorization, authentication, access control and compartmentalization which are now verifiable using structural components such as fingerprint and iris scanners. There are also groups of professionals which continually run security system audits as well as susceptibility tests that assess and perceive possible intrusions (Sicari et al., 2015). Role based authorization has also been identified as being a more robust feature in comparison to earlier solitary authorization protocols.

Enhancements at the Commercial and Personal Internet User Level

SSL has also been embraced as the standardized approach towards secure internet transmissions. Visa entities have also opted to secure interactions between users and their systems through the Secure Electronic Exchange (SET) protocol (Sicari et al., 2015). SET places much emphasis on validation and secrecy make it impossible for authorized credit card vendors to gain any access to client’s data during transactions.

Architectural Model of Firewalls for Internet Security

The diagram below offers a representation of Firewall application based on SSL encryption technology for purposes of safeguarding external and internal IT resources.

 

Figure 1: Architectural Model of a Firewall for Internet Security

Future Directions

The dynamic aspects of internet usage witnessed today demand that every industry focus on distinctive needs to the effect that there is the need for industry specific internet security features. This is based on the fact that each industry tends to interact differently with the consumer or user markets (Sicari et al., 2015). More importantly, the internet is essentially an untamed environment that can also be likened to adolescent years. However, the current inclination amongst dominant players in the technologies industry suggests that internet security is bound to be greatly dependent on biometric exchanges (Sicari et al., 2015). This has been precipitated by the widespread utilization of handheld internet ready devices such as tablets and smartphones which also contain sensitive user data. Biometric features for internet security is a worthy safeguard against the easy theft of such devices.

Conclusion

As this paper has provided, network/web/internet security is a field that has grown in leaps and bounds over the space of a decade and is projected to develop at an exponential pace in the foreseeable future. Professionals in this field continue to make headways through positive collaborations with major internet users towards safeguarding the benefits associated with innovative internet usage. Technological advances and proactive internet security development initiatives as well as well-informed legislations have set stable foundations through which to keep unethical hackers at bay. Encrypted information, secure client verification procedures and firewalls continue to act as robust lines of defenses against internet based intrusion threats.

 

 

References

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Jing, Q., Vasilakos, A. V., Wan, J., Lu, J., & Qiu, D. (2014). Security of the internet of things: Perspectives and challenges. Wireless Networks, 20(8), 2481-2501.

Kshetri, N. (2014). Big data׳ s impact on privacy, security and consumer welfare. Telecommunications Policy, 38(11), 1134-1145.

Mueller, M., Schmidt, A., & Kuerbis, B. (2013). Internet security and networked governance in international relations. International Studies Review15(1), 86-104.

Pasare, A. L., Ciuchi, C., & Botan, C. (2014). A New Approach for e-Government Process: Standardization of Identity, Security and Internet Content in Public Administration-Registry of Subdomains GOV. RO. Int’l J. Info. Sec. & Cybercrime3, 7.

Popescul, D., & Georgescu, M. (2014). Internet of Things–some ethical issues. The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration13(2 (18)), 208-214.

Sicari, S., Rizzardi, A., Grieco, L. A., & Coen-Porisini, A. (2015). Security, privacy and trust in Internet of Things: The road ahead. Computer Networks76, 146-164.

Skarmeta, A. F., Hernandez-Ramos, J. L., & Moreno, M. V. (2014). A decentralized approach for security and privacy challenges in the internet of things. In Internet of Things (WF-IoT), 2014 IEEE World Forum on (pp. 67-72). IEEE.