Protecting your LAN through Security Assessment
Companies nowadays with the vast data they create every day realise a high need for implementing an effective local area network security requires meeting the following goals:
(1) Maintenance of data confidentiality especially at times when the LAN serves as the storage, processor and transmitter of data
(2) Preservation of data integrity especially when data pass through the systems of local area networks
(3) Sustenance of data availability that is presented on a local area network including the increasing capacity to transmit and process data in a sensible manner and
(4) Ensuring that the private information of sender and receiver are safe and secured. Sufficient security of local area network entails the accurate permutation of procedures and policies related to LAN security, awareness and training of users, disaster planning and technical controls.
Although these areas are considered significant in the providing of sufficient security or protection, the focus of this research study is on the utilisation of technical aspect in securing the overall LAN environment.
Local area networks provide the services of electronic mails as it replaced the inter-organizational mail processes of paper and envelope. The mail envelope offers a high degree of confidentiality especially when sealed that provides the sender and the receiver the guarantee that the message will not be intervened. The use of email or electronic mail does not assure any guarantees on the part of security and integrity of the message. For instance, the simple transfer of messages on local area networks that are unsecured could result in messages that are read and captured prior to the delivery of the messages to the recipient. For some local area networks, there is also no guarantee that the message is sent by the desired sender. However, the presence of tools for digital signatures, encryption and authentication codes for messages could aid in providing solutions to the problems associated with electronic mail.
Steps on Security Assessment
After the deployment of a wireless local area network, assessment of security will ultimately follow for the purpose of ensuring that the WLAN complies with effective security policies. It is fit to connect the network to Unified Communications on the Internet. In a number of situations, it is a requirement to implement mechanisms to efficiently secure the overall system. The system must be tested first, not to trust at once to determine if the network is tough enough to safeguard the company resources that might be attacked by any unauthorised individuals. From time to time, the company must periodically monitor security reviews to prevent WLAN from a hacker, whenever changes happen. A periodic review can be done for at least once a year, but it is better if the review is conducted four times a year to avoid too many risks in networks. Local area networks are considered to be an integrated aspect of the many jobs of installing effective information systems. The following are the steps to consider in performing a security assessment of the wireless local area network environment:
(1) Appraisal of the existing policies related to security. It is important to familiarise first with the policies about wireless LAN before conducting a security assessment. Through this process, an individual will be able to know if the company is abiding by the set policies, then the assessment will follow that will produce recommendation if modifications are needed to be related to the security policy. In the security policy, it is essential that all members of the firm must cooperate with the existing information systems so that security will be complete in its implementation. It is significant that all points of access will be configured based on their settings in compliance with the procedures that will offer the desired level of security of the organisation. The organisation must guarantee that necessary procedures are prepared that would properly distribute policies on security to the worker's inefficient means
(2) System configurations and architecture must be reviewed and analysed to be able to be updated with the present changes in technology. Meeting with the personnel of information systems and thoroughly reading their documents will gain proper comprehension of the meaning of the various access points in the configuration and architecture of the system. A typical user of the system needs to perform this to be able to identify if there are flaws in the design that will offer the threats of hacker throughout the system. For instance, if static wired equivalent privacy or WEP is being employed, then the hacker could employ a variety of tools like Air Snort to enter the process of encryption. Additionally, the reliance of the user on the authentications provided by 802.11 is only capable of verifying the network interface card or NIC of a radio and is unable to trace the user. This vulnerability would permit a person who is unauthorised to embezzle private data of a laptop which is wireless equipped and could possibly hack the entire network of the company
(3) Reviewing the tools for operational procedures and support is also a significant step in the analysis of the network environment. A number of vulnerabilities related to security will be evident when a firm is supporting a wireless LAN environment. As a consequence, it is significant that users must be able to learn procedures and support tools that would serve as the target of security issues. Very few are experts in the field of LAN. The majority of companies, for instance, configure their points of access via the backbone of wired Ethernet. In this procedure, passwords are being mailed to specific points of access using the services of the wired network. Consequently, a hacker who is capable of monitoring the equipment could access to the network powered by the Ethernet and could probably acquire confidential company information like passwords and reconfigure points of access
(4) Users must be interviewed to be able to determine if their awareness about the security of information systems including the degree of security that they could manage or control. For instance, the users must be knowledgeable on the process of coordinating the process of installing the components of a wireless local area network in an organisation. However, the organisation must not assume that everyone has prior knowledge about the existing security policy. A newly hired employee or someone who was not able to see the policy must have a point of access from the local supply office store to be empowered to be able to install these components on the network without the need of updating or activating any security settings to be able to offer wireless connection within the office. The utilisation of personal firewalls is also a nice idea in protecting the security of the network
(5) Verification of wired device configurations. An aspect of the security policy must be able to determine points of access in configuring a desired level of security.
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