This page outlines the various technical and management areas that comprise network and computer system security. These categories include actions and areas of knowledge that will help administrators in securing a network. When administrators have proper knowledge about intruder attacks, networking, and security protocols, they can properly set up a network to be more secure.
- Application and Operating system vulnerability control - Includes:
- Inventoring software used on your network including all server and client software operating systems, applications, and services. The version number of each software component should be recorded.
- Watching security bulletins for new discovered vulnerabilities on software in use on your network.
- Updating applications in a timely fashion when security vulnerabilities are found.
- Service monitoring - Every network administrator should know what services and network ports are active on each system on the network. Service and port use should be limited to only those that are necessary on each system.
- Approved Software - Only software approved by the Information Systems department should be used in the organization. This is not to restrict someone's rights, but to protect the organization from potentially hostile software such as trojan or spyware programs.
- Network Management
- Management of network structure - Where routers, bridges and other devices are used. What network transmission media are used. Network layoout can be used to increase the network security.
- Firewalls - Implementation, configuration, management, and monitoring.
- Intrusion detection - Determining when an intruder has penetrated or attempted penetration of the network.
- Traps - Traps can be used to delay some intruders or prevent damage.
- Passwords - Passwords may have different methods of storage, transmittal, or password policies. Variations of these methods can affect the security of the passwords and the network.
- Security tools - Various tools can be used to check the security strength of the network and various computers.
- User Education - Educating users so they can be aware of what to do and what not to do to help keep the network secure.
- Intruder attacks - An administrator should have some knowledge of the various types of intruder attacks in order to better be able to structure the network and various systems to be resistant to these attacks.
- Hardware management - Hardware devices which can connect to the network indemendently of your normal connection such as modems should be managed to be sure they are not used without approval and if used should be properly protected.
- Virus Protection - Virus protection is used to identify and remove viruses from computer systems and should be actively running on all systems on the network. However, virus protection will not defend against undocumented viruses.
- Security policy - Security policy outlines how the network is used and even may determine wording of warnings. These warnings may state something like "Unauthorized use is prohibited". Security policy may be used to determine password policies, external connection policies, use of the internet and so forth. The policy should also state how software will be used and only approved software will be used.
- Security protocols - Knowledge about various encryption protocols, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they are best used can help administrators make networks much more secure.