Network security action
There are two main ways to improve network security; the first is user education, the second is additional IT resources.
- User education
- It is very difficult to get into a network from outside, but relatively easy to get an unwary individual to provide access. Fortunately, is also relatively easy to educate people on how to avoid this.
- Additional IT resources
- Additional equipment software and services will improve network security. A single additional network device can significantly improve security, and be effective even on a compromised network.
Network security issues
Below, briefly, are some of the issues that make network security difficult, but this is far even from an overview of this huge subject. First, a simple definition of what a network security threat is:
A network security threat is computer activity that may be deemed unnecessary and may benefit others.
This definition seems vague, but it needs to encompass computer activity that is tolerated by some but not by others, something that can change over time, especially if the cost rises - all computer activity has a cost.
- More threats
- The Internet is very difficult to police, so as more people gain the opportunity to deploy threats with little chance of being held accountable, deploying threats is increasing.
- More kinds of threat
- Threat counter-measures encourage development of new kinds of threat, to regain the advantage. Counter-measures are necessarily reactions to threats, so threat creators always have the advantage.
- Soft threats
- Some threats have become normalised. For example, tracking of websites visited is often accepted, even though it consumes resources that have to be paid for, and the trackers gain the main or only advantage. Another example is smartphone apps that ask for many permissions and more on updates. Are all the permissions really necessary, or are they instead for the benefit of others?
- Compromise threats
- Threats may be embedded within useful software, being a condition of using the software, such as adverting in a free mobile app. Adverts may do more than just advertise.
- Covert threats
- Some threats are intended to steal measured amounts of resources, such as computing power Internet connection bandwidth and electrical power, so they can go on without detection. Cryptocurrency mining when the computer is on but not busy is a relatively recent threat.
- Blended threats
- Some threats have more than one objective. For example, botnet membership is a kind of covert threat that can be used to send spam or take part in denial of service attacks.
- Intrusive threats
- Extortion and blackmail are examples of threats that need to be intrusive to perform as intended, such as encrypting one’s data and requiring payment to decrypt it, or threatening to make public some sensitive data or images.