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This dissertation will evaluate the network security issues, its current situation, existing network policies, key network security factors and challenges in SMB, and aims to propose the recommendations for improving the current policies and procedures to reduce or alleviate the impact of the security risk. The research plan includes survey, primary and secondary data collection on studying network security aspects.
Background of the study
Today the world becoming more interconnected than it was few years ago and the reason is fast growing network technologies and Internet. Nowadays it is almost impossible imagine world without Internet and network. As the speed is increasing the security issues related to the network security going up as well. If in early years we had minor threats and worries about the vulnerability and protection of our data in the internal and external network in a small business nowadays we should take care more than it was. About 10-15 years ago there was not even a sign that the technology will grow so fast. As an example the speed of Local Area Network will change from 10 M/bits to 1G/bit, the wireless technology such as Wi-Fi and WiMAX will come up, the mobile network technology will evaluate and could reach the speed when everyone can watch a movie in HD format.
Fast and reliable network has born other new problems and concerns how to keep the internal data secure and not to be compromised (Richardson, 2008). Every technology and invention has another side as well such as security aspect. Network security has huge importance as the intellectual property and security data can be acquired easily through Internet if the organization has not any information and security policy. From what was said above we can define the Network security as: The combinations of policies and procedures and countermeasure acts implemented to avoid and keep track of exploitation, destruction, disclosure and well-implemented policies for blocking viruses, hackers from the accessing or changing secure information.
Purpose and significance of the research area
The pace of network technologies has risen and the hazards and threats, hacker’s attacks (Christian S. Fötinger, Wolfgang Ziegler , 2005) to the business on the rise as well. With this speed we need to be aware and prepare network security policies and procedures in order to be ready to face any possible attacks, attempts to destroy, obtain or change any data being held by the business.
The main purpose of this research is to define the awareness of network security and its effect to the small business by the employees, find out the current security policies and procedures and help to improve it and alleviate existing problems. Also this document will provide to small business owners and employees with a better understanding of network security and make recommendations to understanding and acknowledging the threats. Statement of the problem
Statement of the Problem
For a ordinary PC user the impact of virus attack or security breaches can be much less that if it had a place in an organization. The PC is generally just a single entity and any network security breaks impact is not distributed beyond that PC. But if it was in an organization premises it could have more serious impact not only on that particular work station also it could be spread among the organization as well. The most companies there are often consist of a number of different systems, different type of information, terminals for processing customer’s data, servers (Knapp, 2011). Having such a complex structure has determined multiple points of entry and source of vulnerability which can be used by hackers, viruses and who has any intention for espionage or attacks.
Internet connection adding additional problems to maintain small business network environment secure and safe. The business use e-mail and Internet to communicate inside and outside the organisation. This poses other secure issues like spreading computer viruses and provided an additional opportunity for the hackers, which can easily enter an organization network and wreak havoc on total intranet. By growing the pace of online business the network security has become significantly important and costly to be ignored.
Another problem’s are that most computer users have not enough knowledge’s about computer and network security (Kenneth C. Laudon, Jane P.Laudon, 2012). It might be result of lack of network policy of the organization or even not existence such a policy. Another problem is most of small business has limited fund to keep their own IT specialist or to have some IT companies on the side.
All these problems stated above have impact on the business securities and can reduce company’s ability to ensure confidentiality, authenticity and data integrity.
Main research question and Sub questions
Main research question:
What are the key aspects and impact of the current network security policy of small and mid enterprise and what recommendation could be made to make the policy effective?
– What are key defining factors of a Network security?
– What are key defining factors of a Network security for SME?
– What are challenges in Network Security?
– What recommendations to SME?
– What recommendations to any general SME’s?
Plan of work
1. Written project proposal (draft) 18th January 2013
2. Written project proposal (final) 25th January 2013
3. Information and data collection 2nd February 2013
4. Analysis of the information collected 9th February 2013
5. Final writing of the dissertation February 2013
6. Submission Before deadline March 2013
Network security has become an essential need for any organization. The security issues and threats are increasing everyday and making high speed broadband weather wired or wireless insecure and less reliable. Working out the weak sides of the network security and improving the security policy and procedures are most important things towards which every owner or manager of small business must pay their attention (Spivey, 2007). This dissertation aims to help a small business to improve or alleviate that burden and network issues what they face in everyday base.
Chapter 2. Preliminary literature review
This chapter will provide the collection of information and critical literature review which was collected and examined for the purpose of the study. Information mostly related to the network security issues and to the main and sub-questions question of this dissertation. The review gathered information regarding past and current network security management issues and highlighted nowadays security trends in wired and wireless network.
Background of the Network security
The computer security problem has the same age as the computer itself. Even in early 1950s the necessity of proper hardware-based protection already recognized. ( Karl Maria Michael de Leeuw, Jan Bergsta, 2007). But that was a time when everything could be controlled physically and have not had that complexity. Later the Internet took a birth on 1969 by Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANet) which was accredited by USA Department of Defence (DoD). ARPANet was successful from the beginning and in two years it had 15 nodes (23 hosts) and the e-mail application was invented. Despite of the fact that originally it was designed for the research purposes and was aimed to allow scientist to share their data and access remote computers, electronic mail quickly becomes one of the most popular application. This gives for ARPANet to become a high-speed digital office of that time, where people could collaborate on their research projects and have a discussion various interests and topics. On October 1972 the International Conference on Computer Communications at the Washington DC formed International Network Working Group (INWG) which main role was to identify the needs for a combined effort in advancing networking technologies and Vinton Cerf appointed first Chairman who becomes known as “Father of the internet” (H’obbes’, 2012).
In 1982 the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) – TCP/IP, as the protocol suite, were established for ARPANET and it was first time when all computers in the network were presented as a collection of networks or Internet. Shortly in 1984 as the number of hosts becomes more than 1,000 it becomes more complicated to remember each host address. Therefore the Domain Name Service (DNS) was presented the main purpose of which was to translate the numeric computer addresses presented as184.108.40.206 into understandable host name www.google.com. In 20 years the number of Internet hosts broke 1,000,000 and in this time period the Internet users already have faced with accidentally-propagated status-message virus in 1980, Internet worm which has affected ~6,000 of the 60,000 hosts on the Internet in 1988, and presented many different network protocols such as DNS, DHCP, UUCP, NNTP. It also have connected the Europe and North and South America continents (H’obbes’, 2012).
Starting from 1990s the Internet becomes available to the public. The main reason the World Wide Web (WWW) protocol was introduced and become more popular. First Internet browsers Netscape and Microsoft were competing by that time. Since then the Internet has become the source of threats for network security and any business’ network face constant threats from various types of viruses, worms, malware and spyware software and more. Design and achieving plans and network policies for network security for small business requires big effort to protect the business from these threats. Although numbers of studies were carried and information security law in operation we still facing new threats and it cannot be overcome by single and simple action. Below the key defining factors, challenges and main security factors will be reviewed.
Key defining factors for Network security
Regarding the key factors of network security different sources has controversial and different opinions and views. Depends on the place and auditorium where the survey was conducted this factors are different. The information security breaches survey in UK conducted by PwC with association InfoSecurity Europe, Reed Exhibitions and BIS in April 2012 find out interesting facts. According to this survey report up to 76% of small business had security breaches, 54% of small business don’t have any plans or programme for improving or educating their staff about the security risks. The same time controls are not keeping same pace with business changes and most of SMB’s (56%) did not carry out and checked their external provider’s security and just relaying on contracts. The same time 52% of SMB depends on social networking sites. The tendency to move towards mobile technology poses another risk and threats. As this is nowadays’ requirement almost 34% of SMB allows mobile devices to connect to their systems without insuring or mitigating the security risks. More than half (58%) SMB’s in the UK even not trying to evaluate the network security effectiveness. Another key factor was the staff network security awareness. Nearly 45% of the staff were not informed or had lack or small information. (PwC, Infosecurity Europe, Reed Exhibitions, BIS, 2012). Almost the same percentage (48%) the network security awareness have resulted another survey which was conducted by GFI Software (GFI, 2007)
Everything what was said above has relation only to the additional factors which can improve and help to build robust and secure network. Except that we should take in our account other key factors which might bring more tangible and intangible harms to SMB.
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