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Network security: it's time to take it seriously

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2 Author(s)
Dowd, P.W. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Maryland Univ., College Park, MD, USA ; McHenry, J.T.

“Network security is the most important thing on the planet”. We have heard these words uttered with great conviction many times. However, the first time it causes any inconvenience to system owners, administrators, or users, the same people hasten to add “except when it impacts performance, system complexity, or cost”. Let's face it. Security is usually discarded when it contends with performance. The reason is simple, and at one time it may have even been valid: performance directly contributes to the bottom line while security provides only indirect benefits. But as the world becomes more tightly interconnected, organizations are feeling a greater need to rediscover network security. A thread that spans most definitions of network security is the intent to consider the security of the network as a whole, rather than as an endpoint issue. A comprehensive network security plan must encompass all the elements that make up the network and provide five important services: access-provides users with the means to transmit and receive data to and from any network resources with which they are authorized to communicate; confidentiality-ensures that the information in the network remains private (usually through encryption); authentication-ensures that the sender of a message is who he claims to be; integrity-ensures that a message has not been modified in transit; nonrepudiation-ensures that the originator of the message cannot deny that he sent the message and this is useful for both commercial and legal reasons

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 9 )