Network Security

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INTRODUCTION
In today’s modern world computer networks are the basic source of information exchange for all types of businesses. Different technologies are used within the context of networking depending on the requirements of an organization. Ethernet is off course the best technology for the “local area network” (LAN), but when the organization spread their business to much longer distances (cities) then WAN technologies need to be deployed to keep the business running. The selection of an appropriate WAN technology that can ensure efficiency and security of the business network is off course a challenging task for a network specialist. I am commissioned by a nationwide firm of lawyers and accountants to perform such a challenging task. The firm has its Head office in Manchester and a branch office in Glasgow. My job is to produce a consultation report to connect both of their sites together using an appropriate WAN technology and then specify and design their “network security provision”. In this report I am going to discuss different WAN technologies and will select the best among them i.e. IP VPN to connect our network sites together. Based on the diagrams provided for the planes of two sites I will identify the areas of security weaknesses and risks and will recommend the necessary solutions to overcome those weaknesses. I will then present techniques to prevent our network from several viruses and malicious softwares that could destroy our network. I will suggest some necessary actions to be carried out in order to strengthen the security of our network. Finally I will enlighten the role of switches in securing networks and will explain the role of “IEEE 802.1x protocol” in our “network security provision”. Keeping in mind all the above key factors I will produce a complete report of “network security provision” for the lawyers and accountants firm that will gain their entire satisfaction. PART 1 – “WAN TECHNOLOGIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS” “WAN TECHNOLOGIES”:

In this part of my document I will describe some available WAN technologies that could be used to connect our two sites at different locations (cities) together. Then I will recommend the best technology that will suit our requirements to securely connect our network providing several facts and figures. “INTEGRATED SERVICES DIGITAL NETWOK”:- (ISDN)

“ISDN” is a WAN technology which is based on circuit switching that initiate a data connection only when it is required and terminates the connection when data transfer is complete. ISDN has the potential to transfer half or full duplex digital data across two points based on dial up system using the telephone line of the telecommunication companies. It does not require a dedicated link for its data transmission. Since data transfer over the line digitally therefore the error rate is less as compared to analog connections. Only those telephone companies provide ISDN services who have converted from analog to digital switching systems. ISDN services need a special telephone connection installed by the local telephone company called “U-loop”, which is a combination of two copper wires of 5.5 km maximum length from the local telephone company. This U-loop is connected to the NT1 (“Network Terminal 1”) at our premises. NT1 is then connected to the router or directly to the computer. The most common speed of ISDN is 128 kbps which is capable of supporting several simultaneous users at a good response rate. It is also available at a speed of 256 kbps and 512 kbps but at relatively high costs. The low billing method is a real advantage of ISDN technology because it costs only the number of hours used a month plus the “per call connection charges”. ISDN provide increased bandwidth on a dial-up connection, easy and faster setup and is capable of transferring “voice, data and video” communications over a telephone network. (Dash, 1999)

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