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Network Security Design: Best Practices & Principles

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

Security is very important these days, and it starts at the network level. In this lesson, we'll take a look at network security, what it is, what network security design is, best practices, and some principles to follow.

Securing the Point of Entry

We need to keep things secure. It's a fact of life. There are those that would steal our vehicles, there are those that would vandalize our homes and buildings, and there are even those that would compromise our information. And this last one is the most troubling because the effects can be far-reaching. So what can we do? What must we consider to make ourselves safe? That's not an easy question to answer as there are a number of places where problems can manifest. Still, the vast majority of them start at the network level. So that's where our initial gaze should go, at network security.

What is Network Security?

Network security is the area of computer science that focuses on protecting the underlying network infrastructure. It is typically a combination of both hardware and software measures that protects against the following:

  • Unauthorized Access : this measure ensures that only those with authorization gain access to the network. An example is the credentials you must enter when logging into your computer network.
  • Malicious Use : this measure manifests itself in a number of ways. The most common is that high value network resources are locked away from public access. An example is your company's computer room.
  • Faults : this measure is concerned with detecting and preventing potential issues when and before they occur. An example is the temperature sensors in the computers and devices that supply information on the operational state.
  • Tampering : this measure monitors when devices are accessed, or when cases are opened to determine when something might have happened that shouldn't. An example is when credentials are used for access to the resource.
  • Destruction : this measure is similar to malicious use, and works primarily in a preventative capacity. An example is the company's computer room, as mentioned above.
  • Disclosure : this measure focuses on keeping the particulars of the network secret, so that exploits cannot be easily developed. An example is keeping the specifications under lock and key so that only those that need to know the particulars have access to them.

What is Network Security Design?

Network security design is the process of designing a network so that it includes measures that prevent the problems mentioned in the previous sections. As you might imagine, this is no easy task. The number of permutations for each area are numerous, and constantly increasing. This make it difficult to imagine a comprehensive solution. Fortunately, there are a number of ideas that can improve your chances of success.

What are Some Best Practices or Principles for Network Security Design?

There are no preset rules when attempting network security design. Each situation will be different. But there are a number of things that should be considered regardless of the situation. There are as follows:

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