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Why is Network Security Important?

Instructor: Christopher Shupe

Christopher has worked in several areas of IT, including Helpdesk Support and Network Administration, and has completed a BA in Mass Communications.

In this lesson, we seek to explain how network security affects everyone in their daily lives and why it is important that everyone thinks about their behaviors when interacting with information technology.

How is Network Security Important?

Network security, without understanding why we have it, is a little frustrating. Even the professionals sometimes wish that things were a little simpler.

Despite what we may wish, we must work with the system that

That goes for any security that is implemented, not just network related. Security procedures add work to an existing project. A good administrator balances the needs of security in the organization and the capabilities of the employees in the organization.

With these facts in mind, network security is an important part of everyone's professional and personal lives.

Security is Professional

To give an example of why it is important, let's take a look at a favorite example regarding passwords. In the field, technicians will often find passwords on post it notes tacked to the wall or the monitor or under the keyboard. One of the rules most companies have for computer usage stated that passwords were not to be shared in any fashion.

In following with network security policy, a technician should dispose of them in an appropriate manner, leaving a reminder that the user was not allowed to do that. Inevitably, someone will call and complain. Many technicians would bring up policy, pass the call up the chain to their supervisor or even point out the potential threat that such behavior can bring about. Finding out that a coworker might decide to write an email to someone higher up in the company and make a threat or insult someone in a manner worthy of termination makes them think again about their actions.

Very few can argue after that. The reminder of such damage brings it home. Making life easier on themselves might result in them carrying a box out the door with security escorting them.

Network security is important in a professional setting for both reason of following office guidelines and for protecting yourself against malicious attack from another inside the organization.

Security is Legal and Financial

Depending on where you work, there may be legal ramifications to what you do. One example is the fact that an improperly placed printer in a doctor's office can leave private data available for theft or unauthorized viewing. Poorly placed monitors can allow people to stand behind medical personnel and read private data. This and many other actions are covered under HIPAA, something everyone has heard of, if they have ever gone to the doctor.

Just as for medical institutions, there are legal conditions for government jobs, for financial institutions and for educational institutions. Even when going to the gas station, they experience regulatory conditions that include elements of network security. This set of regulations is called PCI and has to do with the handling of any credit card transactions. Not meeting the standards set by PCI can have your license to use cards revoked, depending on your efforts to meet their strict conditions.

Network security is important when considering the legal ramifications of actions and can have consequences both in the courtroom and to financial situations.

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