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Research Paper Example: How to Maintain the Security of Data within an Organization's Network

4 pages
853 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In all data security issues, there are common elements that all organizations must take into account when applying their measures: people, processes, and technology. Data security is a crucial issue that affects almost all of us. Every time there are more technological products that in one way or another must be taken into account for security issues and that are being introduced in our daily life, from smart watches to vehicles without a driver. The Internet of Things (IoT) era has arrived and, of course, the IoT-related hacks. All these connected devices create new "conversations" between devices, interfaces, private infrastructures and the cloud, which in turn creates more opportunities for hackers to listen. All this has driven demand for solutions and data security experts who can build stronger and less vulnerable networks.

Recent trends have shown that ransom ware attacks are increasing in frequency and severity. It has become a booming business for cyber thieves and hackers, who access the network and hijack data and systems. In recent months, large companies and other organizations, as well as private users, have fallen victim to this type of attack and have had to pay the ransom or run the risk of losing valuable data. Thinking about data security and building defenses from the first moment is of vital importance. Security engineers aim to protect the network from threats from its inception until they are reliable and secure. Security engineers design systems that protect the right things in the right way. If the goal of a software engineer is to ensure that things happen, the purpose of the security engineer is to ensure that (bad) things do not occur by designing, implementing and testing complete and secure systems.

Security engineering covers a lot of ground and includes many measures, from security tests and regular code reviews to the creation of security architectures, encryptions and threat models to keep a network locked and secure from a holistic point of view. If data is intercepted, encryption makes it harder for hackers to do something with them. This is because the encrypted data is illegible to unauthorized users without the encryption key. Encryption should not be left to the end and should be carefully integrated into the network and the existing workflow to make it more successful. If suspicious-looking actions occur on the network, such as someone or something trying to enter, intrusion detection will be activated. Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) continuously and passively monitor network traffic for behavior that appears illicit or anomalous and marks it for review. NIDS not only blocks that traffic, but they also collect information about it and alert network administrators.

But despite all this, security breaches still occur. That's why it's important to have a response plan for a data breach. You have to be prepared to take action with an effective system. That system can be updated as often as needed, for examples if there are changes in the network components or new threats arise that need to be addressed. A strong system against a violation will ensure that you have the resources ready and that it is easy to follow a set of instructions to seal the violation and all that entails, whether you need to receive legal assistance, have insurance policies, data recovery plans or notify any partner of the issue.

When one is connected to the Internet, a good way to ensure that only the right people and files are receiving our data is through firewalls: software or hardware designed with a set of rules to block access to the network of unauthorized users. They are excellent lines of defense to prevent data interception and block malware trying to enter the network, and also prevent valuable information from leaving, such as passwords or confidential data. Security analysts and vulnerability assessment professionals are key elements in identifying possible holes and closing them. The security analysis software is used to exploit any vulnerability in a computer, network or communications infrastructure, prioritizing and addressing each of them with data security plans that protect, detect and react.

Vulnerability analysis (which identifies potential threats) may also include deliberately investigating a network or system to detect failures or make intrusion tests. It is an excellent way to identify vulnerabilities ahead of time and design a plan to solve them. If there are operating system failures, problems with breaches, code for certain applications or other similar problems, a network administrator expert in intrusion testing can help you locate these problems and apply patches so that you are less likely to have an attack. Intrusion testing involves the execution of manual or automated processes that disrupt servers, applications, networks and even end-user devices to see if an intrusion is possible and where that break occurred. From this, they can generate a report for the auditors as proof of compliance. A complete intrusion test can save you time and money by preventing costly attacks in weak areas you do not know. System downtime can be another annoying side effect of malicious attacks, so doing intrusion testing regularly is a great way to avoid problems before they arise.

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