Network security is an emerging trend and concern in the global world. The era of information technology is inevitable. With the upsurge of information systems and technology, the world according to (Stefan, 2009) is a now a global village. Gains from the advancement in technology have, however, come up with some costs. The rate of cyber related crime is currently on the upward trend (Midge, 2009). There is the need to secure data bases. This is the essence of the paper. The cyber crime upsurge has put the confidentiality of company data at risk. This is a concern to have the secure storage of information. This paper is out to discuss illustrations of the network security. Various companies adopt diverse technologies. This is the basis for technocrats to develop information technology models to forecast future trends.
There is the desire to establish rules and regulations to curb the crime rate. Communication commissions should move with speed to lay down rules and penalties for those who break communication safety rules. Different companies have come up with data protocols and cryptographic techniques to counter the network insecurity. Companies assign unique Internet protocol addresses to enhance the network security. Data base administrators have come up with the use of functional keys to protect their data base (Stuart, 2009).
Description of Network Security
Network security can be defined as safe and formal logistic to protect data in the global setting. There is the need to develop mechanisms to cater for security needs. Network privacy and security forum advocate for the establishment of measures, such as passwords and firewalls to guarantee the security. The use of agents and the rising trend of mobile communication pose the security threat. Agents such as web designers and web administrators sometimes can invade into a company or individual network without prior permission (McClure, 2010). Communication systems, such as electronic transfer of funds and access of confidential information of the company over Internet, are sometimes a security concern.
Criminals sometimes use malicious codes to pose a security threat. Network security threats include hacking, intrusion and cyber terrorism. This is common in information sharing environments. Heterogeneity of information is another source of network insecurity. The use of malicious codes and resultant attacks against the network are an emerging trend in cybercrime.
Technology in Network Security
Telecommunication companies use different technologies. The mobile phone technology employs the use of passwords as a security measure. The stiff competition among mobile phone operators sometimes causes a network jam. This facilitates the need for collateral agreements to enhance connectivity. Failure to establish guiding rules among operators will lead to communication breakdown. This is a security concern. Network configuration among enhances the network security. Some providers opt for automatic networks, while others desire manual networks.
Different technologies originate from the consumer space. These include e-books, e-readers, Google and e-tablets. Technologies change the manner companies communicate. Organizational employees need to collaborate using Internet. This will boost business options with clients, partners and fellow employees. Social listening is common in all networks. Business players can understand their counterparts with a lot of ease. There is an instant feedback in organizations, which enjoy secure networks. This is as a result of new technologies cropping from secure sites.
The advancement of transfer of information using the Bluetooth technology is a security concern. The network connectivity of the sender and receiver sometimes is tampered with pathway hackers. This leads to convey of confidential information to the wrong person or recipient. The world wide website has accelerated the access to the global information. However, it has also led to the emergence of piracy of individual literary works all over the world. System authentication is crucial. This involves authorization of systems, users and applications. The IT experts need to develop business models with secure configurations (Khanate, 2008).
Technological advancement has led to computer worms and viruses. Computer viruses come up as a result of pirated programs and access to unsecure websites. There is a massive loss of data among companies with the rising nature of computer viruses. There is a siege on the vital information. There is a need to configure computers with safe and secured programs to spare the cost of system breakdown. The smart technology offers a chance to remote an access to social services. There is the need to enhance the security to avoid the abuse in the provision of social services. Services include healthcare and access to the quality education. Insecure networks will blur the provision of these services vital to the human capital development.
The degree of the digital revolution has led to massive changes in operations of companies. This is through the world interconnectivity. It is not withstanding that the revolution comes with cost cutting technologies. The desire to satisfy digital revolution demands will lead to exploration in data connectivity (Verfahren, 2008).
The Future Trends in Network Security
There is a need to develop homogenous environments to curb the data crime. System authentication and demand of prior identity is inevitable to enhance the security. Multiparty communication ought to have unique identification codes. IP protocols track system is essential. Another future trend is peer to computation of network. There is a need to develop the worldwide authorization and authentication (Verfahren, 2008). Companies are shifting to the cloud computation of data. This is a challenge to young companies with inefficient facilities to protect their data. Other companies now use the SaaS models.
Social networks now rely on the network security. Some of the common social networks which rely on the network are MySpace, twitter; Facebook and 2go.security in networks assure users of confidentiality of their information. The social network is a new capital venture. Companies post adverts for their goods and services. Online hire of personnel now takes place through Internet. This is especially through social sites. The technology industry is in the process of embracing the cloud computing as the determinant of IT growth.
There are a growing number of sensors which engage in the global data collection and dissemination. According to IDC, an international research firm, the volume of digital information increases every year. Statistics show that a storage gallery of at least 35 trillion GB is desirable by the year 2020. The application of telematics will permit organizations to receive, send and store data through their networks. The telecommunication devices will allow storage of the data. This is in addition to executing remote controls. The security of networks will enhance collection, management of massive volumes of data. These will be cost effective (Verfahren, 2008).
List of Companies Involved in the Enhancement of Network Security
Some of the companies involved in the enhancement of network security include IBM and Vodafone. The Lloyd 360 company is in the process of enhancing data and network security. The IDC is an international IT firm. The firm advocates for the cloud computation to enhance the network security. The Ernest& Young is an international financial firm responsible for the network security. This is because of the role technology plays in the expansion and collapse of the business. The Garter consultancy is a network provider firm. The company expects all Forbes-rank companies to embrace cloud services in their networks. Cloud computation is in the take off stage. Providers of IT hardware and software will flourish into indefinite utilities with the advancement of network technologies.
Legal Framework to Guarantee Network Security
Professional firms now outsource services of system analyst to spell out legal provisions on the network security. International control and audit associations are in the forefront to design the legal framework. The advent in the use patents and copyrights is a legal concern and issue. Data encryption advocates for protection of data in virtual libraries. The virtual sites rely on the network configuration to protect the data from unauthorized access.
Governments have the responsibility of enacting legislation to curb crimes associated with the network. Young governments have legislations in incubation stages to control the crime rate. The law requires prosecution agencies to order an investigation into any case of the suspected cybercrime. The government is supposed to be vigilant to protect citizens. Citizens are sharing personal data on Internet. There is a need to regulate communication on social websites to promote lawfulness. Facebook is a forum for social interaction. There is an eminent danger in the site as criminals are now using the site to promote their illegal engagements.
The European Union has developed strict legislations to curb insecurity over Internet. Websites are under obligation to delete data upon request. Pieces of legislation aim to enhance the privacy protection (Verfahren, 2008).
Global Implications of Network Security
The status of global business development is functional of the network security. Companies are now doing business globally. This is through the use of electronic banking, commerce and payment systems. This depends on the use of network. With the surety of network security, there is a growth in the volume of global trade. Virtual markets provide a forum for consumers to trade with suppliers. Online travelers rely on transshipment technologies. International courier services use the network to transact business. Technological investment is on the rise.
Network security will facilitate the business intelligence. Organizations will gather and code information to aid in decision-making on policy issues. The smart mobility of networks will modify the nature of socialization. The smart devices enhance Internet connectivity. The emergence of new industry players to take advantage of network ventures is a concern. The emergence of the cloud computation enables data centers to provide powerful information. Powerful devices link smart mobile devices. This has facilitated a main development and growth in IT sector. A leading company did a survey on information security. Results were clear that almost 45% of respondents in 56 countries deploy and evaluate the cloud computation (Verfahren, 2008).
International companies are now spending a large portion of their income to boost the network security. This is to avoid the large loss of confidential information pertaining to the company. There is sufficient spending in research and development to boost the network. The Forex companies set 10% of their total gains to research on the network security. Forex bureaus conduct their businesses online using Internet. Frequent breakdown in a network will lead to loss of the substantial income to trading agencies. There is a need to secure the network to avoid the temporal breakdown.
There is a boom in global settings. Securities exchange bureaus rely on secure networks to be efficient. For instance, the NASDAQ is a bond security trader in the Wool Mart street. The company trades through. This means the network manager ought to work extra hard to enhance the system network. Trading takes place through the online speculation. Speculative activities in the spread of the cloud computation will by large and far transform business models. This has the economy of scale reducing risks. The Gartner company concurs that social networks will form the basis of business communication by the year 2014. The portion of employees in the social networks will be a significant figure of 20% in the global trend (Verfahren, 2008).
Information Warfare and Cyber Terrorism
Events that transpired during the cold war gave birth to a new era in the treatment of information. Governments became more cautious in their handling of sensitive information. Information was seen as both an instrument and a target, used to attack an enemy and defend oneself. Offensive operations targeting disruption of an enemy’s information systems were designed, and so were defensive operations specifically designed to protect friendly information systems. As a result of these activities, information warfare was born. Conway (2002) defines information warfare as the use and management of information technology in pursuit of competitive advantage over an opponent. Activities involved in this war include: the collection of tactical information, assurance that one’s own information is valid, relaying propaganda to manipulate the enemy and the public, undermining the quality of opposing force and continuously denying any involvement in the collection of information regarding the opponent or the enemy.
As an advancement of information warfare, cyber terrorism has come and poses a danger to the world security. Matustz (2008) defines cyber terrorism as the use of information technology by terrorist groups to organize and execute attacks against networks, computer systems and telecommunication infrastructure or for exchanging information or making threats electronically. Cyber terrorists employ different techniques to create panic in the society. This ranges from: malicious hacking into computer systems, programming viruses and worms with the aim of disabling targeted computer systems and networks, defacing worms, launching denial of-service attacks and making terrorist threats through electronic communication (Lye & Wing, 2005).
Information warfare and cyber terrorism have proved to be indeed a more threat to the world security than even conventional terrorist activities that have been witnessed in the past. The main threat posed by cyber terrorism is that terrorist activities in this case are hard to predict. They change frequently with the advancement in technology and allow the cyber terrorists to stay ahead of any counterterrorism measures that law enforcers apply, for instance, the steganography technology which allows terrorists to hide instructions behind the web encryption. This technology was used by Osama bin Laden and his terror groups in spreading Jihad war messages. It took time for it to be discovered by the US Government, The New York Times in October 2001 featured an article that believed that the al-Qaeda had used this technology in executing the 9/11 terror attack.
Memories of the May 2000 cyber terrorism activities are still alive in minds of people around the globe. In this attack, a young Filipino man launched a virus, named ‘I Love You’. This particular virus caused a lot of damage to the world. Costs of the damage resulting from this virus are estimated to have been more than $ 10 billion. This was indeed a big loss to the world. To worsen the situation, the perpetrator of this heinous crime was acquitted of any offense, reason being; there were no laws regarding cyber terrorism in Filipino at the time this crime was committed (Matustz, 2008).
In 1998, a terrorist guerilla organization in flooded Sri Lankan embassy’s e-mail accounts all over the world with 800 e-mails per day for two weeks. The information that was carried by these e-mails was simple ‘We are Internet Black Tigers, and we are doing this to interrupt your communication’. According to intelligence reports from the United States, this was the first known terrorist attack against country’s computer systems. This was a serious problem, since communication is the pivot of everything in the world. Once the communication is disrupted, the smooth running of activities is disabled, and for a government, it is worse, since it is rendered vulnerable.
It is worth noting that cyber terrorism does not target government institutions only. In January 2008, online hackers, called ‘anonymous’ hacked into the Church of Scientology’s website. Upon realizing the danger, the church quickly responded by moving its domain to Prolexic Technologies. The company specializes in protecting websites from denial of service attacks (Deborah, 2009). This move ensured the website would in future be protected from malicious activities of these hackers.
Case studies on Cyber Terrorism
a) Russian Denial of Service Attack on Estonia
Most of the government, banking and other services in Estonia are run via Internet since the switch to paperless services. The security of Internet services in this country is, therefore, paramount in its progress. Any action that disables Internet services in the country creates a delicate security situation in the country. This was the scenario in 2007 when the country was hit by the ‘Moscow Cyber War’. Attacks began when Estonians moved a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn. The Estonian government reported that its state and commercial websites were bombarded by mass request for information in what was to be termed as spam avalanche. As in the case with information warfare, Moscow adamantly denied any involvement in this saga. The NATO moved swiftly by helping Estonia with technical assistance to solve the problem. To protect servers from outside Estonia from being attacked, officials blocked the servers (Deborah, 2009).
b) Cyber Attacks during the 2008 South Ossetia War between Russia and Georgia.
In August 2008, the Georgian embassy in U.K. accused forces within Russia of coordinating cyber-attacks against Georgian web sites to coincide with military operations in the breakaway region of the South Ossetia. Denial-of-service attacks meant that websites in Georgia were not available. As had been the case in Estonia, Russian authorities rubbished all information linking them with the blocking of Georgian websites. The Georgian government had to redirect their websites in order to access information.
c) US State Department Compromised Computers in East Asia Bureau in July 2006
In July 2006, the State Department admitted that it had become a victim of cyber hacking after an employee official in the East Asia accidentally opened an email which in essence he was not supposed to open. Hackers had worked their way into the US embassies’ computer systems in the region. They were not to stop at this, they went ahead and eventually penetrated the systems in Washington as well. The US government, as a matter of fact, suffered massive loss of sensitive information. The US IT technocrats moved swiftly to salvage the situation. This, however, did not stop such activities as they have still been witnessed in other parts. Hacking into defense computer system still remains a challenge, despite the continued effort to curb it (Reyes et al. 2007).
Cyber terrorism and network security remains a main threat to the world security. Accessing the data belonging to an individual or organization without their consent is dynamic crime whose strength is the development in technology. Efforts to curb this crime have often been met with the challenge of the continued discovery of new techniques in information technology. The war against cyber terrorism will only be won by first of all fighting the information warfare.