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Analyzing Networking Comprehensive Secure SolutionTerm Paper

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Networking -- Comprehensive Secure Solution

Networking - Comprehensive Secure Solution

Networks help nodes communicate to each other. A network can help a company send and receive information between devices that are either internally or remotely connected to it. Since critical company information is stored and transferred through the network, it is important to not just design the right architecture, but also ensure that the interconnected nodes are secure. In this proposal, I will discuss the right network topology for ABC Accounting Inc., the various network components needed, the right IP class for the network and the need for a DHCP server, security threats, and how the network can be protected from such threats.

Contents

Topology and Network Devices

Topology

Network Devices

Cost Elements

IP Infrastructure

Security

Threats

Social Engineering/Internal Threats

Network-based Attacks

Ignorance, Human Error and Omission

ABC Accounting Inc.'s Current Security Threats 7

Risk Assessment Matrix 8

Solution to Threats Identified 13

Encryption 13

Authentication 14

Authorization 14

User-level Security 14

Share-level Security 15

Firewalls 15

Fault Tolerance 16

Disaster Recovery Plan 16

Physical Security Protection Measures/Security Protocols 16

Intrusion Detection Systems 16

System Patching / Hardening 17

Vulnerability Assessment 17

Education 17

Conclusion 17

References 19

Networking -- Comprehensive Secure Solution

Topology and Network Devices

Topology

Topology is a network arrangement that shows how nodes or network devices connect and interface; physical topology indicates how the nodes link to each other physically, whereas a logical topology indicates the path taken by data through a network from one node (the sender) to another (the recipient). ABC Accounting Inc. will need to set up a tree network topology in order to configure the connections properly among all its network devices. ABC has been experiencing growth having started out with five employees and now has two hundred employees. Within the next year, the company expects to hire 150 more employees to total 350 employees. This simply means that it needs a scalable network that will enable it grow, easily allowing nodes to be added to the existing network. As the company continues to expand, it plans to add offices in its current building that will span three floors. Therefore, the selected network topology must meet these requirements for future expansion. There is also the need for all the company's network resources to be managed from a central location, making a tree topology the perfect network solution for ABC (Zack, 2010).

A tree topology is also called a hierarchical topology. It consists of three tiers or levels. The tiers include the access tier, distribution and the core tire. Users are usually connected to the network access layer through switches and access points. Any number of users can be added to the access layer, provided the ports on the switches have the capacity to support them. VLANS can be used to group users of ABC Inc., depending on either the floors or departments to which they belong. With this kind of design, more users can be added to the access layer without significantly affecting the core and distribution layers. The distribution layer has two major functions: to provide redundancy and high speed movement of traffic between the access and distribution layers. The core layer, which contains a root node, links to all the other network devices to other networks, for instance, the internet, creating a hierarchy. With this kind of design, scalability is catered for as ABC Inc. can use a number of devices to the access layer to increase the number of users accessing its resources. For instance, more switches can be added to increase the number of users connecting to the network using Ethernet cables. Access points can be added to the access layer to enable some users access the network wirelessly and hubs can be added to regenerate the network signal after specified distance intervals to ensure the entire premises of ABC Inc. is covered by the network signal (Zack, 2010).

On the downside, a tree topology is expensive, heavily cabled, requires more maintenance, the whole network fails if the central hub (or main bus cable) fails, harder to configure and wire, takes time to configure, a whole segment fails if the bus it links to fails and the choice of cabling limits the length of each network segment.

Network Devices

ABC Accounting Inc. will need both internal and external networking components to be included in the proposed network topology. The internal devices connected within the company's premises physically include:

Wireless Access Points-To avoid huge cabling costs associated with a wired LAN, access points can be included at ABC Inc., enabling the employees access the network wirelessly.

FTP Servers- The employees will need to share files via the network. Email communication may not be suitable for sharing some of the files due to their huge sizes. To ensure the files are shared seamlessly between the employees, an FTP server should be installed and configured for this purpose. Shared folders can equally be created to sit on this server.

Hubs -- these are devices used to connect network nodes together on a physical basis within the physical layer of the TCP/IP protocol. When used in a network, twisted pair must be used as the network cable linking devices to each other. Hubs play the role of transmitting data packets between the sender and the recipient nodes in the network without altering them. Irrespective of a packet's destination, its signals travel through hubs across the network. Active hubs or repeaters will ensure regeneration, strengthening, and focus of data packets to or from the company's network before relaying them to the next node. Another option is that of passive hubs that will not be necessary, as ABC Accounting Inc.'s network will make use of active hubs (Anderson & Benedetti, 2009).

Ethernet Hubs -- these devices will be needed to link various Ethernet devices for them to operate as one unit. The CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detect) technology will control the access of media to the ABC network. Since its communication is through half-duplex, there will be no collision of packets in the network, ensuring that they reach their destination.

Switches --these devices will be used to ensure that traffic is directed to the right port with right MAC address on the packet. Although the hubs can be used in the first network level where the traffic being handled is lower, switches will improve the network performance in the higher levels where more traffic from different network segments will be expected. The fact that switches make use of full duplex transmission will ensure a faster data transfer rate (at least 300 Mbps) between networks. Switches will also be used in the network to act as bridges and hubs due to their better functionality (Anderson & Benedetti, 2009).

Bridges -- these will be used in the network to bridge networks that use similar network protocols. Working at the data link layer of the OSI model, bridges will not just connect the different networks using the same protocols, but will also ensure that they can communicate with other networks using different protocols. It will be used to link network segments or even a couple of LANs to each other. In addition, large portions of the ABC Accounting Inc. network will be broken down using bridges for free-flow of data packets between the networks.

Routers -- operating at the layer 3 of the OSI model (network layer), routers will be used to process packets' logical addressing information found in the network header, for instance, IP address. The complex routing of traffic by routers help create larger, complex networks. Routers will be able to connect different networks to communicate using the same protocol. It will also limit broadcast packets in the network. The router will also be configured to act as a network gate-way.

There will also be the need for a CSU/DSU to link LANs to WANs; ISDN adapters to enable the transfer of voice, video, audio and even data; personal computers, servers, printers and scanners; Wireless Access Points (WAPs) to enable wireless devices to connect to the network; proxies as well as firewalls to secure the local ABC networks.

Connectors-- RJ-45 will be the connectors that suit the present conditions in the proposed ABC network topology.

External network devices will comprise those that will connect to the ABC Accounting Inc.'s network from remote locations (Anderson & Benedetti, 2009).

Cost Elements

Unlike hardware cost estimations, determining the cost of implementing a network can be very complex due to the various intangibles and variables involved. However, the significance of cost estimations cannot be ignored. There will be both direct and indirect cost when implementing the ABC network (Lipnack & Stamps, 1982).

Direct Costs

These would comprise the costs of buying computer equipment and communication equipment, common carrier line charges, personnel, documentation development, personnel operations costs, spare part and software costs, file conversion costs, software and hardware maintenance costs, manual test costs during system outages, security and control costs and facility and backup costs, among others… [END OF PREVIEW]

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