Security incorporates a number of diverse elements; from the implementation of simple office procedures to the installation of highly evolved security hardware and software.
The diagram, at left, illustrates a typical small network scenario. The two hatched areas identify the Wide Area Network (WAN) and the Local Area Network (LAN). In simplistic terms the WAN (or Internet) is regarded as insecure. The LAN, though protected by the firewall, is not totally secure as it is exposed to a number of internal threats; from network users actions, accidental or otherwise, email attachments, Internet usage and the unrestricted use of external media such as USB storage devices, floppy disks etc.
It is therefore important to use a layered approach to security. This can be achieved in a number of ways and typically includes a hardware firewall at the gateway to the Internet (WAN), a patch management solution for the Microsoft operating system and Office components, and an antivirus & anti-spyware solution deployed on the LAN. There are other options available which are dependant upon a Companies operational needs and budget. Workforce best practices should be enshrined in an “Acceptable Code of Conduct” outlining what network users can and can’t do, and be reinforced by carefully considered network access policies.
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