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This content is taken from the Queen's University Belfast's online course, Network Security for Industry Professionals. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Hello, and welcome to this element of the course which focuses on network security and monitoring. In the early 60s and 70s, ARPANET was developed by the US department of defence as an early data network. In the early 1980s, it was the first network to use the TCP/IP protocols, many of which remain today. In the early years, security was not a problem as network users worked in an environment of implicit trust. But in the 21st century, the internet is now a highly untrusted environment. Applications that use the internet have evolved immensely, but many underlying network security problems remain. The first computer virus, called Creeper, was developed in 1971. It propagated via the ARPANET computer network.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds To combat this Creeper programme, a corrective programme, named Reaper, was created. And so, the process of attack and defensive response began. As the number of network attacks on individuals and businesses continues to increase, the risk to prevent them has become increasingly important. Networks themselves are the source of many opportunities for attack. The network itself can be the target of the attack, or, it can provide an access route to facilitate attacks on devices connected to the network. And calling this part of the course, network security and monitoring, we are immediately drawing attention to the fact that network security is a living process.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds Securing a network is not a one off event in time after which the network can be said to be secure. Rather, it is an ongoing process, a repeating set of actions, to audit and renew existing protective measures. In this section we will start by introducing the principles of computer networking. We will then go on to explore methods typically used to attack networks and exploit network attached devices. We will then explore effective approaches on technologies to prevent, detect, and mitigate malicious activities on a network.

Network security and monitoring

From banking to shopping and socialising more and more of our lives are lived through the internet. It makes for better connectivity with friends and family and greater flexibility for commerce.

Networks are the beating heart and the bloodstream of our modern hyper-connected world. Networks connect everything. Without networks we don’t see websites, we don’t communicate with messaging apps, and we don’t stream music and video. Like blood flowing in our veins, networks lie hidden under the surface, quietly moving around vital data. They support every facet of life today. However, just like a bloodstream can carry infection or poison to all parts of the body, networks can also allow malevolent users to access and exploit all devices attached to the network.

As we embrace a new age of the Internet of Things (IoT), a new adage has been born; “anything that can be connected, will be connected”. Networks provide this connectivity. Networks will support and nourish the IoT revolution. This is why securing networks is such a priority.

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This video is from the free online course:

Network Security for Industry Professionals

Queen's University Belfast