COMMERCIAL / SMALL BUSINESS NETWORKS
|File sharing, one person can start a project, then forward to another for completion.|
|All work can be saved to one main computer (server).|
|No need for printers at each workstation.|
|Includes printed certification report.|
A Brief Overview.
Computer networking provides a flexibility not available when using an archaic, paper-based system. With this flexibility, however, comes an increased risk in security. This is why firewalls were first built. Firewalls help to protect data inside of a local network. But what do you do once information is sent outside of your local network, emailed or posted on the Internet. How is that data protected?
That is when a VPN can help. VPNs are called Virtual Private Networks because they secure data moving outside of your network as if it was still within that network.When data is sent out from your computer, it is always open to attacks. A firewall will help protect data moving around or held within your network from being corrupted or intercepted by entities outside of your network, but once data moves outside of your network—when you send data to someone via email or communicate with an individual over the Internet—the firewall will no longer protect that data.
At this point, your data becomes open to hackers using a variety of methods to steal not only the data you are transmitting but also your network login and security data. Some of the most common methods are as follows:
1) MAC Address Spoofing
Packets transmitted over a network, either your local network or the Internet, are preceded by a Packet Header. These Packet Headers contain both the source and destination information for that packet. A hacker can use this information to spoof (or fake) a MAC Address allowed on the network. With this spoofed MAC Address, the hacker can also intercept information meant for another user.
2) Data Sniffing
Data "sniffing" is a method used by hackers to obtain network data as it travels through unsecured networks, such as the Internet. Tools for just this kind of activity, such as protocol analyzers and network diagnostic tools, are often built into operating systems and allow the data to be viewed in clear text.
3) Man in the Middle Attacks
Once the hacker has either sniffed or spoofed enough information, he can now perform a "man in the middle" attack. This attack is performed, when data is being transmitted from one network to another, by using this information to reroute the data and appear to be the intended destination. This way, the data appears to be going to its intended recipient.
These are only a few of the methods hackers use and they are always developing more. Whenever it's outside the security of your firewall, your data is constantly open to such attacks as it travels over the Internet. Data traveling over the Internet will often pass through many different servers around the world before reaching its final destination. That's a long way to go for unsecured data and this is where a VPN serves its purpose.