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    A Discussion on Network Security

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    VaryNet Inc. wants to create four separate offices across the globe. They want to be able to connect these offices over the internet, and they want to make sure that each network is available to each other, i.e., they want the routing information of all four networks to be available at each site, so that any employee can go to any site, and work from them, and they are worried about passing traffic over the internet. What would you offer as a network suggestion?

    - Identify various hardware components and network topologies
    - Describe basic network security concepts
    - Discuss the characteristics of internet, wireless, and local area networks
    - Compare circuit switching and packet switching
    - Create internet ready connections to four separate offices.

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    Solution Preview

    Secure a Virtual Private Network
    Linking offsite users to your company's network over the Internet enables them to check e-mail and access shared files. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you do this more securely.

    A VPN is basically a private network that takes advantage of a public network -- typically the Internet -- to connect remote users and/or distant offices with each other.

    Some server products, including Windows Server 2003, offer extensive support for VPN technologies. At any rate, there are four basic tasks involved in setting up a VPN [1]:

    1. Set up a VPN server on your company's network. An existing computer can be used for this purpose.

    2. Make sure your firewall is configured to allow VPN traffic.

    3. Set the remote user's computer to connect through the Internet to the VPN server. The Connection Wizard in Windows XP makes it easy, taking you step-by-step through the set-up process.

    4. Implement strong passwords -- or better yet -- biometric or token-based authentication to confirm the identity of users connecting to your network over the Internet.

    Describe basic network security concepts
    * Implementing user authentication,
    * Using proxy servers and firewalls,
    * Setting up demilitarized zones, and
    * Taking advantage of port- and packet-filtering technologies.

    User authentication, is the most basic component of network security, and its success depends on the method used (encrypted, plain text, and so forth), and on the ability to keep this information from unauthorized personnel. Some of the more popular versions of user authentication include the Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) and the Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP).

    Discuss the characteristics of Internet, wireless, and local area networks ...

    Solution Summary

    In a solution of over 1000 words, various hardware components and network topologies are identified, and basic network security concepts are described. The characteristics of the Internet, wireless, and local area networks are discussed. Circuit and packet switching methods are also compared.