Protecting the Network
The most common form of security is a user name and password. By developing
a personal word, the user can input his or her word and access the
account or network. All university networks require the user to authenticate
its identity by entering in a user name and password for access to
the network. UF encourages its users to change its password frequently.
According to UF net services, a password is like underwear: change
it often, don’t share them with friends, the longer the better,
be mysterious and don’t leave it lying around.
University networks apply Audit Control, a security measure to ensure
the activities of all users are monitored. Audit control includes command
logging and system monitoring. It records the activities of the user
and if the user violates any policy or creates damage, the activity
can be reversed. It can identify if a security breach has occurred
on the network.
Another common thread in the security inseam is a firewall. A firewall
is a program that sits between a computer and the Internet connection.
It watches the traffic that goes back and forth and restricts traffic
that the user would not want to associate with. A firewall also permits
traffic to the user. The purpose and importance of a firewall is
to block hackers or Internet criminals who intend on hindering your
experience if not destroying it altogether.
UF employs firewalls for Gatorlink, its email service. The firewall
protects the network against attacks and unauthenticated logins on
the email service. Some firewalls prohibit users to access the system
from the outside but allow users from the inside to access the outside
Internet world. For instance, if an Internet user wanted to access
information on a school system, he/she would have to input a user name
Unfortunately, firewalls don’t protect well against viruses.
A virus is a piece of programming code that is disguised as something
else, like an e-mail. The virus can cause an unexpected and disastrous
event. A virus is designed so it can automatically spread to other
computers. Most commonly, viruses are transmitted as attachments in
an e-mail. Often, the subject to the email is ambiguous. Often, viruses
transmit their infection as soon as the infected document is opened
If a user willingly opens an infected file that has been emailed
to them, the firewall can’t do anything about it. Only if a virus
is transmitted through a firewall can the firewall protect the network
against it. Users are encouraged to user anti-virus programs, such
as Norton Anti-Virus, to protect the system from a virus.
Another very common way to ensure security is encryption. Encryption
is the conversion of data into a form, called a ciphertext that cannot
by understood by an unauthorized user. A cipher is employed to keep
hackers from obtaining the contents of transmissions, like e-mail.
Some ciphers include the substitution of letters for numbers or the
rotation of letters in the alphabet.
In order to understand the encrypted information, a person must use
decryption, the process of converting the encrypted data into its
original form. A decryption key is necessary to convert the data. Typically,
encryption is used to mask e-mail or login passwords. More and more,
encryption is used to keep hackers from accessing important codes
information. Encryption is becoming increasingly important with wireless
networks and communications because wireless circuits are easier
to tap into.