Helpful Terms

From time to time you may see a reference to something and you’re not sure your idea matches actual meaning. It happens to me when I’m at my customer’s offices, because I’m not an accountant, or a mechanical engineer <grin>

So I’ve put together this list of terms I’ll keep updated with easy to understand (I hope) definitions.

Firewalls

Firewalls control traffic between networks. A firewall is your first line of defense against malicious traffic.

Intrusion Detection and Prevention

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are used to detect and block attacks, including worms, network viruses and other malware that cannot be detected by a conventional firewall. Firewalls lack some degree of sophistication in identifying malicious internet traffic. IDS/IPS’s gather system information, and analyzes it for unusual events.

Mail Filtering / Spam Blocking

SPAM! This is one of the most common issues that clients complain about. AKA Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) it’s 90% of that stuff in your inbox that you didn’t want or need.

Secure Routing

The internet was originally designed to operate in an open, non-secure environment. It was not originally designed with security in mind. Secure routing technology (SRT) is critical to a networks and is now becoming a requirement for routers.

VLANs

Security: Virtual LANs (Local Area Networks) provide a higher level of security because the administrator is able to separate systems that have sensitive data (like accounting or human resources) from the rest of the network. Employees will be unable to gain access to information they are not authorized to use. Contact me to find out if a VLAN is right for your company.

Web Filtering

Unauthorized use of the internet at work goes way beyond a little holiday shopping time during business hours.
Filtering improves Employee Productivity, companies lose millions of dollars each year due to personal business conducted on the internet.
Filtering saves the Bandwidth used by streaming audio, pornography and other unauthorized internet usage, which slows down your network.
Filtering reduces Viruses because unauthorized use of the internet brings in the majority of viruses and spam.
The viewing of explicit material can easily lead to lawsuits for the company.
Illegal Downloads can be an innocent mistake made by an employee, however downloaded software can also lead to legal repercussions.

Denial-of-service attack

denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Methods of carrying out DoS/DDoS attacks vary, but the purpose is to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt  suspend connectivity of a computer or server on the Internet.

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