Intruders can potentially gain
access to sensitive data or network equipment and services. Access control
limits who or what can use specific resources as well as the services or
options available once access is granted.
The simplest form of
authentication is passwords. This method is easiest to implement, but it also
the weakest and lest secure. Password-only logins are very vulnerable to brute
force attacks. Additionally, this method provides no accountability. Anyone
with the password can gain entry to the device and alter the configuration.
There are many types of
authentication methods which are better than passwords.
Authentication: -This type uses an x.509 certificate for
public/private key technology.
Authentication: – A token, such as SecurID, is a hardware device
that displays an authentication code for 60 seconds; a user uses this code to
log into a network.
Authentication: – This type uses a physical characteristic such
as fingerprint, eye iris, or handprint to authenticate the user.
– the selected
After users are successfully
authenticated against the selected data source, they are than authorized for
specific data or database or network resources. Authorization is basically what
a user can and cannot do on the network after that user is authenticated.
Authorization is typically
implemented using a AAA server-based solution. Authorization uses a created set
of attributes that describes the user’s access to the specific data or database.
These attributes are compared to information contained within the AAA database,
and determination of restrictions for that user is made and delivered to the
local router where the user is connected.
Encryption can be used to
encrypt data while it is in transit or while it’s stored on a hard drive.
Cryptography is the study of protecting information by mathematically
scrambling the data, so it cannot be deciphered without knowledge of the
mathematical formula used to encrypt it. This mathematical formula is known as
the encryption algorithm. Cryptography is composed of two words: crypt (meaning
secret or hidden) and graphy (meaning writing). Cryptography literally means
secret or hidden writing. Cleartext is the plan text which can be read by
everyone and understandable data, and cipher text is the scrambled text as a
result of the encryption process. Cipher text should be unreadable and show no
repeatable pattern to ensure the confidentiality of the data.
There are three critical
elements to data security. Confidentiality, integrity, and authentication are
known as the CIA triad. Data encryption provides confidentiality, meaning the
data can only be read by authorized users. Message hashing provides integrity,
which ensures the data sent is the same data received and the information was
not modified in transit. Message digital signatures provide authentication
(ensuring users are who they say they are) as well as integrity. Message encrypting,
and digital signatures together provide confidentiality, authentication, and