September 25, 2018

What is Network Security?

What is Cyber Security

Blog co-written by UAT Cyber Security Program Champion Greg Miles and Digital Media Maven Lauren Fach

Network security, or cyber security, is an industry where professionals are trained to prevent and monitor unauthorized access or attempts to access, misuse, or modify a computer network and network-accessible resources.

A network can be private, like within a company, school, business, or home and is designed to keep users out that do not have the correct login credentials. Other networks may be open to public access; an example would be the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks or a hotel. Many Network Security pros will warn against using public Wi-Fi and that you are operating a device at your own risk knowing that the connection is unsecured.

Important to Remember:

  • No network is 100% secure, even a private network with the best security features can have vulnerabilities and there is the human factor, that either knowingly or not can be manipulated.
  • Public networks should only be used for non-sensitive access. For example, it is NOT recommended to access your banking information from Starbucks. Public networks are easier to “eavesdrop” on and users should change their passwords frequently, especially when using public networks often.
  • Talk with your IT department about additional security features you might be able to access while out and about. For example, virtual private networks (VPN) can provide additional protections.
  • It isn’t all about the technical side of security either. Remember to protect your computing devices from theft and compromise. Lock the screen, don’t leave the computer at the table for even a second. Thieves are quick.
Cyber Security Warfare Range at UAT

Cyber Security Warfare Range at UAT

Glossary of Cyber Security Terms

Threat – Something that can impact the operation of an organization. There can be natural threats (fires, hurricanes, disasters) or human threats (bombs, malicious hackers, nation-states, etc.)

Vulnerability – a weakness in a person, place, or thing

Impact – the result that can affect an organization should something occur

Risk – The combined effect of the Threats, Vulnerabilities and Impact

Hacker – Someone who enjoys discovering how things work. Remember hackers can use their powers for good or for evil and it is all based on intent

Ethical Hacking – The process of discovering vulnerabilities to improve the security posture of an individual or organization

Black Hat – Hackers using their powers for evil. Also the name of one of the most renowned annual security conferences

White Hat – Hackers using their powers for good

Gray Hat – Hackers that can’t seem to decide whether they are good or evil

Penetration Test (PenTest) – The process of identifying vulnerabilities and their exploitability to help an organization improve their security posture

At UAT, a Bachelor of Science degree in cyber security prepares students for the rapid paced online world of theft and corruption of data and information. UAT teaches a broad range of topics to the support the security professional to include network defense, incident response, business continuity/disaster recovery, security and risk assessment, and penetration testing.

You can learn more about a bachelor’s degree in Network Security. Ready to take the next step? UAT offers a master’s program in Cyber Security to elevate your knowledge of ethical hacking.

Dr Greg Miles Cyber Security at UAT

Dr. Greg Miles, Cyber Security at UAT

From the desk of Cyber Studies Program Champion Greg Miles…

In working as an industry Security Consultant, I saw many different security discoveries that had a significant impact on the client’s operations.

In my experience, the biggest threats for all organizations today are the complacency and actions of individuals within an organization. From an accidental opening of access to sensitive information to the intentional operation of an unauthorized or even illegal business, the employees can knowingly or not, cause the most damage.

As an industry professional, I work to help clients identify security risks and make improvements to their security posture through a combination of closing vulnerabilities and continuous monitoring of their business operations.

AntiMatter Security at Black Hat Briefings

AntiMatter Security at Black Hat Briefings

Industry conferences such as Black Hat and DEF CON are important to attend because:
• Knowledge Transfer – The best and the brightest bring the newest information to these conferences. You also get to see the latest tools and techniques.
• Networking – A chance to meet the people that are setting the future for our industry
• Resume Builder – Having work experience or teaching experience at these conferences are great talking points when searching for employment

UAT students are afforded the opportunity to work at paid volunteers each summer at Black Hat, with some being asked to stay and work as DEFCON Goons.

Cyber Security alumni formed startup AntiMatter Security post graduation held a 2-day training last summer at Black Hat that taught industry professionals about their product, the Project Mayhem Kit.

Find out if a career in network security is in your future.

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