Network infrastructure is the arrangement of software and hardware devices in an entire network to enable connectivity, communication, operation and management of the organization information. Infrastructure provides communication channels and services between users, applications, processes and external networks. A typical network infrastructure consists of network hardware which includes routers, switches, LAN cards, wireless routers and cables (Figure 1). In addition, the network infrastructure consists of the software network operations, operation system and network security such as firewall. Furthermore, a well designed network must possess network services such as T-1 line, DSL, Satellite, Wireless protocol and IP addressing. Therefore, the CIO must ensure that all the hardware devices, software and network services are appropriately designed and installed from the first floor to the third floor.
Security is one of the critical aspects of network infrastructure especially when designing a network for business enterprises. Notably, security is installed in the network system to curb the growth of different risks that can affect the operation of the organization and result to interference with data (Joshi, Shrivastava & Joshi, 2016). For example, the organization can face environmental security threat and human disasters such as fires, storms and faulty wiring. Second, the network infrastructure can experience accidental threats which occur without malicious intent such deleting of the files by the employees without his or her knowledge. Moreover, an employer can accidentally modify the data resulting to the diversion from the originally required information. Lastly, data can get affected by deliberate threats caused by viruses, Trojan horses and network attack by hackers and intruders (Joshi, Shrivastava & Joshi, 2016). Therefore, the organization must design a proper security system in the network.
A typical security system must follow the appropriate process designed by network experts. First, network personnel must determine and design the security infrastructure which involves the identification of different resources within the network system to be secured and designing the suitable security infrastructure which can secure the established resources. Secondly, the IT experts deploy and implement the security features and policies in all the branches of the organization in order to ensure maximum protection of the resources (Joshi, Shrivastava & Joshi, 2016). Finally, the management must assign experts to continually manage security solution which involves regular upgrading of security resources and conducting audit logs.
In order to enhance scalability, improve speed and promote reliability of the network infrastructure, managers of the company must strictly follow the predetermine steps for designing network security. First, IT team determines the security requirement of the organization and draws the appropriate network security plan necessary for implementation (Joshi, Shrivastava & Joshi, 2016). Second, the implementation team must create secured boundaries for implementation of security technologies within the network. For instance, the team would focus on the implementation of application security technologies and user security technologies. Finally, the team of experts must establish an auditing strategy aimed at identifying faulty devices and determining the appropriate security for the emerging threat such as Trojan horse. In addition, the team must establish network monitoring strategy which would ensure that the security system is correctly used (Joshi, Shrivastava & Joshi, 2016).
Logical and Physical Network
Logical network explains how the computers devices appear connected to the users interface. Engineers and network designers draw logical topology to pave way for the establishment of the physical network. Notably, network diagram is ideal for engineers and designers in establishing a logical network (Knapp, & Langill, 2014). A logical network must possess network symbols representing different types of routers, switches, hubs, gateway, bridge, relative database and a terminal server. Second, a logical network must have peripheral devices which include Ethernet, ring network, straight bus, FDDI ring, scanner, plotter, printer, fax, copier and CRT projector (Knapp, & Langill, 2014). Logical topologies are controlled by network protocols that direct the movement of data from one location to the other. Network designers commonly use Ethernet as a logical bus topological protocol and token ring as a ring topological protocol.
Conversely, physical network describes the visible layout of the network devices. For instance, Token ring, a logical ring topology, is set in a physical star topology layout in a physical LAN topology. The devices in a physical topology must be arranged to permit easy communication with each other. To elaborate, physical LAN topology is a connection in the workstation using actual cables that transmit data. Notably, physical and logical have distinction, hence, cannot be viewed to represent one another (Knapp, & Langill, 2014). For instance, twisted pair Ethernet in a logical network in a physical star topology layout. Notably, copper cables used in physical network are of different types which include CAT 5, CAT 5E and CAT 6.
Placement of Network Location
Planning and placement of the network location server is one of the key activities in designing network infrastructure. A number of factors must be considered before placing the network server. First, a network server computer must be capable of hosting and providing service request to a Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS). Before establishing network infrastructure, the designer must consider the physical location to place the server, configure the highly available intranet web server, and plan the redundancy for the network location server (Rhodes-Ousley, 2013). Moreover, the designers must appropriately place the network path to permit the sharing of folders and other files between computers in different location of LAN. To elaborate, the network path will specify the channel that is chosen by database management system to retrieve the files requested. Therefore, network designers must apply drive letters as logical techniques of organizing network data path (Rhodes-Ousley, 2013). Furthermore, network designers must place the network intrusion detection system (IDS) that monitors the operation to detect malicious activities and policy violation within the networks. To elaborate, the management must ensure that all computer devices and systems in all the departments are connected to IDS to detect threats.
Firewall involves the placement and management of the perimeter security in the network infrastructure. The designers must place firewalls in a location that would promote its effectiveness. Notably, the network engineers can divide firewall into three options which include bastion host, screened subnet, and dual firewalls. Bastian topology is used in a simple section of the networks such departmental heads where the users do not host a website or email server (Rhodes-Ousley, 2013). Conversely, screened subset offers a solution which allows the company to provide secured internet services. The screened subset form of firewall can be used in the organization branch that offers public services. In order to protect all the devices in the organization, firewall is installed between the internal network of the firm and other networks. Firewall filters some packets and forwards others to the host or server computers (Rhodes-Ousley, 2013). Moreover, a firewall can be designed to filter all the incoming packets or deny data access to a particular server or host.
Establishing Network Policies
Network designer must consider netiquette while establishing organization network. To elaborate, the network users must advocate for the freedom of speech in order to protect the principles of individual expression (Knapp & Langill, 2014). However, all the network users must follow the guidelines for online behavior. For instance, the users must avoid the storage of large unnecessary files, stop using peoples files without permission, spell the letters correctly and use good grammar, check in the frequently ask questions (FAQ) before joining a bulletin board, avoid needless shouting through the use of unnecessary capital letters, sign messages while writing emails to unknown users, and maintain the privacy of information in the company.
Lastly, the management must ensure that they develop and implement the principle of confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA triad). Notably, the CIA triad is a model designed to provide policies of information security in the organization. Confidentiality states the rules which regulate access to organization information while integrity gives an assurance that the information provided is accurate and trustworthy. Finally, availability gives an assurance that the reliable information will be present at all the times for users and can only be access by authorized individuals (Rhodes-Ousley, 2013). Notably, users can achieve confidentiality through training, use of passwords and application of social engineering methods, thus, preventing users from leaking the data to unauthorized people (Rhodes-Ousley, 2013). Furthermore, the organization can attain the information integrity by establishing measures such as file permission and users access controls. Lastly, the organization can ensure availability through regular system upgrades and provision of adequate communication bandwidths which prevents the occurrence of bottlenecks.
In summary, a network infrastructure is the physical and logical layout of computer devices in order to permit connectivity, communication, operation and management of the organization information. The effectiveness of a network system can be achieved through establishment of network security. Notably, network security is installed in the network system to prevent potential threat. For instance, firewall and intrusion detection system (IDS) are placed within the network to filter information from the server and other computers. Lastly, a properly designed network must have adequate policies and follow the principle confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA triad).
Figure 1, Internet Network
Joshi, B. K., Shrivastava, M. K., & Joshi, B. (2016). Security threats and their mitigation in infrastructure as a service. Perspectives in Science, 8, 462-464.
Knapp, E. D., & Langill, J. T. (2014). Industrial Network Security: Securing critical infrastructure networks for smart grid, SCADA, and other Industrial Control Systems. Syngress.
Rhodes-Ousley, M. (2013). Information security the complete reference. McGraw Hill Professional.
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