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The tools used to build and connect networks are not always secure. Some are notoriously insecure (wireless). This chapter discusses issues and solutions for securing the basic components used to build and connect networks.

Key Points

  • Networking allows computer systems to share information across vast distances.

  • Network hardware is used in two different ways: connecting computers together and connecting networks together. Critical differences exist in the security implications.
  • Specialized hardware enables networks to become large and complex by routing and controlling massive amounts of data.
  • Securing data over networks is far more complicated than keeping isolated data secure. Securing data over wireless networks is more complicated than doing so over traditional wired networks.
  • Numerous common security problems are the direct result of poor network design.


A number of technologies can be used to connect networks. Each technology has its security benefits and detriments. Although the tools themselves are relatively simple, many ways to mix and match the components are available. The interactions between devices create additional, unique security issues. In order to effectively evaluate the security of a network design, one must understand the components and how they interact.
  • Networking Hardware describes how hubs, routers, and switches are the three basic “joints” used to connect computers and networks together.

  • Wireless Connections explains the use of radio waves and signal processing to connect systems and networks without the encumbrance of wires.

  • Networking Lingo covers the basic languages that network systems and applications use when interacting and transferring data.