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Network Security Authentication

Network Security Authentication

With proper network security systems and tools in place, it is possible to off-load the security threat to an extent and protect files, systems, networks, and sensitive data. The two most common off-loading strategies include:

Authentication when the security is provided by a token that is generated when a file is accessed.

Decryption when the security is provided by a digital key that is generated when the file is accessed, and there are other security measures you can take like using a firewall which is effective as well.

These methods are important because they mitigate the security threat that the hacker or malicious insider poses to the organization.

Authentication

Key-based authentication

Key-based authentication is the most secure and often the most affordable option for enforcing security. For example, an RSA key pair is approximately $3.50. If a user needs to access a file, a secure connection using this key pair is required. This form of authentication may work in an application that is accessing the local file system or stored on the network, but the security has to be maintained on all of the other locations where the user may wish to access the data.

A network drive, for example, must be attached to an appropriate network connection to use key-based authentication. For the same reason, secure cloud storage service providers are required to use key-based authentication. To use key-based authentication, a unique RSA key pair must be generated for each user that has access to the file. These keys are stored in a separate device. Each time a user accesses the network drive or file, the user provides a unique key that is then encrypted and shared with the application. This decryption process requires access to a shared device, which is normally a computer. The device needs to be able to authenticate the user and ensure the authenticity of the protected data. When the protection is performed, the digital key is encrypted and a unique user password is generated. This mechanism provides the most security and is the most cost-effective for security solutions.

Encryption

Encryption is a very powerful form of protection that is capable of protecting even the most secure network storage devices and applications. There are several ways to use encryption, but in this tutorial, we will use the OpenVPN protocol. OpenVPN, of course, is a protocol with multiple versions available. To enable OpenVPN protection on Windows, use one of the above options. To open an encrypted tunnel between a client and a server, select the tunnel option in the Network tab. Once it is open, open the VPN section in the Tunnel tab, and click the Use an existing key option. This will open a dialog where you can enter the user name and password. You should now have a VPN tunnel set up that connects to your server, and Windows will show a virtual tunnel.

Encrypting all packets

In order to encrypt all packets, and thus ensure security, it is important that the traffic being used for the VPN connection be encrypted. To do this, we’ll have to deploy and configure SSL/TLS certificate services. The certificate services service is installed by default on Windows servers and in order to properly authenticate our VPN tunnel, we must also enroll the certificate in the certificate services database.

Open the Start Menu, type Certificates, and click Properties. In the OpenSSL Certificate Manager dialog box, click New to display the dialog window. Enter the details for the certificate that you wish to create. Add information for the subject (name), serial number, CRL file location, and a certification path to the certificate.

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