Security is the topmost priority of any organization. All businesses have trillions of data of their clients, customers, and end users stored over the internet. Keeping this data safe from any theft is very crucial. The security protocols keep the internet data safe.
Since the internet has become one of the most important parts of our lives, the data we share must be utilized for the purpose it is meant to be.
Through this article, we intend to make you aware and also understand the different types of protocols like routing, mail transfer, and others that are developed for the protection of data. Keep reading along this page so that you do not miss out on any information.
Understanding the Security Protocols
Internet security protocols are developed to perform a variety of functions. These are divided into four broad categories listed below.
Access Control Protocol
Access control is the basic and most important aspect of data security that restricts false entry into someone else’s data. The task of this protocol is to validate the user's identity. It authenticates that the correct user is entering the computer network.
This security procedure or a code can identify various kinds of user credentials like the user id, password, biometric scan, security tokens, PIN, etc. Through the use of access control, firms, educational institutions or other governing bodies also restrict the users from accessing the restricted data. They can also limit physical access to restricted zones such as data centers, laboratories, campuses, buildings, etc.
Access control is important for organizations with a cloud environment, where the data exists both on-premises and in the cloud. Using this security protocol will help such firms create more robust security environments and prevent unauthorized access from unrecognized devices.
An encryption algorithm or encryption protocol is used to secure online communication between two individuals or the client and server. Though you may not see this protocol taking any action in the front line, this security algorithm works in the background securing your online data from scammers, hackers, or snoopers.
The encryption algorithm works by encrypting the plain text/ unencrypted data into the encrypted form/ ciphertext. This encrypted data may contain letters, numbers, or symbols in an unorganized manner. The encrypted data can be reversed back to its meaningful form whenever required. This process of hiding sensitive data prevents unethical use of data.
Keys are an important part of security management. They do everything from data encryption to decryption, and user authentication. Improper key management can lead to serious security issues with respect to data, making sensitive data vulnerable to attackers, and hackers.
Proper key management is required which involves handling and control of the key and its related components using certain standards and principles to ensure the safety of confidential information.
Key management deals with creating, exchanging, storing, deleting, and updating keys. It also deals with member access to keys.
Message Integrity Protocol
This security protocol ensures that the message or the data exchange that has happened between two parties cannot be altered or tampered with. A common approach used to ensure the security of such kind of data is by using a hash function, as it combines all the bytes of the messages with a secret key to produce a message digest that is difficult to reverse.
This private security key is known to the sender and the receiver and ensures the safety of the message while in transit. The security key used together with the message ensures message integrity. The resulting digest is called a Message Authentication Code (MAC).
Internet functions in various layers. Lets us see how these security protocols discussed above play their role in ensuring the safety of your network connections.
Physical Layer Security
Physical layer security is the foundation of all security controls. Since we are connected to the internet using various physical devices like modems, network adapters, and other equipment, securing the access and controls of these devices is essential so that no one outside of the organization can access and utilize them.
Access Control Protocol is a kind of security protocol that ensure the privacy of your network devices. It facilitates the use of biometric authentication, electromagnetic shielding, or complex locking mechanisms. These physical barriers will restrict unauthorized access to your organization's network.
Protection of Data Link Layer
The data link layer is a kind of protocol layer that contains a set of rules. It is responsible for the movement of your data in and out of the physical link in the network. Devices connected to this physical link are printers, scanners, computers, mobile phones, modems, etc. These devices contain a physical address called the MAC address. This hexadecimal address is assigned to each device connected to a network.
In this data link, there is a threat of MAC spoofing, ie. stealing the wireless network credentials or entering into the wireless networks by unfair means. Security access protocol like the VAN (Virtual Area Network) uses techniques such as MAC address filtering, protecting the data link layer of your network from any security breach.
Network Later Protection with Security Protocols
Network layer security controls are often used to secure communications, especially over shared networks such as the Internet, because many applications can be protected at once without modification.
IPSec and VPNs are security protocols that are used to secure the network layer. These are the set of protocols used to set up encrypted connections between devices. Using these network security protocols provides a protected network environment within an organization that is inaccessible by any external user or machine. They also ensure that data is being accessed and transmitted through an encrypted tunnel making the confidential data secure.
Transport Layer Protection with Security Protocols
The transport layer provides transparent data transfer between end users and provides reliable data transfer services to upper layers. The transport layer controls the reliability of a particular connection through flow control, segmentation and desegmentation, and error control.
This layer offers an end-to-end connection between the two processes on a remote host. The transport layer takes the data from the application layer, breaks it into smaller segments, numbers each byte, and finally hands it over to the network layer for delivery.
It is the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol that ensures secure data transfer and communications over the internet. TLS protocol has three components namely - encryption, authentication, and integrity. The primary use for TLS is to encrypt communication between web applications and servers. TLS can also be used to encrypt other communications such as email, messaging, and Voice over IP (VoIP).
Session Layer Protection with Security Protocols
The session layer is the fifth layer in the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. This layer allows users on different computers to establish active communication sessions. It is responsible for establishing, managing, synchronizing, and terminating sessions between end-user applications.
At the session layer, the data stream is received and marked further. The data stream is then resynchronized appropriately so that the end of the message is not cut off first and further data loss is avoided. This layer basically creates connections between the units in a session. This layer also processes and manipulates data received from both the session and presentation layers.
The session layer is also vulnerable to attacks from hackers and spammers. In order to secure the connections in this layer, the security protocols of the access control are used. Let us have a look at one of the most frequently used cases of the session layer. While creating a new account or changing the password, your browser or webpage always prompts you to create a strong password. This is because they want your account to be safe from being hacked. It is often advised by the banks to log out once you have completed your net banking transaction. This is because there is a chance of digital identity theft from your account.
Presentation Layer Protection with Security Protocols
This layer is also known as the translation layer. Data from the application layer is extracted here and manipulated according to the formats required for transmission over the network.
This layer of the OSI model is also prone to various data of attacks that can lead to data vulnerability. Organizations can use a premium and secure VPN connection to communicate and transfer data within the organization. VPN adds an extra layer of security making the transfer of information secure.
Application Layer Protection with Security Protocols
It is the seventh and the last layer of the OSI model. This layer also acts as a window for application services to access the network and display received information to the user. The application layer is also called the desktop layer. It is used by the end users like web browsers and email clients.
This layer is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and most users work on this layer and is easily accessible to the people. Security protocols such as SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), and SMP (secure messaging protocol) used in the application layer ensures various safety on various parameters. They make sure the data is received safely by the user, and also manage the safe transfer of messages and sensitive information across users over the internet.