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Career focus: Network Security

The job of a network administrator holds immense responsibility. Once you have access to the network you will need your technical skills.

education Updated: Jun 13, 2006 12:37 IST

For a progressive country like India, with internet cafes making for teenage hangouts in all cities, spammers are definitely on the rise. Given the time and the freedom allotted to the youth, they soon grow out of innocence and turn their intelligent minds to devious devices.

Today the computer is the network. Computer networks are used every day to conduct transactions and communications in all spheres of life — social, educational and commercial.

Hackers, spam, hostile software, online attacks, worms and identity theft are just a few of the dangers encountered as we exploit Internet and web based opportunities. More ‘power’ in the hands of the bad guys, has moved security to the front burner.

There has never been a greater need to secure data that is accessible on network systems. Information security has become a major concern for all. Information security is no joke. It is serious business.

That’s where network security comes into the picture. With millions of files containing data make the rounds of the Internet every second, it is increasingly important to ensure that data gets to where it is going safely, or stays where it belongs.

Administrators are usually in a state of constant vigilance and perpetual learning. Sure, it’s a challenge, but it can also be rewarding if they’re up to the task.

Security is no longer an add-on, it’s as fundamental as the operating systems on your machines and the routers and switches ferrying your data. Some schooling and a healthy dose of experience is always a good jumping-off point. But today, making a living at keeping networks secure means more than having an intimate knowledge of protocols, suspicious log events and anti-malware.

What you need
The job of a network administrator holds immense responsibility. Once you have access to the network you will need your technical skills. The more OSes, network protocols, topologies and troubleshooting skills you have, the better you will be at finding, accessing and reporting on security issues.