Network Administration for Ottawa IT Companies Part 5: Network security

Network security is key component of running a network, and an essential part of protecting your data. Your network administrator is responsible for ensuring that the network remains protected from unauthorized entry and abuse.

In Ottawa, many network administrators and computer services providers use Network Security Monitoring (NSM) tools in addition to Intrusion prevention system (IPS) software in order to ensure the network remains protected.

The NSM tool examines network traffic for threats. When detected, IPS actively prevents malicious activity from the source by blocking traffic from the source address and alerting the network administrator of potential threats. NSM tools use various methods to detect malicious activity. The two most dominant methods are signature based detection and statistical anomaly detection. Signature based detection detects the signature of a threat and stores it in a dictionary of signatures. Statistical anomaly detection randomly selects a sample of network traffic and compares them to the baseline performance. If a sample does not meet the baseline performance parameters, the IPS takes the necessary action to handle the potential threat.


Every network has a firewall in place in order to prevent unauthorized access. The firewall is the first line of defence in network security as it monitors and controls all incoming and outgoing traffic based on preferences set by the network administrator.

Your network support provider, or network adminstrator can assist you to build rules that prevent users on the network from accessing sites which may be harmful to the network.

Network administrators employ various types of firewalls depending on the type of threats they intend blocking. These may include:

  • Proxy firewall: Controls data exchanged between the internal host and external servers;
  • Unified threat management (UTM): Monitors and manages multiple security applications in a single component;
  • Next-generation Firewall (NGFW): Detects complex modern threats which other types of firewalls are unable to detect.

Security Policies

An Ottawa IT company should be able to help you implement IT security Policy focused on protecting confidential information, resources and data integrity. These policies are drawn up in line with the business standards and goals. The objective of IT Security Policies are to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems and information used by the users on the network. These principles (confidentiality, integrity and availability) are widely known as the CIA triad:

  • Confidentiality: Protects assets from unauthorized entry;
  • Integrity: Ensures changes are implemented in a secure manner
  • Availability: A state of the system whereby authorized users have continuous access to these assets.

These are the fundamental security measures companies rely on to protect their networks from intrusion, and play a large role in the management and maintenance of the network.

In the final part of this series we will be discussing various techniques used by Ottawa network support providers for managing and maintaining the business network.

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