Internet and Network Security- Reflection
During the beginning of the course, I expected to learn how networks and, more so, the internet works as well as the kind of threats and security measures that can be implemented to protect against the threats. I also expected to learn the techniques and methods used for tracing hackers and other malicious users on the internet. All these expectations arose from the name of the course in conjunction with reading the course outline.
The course required more effort than expected, like most other things. Some of the technical topics and practical works forced me to go back to my notes and perform additional research in order for me to get a better grip on the subject matter. Some of the course reviews I read on the internet before starting the course suggested that it would be easier than it actually was. I also engaged in reading a few books relating to the course before the start, which had some technical information I did not understand at the time, but I convinced myself once I started attending class, they would become simpler and easier to understand. However, this was not the case as I had to engage in extra reading and overnight study groups in order to better understand the concepts in the course. What I liked most from the course was gaining a better understanding of the internet and network security and how gaining a broad understanding of networks can help one know which internet rules can be bent and how malicious users on the internet can take advantage of network protocols to gain access to unauthorized information; for example during the course when we learned about standards that are used by most organizations to keep their network security up to date. Gaining an understanding of these standards gives malicious users an advantage over the cyber security team that only implements the standard procedures without going the extra mile (Ghaleb, Zhioua & Almulhem, 2018). I was also intrigued with military systems and how a small breach in security can lead to major disasters such as war or damage to property.
What I disliked most about the course was that the content did not cover all the security measures that can be used and all the methods that can be used to infiltrate secure systems. This is, however, not possible since the topic is inexhaustible and new techniques and tools are developed on a daily basis, and the course has a finite timeframe. The course material was enough to gain a comprehensive understanding of the concepts of internet and network security. However, learning does not have an end, and in order to keep updated, I must keep reading books and articles relating to the course.
In order to improve my grade, I could have managed my time better by creating a schedule and allocating short breaks between learning for a better understanding of concepts. I would also have partnered with my fellow classmates for discussion groups. Reading ahead of time is also another strategy that has been proven to be an effective method of increasing learning outcomes. When the instructor teaches a topic one is already familiar with, it becomes easier for the major points to stick. I have also learned that engaging in exercise increases concentration and can assist in creating better learning outcomes. As a result, I would have engaged in more exercise aimed at achieving this outcome.
During my extra reading on the course, I learned about the Stuxnet computer virus, which infected over 200,000 computers and cost the Iranian government years of work and millions in resources. The virus was introduced and targeted the Iranian nuclear program, which at the time was thought to have secure systems which operated complex and sensitive equipment (Stevens, 2020). From this information, I learned that any computer system could be infiltrated, and it is always good practice to scan all systems as regularly as possible. I also imagine if the Stuxnet computer virus was in the hands of a terrorist organization, it might have been used to create a nuclear explosion. This has also led me to understand the impact of cyber security lies not only in the world of computers but also in the physical world, and the future of war and crime might be in the cyber space. The most valuable thing I learned from this entire course is that
During my time taking the course, I learned several security skills, such as to always use a password that contains capital letters, small letters, and symbols in combination. I have also learned not to use common phrases such as my name within my passwords. I also never use the same password for more than one account so as avoid having more than one account breached simultaneously. I also never use my computer without having installed strong anti-virus software. Another security measure is to run virus and malicious software scans on a regular basis which ensures the possibility of having a security breach is minimized. The use of public WIFI is also a high-risk activity as malicious users on the same network might take advantage and access your data (Nazir, Kumar, David & Ali, 2021). As a result, I always ensure that I use a virtual private network whenever I am connected to a public network.
I would highly recommend the course to any individual interested in pursuing an I.T related career as the course enlightens one to the security measures one should always take and why they are important. The course also informs students on the security protocols that exist and the tools used by hackers to infiltrate secure systems. Gaining an understanding of how hackers operate will allow the students to make informed decisions when operating electronic devices at their place of work and when using personal devices that are connected to the internet
To any student joining university or who intends to pursue the course, I would advise them to maintain concentration and try to read the course material ahead of time. It is also important for students to give themselves time for breaks in order to avoid getting burnout due to overworking. Making study friends is also an important aspect of passing the course. I would also advise incoming students to make friends with their instructors and constantly inform them of any topic they do not fully understand, as this will build a good rapport with them as well as assist the student in understanding the concepts better. Practicing practical skills is also vital for this specific course, and it is advisable for students to practice these skills on their own.
Ghaleb, A., Zhioua,S.,& Almulhem, A.(2018).On PLC network security. International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, 22, 62-69.
Nazir,R.,Kumar,K.,David,S.,& Ali,M.(2021). Survey on Wireless Network Security. Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering,1-20.
Stevens, C.(2020). Assembling cybersecurity: The politics and materiality of technical malware reports and the case of Stuxnet. Contemporary Security Policy,41(1),129-152.
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As the course winds down, it is time to reflect on your takeaway from this course. Use the questions below to help guide your thinking, but feel free to volunteer additional information if you feel it is relevant.
At the beginning of this course, what did you expect to learn?
Did it require more effort than you thought it would?
What did you like most about the course?
What did you like least about the course?
What could you have done to improve your grade in this course?
What was something unexpected that you learned?
What risk management approach(es) might you now employ based on what you have learned?
What was the most valuable thing that you learned?
What professional security skills will you use moving forward, and what research sources will you compile for future work?
How did this course help you with your career and/or major decisions for the future?
Would you recommend this course to another student?
What advice (about this course or about college in general) would you give to an incoming student?
Adhere to APA Style when constructing this assignment, including in-text citations and references for all sources that are used. Please note that no abstract is needed, although you should be sure to include an introduction and conclusion.