Standard Article

Network Security Fundamentals

  1. Steven Graham1,
  2. Xinwen Fu1,
  3. Bin Lu2

Published Online: 15 JAN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse268

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Graham, S., Fu, X. and Lu, B. 2008. Network Security Fundamentals. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Dakota State University, Madison, South Dakota

  2. 2

    West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2008


Communication is at the heart of computer systems. Information stored at one location is moved to another location, combined with data from other sources, and processed to meet the needs of the users. Rarely can user commands or the information they access avoid traversing networks, which leakes the data and systems vulnerable to a variety of attacks. A malicious intruder might intercept, falsify, damage, or altogether prevent the networked communications. Network security has become one of the more critical issues challenging businesses and our daily life.

In this chapter, we introduce the fundamentals of network security. The chapter comprises six sections. In the first section, we introduce basic security concepts such as CIA (confidentiality, integrity, and availability). In the second section, we discuss basic cryptography, such as secret key cryptography, public key cryptography, and hash functions. In the third section, we introduce basic security services such as key management and authentication. In the fourth section, we discuss a variety of attacks such as sniffing, spoofing, and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) to give a big picture of the cruel world of cyberspace. In the fifth section, we introduce some security systems and protocols such as Kerberos, IPSec, Firewall, and VPN to combat those attacks. Finally, we give a brief overview of wireless network security such as WEP and WPA.


  • network security;
  • secret key cryptography;
  • public key cryptography;
  • DoS;
  • sniffing;
  • kerberos;
  • IPSec;
  • firewalls;
  • intrusion detection;
  • wireless security