index > 2.1.6 Computer communications and networking
The information on networks needs to be protected. These are the most common ways of doing this:
User access levels: A user’s access level determines what data on a network they can access. Users at the highest level can access all the information on a network, while users on the lowest level can access very few things. This prevents unauthorised access to data.
Password protection: A username and password is needed to access personal and sensitive data on a network. The use of a username and password also enables the use of user access levels, as each individual can be identified.
Encryption: Encoding data so that only people with the encryption key can read it. Nodes that are communicating with encrypted data agree on the key (method of decrypting data) before the data is sent.
Archives: Old data is stored for legal reasons and in case future enquiries are needed.
Failover: If a key piece of hardware on a network (such as the server) fails, a backup device takes over its functions to keep the network running.
Disaster recovery: A recovery plan in case something goes wrong with the network, which leads to catastrophic data loss. This typically involves backup policies, and prevention policies.
Acceptable use policies: terms and conditions of use enforced by the network operator. Typical provisions include:
Not transmitting offensive material, or material that violates the copyright of another person.