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Identifying Vulnerable Security Practices In Small Scale Computer Networks

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Computer and Information Technology-Related Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.821.1 - 12.821.12



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Paper Authors

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Gary Steffen Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne

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Iskandar Hack Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Identifying Vulnerable Security Practices in Small Scale Computer Networks


Twenty years ago, the Internet and networking was technology only accessible to large corporations, educational institutions and researchers. In today’s information marketplace high- speed Internet reaches into the smallest businesses and households. To extend Internet connectivity, individuals purchase small routers and wireless access points from local electronic stores. This allows sharing of the Internet connection with multiple employees and family members simultaneously.

Improper installation of such data equipment creates a vulnerability to personal information and security. In an effort to better serve this growing market, student training has been implemented in the security of small scale networks and routers. Traditional security training has typically concentrated on virtual simulation and larger scale routers/firewalls.

Small inexpensive routers/firewalls and access points can be a powerful tool, which possesses many of the same security principles as their more expensive counterparts. A majority of students already have this equipment available in their own homes because of the popularity of DSL and Cable Internet access. Students, many times, disconnect the principles of home security from that of corporate or large scale network security. They learn the practice yet fail to implement this knowledge into their own life. Even the smallest leak of information may result in catastrophic circumstances.

This paper will discuss the use of small scale routers and access points in the training of a security specialist in a Computer Engineering Technology program. Examples will be given on how these small inexpensive communication devices can be used to demonstrate extensive security principles. The result is a personal connection for the student to exercise good security practices on a daily basis.


Broadband, a type of high speed Internet connection, access is now readily available through your local phone or cable companies. Phone companies offer DSL Internet service that comes through your telephone lines and the cable companies offer similar services through your coaxial cable. Comcast Cable, the largest broadband service provider in the nation, has over 5 million customers subscribing to their Internet service1. This type of service gives subscribers direct access to the Internet that in turn can give scrupulous individuals possible direct access to the subscriber’s computer.

With this type of high speed access, many households and small businesses wish to share their Internet connection with everyone on the premises. This can be done by purchasing a small

Steffen, G., & Hack, I. (2007, June), Identifying Vulnerable Security Practices In Small Scale Computer Networks Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2619

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