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MCSE: Windows 2000 Exams in a Nutshell by Paul Murphy, Michael Moncur

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Designing Secure Connectivity

The connections between computers in a network are a potential security vulnerability, because network data can be read on the computers it passes through. This becomes a much more serious issue when public networks, such as the Internet, are involved.

The following sections discuss some key methods of securing network connectivity:

  • Providing secure access to public networks, such as the Internet

  • Using the Internet to create virtual private networks (VPNs)

  • Using Server Message Block (SMB) signing to add security to network file sharing

Securing Public Network Access

The simplest method of providing a network with connectivity to the Internet is to assign a public IP address to each computer on the network and use a router to provide all computers with connectivity to the network. This works, but has several disadvantages:

  • A limited number of public IP addresses are available, and you may not be able to obtain enough for all of the computers on the network.

  • All computers are accessible by anyone on the Internet, providing infinite possibilities for security problems.

  • There is no way to control which local resources can be accessed from the Internet or which Internet resources can be accessed.

The solution to these problems is to use a separate internal IP addressing scheme and use a translation system or a proxy server to provide connectivity between public and private networks. Windows 2000 provides two methods of accomplishing this:

NAT (Network Address Translation) ...

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