Remote network management:
This refers to the implementation of the network management functions of configuration, performance monitoring, fault isolation, accounting, security and network installation and monitoring from a distant terminal with the aid of network management software designed to carry out the functions.
Configuration- involves initializing the network, enrolling new members, controlling the topology, keeping equipment inventories, etc
Performance monitoring- involves monitoring through puts, delays, detecting packet and frame errors, etc for all layers of communication
Fault isolation- involves detection of faulty conditions on the network, tracing of error sources, and general text and maintenance aids.
Accounting- involves keeping a record of the usage of network resources for billing purposes e.g. recording the usage of a shared printer by each department for the purposes of billing, recording the total time spent on a dial-up connection by each department for the purposes of billing, etc
Security- involves access control, encryption and authentication, reporting of break-in attempts and success.
Security implications of remote network management:
1. Unauthorized access would have to be detected immediately and the terminal involved identified to so as to effectively control unauthorized access.
2. Data at every node would have to be secured from un-authorized modification or deletion so as to prevent destruction of data at any node in the network.
3. The security function of network management would have to be centralized on a terminal so as to simplify the administration of security.
4. All data in transit would have to be secured remotely to prevent eaves dropping.
5. A log of all accesses to the network must be maintained to enable the network manger identify instances of successful unauthorized access and employ the relevant preventive mechanisms.
Security mechanisms needed for remote network management:
1. Username and password systems- to prevent unauthorized access
2. Use of audit trails. The audit trails could be maintained by the network operating software. Audit trails enable instances of unauthorized access to be identified thus enabling preventive mechanisms to be put in place to stem unauthorized access in future.
3. Data encryption to prevent unauthorized access.
4. Record and file locking to prevent simultaneous update of files thus maintaining integrity of transactions.
5. Use of firewalls to prevent protect the network from external threats e.g. hackers