Topics in Networking for Project and Thesis

TCP/IP Protocol

TCP(Transmission Control Protocol) is a set of rules to access the internet with interconnection of various internet-based devices. We can say it is a communication protocol in which there is a host with access to the internet. This is a good topic for an M.Tech thesis in networking. If you are planning to choose this networking topic for research, then here is some basic introduction to this.

TCP/IP provides end to end data transmission between devices along with some other functionalities like addressing, mapping and acknowledgement. TCP/IP is a combination of two protocols. TCP controls the messages by dividing them into packets. IP controls the transmission of these packets from sender to the receiver.

TCP/IP protocol layers

Following are the four layers of TCP/IP:

Application layer

Transport layer

Internet layer

Physical layer

Working of TCP/IP protocol

Client/Server model is used as a mode of communication by TCP/IP. It works in the following way:

Application layer consists of various applications for data exchange with use of protocols like HTTP(Hypertext Transfer Protocol), FTP(File Transfer Protocol), SMTP(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

Transport layer provides end-to-end communication between the host and the user. It uses protocol UDP(User Datagram Protocol).

Internet layer is responsible for transfer of packets over the network and uses IP(Internet Protocol) for this purpose.

Physical layer provides interconnection between the nodes.

Advantages of TCP/IP protocol

It can be easily modified.

It is compatible with all the operating systems.

It is scalable in determining the most appropriate path.

Thus it is a good topic for M.Tech thesis as well as for research. A student can get thesis help on this topic from experts specialized in thesis guidance. You can also explore the internet for further details on this topic.

NS2

Another good computer networking topic for an M.Tech thesis is NS2. NS stands for Network Simulator. It is an open-source, discrete-event based network simulator mainly used for research purpose and for teaching. It provides help in simulating routing protocols like IP, TCP, UDP etc. It creates a simulation environment for studying the network. Following steps are followed while creating a simulation environment:

Topology Definition

Development of the model

Configuration of the link

Execution

Analysis of the problem

Visualization

NS2 create network topologies and then examines the behavior of the network under any event. The behavior is analyzed by tracing down the events. NS2 provides text-based as well as animation-based simulations.

Advantages of NS2

It has the ability to support multiple protocols.

It can represent network traffic graphically.

It can also support multiple algorithms for routing and queuing.

NS2 is a very good topic for an M.Tech thesis in computer networking field. You will not only get theoretical knowledge but also practical experience of network simulator tool. You can get thesis help about NS2 from an expert who has practical knowledge about how to use this tool.

MANET

MANET stands for mobile ad hoc Network and is another good choice for an M.Tech thesis topic in networking. In MANET, the nodes are self-configurable and have the ability to move freely in any direction and can link with other devices frequently. MANET was originally used as military project in defense. MANET have the challenges of weak signal strength, reliability, power consumption along with some other problems.

Characteristics of MANET

Each node is independent in nature i.e. each node act as the host as well as the router.

It is based on distributed nature of operation for security and configuration.

The network is dynamic in nature I.e each node can join and exit the network at any time.

The nodes in the network are associated with less memory and power.

In MANET, the bandwidth remains fluctuating.

MANET creates a symmetric environment such that all the nodes have identical features like responsibilities and capabilities.

Hurdles in the path of MANET

There are certain hurdles in the path of MANET, which it has to overcome. Some of these are:

The reliability of the transmission is affected by certain factors like data loss, interference, and blockage.

The rate of transmission is limited to a certain range thus there is reduced data rate.

Packet loss can occur while transmission of data.

Frequent path breaks.

Lack of firewall results in security issues in the network.

This was just the introduction to MANET to give an overview of what it is if you are going with this topic for your M.Tech thesis.

Network Security

Network Security is the set of rules to ensure the safety of the network of an organization or personal network. You can choose this topic for your M.Tech thesis if you have complete understanding of how the data is transferred over the network. Network Security also include security of physical hardware devices. Network Security in software means providing authorized access to the network by means of ids and passwords.

Whenever a user tries to access the network, his authenticity is checked by means of ids and passwords. This is done to prevent any malicious user entering the network by the motive of hacking it.

Types of attacks to network

Active Attack – In this type of attack, a hacker tries to make changes to data while it is being sent from one node to another.

Passive Attack – In this type of attack, an outsider monitors system of the organization consistently to find vulnerable ports.

Network Security Tools

Following are some of the tools employed in network security:

Wireshark

Aircrack

Snort

BackTrack

Netcat

Thus if you really have significant knowledge(practical + theoretical) of networking tools, security

measures then you should choose this topic for M.Tech thesis. Besides, you will get thesis help on this topic from computer networking experts.

Network Topologies

Network Topology is the arrangement of nodes in the network both physical and logical. It is an easy topic for M.Tech thesis. Following are some of the common physical topologies:

Bus – In bus topology, each node is connected to the main cable known as bus such that every node is directly connected to every other node.

Star – In star topology, each node is connected to a central hub such that all the nodes are indirectly connected to each other.

Ring – In this topology, the nodes form a closed loop such that the adjacent nodes are in direct connection with each other.

Token Ring – In token ring topology, a protocol is used. A token is passed from one node to another. A node that want to tansfer data should acquire the token.

Mesh – In mesh network, each node is directly connected to every other node. It can be full mesh or partial mesh network.

Tree – It is the interconnection of bus topology and star topology.

Daisy Chain – In this topology, each node is connected to two other nodes but do not form a closed loop like ring topology.

Hybrid – It is a combination of two or more topologies.

If you are afraid of complex topics in networking for M.Tech thesis, then this topic is for. It is relatively simple to understand and work on. Just go for it.

IPv4/IPv6

It is another major topic in computer networking and also a good choice for thesis or project. Ipv4 is the fourth version of internet protocol while Ipv6 is the sixth version of internet protocol.

Characteristics of IPv4

It uses 32-bit address.

The address is written in decimal separated by dots.

The header includes a checksum.

Broadcast addresses are used to send data packets to other nodes.

In this the Internet Protocol Security is optional.

Characteristics of Ipv6

It uses 128-bit address.

The address is written in hexadecimal separated by colons.

The header does not include a checksum.

Broadcast addresses are not used to send data packets.

The Internet Security Protocol is compulsory.

It is a good area to study how data transfer takes place over the internet. You will study about the IP data packets of Ipv4 and Ipv6. You can select this as your M.Tech thesis topic.

OSI Model

OSI stands for open system interconnection. It is another good topic for an M.Tech thesis in computer networking field. It provides a networking framework to implement protocols in layers. There are seven layers of OSI Model:

1. Physical Layer – This layer is responsible for transferring digital data from source to the destination.

2. Data Link Layer – This layer checks error in data along with the MAC address. It turns bits into data frames.

3. Network Layer – This layer checks whether the data has reached the destination or not by examining the source and the destination address.

4. Transport Layer – This layer transfers data over the network by using TCP protocol.

5. Session Layer – This layer manages the events and keep them in sequence. It supports multiple types of connections.

6. Presentation Layer – It looks after the syntax along with encryption and decryption for the application layer above it.

7. Application Layer – It provides end-to-end user applications using protocols like HTTP, FTP, SMTP.

It is different from TCP/IP model. You will get thesis guide on this topic from computer networking experts.

WLAN

It stands for Wireless Local Area Network. It can be another good choice for an M.Tech thesis topic in computer networking. It is wireless distribution method that uses high-frequency radio waves with a single access point to the internet. In other words, it is a wireless communication between two or more devices such that users can move around in a limited range area. It is most commonly used in homes or offices. The component connected to WLAN is referred to as the station. There are two types of stations – Access Point

Client

Access Points are the base stations that transmit and receive radio frequencies for wireless enabled devices. Clients are the mobile phones, laptops, desktops connected to the wireless network.

Modes of Operation of WLAN

There are two modes of operation of WLAN:

Infrastructure – In infrastructure mode, base station act as the access point and all the nodes communicate through this point.

Ad hoc – In Ad hoc mode, mobile devices transmit data directly using peer to peer method. In this, there is no base station.

WLAN Advantages

It can support a large number of devices.

It is easy to set up wireless LAN than installing cables for wired network.

It is easier to access wireless network than a wired network.

WLAN Disadvantages

It is difficult to expand the network.

It faces security issues like hacking.

Interference is another problem of WLAN.

WLAN is another easier topic for an M.Tech thesis. It is used everywhere. You can take thesis help on this topic from networking professionals.

Cryptography

It is the science of maintaining privacy of data. It is also easy topic to choose for your M.Tech thesis in networking. There are three main objectives of cryptography used in transferring data over the network:

Confidentiality

Integrity

Authentication

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Tips to Secure Your Small Business Network

Just because your business is small, doesn’t mean that hackers won’t target you. The reality is that automated scanning techniques and botnets don’t care whether your company is big or small, they’re only looking for holes in your network security to exploit.

Maintaining a secure small business or home network isn’t easy, and even for an old hand in IT, it still takes time and energy to keep things locked down. Here are 10 of the most critical steps you can take to keep your data from ending up elsewhere, and none of them take much time or effort to accomplish.

Get a Firewall
The first step for any attacker is to find network vulnerabilities by scanning for open ports. Ports are the mechanisms by which your small business network opens up and connects to the wider world of the Internet. A hacker sees an open port to as an irresistible invitation for access and exploitation. A network firewall locks down ports that don’t need to be open.
A properly configured firewall acts as the first line of defense on any network. The network firewall sets the rules for which ports should be open and which ones should be closed. The only ports that should be open are ports for services that you need to run.

Typically, most small business routers include some kind of firewall functionality, so chances are if you have a router sitting behind your service provider or DSL/cable modem, you likely have a firewall already. To check to see if you already have firewall capabilities at the router level in your network, log into your router and see if there are any settings for Firewall or Security. If you don’t know how to log into your router on a Windows PC, find your Network Connection information. The item identified as Default Gateway is likely the IP address for your router.

There are many desktop firewall applications available today as well, but don’t mistake those for a substitute for firewall that sits at the primary entry point to your small business network. You should have a firewall sitting right behind where your network connectivity comes into your business to filter out bad traffic before it can reach any desktop or any other network assets.

Password Protect your Firewall
Great you’ve got a firewall, but it’s never enough to simply drop it into your network and turn it on. One of the most common mistakes in configuring network equipment is keeping the default password.
It’s a trivial matter in many cases for an attacker to identify the brand and model number of a device on a network. It’s equally trivial to simply use Google to obtain the user manual to find the default username and password.

Take the time to make this easy fix. Log into your router/firewall, and you’ll get the option to set a password; typically, you’ll find it under the Administration menu item.

Update Router Firmware
Outdated router or firewall firmware is another common issue. Small business network equipment, just like applications and operating systems, needs to be updated for security and bug fixes. The firmware that your small business router and/or firewall shipped with is likely out-of-date within a year, so it’s critical to make sure you update it.
Some router vendors have a simple dialogue box that lets you check for new firmware versions from within the router’s administration menu. For routers that don’t have automated firmware version checking, find the version number in your router admin screen, and then go to the vendor’s support site to see if you have the latest version.

Block Pings
Most router and firewalls include multiple settings that help to determine how visible your router and/or firewall will be to the outside world. One of the simplest methods that a hacker uses to find a network is by sending a ping request, which is just a network request to see if something will respond. The idea being if a network device responds, there is something there that the hacker can then explore further and potentially exploit. You can make it harder for attackers by simply setting your network router or firewall so that it won’t respond to network pings. Typically, the option to block network pings can be found on the administration menu for a firewall and/or router as a configuration option.
Scan Yourself
One of the best ways to see if you have open ports or visible network vulnerabilities is to do the same thing that an attacker would do – scan your network. By scanning your network with the same tools that security researchers (and attackers) use, you’ll see what they see. Among the most popular network scanning tools is the open source nmap tool). For Windows users, the Nmap download now includes a graphical user interface, so it’s now easier than ever to scan your network with industry standard tools, for free. Scan your network to see what ports are open (that shouldn’t be), and then go back to your firewall to make the necessary changes.
Lock Down IP Addresses
By default, most small business routers use something called DHCP, which automatically allocates IP addresses to computers that connect to the network. DHCP makes it easy for you to let users connect to you network, but if your network is exploited it also makes it easy for attackers to connect to your network. If your small business only has a set number of users, and you don’t routinely have guest users plugging into your network, you might want to consider locking down IP addresses.
The benefit of assigning an IP is that when you check your router logs, you’ll know which IP is associated with a specific PC and/or user. With DHCP, the same PC could potentially have different IPs over a period of time as machines are turned on or off. By knowing what’s on your network, you’ll know where problems are coming from when they do arise.

Use VLANs
Not everyone in your small business necessarily needs access to the same network assets. While you can determine and set access with passwords and permissions on applications, you can also segment your network with VLAN or virtual LANs. VLANs are almost always part of any business class router and let you segment a network based on needs and risks as well as quality of service requirements. For example, with a VLAN setup you could have the finance department on one VLAN, while sales is on another. In another scenario, you could have a VLAN for your employees and then setup another one for contract or guest workers. Mitigating risk is all about providing access to network resources to the people who are authorized and restricting access to those who aren’t.
Get an IPS
A firewall isn’t always enough to protect a small business network. Today’s reality is that the bulk of all network traffic goes over Port 80 for HTTP or Web traffic. So if you leave that port open, you’re still at risk from attacks that target port 80. In addition to the firewall, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) technology can play a key network security role. An IPS does more than simply monitor ports; it monitors the traffic flow for anomalies that could indicate malicious activity. IPS technology can sometimes be bundled in on a router as part of a Unified Threat Management (UTM) device. Depending on the size of your small business network, you might want to consider a separate physical box.
Another option is to leverage open source technologies running on your own servers (or as virtual instances if you are virtualized). On the IPS side, one of the leading open source technologies is called SNORT (which is backed by commercial vendor Sourcefire.

Get a WAF
A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is specifically tasked with helping to protect against attacks that are specifically targeted against applications. If you’re not hosting applications within your small business network, the risks that a WAF helps to mitigate are not as pronounced. If you are hosting applications, WAF in front of (or as part of) your Web server is a key technology that you need to look at. Multiple vendors including Barracuda have network WAF boxes. Another option is the open source ModSecurity project, which is backed by security vendor Trustwave.
Use VPN
If you’ve gone through all the trouble of protecting your small business network, it makes sense to extend that protection to your mobile and remotely connected employees as well. A VPN or Virtual Private Network lets your remote workers log into your network with an encrypted tunnel. That tunnel can then be used to effectively shield your remote employees with the same firewall, IPS and WAF technologies that local users benefit from. A VPN also protects your network by not letting users who may be coming in from risky mobile environments connect in an insecure fashion.

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