Knowledge

Types and characteristics of communication protocols

Definition

types - a category of things that have common characteristics

characteristics - a feature or property

communication protocols - a system of rules that allow two or more entities of a communication system to transmit information via any kind of variation of a physical quantity (physical property, body or substance that be quantified by measurement e.g. copper, fibreoptic etc).

This dot point of the syllabus refers to the categories and characteristics of those categories of communication protocols (particularly the protocols that are listed as sub dot points to this one). It requires you to understand what those protocols are, how they work and how they differ from one another.

Transmission control protocol / Internet protocol (TCP/IP)

The Internet protocol suite is the conceptual model and set of communications protocols used on the Internet and similar computer networks. It is commonly known as TCP/IP because the original protocols in the suite are the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). It is occasionally known as the Department of Defense (DoD) model, because the development of the networking model was funded by DARPA, an agency of the United States Department of Defense.

The Internet protocol suite provides end-to-end data communication specifying how data should be packetized, addressed, transmitted, routed and received. This functionality is organised into four abstraction layers which are used to sort all related protocols according to the scope of networking involved. From lowest to highest, the layers are the link layer, containing communication methods for data that remains within a single network segment (link); the internet layer, connecting independent networks, thus providing internetworking; the transport layer handling host-to-host communication; and the application layer, which provides process-to-process data exchange for applications.

 

Two Internet hosts connected via two routers and the corresponding layers used at each hop. The application on each host executes read and write operations as if the processes were directly connected to each other by some kind of data pipe. Every other detail of the communication is hidden from each process. The underlying mechanisms that transmit data between the host computers are located in the lower protocol layers.

Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, and hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web.

Hypertext is structured text that uses logical links (hyperlinks) between nodes containing text. HTTP is the protocol to exchange or transfer hypertext.

Development of HTTP was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989. Standards development of HTTP was coordinated by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), culminating in the publication of a series of Requests for Comments (RFCs).

Hypertext transfer protocol over Secure Sockets Layer (HTTPS)

HTTPS (also called HTTP over Transport Layer Security (TLS), HTTP over SSL, and HTTP Secure) is a communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS consists of communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security, or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer. The main motivation for HTTPS is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.

In its popular deployment on the internet, HTTPS provides authentication of the website and associated web server with which one is communicating, which protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. Additionally, it provides bidirectional encryption of communications between a client and server, which protects against eavesdropping and tampering with or forging the contents of the communication. In practice, this provides a reasonable guarantee that one is communicating with precisely the website that one intended to communicate with (as opposed to an impostor), as well as ensuring that the contents of communications between the user and site cannot be read or forged by any third party.

Historically, HTTPS connections were primarily used for payment transactions on the World Wide Web, e-mail and for sensitive transactions in corporate information systems. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, HTTPS began to see widespread use for protecting page authenticity on all types of websites, securing accounts and keeping user communications, identity and web browsing private.

Transport Layer Security (TSL) & Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), both frequently referred to as "SSL", are cryptographic protocols that provide communications security over a computer network. Several versions of the protocols find widespread use in applications such as web browsing, email, Internet faxing, instant messaging, and voice-over-IP (VoIP). Websites are able to use TLS to secure all communications between their servers and web browsers.

Wireless application protocol (WAP)

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a technical standard for accessing information over a mobile wireless network. A WAP browser is a web browser for mobile devices such as mobile phones that uses the protocol. Introduced with much hype in 1999, WAP achieved some popularity in the early 2000s, but by the 2010s it had been largely superseded by more modern standards. Most modern handset internet browsers now fully support HTML, so do not need to use WAP markup for webpage compatibility, and most of them are no longer able to render and display pages written in WAP.

Before the introduction of WAP, mobile service providers had limited opportunities to offer interactive data services, but needed interactivity to support Internet and Web applications such as email, stock prices, news and sports headlines.

https://web.stanford.edu/class/msande91si/www-spr04/readings/week1/InternetWhitepaper.htm

Types and characteristics of communication standards

802.11x (Wireless)

802.11x is generic term to refer to the IEEE 802.11 standard for defining communication over a wireless LAN (WLAN). 802.11, commonly known as Wi-Fi, specifies an over-the-air interface between a wireless client and a base station or between two wireless clients. These standards are used to implement WLAN communication in 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz frequency bands. It functions at the MAC and Physical layer

The term is not officially used or defined. Rather, it refers to the common flavors of Wi-Fi, most notably 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n.

Information retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/508/ieee-80211x

802.3 (Ethernet)

IEEE 802.3 is a set of standards put forth by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that define Ethernet-based networks as well as the name of the working group assigned to develop these standards. IEEE 802.3 specifies the physical and networking characteristics of an Ethernet network, like how physical connections between nodes (routers/switches/hubs) are made through various wired media like copper coaxial or fiber cable.

IEEE 802.3 is otherwise known as the Ethernet standard and defines the physical layer and the media access control (MAC) of the data link layer for wired Ethernet networks, generally as a local area network (LAN) technology.

Information retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/19938/ieee-8023

Types of network security measures

Firewalls

A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A firewall typically establishes a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and another outside network, such as the Internet, that is assumed not to be secure or trusted. Firewalls are often categorised as either network firewalls or host-based firewalls. Network firewalls filter traffic between two or more networks; they are either software appliances running on general purpose hardware, or hardware-based firewall computer appliances. Host-based firewalls provide a layer of software on one host that controls network traffic in and out of that single machine. Firewall appliances may also offer other functionality to the internal network they protect, such as acting as a DHCP or VPN server for that network.

Information retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewall_(computing)

Passwords

A password is a word or string of characters used for user authentication to prove identity or access approval to gain access to a resource (example: an access code is a type of password), which is to be kept secret from those not allowed access. A complex password of six to eight alphanumeric and special characters will provide unauthorised access to a computer or private network.

Information retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password

Physical Security

Physical security involves the use of locks on windows, doors or cupboards that house the devices used in a private network. The main resources on a network are normally housed in a server room which can have various physical security measures to keep the components safe from intruders.

Skills

Design a LAN

Justify the design of a LAN