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Network intrusion

(also cyber intrusion or network breach)

Network intrusion definition

A network intrusion, alternatively referred to as a network breach or cyber intrusion, is defined as unsolicited activity on a digital network. Individuals known as hackers instigate these activities, typically with the objective to illicitly access, modify, or delete data, destabilize network functions, or implant harmful software.

See also: brute-force attack, firewall

Network intrusion examples

  • Data breach: Hackers might intrude into the network to steal sensitive data, such as credit card details or personal identifiers.
  • Denial of service (DoS): By overwhelming a network's resources, intruders can prevent legitimate users from accessing services.
  • Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack: An intruder intercepts communication between two parties, potentially altering or stealing the transmitted data.

Comparisons of network intrusion

Network intrusion is akin to physical intrusion into a property. Just as an intruder breaks into a house to steal or cause harm, a network intruder breaches the network's defenses for similar malicious intent.

Preventing network intrusion

  • Firewalls: The use of firewalls can prevent unauthorized access to your network.
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS): These systems monitor network traffic and send alerts when they detect potential attacks.
  • VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) can provide a secure connection, encrypting your data and hiding your online activity from potential intruders.