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The greatest difference between security on a local area network and on a wide area network such as the Internet is control. On a LAN the network administrator, and possibly some system administrators, can exert a great degree of control over hosts on the network and on the operations and management of the network. When a local network is connected to the Internet, you become part of a much larger interconnection of networks over which you have little or no control at all. Because of this, the security problems you are likely to encounter on a typical LAN pale in comparison to those that can come from the Internet.
One reason is due to the sheer numbers of computers that are part of the Internet. It is no longer necessary for a criminal to break into your computer room and then into a computer. It is no longer necessary for a hacker to try over and over again to get into your network by trying to get past your modem security. The Internet means that an attacker can come from potentially almost any part of the globe to try his tricks.