What is Network Security?

Network security involves all actions that protect the functionality and integrity of your network and data.

  • It involves both hardware and software technologies
  • It targets a wide range of threats
  • Prevents threats from entering or spreading across the network
  • Effective network security measures manage network access

How does network security work?

Network security combines many layers of defenses at the edge and in the network. Each network security layer implements policies and controls. Authorized users gain access to network resources, while malicious actors are blocked from performing their exploits and threats.

How can I benefit from network security?

Digitization has transformed our world. The way we live, play, learn. Everything has changed. Every company that wants to deliver the services its customers and employees demand must protect its network. Network security also helps you protect your proprietary information from attack. Basically, it protects your reputation.

Means to secure the network

1. Firewalls

Firewalls put a barrier between your trusted internal network and untrusted external networks, such as the Internet. They use a set of defined rules to allow or block traffic. A firewall can be hardware, software or both.

2. Messaging Security

Messaging gateways are the primary threat vector for security breaches. Attackers use personal information and social hacking strategies to create sophisticated phishing campaigns to trick recipients into visiting malware sites. An email security application blocks inbound attacks and controls outbound messages to prevent the loss of sensitive data.

3. Anti-virus and anti-malware software

“Malware” or “malicious software” includes viruses, computer worms, Trojan horses, ransomware and spyware. Sometimes malware will infect a network, but remain inactive for days or even weeks. The best anti-malware programs do more than just scan for malware as it enters. They also continuously monitor files to find anomalies, remove malware and repair damage.

Related article: How does an antivirus work?

Network segmentation

Software-defined segmentation divides network traffic into different categories and makes it easier to enforce security policies. Ideally, categories are based on endpoint identity, not just IP addresses. You can assign access rights based on roles, location and other parameters, so that the right level of access is granted to the right people and suspicious devices are contained or even remediated.

Access Control

Not every user should have access to your network. To keep potential attacks at bay, you need to recognize every user and every device. Then you can enforce your security policies. You can block non-compliant endpoint devices or grant them limited access only. This process is called network access control (NAC).

Software Security

All software you use in your business must be protected, whether your IT staff developed it or purchased it. Unfortunately, any application can contain holes or areas of vulnerability that can be used by malicious attackers to infiltrate your network. Software security encompasses the hardware, programs and processes your use to address these gaps.

Behavioral Analysis

To detect abnormal behavior in your network, you need to know what behavior is normal. Behavior analysis tools automatically distinguish activity that deviates from the norm. Your security team can then better identify indicators of compromise that represent a potential problem, so you can quickly remediate threats.

Prevent data loss

Companies need to ensure that their staff does not send sensitive information off the network. Data loss prevention, or DLP, is a group of technologies that can prevent people from uploading, transferring or even printing critical information in a risky manner.

Intrusion Prevention Systems

An intrusion prevention system (IPS) analyzes network traffic to actively block attacks. To do this, IPS devices correlate massive amounts of information from global threat intelligence watches to block malicious activity by tracking the progress of suspicious files and malware throughout the network to prevent the spread of new malware or re-infection.

Mobile Device Security

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile applications and devices. In the next three years, 90 percent of IT organizations may enable support for enterprise applications on personal mobile devices. Of course, you’ll need to control which devices can access your network. You’ll also need to configure their connections to ensure that network traffic remains private.

VPN

A virtual private network encrypts an endpoint’s connection to a network, often over the Internet. Typically, a remote access VPN uses IPsec or Secure Sockets Layer to authenticate the communication between a device and the network.

Related article: Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Web Security

A web security solution will allow you to control web usage among your staff, block online threats and prevent access to malicious websites. The solution will protect your web gateway on site or in the cloud. “Securing the web” also refers to the steps you take to protect your own website.

Wireless Network Security

Wireless networks are not as well protected as wired networks. Without strict security measures, setting up a wireless LAN can be like installing Ethernet ports everywhere, even in a parking lot. To prevent your wireless network from being taken over, you need products specifically designed to protect it.