With the increasing use of technology in business, cyber attacks have become more sophisticated—and also more devastating. One of the most memorable hacks in recent history, the 2018 Facebook data breach, exposed data for over 50 million users and allowed the attackers to take over users’ accounts and gain access to other services.
Due to the detrimental impact of cyber attacks and to their ever-increasing frequency, network security is a top priority for most organizations.
What is Network Security?
Network security prevents unauthorized entities from accessing your networks and connected devices. Physical and digital preventative measures protect the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, malfunction, misuse, destructure, improper disclosure, and modification.
Proper network security ensures a secure platform for programs, users, and computers to perform their required tasks within a safe environment. By securing proprietary information from attack, network security protects your reputation.
Defense in Depth
Relying on a single line of defense is risky. A crafty adversary can eventually defeat a single defensive tool. Multiple layers of defenses implement policies and control to allow only authorized users to gain access to the network and its resources. Network security should exemplify three main stages of security:
- Protection: Correct configuration of systems and networks
- Detection: The ability to identify configuration changes or problematic network traffic
- Reaction: Immediate response to identified problems to quickly ensure a safe state
14 Types of Network Security
1. Access Control
Only certain users should have access to your network. Each qualified user on each device needs to be recognized so you can enforce your security policies. Non-compliant endpoint devices can be blocked or given restricted access.
2. Endpoint Protection Software
Malicious software, or malware, can enter your network and remain dormant until activated. Trojans, viruses, worms, ransomware, and spyware and common examples of malware. Choose an anti-malware program that scans for malware immediately and continuously tracks files afterward to detect suspicious activity and remove malware.
3. Application Security
Any application could contain vulnerabilities that attackers may use to breach your network. All software your business uses should be protected, regardless of whether it is purchased or created by your IT team. Application security involves securing all the hardware, software, and processes you use to fix vulnerabilities.
4. Behavioral Analytics
You cannot detect abnormal network behavior without understanding what that behavior looks like. Behavioral analytics tools automatically detect irregular activity. This detection allows your security team to then identify and remediate indicators of a compromised network.
5. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Staff should not send sensitive information outside the network; however, employees may not always be aware of which information is sensitive. Human error will always introduce a degree of risk as long as it is left up to employees to control their data transmissions DLP technologies prevent people from uploading, forwarding, or printing important information unsafely.
6. Email Security
Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigation Report confirmed once again that email gateways are the top method for security breaches, building on the previous year’s finding that 94% of malware was sent through email.
By using social engineering tactics and personal information, attackers build advanced phishing campaigns that trick recipients into opening malware sites. Email security applications block incoming threats and control outbound messages to prevent the loss of sensitive data.
Firewalls are the barrier between your trusted internal network and untrusted outside networks. Using a set of defined rules, a firewall will block or allow traffic. A hardware, software, or combined firewall manages PC traffic, monitors incoming and outgoing connections, and secures connections while you are online.
8. Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
An IPS is a network security measure that scans network traffic to block attacks. The administrator configures the rule-set in the IPS setting interface, and then rule-set updates can be scheduled to automatically run at certain times or on demand.
9. Mobile Device Security
An increasing number of cyber attacks happens on mobile devices and apps. In the next few years, a majority of IT organizations may support corporate applications on personal mobile devices. You must control which devices can access your network and configure their connections to keep network traffic private.
10. Network Segmentation
Software-defined segmentation categorizes network traffic to make it easier to enforce security policies. Classifications should be made based on endpoint identity, not just IP addresses. Assign rights based on role, location, and other specifications to the proper access is given to the right people and suspicious devices are weeded out.
11. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM products combine all information your security staff requires to identify and respond to threats. These products come in a variety of forms, including physical or virtual appliances and server software.
12. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN encrypts the entire connection from an endpoint to the network over the internet. A remote-access VPN often uses IP-sec or Secure Sockets Layer to authenticate the communication between network and device.
13. Web Security
Web security refers to the steps you take to protect your own website. Additionally, an optimal web security solution should control user web use, block web-based threats, and deny access to malicious websites.
14. Wireless Security
Wireless networks are less secure than wired ones. Stringent security measures prevent an attacker from taking hold. Invest in products specifically created to protect a wireless network.
Increasing Network Security
Diagnosing your organization’s vulnerabilities through organization-wide security maturity will help you develop a strong mitigation strategy. At AIS, our experts construct personalized information security programs that adhere to regulatory and compliance standards. With experience across industries, AIS can help you protect your network from attacks with our advanced toolsets and experienced team through a variety of services, including:
- Compliance & Governance
- Managed Detection & Response
- Managed Risk
Don’t wait for disaster to strike your network. Set up a cybersecurity assessment with one of our specialists today.