Network security is most effective when multiple layers of security are used. At the exterior, controls are implemented to try to prevent cyber-attacks from infiltrating the network. However, since some attackers have the ability to pass these barriers, security teams additionally install protection around interior resources, like laptops and data, to prohibit malicious activities even if they do gain access. This strategy, known as ‘defense in depth’, is the best approach for effective network security.
Security teams create network security systems by integrating the following tools:
Firewalls are an essential part of network security. They can be implemented both externally at the boundaries of the network and internally to segment a large network into smaller, distinct subnetworks. Firewalls filter incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules, allowing legitimate traffic to pass freely while blocking suspicious traffic from entering or leaving the network. This helps to protect an entire network from malicious access, even if a single part of the network compromised.
Network access control (NAC) solutions are used to validate the identity of a user and whether they are allowed to access the network, as well as what type of activity they can perform inside. Authentication verifies that the user is who they say they are, while authorization grants authenticated users authorization to access specific network resources. Additionally, NAC solutions can aid in enforcing role-based access control (RBAC) policies, such as specifying user privileges based on their job roles. This can help prevent data breaches by restricting access to only those authorized to access specific assets.
An Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS) - sometimes referred to as an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) - is a type of security tool designed to monitor traffic passing through the firewall of a given network. These systems emerged from Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs), which simply flagged activity that might be suspicious. The major advantage of IDPSs is their added capability to actually respond to potential security breaches, such as blocking traffic or resetting a connection. Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPSs) are especially effective when it comes to detecting and preventing Brute Force attacks, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
A VPN protects a user's identity by encrypting their data and masking their IP address and location. Instead of connecting directly to the internet, the user connects to a secure server that does so on their behalf. This helps remote workers securely access corporate networks, even when using unsecured public wifi networks like those found in coffee shops and airports. As an alternative to VPNs, some organizations use zero-trust network access (ZTNA). With ZTNA, remote users don't have access to the whole network, only to the specific resources they're allowed to access, and must be verified every time they access a new one. This enhances security through a zero-trust approach to network security.
Application security is an essential part of cyber defense, as it is used to safeguard applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) from malicious attacks. Companies rely on applications to support vital business functions and handle sensitive data, making them a primary focus for cybercriminals. Furthermore, the public cloud hosting many of these applications exacerbates the risk, leaving organizations vulnerable to intrusion. To protect applications, security teams use a range of specific solutions. These include web application firewalls (WAFs), runtime application self-protection (RASP), static application security testing (SAST), and dynamic application security testing (DAST). Together, these solutions help prevent networks from being infiltrated by malicious actors.
Email Security protects your Email Account and its contents from external digital threats. For example, most email service providers detect and divert fraudulent emails to a designated Spam folder, due to the security features built-in to the system.
By employing behavioral analysis combined with the most up-to-date threat intelligence, this solution helps to ensure improved security for your network.
Increase oversight of application and user activity to defend against potential malware attacks.
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Network security refers to the measures and practices implemented to protect computer networks and the data transmitted over them from unauthorized access, disruption, or misuse. A comprehensive network security solution encompasses multiple layers of defense, including physical security, network infrastructure security, access controls, encryption, and monitoring. Here’s a brief overview of the key components and best practices for network security:
Implement a firewall to regulate incoming and outgoing network traffic, allowing only authorized access and blocking potential threats. Configure the firewall rules based on the principle of least privilege, ensuring that only necessary network ports and protocols are open.
Regularly update and patch all network devices, including routers, switches, and access points, to address any known vulnerabilities. Use strong passwords and enable secure protocols such as SSH (Secure Shell) or HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) for remote management.
Implement robust authentication mechanisms such as strong passwords, two-factor authentication (2FA), or biometric authentication to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the network and its resources. Regularly review and update user accounts and permissions, revoking access for employees who no longer require it.
Stay updated with the latest security patches and software updates from vendors. Many security breaches occur due to unpatched vulnerabilities, so maintaining an effective patch management system is crucial.
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