What is Network Security?Cyber attacks are on the rise. In 2019, CNBC first reported that the global financial impact of cybercrime could hit $5.1 trillion. They further highlighted that 42% of small businesses were victims of cyber attacks that averaged $200,000 in costs — closing the doors for many of those businesses. Cyber risks drive businesses to invest in network security, especially as more interactions occur on the internet than ever before. Secure, stable networks protect your company’s business interests and prevent sensitive data from falling prey to cyber predators. Network security combines multiple layers of defense at both the edge of the network and from within. Each layer has configurations that allow authorized users to gain access while unauthorized users or attacks do not. By implementing more layers of security to your network, you prevent private data and activity from succumbing to outside, unauthorized access that can harm your organization’s reputation and ability to do business. In this article, discover the benefits of network security and the various types of protection you can implement to protect your organization. Looking for a secure hosting platform for your resource-heavy software, like Quickbooks Enterprise? Summit Hosting implements world-class security while remaining affordable for any size operation!
What are the Benefits of Network Security?Though intrusion detection is a great start, it won’t provide total endpoint security. Basic security will only get you so far. Robust network security relies on a layered approach, where each consecutive defense prevents stronger and more devastating cyber attacks. While adding security protocols and technology contributes to higher IT costs, there are significant benefits to investing beyond the fundamental requirements.
- Build consumer trust – Security boosts confidence in your organization. The methods, certifications, and information security you employ help create that lasting trust leading to returned business.
- Mitigates risk – Stay compliant with government regulations and reduce the risk of financial repercussions. Robust network security also reduces the burden of an attack, should you become a victim.
- Protects proprietary information – Manage who has access to proprietary customer and corporate information. Protection can extend to email security, social media access, like Twitter or LinkedIn, and private customer information.
- Modernizes your workplace – Allows teams to work on-premise or remotely with VPNs and enjoy collaboration with teams thanks to secure network access. Plus, effective network security scales with your business as you expand!
What are the Types of Network Security?Cyber threats come in many styles, and your network relies on various systems and security policies to meet and correct those threats. These network security solutions can be physical access control devices or software-based packages that protect your network from harm. Many of these systems overlap in functionality, yet they create security redundancies to prevent attacks from slipping through. Here’s a look at some popular types of network security.
FirewallsOne of the most well-known security controls for your network is firewalls. Firewalls are network security devices that monitor network traffic in and out, deciding whether to allow or block that traffic based on pre-established security rules. These gatekeepers come as physical routers or software solutions, but the goal is to validate access by assessing network traffic for hackers, malware, or malicious software and behaviors. Firewalls have different security levels, from fundamental protocol-based security to advanced filtering operations. You can even find cloud-based and Firewall as a Service (FaaS) solutions, but you’re likely to come across one of the following:
- Packet Filtering
- Proxy Service
- Stateful Multi-Layer Inspection (SMLI)
- Unified Threat Management (UTM)
- Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW)
- Network Address Translation (NAT)
- Virtual Firewalls
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, act as a protected tunnel, hiding your identity and activity from hackers, governments, and even internet service providers (ISPs). A VPN uses software to encrypt your connection from an endpoint device to the internet. They are helpful for protecting sensitive data accessed over unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. VPNs allow remote access by using an IPsec or secure socket layers to authenticate communication between devices and the internet. They can privately connect your remote staff to company files, software, and data as if they were in the central office. Using a VPN prevents hackers from packet sniffing or gaining access to your data during transmission, ultimately preventing unauthorized access.
Access ControlNetwork access control is a form of intrusion prevention system that blocks unauthorized endpoint devices from gaining access or provides limited access. This security measure can also prevent physical disruption to your network by guarding buildings, server rooms, and data centers. Access control will identify users with credentials, such as login information, pins, biometric scans, or security tokens. Organizations use them in conjunction with multi-factor authentication (MFA), which is a key component of a Zero Trust security framework. This framework constantly verifies access to your network and data, which is vital for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud network security. Once a user provides proper authentication, the network access control allows admittance based on the administrator’s rules and IP address requirements. Access control helps maintain authority over who has access to data, apps, and other sensitive information.
Antivirus/Antimalware SoftwareData loss prevention (DLP) relies heavily on another famous set of security tools — antivirus and antimalware software. Antivirus and antimalware software prevent cyber attacks and data breaches by seeking out anomalies caused by malicious software, removing them, and repairing the damage caused. Quality antivirus/antimalware software will scan incoming communications and continue to monitor files and applications. Cyber attacks take many forms, and you have probably encountered these types of threats. They include:
- Phishing attacks
- Denial of Service attacks (DDOS)