Network Security is a process of protecting the integrity of an organization’s network and its devices connected to it from any unwanted and unauthorized intrusion. The network security system comprises of both hardware and software to secure the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized alteration, malfunction, misapplication and inappropriate disclosure. This provides a secure platform for devices connected to the network and for the users to perform their respective functions within a secure environment.
Network security methods
There is a range of network security methods to ensure strong defense mechanisms.
Access control: This is to restrict or terminate illegitimate devices from accessing the organization's network. The users who are allowed to have permitted access to the network are also authorized to have access to a specific set of resources.
Anti-Malware: Malware includes computer worms, viruses, and trojans that try to infect the entire network and can stay on infected machines for weeks. The security system should enforce features and techniques to prevent infection and remove malware instantly.
Application security: Not all applications are genuine and malware free. Attackers use malicious and insecure applications as bait to gain access to the organizations’ network. So you would need an efficient integration of software, hardware and security processes to restrict suspicious apps.
Behavioral Analytics: Analysing a network to understand its normal behavior is important. This would help you spot if the network is going through any abnormal behavior and hence work on any responsive protective methods.
Data loss prevention: It is vital to implement methods and techniques that restrict employees and other users from purposefully or inadvertently sending confidential data outside the organization’s network.
Email Security: Attackers use phishing emails to gain access to the network. Email security methods should be implemented to enable protection from such phishing emails.
Firewall: This defines a set of rules to be followed to deny or to allow internet traffic to access your network. Intrusion detection and prevention: This enables to scan the traffic of the network to detect and terminate attacks.
Network segmentation: A software-related segmentation would help you to organize different categories and therefore implementing security policies becomes easier.
Web Security: This manages internal staff web use in order to terminate web-based attacks from exploiting potential browsers as a vector to gain access to your network.
Network Security and the Cloud
During the transitional phase from on-premise to cloud computing, an ideal network security manager would integrate on-premise and cloud-based security to manage access levels, protect data, and deliver protection across the cloud, endpoints, and the network. However, for a complete cloud-based network security platform, a secure web gateway is an essential component. It delivers a robust ecosystem of techniques all integrated to function together to deliver complete protection over the cloud. It blocks and investigates the traffic between the internet and the users and classifies all the URLs so that any suspicious pages and websites are detected and blocked, while good URLs are allowed access depending on the need of the organization. The Secure Web Gateway acts as an elimination point as it leads into several layers of investigation for next-gen advanced threat protection. A Secure Web Gateway can be installed over the cloud, on-premise, or on a hybrid environment.
Fundamentals of Network Security
Here are five fundamentals to ensure network security
- Maintain the latest patch updates
- Use of complex and strong passwords
- Secure your VPN
- Pro-active measures to control and manage user access privileges
- Remove or eliminate inactive accounts