Security of information assets and all network traffic is referred to as network security by organizations. It includes the organization’s strategy, technology, devices, procedures, and other safeguards for protecting information assets and all network traffic.
Employees, contractors, and suppliers are examples of insiders who may get unauthorized access to or misuse a network. Outsiders who may gain unauthorized access to or misuse a network are examples of outsiders who may cause modification or destruction to a network (cybercriminals, hacktivists, other intruders).
Network security is comprised of rules and configurations that businesses establish and apply to secure the integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility of computer networks and the data they contain.
Technology and processes that safeguard network components, traffic, and data against unwanted access and alteration are together known as network security.
A typical organization has a sophisticated network architecture that includes a diverse range of devices, data, applications, users, and geographical locations, among other things.
The network architecture must contend with a constantly changing threat environment.
Networks in businesses are vulnerable to both passive and aggressive attacks.
Physical, technological, and administrative network security controls are all part of a comprehensive network security strategy.
Importance of Network Security
Businesses are responsible for the design and implementation of sophisticated network architectures. These configurations must contend with a constantly changing threat environment and attackers who are constantly looking for and exploiting flaws.
Cyberattacks caused by a lack of proper network security solutions can result in system outages, broad disruption, and significant financial and reputational damage to an organization’s bottom line and brand name.
To safeguard corporate networks and systems from frequent and sophisticated cyber assaults, any firm requires an acceptable level of network security solutions. When a company understands the various network security components, it is easier to create a safe environment for computers, programs, and users.
Networks are subjected to a wide range of attacks from a variety of sources. The following are examples of network attacks:
- Passive attacks are those in which an intruder intercepts network traffic without being detected. Passive attack vectors include port scanning, idle scanning, wiretapping, and traffic analysis, to name just a few examples.
- Active attacks: The cybercriminal takes actions that cause the network’s normal operations to be disrupted. A network intruder conducts reconnaissance and lateral movements to acquire unauthorized access to network assets during an active attack. Attacks such as infections, eavesdropping, data alteration, denial of service attacks, DNS spoofing, a man in the middle, a smurf attack, and SQL injection are examples of active attacks that are common nowadays.
Network Security Fundamentals
Physical Network Security: Organizations implement physical controls to prevent unauthorized personnel from gaining physical access to network components such as routers, access points, server rooms, and cabling cabinets. Physical network security is important because it protects the physical integrity of the network. Locks, alarms, closed-circuit television, and biometric authentication are examples of physical network security feature controls.
Technology-based network security: technical controls are used to protect data whether it is at rest or in transit through a network. They are equipped with safeguards that prevent unauthorized access as well as malicious activities carried out by insiders.
Administrative Network Security (Analytical Network Security): Administrative controls are made up of security policies and processes that are used to regulate how users interact with the network. Administrative security includes methods such as user authentication, access control, network change and configuration management, and network change and configuration monitoring.
Solutions for Network Security that are widely used
The confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and systems are all protected by a variety of network security technologies and programs that deal with network threats.
Popular Network Security Solutions
- A complete network access control policy for both users and devices can be designed and implemented to prevent intruders from gaining access to the network and causing damage to it. Network access controls restrict access to specified confidential data and regulate the addition of new devices to the network.
- To detect and stop dangerous software such as viruses, worms, trojans, and ransomware, you can install anti-malware and antivirus programs on your computer. Antivirus and antimalware products are free to download and install. Antivirus searches the network to identify potentially harmful files and activity.
- Untrusted public internet and a trusted internal network can be separated by a firewall program, which functions as a barrier between the two. Firewall solutions give you the ability to define rules that either block or allow specified traffic into and out of the system.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): A VPN tool establishes a secure connection between an endpoint or a remote location and a company’s network, allowing data to be transmitted securely. A virtual private network (VPN) allows employees working from home to connect to and share information with the workplace network while maintaining data security and preventing illegal access.
- Behavioral Analytics: A company’s network behavior should be understood to make informed business decisions. Because of this visibility and intelligence, it is simple to identify anomalies and breaches as they occur.
- System for intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS): IDS/IPS systems analyze network traffic in real-time to detect and prevent harmful activity from taking place. Using network activity signatures and attack technique databases, security solutions can create a correlation between them.
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): SIEM products collect network traffic as well as any other information that you may require to identify and respond to security risks. Various SIEM implementations exist in various forms, including physical devices and virtual appliances, as well as software services.
- Implementing software-defined segmentation, which categorizes network traffic and components into different classifications for easier security and policy administration, is a viable option.