What is Network Security?
Network security is any activity designed to protect the usability and integrity of your network and data. It includes both hardware and software technologies. Effective network security manages access to the network. It targets a variety of threats and stops them from entering or spreading on your network.
How does network security work?
Network security combines multiple layers of defenses at the edge and in the network. Each network security layer implements policies and controls. Authorized users gain access to network resources, but malicious actors are blocked from carrying out exploits and threats.
How do I benefit from network security?
Digitization has transformed our world. How we live, work, play, and learn have all changed. Every organization that wants to deliver the services that customers and employees demand must protect its network. Network security also helps you protect proprietary information from attack. Ultimately it protects your reputation.
6 Steps you can take to Secure your Network
- Monitor the traffic coming in and going out your firewall and read the reports carefully. Don’t rely on alerts to flag dangerous activity. Make sure someone on your team understands the data and is prepared to take the necessary action.
- Keep an eye on new threats as they’re discovered and posted online. For example, Trend Micro’s TrendWatch site tracks current threat activity. Also, you can have the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT, a division of Homeland Security) email alerts to you about recently confirmed software vulnerabilities and exploits.
- Enable regular updates for your firewall and anti-virus software.
- Train employees on an ongoing basis so they understand any changes to your acceptable use policy. Also, encourage a ”neighborhood watch“ approach to security. If an employee notices anything suspicious, such as not being able to log into an email account right away, he or she should notify the appropriate person immediately.
- Install a data protection solution. This type of device can protect your business from data loss if your network’s security is breached.
- Consider additional security solutions that will further protect your network as well as expand your company’s capabilities.
Types of network security
Access control: Not every user should have access to your network. To keep out potential attackers, you need to recognize each user and each device. Then you can enforce your security policies. You can block non compliant endpoint devices or give them only limited access. This process is network access control (NAC).
Antivirus and anti-malware software: “Malware,” short for “malicious software,” includes viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Sometimes malware will infect a network but lie dormant for days or even weeks. The best anti-malware programs not only scan for malware upon entry, but also continuously track files afterward to find anomalies, remove malware, and fix damage.
Application security: Any software you use to run your business needs to be protected, whether your IT staff builds it or whether you buy it. Unfortunately, any application may contain holes, or vulnerabilities, that attackers can use to infiltrate your network. Application security encompasses the hardware, software, and processes you use to close those holes.
Behavioral analytics: To detect abnormal network behavior, you must know what normal behavior looks like. Behavioral analytics tools automatically discern activities that deviate from the norm. Your security team can then better identify indicators of compromise that pose a potential problem and quickly remediate threats.
Data loss prevention: Organizations must make sure that their staff does not send sensitive information outside the network. Data loss prevention, or DLP, technologies can stop people from uploading, forwarding, or even printing critical information in an unsafe manner.