Network security defined
Network security can be described as a broad term that encompasses a variety of technologies, devices, and processes. It is simply a set of rules that are designed to secure the integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility of computer networks as well as data, using both hardware and software technologies. No matter the size of the organization or the industry, it is essential to have a network security solution in place to safeguard it against the growing number of cyber threats.
The network architecture of today is complex. It is also subject to a constantly changing threat environment and attackers who are always looking for and exploiting weaknesses. These vulnerabilities can be found in many areas including data, devices, applications, users, and locations. There are many tools and applications available today to protect your network from individual threats, exploits, and regulatory non-compliance. These protection measures are essential because even a brief downtime can cause massive disruption to an organization’s reputation and bottom line.
What is network security?
When addressing network security within an organization, there are many layers. An attack can occur at any layer of the network security layers model. Therefore, your network security hardware and software must address every area.
Network security usually consists of three types of controls: administrative, technical, and physical. This is a quick overview of the various types of network security, and how each control works.
Physical Network Security
To prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing network components like routers, cabling cupboards, and so forth, physical security controls are in place. In any organization, controlled access is crucial.
Technical Network Security
Data stored on the network, or in transit across, into, or out of the network is protected by technical security controls. It must protect systems and data from unauthorized personnel and also protect employees from malicious actions.
Administrative Network Security
Administrative security controls are security policies and processes that control user behavior. They include how authenticated users are, how they have access, and how IT staff implement infrastructure changes.
Different types of network security
We’ve already discussed the various types of network security controls. Let’s now take a look at the various ways that you can protect your network.
Network Access Control
Comprehensive access control policies for users and devices are necessary to ensure that hackers cannot penetrate your network. You can set network access control (NAC), at the most precise level. Administrators could be granted full access to the network but denied access to certain confidential folders. Or you could prevent users from joining the network.
Antivirus and antimalware software
Antivirus and antimalware software can protect your organization against a variety of malicious software such as viruses, ransomware, and worms. The best software scans files immediately upon their entry into the network and continuously tracks them.
Firewalls act as a firewall between untrusted networks and your internal network. Administrators usually create a set of rules that block or permit traffic to the network. Forcepoint’s Next-Generation Firewall provides seamless, centrally managed control over network traffic, regardless of whether it is virtual, physical, or in the cloud.
Virtual Private Networks
Virtual private networks (VPNs), allow you to connect to the network via another site or endpoint. A VPN is a way for users to connect to the network from their homes. To allow communication between the two points, data is encrypted. Users will need to authenticate to access the network. Forcepoint’s Secure Enterprise SDWAN allows organizations to create VPNs quickly using drag-and-drop and protect all locations with Next-Generation Firewall.
Security for consumers and businesses via the internet
Any organization working with networked data or systems should make network security a top priority. Network security is not only important for protecting data and assets from external attacks, but it can also improve network performance, manage network traffic more effectively, and secure data sharing between employees.
Many tools, apps, and utilities are available to help protect your network from attacks and prevent downtime. Forcepoint provides a range of network security solutions to simplify and centralize complex processes and ensure strong network security throughout your company.