Individuals and companies alike rely on networks every day to connect with people and get work done. When it comes to your company, these networks hold the critical data, information, applications, and software that make it possible to run your organization. With this in mind, the importance of network security cannot be overstated.
What Is Network Security and Why Is It Important?
Network security includes all the policies and processes that are enacted to protect a network from unauthorized access, disclosure, misuse, modification, or destruction. Hackers that gain access to a network can steal sensitive data, plant false information, damage intellectual property, and compromise the overall security of a company. In fact, IBM reports that in 2022, 83% of companies will experience at least one data breach, and the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million.
With this in mind, network security:
- Safeguards company, employee, and customer data.
- Ensures a company can maintain regulatory compliance.
- Improves network performance.
- Guards the organization against cyberattacks.
- Protects devices connected to the network.
- Stabilizes network connections.
Network Security Controls
Network security can be divided into three types of controls that ensure your organization’s network has full protection. These network security controls include:
- Physical network security – Protection of network components using physical devices, such as routers, cabling cupboards, and biometric locks.
- Technical network security – Protection of the data stored on the network.
- Administrative network security – Protection of the network by controlling the access and behavior of employees and monitoring infrastructure modifications.
Network Security Methods and Tools
Network security relies on the implementation of a variety of protection methods and the use of tools to provide overall protection. The following tools and methods are commonly used:
- Firewalls – Forms a boundary between external and internal networks, either refusing entry into the internal network or controlling entry based on established rules.
- Anti-malware software – Detects the presence of and removes malware, such as viruses, worms, spyware, and Trojans.
- Network access Control – Restricts or blocks network access of unauthorized endpoint devices to keep cybercriminals out.
- Network segmentation – Classifies network traffic based on endpoint identity and IP address to determine whether access should be granted.
- Application security – Identifies vulnerabilities in software applications and takes steps to minimize them to prevent software breaches.
- Email security – Detects and blocks suspicious emails, so sensitive data is not leaked.
- Behavioral analytics – Monitors network behavior, differentiates between normal and abnormal behavior and investigates and resolves abnormal behavior.
- Data loss prevention – Prevents the misuse of company and customer data by employees.
- Intrusion prevention systems – Monitors and tracks network traffic and suspicious files to prevent cyberattacks.
- Mobile device security – Monitors and controls network access of mobile devices.
- Security information and event management (SIEM) – Gathers network information relevant to identifying and resolving threats.
- Virtual private network (VPN) – Provides an encoded connection between a device and the network using IPsec or Secure Sockets.
- Web security – Protects the company website and its internet-based and cloud-based gateways and controls employee use of the internet.
- Wireless security – Protects wireless networks from cyberattacks.
Keep in mind that network security should form just one part of your overall cybersecurity posture and should be implemented to keep your sensitive data safe.
Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you develop and implement strong network security to protect your organization.