Hackers are persistent and innovative in the methods they craft to infiltrate corporate systems. Network security acts as your protection against these digital threat actors. The common goal of all types of internet security is to keep cybercriminals out.
Several aspects of your networks require protection, and, as a result, there are different types under the network security umbrella to cover each. Let’s look deeper at the types of network security and what they do.
Access control protocols use MAC address or IP address signatures to identify devices as they try to gain access to the network. Only devices that are verified and compliant with company standards are granted access. Any unsafe or suspicious device can be quarantined, denied access, or granted limited network access.
Anti-virus and anti-malware are third-party software apps that protect against viruses or malware. Some viruses and malware can be particularly damaging, so protecting endpoint computers against these malicious files will ultimately strengthen your network security.
Application control is used to protect mobile and third-party app networks. Whether it’s a third-party application or one you have created internally, apps can be another high-profile target for nefarious actors. This is because open-source code and the virtual containers where some apps are created can be easily infiltrated by malware attacks.
This example of network security involves analyzing the behavior of users and devices on the network. With the help of software tools, MSPs or IT managers can learn to spot trends or suspicious activity over time and catch a potential threat before it starts.
Cloud security uses network security concepts like software-defined networking and software-defined wide area networks (WANs) to protect cloud connections and your most important data in cloud environments.
Data loss prevention
As a strategy, data loss prevention (DLP) is a collection of practices organizations use to prevent the misuse, loss, or unauthorized access of sensitive company data. The technology and tools prevent internal team members from sharing sensitive company data. Your employees constantly upload, download, and share files from various endpoints. By providing them with DLP, they don’t have to worry about those actions causing mission-critical company information to fall into the hands of cybercriminals.
Email security is a set of practices to protect organizational email networks from hacking. Social engineering attacks like phishing are some of the most popular attack methods hackers use and rely heavily on email. Once employees open a malicious email, click a suspicious link, or download an infected file, the damage is done.
You can rely on some email software to filter out threats and prevent certain types of data sharing, but as emails get increasingly sophisticated and clever, your workforce will be their first line of defense. Train and educate them well.
Think of a firewall as the “security guard” or “bouncer” between your network and the rest of the internet. This network filter evaluates outgoing and incoming data traffic against rules and parameters you can pre-set within the platform. Any data packets that violate the rules set within the firewall software are filtered out and denied access to the network, protecting against potential threats. There are also multiple options for firewalls to fit your needs.
One of the increasingly popular network security examples is multi-factor authentication (MFA). It’s an effective practice and easy to implement for organizations using digital passkey applications or SMS authentication codes. It involves using multiple methods to verify a user’s identity before granting access to the network. Examples are when software applications email or text you a code to enter after entering your login and password, like Google Authenticator.
Network segmentation partitions a network into smaller segments that are easier to manage (and protect). Overseeing your network in smaller segments affords you greater visibility and more control over incoming and outgoing traffic.
Some industries and organizations may need a slightly different approach to network segmentation. Within the broader discipline of segmentation, there’s a type of network security known as industrial network security. This practice provides the same increased control and visibility to industrial control systems (ICSs). Still, it requires different tactics and tools as these systems tend to be larger and depend heavily on the cloud, making them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Sandboxing creates an isolated environment, separate from the network, where incoming files can be opened and scanned for anything malicious, like viruses or malware. After opening the file in the sandbox, your team or IT partner can evaluate it for any signs of suspicious or dangerous behavior.
Security information and event management (SIEM)
This type of network security uses data logs from any software and hardware within your infrastructure. The SIEM system will review these logs and analyze the data for any signs of suspicious activity. As soon as it detects anything abnormal, the SIEM platform will alert you and your team so you can spring into action—making it one of the most robust cybersecurity risk assessment tools.
Web security is one of the types of internet security that protects your network from employees’ irresponsible web browsing. Web security applications will block your team members from browsing certain websites based on filters and parameters you can set. Using “web blockers” like this will significantly reduce your susceptibility to web-based threats and sites that may contain malicious files or malware.
Zero trust network access
Zero trust network access is a security framework that grants users only the permissions they need to do their jobs. All other access is denied, creating a much safer environment. The basic philosophy of zero trust network access is a “trust no one” mentality. Anyone who needs access to a certain platform or device within the organization must provide some sort of authorization that they are who they say they are before access is granted.
Choosing the right types of network security for your organization
Setting your organization up with the proper network security types is pivotal to success. Consider the following when choosing network security types:
- What platforms does my organization use the most?
- What are my most important assets (digital and physical)?
- Where is my organization’s most important data stored?
By understanding what platforms and data need protecting, you can build a network security framework that fits your organization’s goals.
Information used in this article was provided by our partners at ConnectWise.