Businesses are finding new ways to leverage digital tools such as cloud-based services and big data analytics as technology continues to evolve. Although data and business growth are important as a result of increased efficiency and productivity, data breaches and other cyber security threats increase as a result.
Having a secure business network is vital as more businesses create increasingly interconnected device and system networks, in order to avoid severe financial and reputation damage from data breaches. Network security has become crucial to the future of businesses everywhere.
What is network security?
A network is a system composed of devices, operating systems, servers, and wireless networks that are all interconnected. Network security is the process of protecting your company’s data and services. This is done through a combination of hardware, software, and people. It’s designed to protect your company’s data and services from unauthorised access, modification, or destruction.
Network security visibility is the ability to see what’s happening on your network, including devices, users, and applications. This visibility allows you to monitor and troubleshoot network problems and identify threats. Network security compliance refers to meeting government regulations, industry standards, and contractual obligations.
Why is network security important?
A well-designed and deployed network security solution is one of the most critical components of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Network security defends organisations from expensive losses due to data breaches and other security issues while preserving reliable connectivity and network performance. It also safeguards customer data and information from cyber threats.
Network security is important for several reasons:
How does network security work?
A strong network security architecture is critical to getting it right. A strong security architecture refers to the design and implementation of security systems that defend the network across various technologies and solutions, such as security awareness training, encryption, firewalls, and others. Security technology is always evolving, so the set of components required will vary by need and design. It’s also critical to remember that network security is not a once-and-done approach but rather a continuous process that requires continuous attention and assistance to be successful.
An organisation’s network security team creates strategies and standards to protect the network and ensure its compliance with security and privacy regulations. Every person on the network must adhere to these security policies as every location where data can be accessed by an authorised individual is also susceptible to being hacked.
Types of network security solutions
To ensure your network security is as robust as possible, it is important to take a multi-layered approach. The following are the most common network security solutions:
Antivirus software is one of the most well-known network security tools, scanning and inspecting computer data for viruses and other malicious code to keep your data secure. If a threat is detected, it is either eliminated or neutralised.
Anti-spam systems prevent spam emails from reaching your inbox. They use a variety of methods to identify, block, and eliminate spam emails.
Network access controls allow administrators to restrict network applications and systems so that they are not accessible to users or devices that are not authorised to do so.
Firewalls monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. Firewalls can be hardware or software, or a hybrid of the two. They’re designed to protect your company’s network and data by blocking suspicious or harmful traffic.
Application security monitors and protects applications and software that use open-source code and containers and are targeted by malware.
Intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) monitor network traffic for signs of malicious activity and can immediately block certain threats.
Password control: A single compromised password can bypass the most advanced firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Strong passwords that include 12 or more characters, a combination of upper and lower case letters, unique characters and numbers, can all contribute to ensuring passwords are strong.
SSL connections can prevent data theft and eavesdropping by encrypting connections between a user’s device and servers.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) create secure, private connections to remote networks and servers. VPNs are generally used to remotely access sensitive information
Multi-factor authentication requires two or more verification factors to identify a user, usually via one-time security codes.
A security information and event management (SIEM) system monitors application and network hardware data for signs of unusual activity, which when detected, the SIEM notifies the organisation and takes further actions.
A mobile device security system monitors and controls which mobile devices connect to the network and what they do once connected to ensure network security.
Zero-trust network access ensures that all users have only the network access and permissions required to perform their job.
Best practices for network security
Even the most secure security solutions can still be compromised if robust network security practices are not in place to keep weaknesses and vulnerabilities at bay. These include:
Properly implementing these network security best practices can help reduce the damage caused by breaches. However, they are not a substitute for network security systems. Instead, these procedures may assist in minimising damage and risk if network security fails.
Prioritise your business network security with Virtu
Any organisation that relies on networked data and systems should take network security risks seriously, regardless of size and industry. Network security can help defend against external attacks on assets and data integrity as well as manage network traffic more efficiently, improve network performance, and ensure secure data sharing between employees and data sources.
There are numerous tools, technologies, and solutions that can help you protect your network from being attacked or experiencing unnecessary downtime. The network security experts at Virtu offer a comprehensive suite of network security solutions that can simplify and centralise security for your network while considering your unique business and industry needs. Our highly skilled and experienced IT team and advanced technology provides your organisation with the most sophisticated security options available, giving you peace of mind that your business is secure against network security threats.