Network security is a vast and out arching term that explains hardware and software solutions and the processes, rules, and configurations related to network usage, accessibility, and overall threat protection. Protecting your network and data against hacks, cyber-attacks, and other unidentified online threats keeps your information safe and secure.
Additionally, this term is used to monitor your network and control unauthorized access, misuse, and unwanted modifications. Network security also includes access control, virus, antivirus software, application security, network analytics, firewalls, VPN, and more.
A common method for securing your network is assigning a user ID and a password to each user for authentication and granting access to network resources.
The next portion of this post will discuss different types of network attacks and different strategies to implement network security policies that will help you to make your network more secure.
What is Network Security and Management?
Security management in a network is defined as a set of policies and procedures implemented by the networking system that helps to protect your network from unauthorized access, denial of computer service, disturbance in the running, and much more.
Network security also focuses on monitoring the network to prevent virus attacks, misuse, or modification in the database.
The best way to manage security is to use advanced antivirus, anti-malware software and update your system regularly.
Need for Network Security
The number of internet users is drastically increasing daily. Everything, including our day-to-day activities, is digitalized. Therefore, with an increase in the use of the internet, many hackers and attackers are becoming more active, and our networking system is threatened by a higher number of virus attacks.
The main aim of network security is to protect the information from all unauthorized access and offer security to the data stored in the PC and laptop for an individual network and on the shared or public domain network.
The need for information security is based on the following points:
- To protect the information against any unwanted access.
- To secure the information from any inappropriate delay in the route, deliver it to the destination at the designed time.
- To protect the data from unnecessary amendments.
- To restrict a user in the network from sending any email, message how it appears to the receiving party that some third party has sent it.
- To protect hardware like hard disk, PC and laptop from malware, viruses, and more can damage the system by deleting the content stored within it.
- To protect your PC from the software that can harm the systems.
- To safeguard your system from Trojan horses, worms, and other viruses which can destroy the system.
Strong Network Security Systems offer Protection against the following:
- Virus: A malicious and downloadable file that can lay dormant replicates itself by changing other computer programs with its code. Once the virus spreads, the files are infected. This virus can spread from one computer to another and can destroy the network data.
- Worms: Worms can slow down computer networks by eating up bandwidth and slow down the effectiveness of your computer to process data. A worm is a standalone malware that works independently of other files, where a virus needs a host program to spread.
- Trojan: It is a backdoor program that creates an entrance for malicious users to access your computer using what looks like an actual program but turns out to be harmful. A trojan can delete files, activate other malware hidden in your computer.
- Spyware: Spyware is a computer virus that gathers information about a person or an organization without their knowledge. There are chances that spyware might send the information gathered from your computer to a third party without the user’s consent.
- Adware: Adwares redirect your search request to advertising websites and collect all marketing data about you in the process so that customized ads will be displayed to you based on your search and buying request.
- Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of trojan cyber ware designed to earn money from the person or organization’s computer or laptop. It is installed by encrypting data to be unstable, blocking access to the user’s system.
Types of Network Security
You can protect your network system in many ways, based on the type of network attack. There are many network safety solutions available in the market, and we are going to discuss below some of the important ones.
1. Anti-virus and anti-malware
Antivirus and anti-malware software is used to protect your computer from viruses, Trojan attacks, worms, and more.
It scans the system and network for malware and Trojan attacks every time a new file is saved on the PC. Additionally, it detects and fixes the problem if the software has detected any infected data in the computer.
Firewalls play an essential role in securing your network. As the name suggests, firewalls act as a wall between two networks or between two devices. In simple words, they are a set of predefined rules used to protect the network from any unauthorized access.
Firewalls are of two types: hardware and software. The software firewall is installed in the system and offers protection from various attacks by filtering, blocking, and fixing the unwanted creatures in the network.
On the other hand, the hardware firewalls are the gateway between two networking systems so that only a particular user or traffic can access the network and its resources.
Did you know that Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is a network security system containing a set of rules that properly can help you figure out the threat and block them?
Data Loss Prevention or DLP is a cybersecurity concept that combines technology and the best practices to prevent the exposure of sensitive information outside an organization, mainly focusing on the regulated data such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and compliance-related data: HIPAA, SOX, PCI, DSS, and more.
4. Email Security
Cyber attackers can induce viruses and malware in the network by sending it via emails in the system.
Therefore having a highly secured email security application can scan all the incoming emails and protect them from viruses. Additionally, it can filter suspicious data and control the outgoing messages to prevent any information loss to the system.
5. Mobile security
The cybercriminals are equipped enough to easily hack or attack your mobile handsets with the data facility on the handsets. They can enter into the device from any unsecured resource link from the website.
Hence it is important to install an antivirus in your mobile phones and download or upload the data from reliable resources and secured websites only.
6. Network segmentation
In terms of security, a software-based organization will segment the crucial data into two or three parts and keep them at various locations and on several resources or devices.
In the worst case, if the data at any location is corrupted or deleted by a virus attack, then it can be reconstructed from any backup sources.
7. Web security
Web security refers to provisioning limited access to websites and URLs by blocking websites that are more vulnerable to viruses and hackers. So web security focuses mainly on controlling web-based threats.
8. Endpoint security
Endpoint security is the practice of securing endpoints or entry points of user devices such as laptops and mobile devices. It protects your devices from being exploited by malicious attacks and cybersecurity threats.
Many devices nowadays have in-built advanced endpoint security features and are used for this purpose. It offers seven security layers, including file reputation, auto-sandbox, web-filtering, antivirus software, and a firewall.
9. Access Control
A network should be designed in a way in which not everyone can access all the resources.
It can be done using a password, unique user ID, and authentication process that allows you to access the network. This process is known as access control because we can control access to the network by implementing it.
10. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A system can be highly secure if you use VPN networks with encryption methods for authentication and floating data traffic over the internet to a remotely connected device or network.
How to Make your Network and System Safe?
To manage a network effectively, it needs to be capable enough to deal with all the network attacks and virus problems and fix them. This is where Network security management comes in.
The major parameters to making your system safe are:
1. Create strong passwords
To protect your system or network from malicious viruses and attacks, the first thing you need to do is create a strong password for all the logins and access. All the passwords you create must have many characters, symbols, and numbers.
Tip: Avoid using birthdays and mobile numbers as your password because hackers can easily crack it.
The figure mentioned above explains that computers with a strong password, updated security features, and anti-virus software offer effective protection against cyberattacks.
On the other hand, computers with a weak password, out-of-data systems, and without antivirus software are more vulnerable to attacks and can easily get corrupted.
2. Create a firewall
Ensure you put a strong firewall in your networking system because it protects your system from unwanted access and other online threats.
3. Antivirus protection
You need to make sure you have antivirus software installed on your PC and laptops all the time. The main work of the antivirus software is to scan, find, and filter the infected files and, at the same time, fix the issues that might arise due to the virus attacks.
It is very important to update your system and network with the latest antivirus software and to install the latest script for the system as per your system requirements. Doing this will reduce the chances of virus attacks and make the network more secure.
5. Protect laptops and mobile phones
Laptops are portable devices and are so vulnerable to network threats. Similarly, mobile phones are wireless devices, and they are also easily exposed to threats. You need to use a strong password to access your resources on these devices. It is recommended to use a biometric fingerprint password to access the smart devices.
6. On-time backups
You need to regularly take backups of files, documents, and other important data in our system or hard disk. You need to save them in a server or a secure location. In case of an emergency, backed-up data will help you restore the system information quickly.
7. Smart surfing on websites
Before you start downloading and clicking on any link on the internet, you need to know that one wrong click can invite viruses to your network. Thus it is recommended to download the data from a trusted and a highly-secure link. Also, you need to make sure you do not click on any advertisements displayed on your web page when you are surfing the internet.
8. Secure configuration
The configuration done on the OS or router should be done using a unique user ID and password and needs to be kept secure.
9. Removable media controls
Before you use removable devices like pen drives, dongles, and data cards, make sure you scan them when inserting them into your system. However, you need to reduce the usage of removable devices.
Securing your system and network is important to protect them from hacking and cyber-attacks. Here in this post, we explored what network security is, different types of network security, and ways to use network security to make your system secure from cyberattacks.
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