All organizations with networked computer systems and sensitive data need some amount of network security solutions to keep them safe from the increasing barrage of increasingly advanced cyber threats. As you proceed to learn below about all the interwoven facets of enterprise network security, remember that you don’t have to face it alone. The right network security solutions company can help you pick the right set of enterprise network security solutions and put them to work to protect your organization.
What Is Network Security?
Network security, at its most basic and fundamental level, is a set of configurations and rules instituted to protect an organization’s computer networks and data systems from misuse and attack. These include both intentional and unwitting breaches, intrusions, and other dangers. To accomplish this, it makes use of a combination of hardware and software technologies to keep your network’s integrity, accessibility, and confidentiality secure.
Benefits of Enterprise Network Security Solutions
Enterprise security solutions protect your proprietary information and assets and data integrity from external attacks. They also protect sensitive client data. In addition, they can help you:
- Ensure reliable network access
- Ensure authorized internal data-sharing is secure
- More effectively manage internal network traffic
- Boost network performance
With a well-designed set of enterprise network solutions, you can lower overhead costs and safeguard your organization from losses that could cost you on the top and bottom lines, whether due to a data breach or some other security event. By ensuring all access to your network, systems, data, and applications is legitimate, you can more effectively and efficiently operate your business and deliver its products and services to clients and customers.
Why Are Comprehensive Network Solutions Important?
Modern network architecture is intricate and ever-evolving, and, therefore, so are the threats against it. Attackers seek out network vulnerabilities and exploit them every day across:
Today, just moments of network downtime can disrupt an organization disproportionately. That’s why it’s so critical to design a complex network security system that includes a comprehensive set of network solutions from processes and technologies to protect against threats and exploits from outside and within to ensuring regulatory compliance.
The Three Layers of Enterprise Network Security
Attacks on the network can occur from multiple directions organization-wide. Therefore, total network security requires multiple layers of protection.
Physical Network Security
The controls in this layer help keep unauthorized personnel from physically accessing network components like cabling cupboards and routers. Physical access controls include biometric authentication and locks.
Technical Network Security
The controls in this layer help protect data stored on the network that is transmitting into, out of, or across the network. Technical access controls must prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing systems and data and provide protection from the malicious activities of employees.
Administrative Network Security
Administrative access controls comprise security processes and policies to control user authentication, level of access, and behavior. This layer also controls the IT staff’s implementation of various infrastructural changes.
Types of Enterprise Network Solutions
To provide all three layers of network security, a network security solutions company can employ an organization with a wide variety of processes, technologies, and devices. Here are some of the most common and effective of these network security solutions.
Anti-Malware and Antivirus Software
To protect against malicious software, or malware, invading your network and systems, you need the right security software. This includes protection against, among others:
Note that after a virus or other malware infects your network, it can linger there dormant for days or weeks before becoming active. With the right anti-malware network security software solutions, however, you can not only scan all incoming files but also persistently track and monitor them across the network.
Firewall Security Protection
Firewalls serve as barriers that protect your trusted network. They do so by controlling access and using IP subnets to inform and perform the parsing and classification of data through macro-segmentation and micro-segmentation. By configuring a firewall with a defined set of rules, you can choose what traffic to permit onto the network or block from it.
Email Security Solutions
The most common mode of attack for security breaches is through email gateways. Through a combination of social engineering tactics and personal user information, attackers construct complex phishing campaigns that trick recipients into visiting websites that infect their systems with malware. Email security software solutions prevent incoming attacks and keep outgoing messages from giving away sensitive data.
Mobile Device Security
Email may be the primary threat vector for cyberattackers, but mobile devices and mobile apps are quickly gaining pace as the next biggest source of cyberattacks. With 90% of IT organizations potentially supporting corporate apps and personal devices within the upcoming three years, protecting personal mobile devices becomes increasingly paramount for enterprise network security. Mobile device security includes both controlling which devices have what levels of network access and configuring those connections in order to maintain the privacy of network traffic.
Application Security Solutions
You must protect all software your organization uses to operate as each of them poses another potential vulnerability attackers can exploit. This applies whether you purchase the application or have it built in-house. Application security solutions include processes, hardware, and software tools to close the security holes those with malicious intent can use to infiltrate your network.
Network Segmentation Solutions
By using software to define and perform segmentation, you can easily and effectively enforce your organization’s security policies. Network segmentation tools don’t just base classifications on IP addresses but on multiple administrator-assigned factors of endpoint identity such as location and user role. This way, you can better control security access and contain and remediate suspect devices.
Workload Security Solutions
Because the attack surfaces in distributed workloads are much bigger, network solutions to secure these loads must not affect organizational agility. Workload security protocols secure these loads as they move across various hybrid and cloud environments.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM solutions link security with event management by providing security personnel with the information they require to detect threats and respond promptly and effectively. These solutions may include server software and both virtual and physical hardware.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
When you run a large organization, you run the risk of staff members sending sensitive data out of the network. DLP enterprise network security solutions incorporate best practices with technology solutions to prevent secure information and regulated data, in particular, from getting forwarded, uploaded, or printed in an unsecured manner.
Behavioral Analytics Solutions
Behavioral analytics compare network behavior with an established norm in order to automatically detect suspicious or otherwise abnormal behavior. You can configure behavioral analytics tools to classify different abnormalities differently according to various indicators and subsequently institute prompt remediable action.
Network Access Control
Not all users need access to your entire network, nor should they have it. Comprehensive policies controlling network access are essential for users and devices alike to ensure no possible attackers can infiltrate the network. These policies make up your network access controls (NACs.)
You can use NACs to provide certain users with limited access or block all devices from non-compliant endpoints. Not only do NACs determine what access each user has, but they can also track each user and device as they access the network.
NAC rules can be as specific as you need them to be and should be. You can, for example, restrict access from personal devices even belonging to authorized users or provide complete network access except for restrictions on certain confidential files or folders.
Virtual Private Networks
Wireless networks don’t offer the same security as wired networks. Wireless LANs provide little more protection from unwanted network access than Ethernet ports. The alternative to such inefficiencies and security holes is virtual private networks (VPNs.)
VPNs provide a network connection from a site or endpoint separate from your network. When transmitting data back and forth between the source of the connection and your network, the VPN encrypts that data. This requires users on the network to authenticate the data before it gets delivered or received on a network device.
A remote-access VPN can provide individual clients or hosts with secure, remote access to your network. Each user gains access either through VPN client software installed in their system or device or a web-based client. Remote access VPNs use tools like endpoint compliance scanning, data encryption, and multifactor authentication to ensure sensitive information gets transmitted with appropriate privacy and integrity.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Under the zero-trust security models, users should only have the permissions and levels of access absolutely necessary to perform their roles. Contrast this with VPNs, which grant each authorized user full access to the network. ZTNA, also called software-defined perimeter solutions (SDP), is a form of network access control that can allow for granular access to applications users need to do their duties.
Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)
Commonly known as IDS/IPS, these two processes work hand in hand to detect and prevent, respectively, possible attacks. Typically, you’ll deploy an IDS/IPS behind a firewall.
An IDS provides consistent monitoring of all in-network events for indications of potential or imminent violations, threats, or other security incidents. It provides ongoing signature matching to protect against known threats, like an SQL injection, and it provides protocol analysis or compliance checking against a protocol’s publicly stated specification. An IDS also continuously scans and tracks suspicious files throughout their lifetime in the network. The IDS accomplishes these ends by aggregating an enormous amount of global threat intelligence to inform its assessments. An IPS, then, halts the detected abnormalities.
A sandbox is a safe and isolated environment for opening files or running code. By emulating end-system environments, it can see if malware objects are taking or attempting any actions, such as executing port scans. It is a lot like an IDS/IPS, except it doesn’t use signature matching.
Load Balancing Solutions
Load balancers use metrics to inform and perform load distribution. They also implement certain mitigation methods to offer the ability to absorb particular attacks, like a volumetric DDoS attack.
Hyperscale Network Security
Hyperscale is an architecture’s ability to appropriately scale as system demand increases. It rapidly deploys protocols that upscale or downscale network security in accordance with infrastructural changes. Using a software-based system to efficiently integrate computer and networking resources enables you to make optimal use of all hardware resources.
Network Traffic Analysis (NTA) and Network Detection and Response (NDR)
NTA/NDR, as it’s most often seen, examines network traffic or traffic records directly and then applies statistical techniques, algorithms, and machine learning to assess abnormalities and decide if they pose a threat. To accomplish this, the NTA/NDR will initially identify a baseline and then use it to detect intermittent communications, traffic spikes, or other anomalies.
Explore Your Network Solutions
Does your organization work with networked data and systems? If so, network security should be one of your top priorities. There are a host of utilities, applications, and other tools you can employ to help protect your networks from pernicious exploits and needless downtime alike. For help shoring up your organization’s network security, contact us at Frontier Business Products.