Most companies are responsible for some type of sensitive data . Whether it’s medical records, finances, customer information, or payroll. No matter the nature of the data, you need to protect it from unauthorized access .
The vast majority of data breaches are preventable. 60% of breach victims report that their breach was directly related to a system vulnerability. Alarmingly, 62% of these victims reported that they were previously unaware of this vulnerability.
Your best defense is to take a proactive approach to your security. By adding the right types of network security to your infrastructure, you can patch your system’s vulnerabilities before cybercriminals find them.
In this article, we will examine 10 of the most significant network security types , their functions, and how they benefit your business.
The Top 10 Different Types of Network Security
Choosing the right network security plan depends upon your business goals and which cyber threats are your biggest concern. It is strongly recommended that businesses utilize a few different network security types at the same time.
This method is a more holistic approach to cyber defense that simultaneously patches up many potential vulnerabilities.
1. Antivirus Software
Antivirus applications are quite common in the tech world. Most computers come with their own in-built anti-malware software. However, these pre-packaged antivirus applications may not be enough for advanced security needs.
All antivirus software applications work by scanning your system for malware and either deleting or quarantining potential threats. Antivirus apps are easy to use, relatively quick to implement, and generally cost-effective.
For advanced data protection, seek anti-malware software that scans your network in real time instead of upon manual activation. This type of software is more likely to detect threats before they cause damage.
They also may be able to track each threat’s behavioral pattern, and you can use that information to enhance your network security plan.
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2. Access Control
You can’t just give everyone access to the network . All networks must be secured with username and password authentication. Almost all modern networks have at least this level of authentication because it is a simple way to select who can access your data.
In some cases, you may limit access based on IP address and location, even for users with the correct credentials. This can help prevent actors from accessing your data with a stolen password and limit your employees’ ability to work on public Wi-Fi.
Research shows that 74% of companies who experienced a data breach admit that too much network access contributed. With this in mind, it is important to remember that one level of access control may not be enough. Multiple controls and multi-factor authentication is a better approach.
3. Network Segmentation
Network segmentation is the process of setting boundaries between your network and the internet. It also involves segmentation between internal networks based on selected classifications.
Dividing your internal networks allows for more robust authorization control. For example, it can help prevent every front-line worker from seeing your accounting information.
Hiding your network from the public internet drastically decreases your risk of cyberattacks. It can also help you block access from compromised devices. In the worst case scenario, threats will be isolated to one location and are less likely to spread.
4. Email Security
Studies indicate that 90% of data breaches are caused by phishing and 70% of phishing attacks occur through email. Training your employees to catch suspicious emails before they fall for an attack is important.
Email attackers are very good at finding the right combination of personal information to fool an unsuspecting employee. As important as training is, you may also want to invest in an email security software tool.
Email security software tools will scan incoming emails and prevent suspicious emails from ever entering your employees’ inboxes.
Implementing one of these tools does not mean you can neglect staff training. It is more of a safety net to have alongside your cybersecurity education program.
5. Application Security
Outdated software applications are vulnerable to cybercriminals. This is because cybercrime trends are always changing and developers are always updating their applications to protect you against new threats.
Make sure all of your staff are keeping all of their applications up-to-date. You should also be picky about which applications you install. Research each application’s security features to see if they align with your security policies.
Application security policies must extend to mobile devices. More employees are using mobile devices for work, and one in three companies admit that their data was compromised through a mobile device.
Mobile apps are easy gateways for hackers, so it’s crucial to be diligent about mobile application security.
6. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN masks your IP address and encrypts all transmitted data. A VPN is a good option for your company if you are concerned about spying or “man-in-the-middle” (MITM) attacks .
VPNs are strongly advised if you allow your staff to work using public Wi-Fi. Some hackers will set up rogue Wi-Fi hotspots and use them to install malware onto connected devices. If the device is encrypted by a VPN, they will not have access to the network.
If you already have a VPS (virtual private server), it is possible to use your VPS as a VPN to save costs. Simply enable your VPS’s VPN feature and configure it.
Although this option is cost-effective, you will want to weigh it against the potential risks of exposing your IP to your VPS provider.
7. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Data loss prevention is a set of tools and policies that prevent your data from being seen by unauthorized personnel. In many cases, a DLP policy is required to meet security compliance.
DLP policies and software tools prohibit employees from sharing internal information with the public. A DLP application may block your employees from printing, taking a screenshot, or forwarding a message.
Data loss prevention is very important if your company holds high-stakes data or government information. However, it can also protect lower-stakes data that is frequently targeted for leaks, such as upcoming film releases.
8. Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)
An intrusion prevention system is a set of software and hardware tools that filter out potential threats before they reach other security controls. An IPS helps reduce the workload of your cybersecurity team and other network security applications.
Most IPSs are designed to detect your network’s vulnerabilities automatically. When the IPS finds a vulnerability, it works to patch it up before an attacker uses it. It then may notify a system administrator about this vulnerability.
IPSs are most effective at blocking known attackers and exploit points. While they are an important frontline defense tool, they are best used with other internal security controls.
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Encrypted data is data that has been converted into an encoded, unreadable format. Encryption and decryption refer to the processes of making your information accessible to authorized personnel and illegible to external actors.
The two most important types of encryption in network security are AES and RSA. From a user’s perspective, the main difference between these two types of encryption is how the receiver accesses the data.
Advanced encryption standard (AES) requires the receiver to have a specific key to access the data. Comparatively, Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) encryption encodes data with a public key.
Of the two encryption methods , RSA is a more practical way to transmit secure information between parties with little or no contact with each other.
Scanners crawl through your network and its associated assets. There are 3 major types of scanning in network security ; network scans, vulnerability scans, and rogue port scans.
- Network scans detect active devices that are connected to your network.
- Vulnerability scans search your network for system vulnerabilities.
- Rogue port scans check unusual ports, such as personal laptops or USB sticks, for network security risks.
All of these scans will provide your system administrator with a report showcasing its results. From there, your cybersecurity team can make informed decisions about how to deal with your findings.
Work With a Partner That Specializes in All Network Security Types
If you haven’t started your company’s network security plan, the best time to do so is now. The breadth of network security methods may seem overwhelming, but with the right advice, you can effectively implement the best ones for your business.
As a leading source for network security services, CalTech’s security professionals have experience with the various types of network vulnerabilities. Through our OneDefense SM cybersecurity suite, you’ll get access to the services you need to enhance network protection.
For more information about how we can secure your network, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.