Network Security

What is Network Security?

Network security protects digital assets, software, and data from malicious invasions. Traditionally, perimeter security is focused on protecting endpoints and network resources. However, newer hacking techniques have caused companies to evolve their approach to security. Today, approaches to network security include controlling access to resources and applying advanced analytics to detect problems in real-time. These methods, coupled with a more thoughtful approach to security, enable organizations to defend their applications, data, and users even as complexities build due to trends such as remote work and the IoT.

Why move beyond traditional network security models?

The new orthodoxy of cloud-based security has replaced the old security paradigm. Methods that were once considered standard are now seen as merely part of the picture. Cybersecurity is critical for any company, but it’s also vital for any startup to begin. Without a robust security strategy in place, new businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks and data exposure risks. In recent years, the changes in enterprise networks, such as the rise of the BYOD movement, have brought about new challenges for security professionals. As a result, cybersecurity is getting more critical, and people who ignore it will get hurt. Read this book if you want to stay secure.

These trends include:

End of the single perimeter: The legacy model has lost much of its relevance because companies now no longer have a single perimeter to defend. Companies today are using software-as-a-service applications hosted in the cloud and offering remote access to their resources through a digital workspace. This means the combination of firewall systems, network device posture assessment, and VPN used to protect companies in the past will no longer suffice.

Rise of the remote workforce: Networking has changed significantly over the past few years, especially in the last few months. Contributors to this report from outside the office are logging in from many different types of endpoints across various networks. As a result, network security needs to become more flexible than ever as employees move between multiple devices – their desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Development of the Internet of things: The expansion of corporate networks is so fast because new device types are going online. The rise in mobile devices has strained security systems to the breaking point. Anything that can be equipped with a sensor is now eligible to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT), and adding a host of new endpoint options to a given network ecosystem will drastically increase a business’s attack surface. You must ensure that all new IoT devices don’t become easy access points for bad actors.

Traditional network security solutions don’t work anymore, and as the Internet expands in size and scale, so does the need for network security. Installing perimeter defenses around fast-growing groups of endpoints would waste employee time and effort and would ultimately come up short anyway. Legacy security can be challenging to move past, but network administrators must remain vigilant to defend against advanced threats that make up today’s landscape.

Four major network security threats that must be addressed

A cybercriminal can exploit vulnerabilities in a large and varied network attack surface to discover new ways to infiltrate a network and wreak havoc. With a foothold gained through stolen data, these bad actors will try to penetrate further layers searching for confidential data or other valuable content.

The best way to stop hackers is to modernize your locking down your network. Creating a system that can detect, contain, and prevent threats to your online brand reputation and business requires cutting-edge technology. Unfortunately, traditional security approaches such as firewalls, VPNs, and access controls are not enough to protect organizations from cyberattacks.

Device theft and unauthorized access

What happens when your device or login credentials fall into malicious hands? This is an essential question for companies because the number of devices being used by workers is increasing, and employees must have unique credentials for each account and service they use. Advanced information security approaches should be ready to deal with login attempts by bad actors. They should look for unusual behaviors and lock down accounts so that no one else can access them.

Insider threats

Perhaps even more threatening than an intruder pretending to be an authorized user is someone with legitimate credentials using them maliciously to exfiltrate sensitive data. As a result, strict role-based access control and monitoring have become musts in modern security to ensure accounts are only used for appropriate purposes.

Malicious files and URLs on unprotected networks

There are numerous different types of devices and networks in use in a modern remote or hybrid work environment. For example, if users download a malicious file from a website, what happens if they work with their device or on an external network? Of course, you don’t want to have this problem, but it is a thing that you may encounter and need to handle.

Spear phishing and social engineering

Accidentally clicking a lousy file isn’t the only way for a user to fall victim to a cyberattack. An employee could also fall victim to a spear-phishing campaign that uses psychological manipulation consisting of convincing, well-crafted emails requesting private information such as login credentials. Comprehensive security solutions will lock down apps and other essential network resources to prevent the use of any stolen credentials.

Building a network security architecture: Key components and tools

There’s no doubt that the modern network security architecture is more powerful than an outdated legacy system. This is because it’s built on advanced features, including a new generation of software. However, security in IoT is much harder than it is in mobile apps because it’s difficult to determine if someone is malicious or not. To improve network security, you must combine close monitoring of user activity across devices and networks for threat detection with a secure application access solution. These tools should also be easy to use and straightforward for users to work with, so they don’t hinder their work by being overly complex or time-consuming. It’s possible to break down these modern security approaches into two distinct functional areas: zero-trust security solutions and secure access security edge (SASE) architecture.

Zero trust access: Zero-trust security is an access model in which the device is the source of trust, not the credentials associated with the device or the user account. I would say that it’s impossible for a company not to trust its employees. The method recognizes that users’ credentials could be used maliciously. A zero trust solution uses contextual factors and behavioral analytics to determine when to grant access and when to withhold it.

Zero trust access

SASE: A SASE solution turns security into a cloud-delivered capability. This is important because if you don’t implement consistent security policies, the whole network will suffer. SASE offers significant value to administrators who no longer have to work with a patchwork of network security measures on individual devices or networks—everything is centralized. Instead, an SD-WAN is implemented to keep all users safe and securely connected over an entire company’s internal network.

Figure: Traditional Data Center vs Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Security Solution