The increasing effect of cyber threats makes it clear that organizations need robust network security solutions. In 2022 alone, the number of cybercrime complaints was 800,944. So it is not surprising that the cybersecurity services market is predicted to grow to $297.2 billion by 2026.
Having a network security strategy is thus essential for organizations looking to stay secure in the digital age.
In this blog, we talk about how organizations can empower their network security with the right solutions. Let’s dive in.
What are network security solutions?
Network security solutions are the frontline defense against cyber threats. They include a myriad of security mechanisms that work together to protect computer networks from threats from various sources.
Network security solutions aim to thwart unauthorized access, detect and intercept ongoing security breaches and ensure authorized users experience secure access to their network resources.
Making such cybersecurity services a part of your organization is crucial for security, business sustainability, and reputation management. The cost of data breaches is predicted to increase from $3 million each year to $5 million each year in 2024. So businesses cannot afford to take the situation lightly.
Why network protection solutions are crucial?
Network security solutions provide a comprehensive set of tools to build a pillar of strength against cyber adversaries.
Provides a wide array of solutions:
They include services such as access control, virus and antivirus software, application security, network analytics, network-related security layers like endpoint, web and wireless protection, identity and access management solutions, governance solutions, and much more.
Additionally, firewall and intrusion prevention technologies are crucial in safeguarding an organization’s network while ensuring continuous monitoring.
Beyond proactive approaches:
Beyond security and proactive approaches, organizations must also have threat detection and response strategies in case of cyber threat incidents. These can determine the extent of damage a cyber incident can have.
Retains customer faith:
Having a comprehensive network security solution protects your and your client’s data. When you ensure your systems are well-protected, customers are more likely to trust you.
Saves overhead costs:
It protects you from overhead expenses and mitigates losses from data breaches that could close down companies.
Cyber threat incidents cause data loss and slow down your company’s productivity. Having a capable security infrastructure ensures uninterrupted service and enables operational continuity.
Which are the critical network security components?
Network security solutions are multiple tools that protect all the endpoints and potential gaps in your organization’s security. Here are the main components that should be a part of your network protection solutions:
1. Firewall and intrusion prevention
Firewalls form the first line of defense among network security solutions and create a barrier between your internal networks and external threats. They have predefined rules that either allow or block traffic from the internet based on those criteria.
Firewalls can be hardware, software, or sometimes even a combination of both.
Intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are like extensions of firewalls that actively detect and prevent threats to network security. They help protect the network from brute force attacks, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and exploitation of known vulnerabilities.
This cybersecurity service works in real-time to continuously analyze the network traffic, identify patterns that could suggest an attempted attack, and respond to such malicious activities as needed.
Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) elevate the existing firewall’s capabilities to the next level. They focus on blocking advanced malware, application-layer attacks, and traditional threats. They have features like deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention, and application awareness, enabling more efficient threat detection and response.
2. Network segmentation
Network segmentation is a proactive approach to network security. It involves dividing a network into smaller segments based on function, risk, and role. These smaller segments or subnetworks also contain the same security infiltration assets. If an organization has separate sensitive financial data and general user traffic, this prevents attackers from accessing all the assets when one of the segments is breached.
An advanced form of this network segmentation is the software-defined segmentation. It classifies network traffic based on the endpoint. This means the network is classified based on the users or devices instead of only the IP addresses. This granular approach helps organizations provide access rights based on predefined factors.
This practice enhances network protection by removing the chances of unwanted and unauthorized access to sensitive data, especially from suspicious devices.
3. Network Access Control (NAC)
Network access control is like the virtual checkpoint for your security infrastructure. It ensures that only authorized users and devices gain access to the required resources.
In NAC solutions, authentication, authorization, and enforcement of security policies are all practices to ensure the right access. They intercept connection requests from unidentified sources, authenticate using identity and access management solutions, and only grant access based on predefined rules and policies. With this approach, NAC ensures that devices that can adhere to the security infrastructure and path management policies are the ones that access the right network.
Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) is a fundamental aspect of access control. It assigns permissions to users based on their roles within the organization. Organizations can minimize the risk of unauthorized access and potential breaches by associating users with specific roles and granting them appropriate access privileges.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) adds a layer of security to Network Access Control. This empowers employees to use their devices to access company networks. NAC systems help control and monitor access through these devices.
NAC can also adapt to the Internet of Things (IoT), ensuring threat prevention from a diverse set of device types and connectivity scenarios.
4. Wireless security
Wireless networks are the dominant modes available today and are also more prone to interception. This is due to the wireless nature of the devices that can be exploited without physical access. To protect these networks, network security solutions have measures such as:
Intrusion Detection Systems: These systems monitor wireless network traffic for suspicious patterns or anomalies that might indicate unauthorized access attempts or malicious activities.
Security Configuration: Implementing strong encryption protocols, such as WPA3, and disabling unnecessary features reduces the attack surface.
Network Segmentation: Separating guest networks from internal networks limits potential exposure to sensitive information.
Enterprises also deploy WLAN Intrusion Detection Systems to monitor and identify unauthorized accesses.
5. Zero Trust Network Access
Always verify, never trust – this is the zero trust network security solutions principle. This model challenges the old castle and moat security architecture approach, where accesses were assumed to be safe unless proven otherwise. With zero trust, every access is considered a threat and goes through a series of identification criteria to earn the trust – it isn’t inherently handed out.
With zero trust, users can only get authorized and earn access to the required roles; this greatly reduces the potential attack surface in an organization.
ZTNA is an invaluable cybersecurity service that implements concepts like micro-segmentation, identity-based access, and adaptive security measures. It is made as the defense mechanism against modern cyber threats.
The remote access VPN is also under the umbrella of ZTNA. In this technology, remote users can access company networks by using encryption, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and by meeting complaint standards.
6. Email security
Business email compromise (BEC) has risen since the advent of remote work. The attackers use techniques like phishing emails to deceive recipients into revealing confidential information such as passwords leading to unauthorized access to sensitive data and money transfers. In 2022, there were 21,832 complaints of BEC that resulted in more than $2.7 billion in losses.
This is why email security is crucial. Email security applications block incoming attacks, control outbound messages and prevent the leak of sensitive data. This helps safeguard organizations from social engineering tactics and falling prey to giving out personal information.
Organizations should also implement techniques such as sandboxing. It isolates potentially malicious attachments or links from reaching intended end users.
7. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Preventing the loss of sensitive data from leaking to the outside world is a constant organizational challenge. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions help prevent the leak of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), financial data, and compliance data that is predefined in regulations like HIPAA and GPPR.
DLP solutions combine technology and best practices to monitor data movement, identify vulnerabilities, and enforce security policies.
DLP also includes Behavioral Analytics to detect abnormal network behavior. This proactive approach helps security teams identify potential indicators of compromise, allowing for timely investigation and mitigation of threats.
8. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
Ensuring data security on a different system can be quite challenging. However, Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) vendors have emerged as critical players in ensuring cloud safety. Acting as intermediaries between cloud service providers and consumers, they enforce security and governance policies for cloud applications.
They extend on-premises policies to the cloud, guaranteeing that only authorized cloud services are being utilized while defending against high-risk ones. Additionally, CASB vendors protect data stored on cloud service provider’s servers.
9. Anti-virus and malware software
In 2023, 300,000 malware instances are generated every day – and it takes 49 to detect them, according to Stistica!
Malware is a significant threat to computer systems, posing risks like data theft and unauthorized access. Antimalware software is crucial for protection, using signature-based detection and heuristic analysis to identify and remove threats.
It continuously monitors system behavior for unusual activities and can repair damage caused by malware, restoring the system to its normal, secure state. Overall, antimalware programs offer comprehensive protection against the evolving landscape of malicious software.
10. Application Security
It’s important to ensure that any software used for business operations is protected, whether it’s built in-house by IT staff or purchased from a vendor. Unfortunately, applications can contain vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit to gain access to your network.
That’s why application security is crucial, encompassing the hardware, software, and processes used to identify and address these vulnerabilities. By taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity, organizations can effectively defend against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.
11. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM products provide valuable insights into network activity and user behavior, detecting and preventing insider threats, identifying vulnerabilities in the network, and aiding compliance with data security regulations. Implementing a SIEM solution is essential for businesses to enhance their security posture, minimize the risk of cyber attacks, and mitigate potential data breaches.
Protect, prevent, and empower with the right network security solutions
In today’s world, it is important to have network security solutions that adapt to constantly changing and evolving cyber threats. A strong defense is necessary to prevent unauthorized intrusion, which requires an innovative combination of cybersecurity services. With the impact and cost of data breaches increasing, it is essential to have comprehensive network security solutions in place to protect against digital turbulence.