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NETWORK SECURITY – HOW TO SECURE YOUR NETWORK

Network security is very important because it provides security to a network. Network Security prevents unauthorized access to your network. It is the job of a network administrator to adopt preventive measures to protect their networks from potential security threats.

Computer networks that are steadily involved in regular transactions, communication and flow of data packets in and out requires network security.  It is not enough to just protect network devices with passwords. Nowadays Hackers can brute force login and even harvest passwords.

Types of Network Security

Unified Threat Management (UTM)

These devices serve as an all-in-one security device. Unified Threat Management  appliances includes firewalls, content filtering, web caching, intrusion prevention system, application filtering, gateway anti-virus, spam anti-virus, captive portal, bandwidth management, Network Access Control, Screening of Web sites or pages, E-mail filtering, Screening of e-mail for spam and etc. They combine most of these features to provide network, data, and application security. Content of web page can be screened for pornographic content, drugs, weapons and violence or hate oriented content. Organizations can also exclude shopping, banking, YouTube video streaming and job related web page contents.

Firewalls

A firewall is a network security system that manages and regulates the network traffic based on some protocols. A firewall establishes a barrier between a trusted internal network and the internet.

Most Unified Threat Management appliances come with inbuilt firewall system. Firewalls are commonly used in private networks to prevent unauthorized access from the internet. Every data entering or leaving the network goes through the firewall to be examined for security threats. A firewall makes it harder for hackers to attack your network.

Antivirus – EndPoint security

An Endpoint security antivirus is a tool that is used to detect and remove malicious software. It was originally designed to detect and remove viruses from computers. An anti-virus protects not only from virus, but also from worms, Trojan-horses, adwares, spywares, keyloggers, etc. Some products also provide protection from malicious URLs, spam, phishing attacks, botnets, DDoS attacks, etc. They also provide encryption of data on your hard drive, and protect your internet banking by providing a strong VPN to encrypt your browsing activities.

Types of network security

Access control

Not every user should have access to your network. To keep out potential attackers, you need to recognize each user and each device. Then you can enforce your security policies. You can block noncompliant endpoint devices or give them only limited access. This process is network access control (NAC).

Anti-virus and anti-malware software

“Malware,” short for “malicious software,” includes viruses, worms, Trojans, ransom ware, and spyware. Sometimes malware will infect a network but lie dormant for days or even weeks. The best anti malware programs not only scan for malware upon entry, but also continuously track files afterward to find anomalies, remove malware, and fix damage.

Application Security

Any software you use to run your business needs to be protected, whether your IT staff builds it or whether you buy it. Unfortunately, any application may contain holes, or vulnerabilities, that attackers can use to infiltrate your network. Application security encompasses the hardware, software, and processes you use to close those holes.

Behavioral analytics

To detect abnormal network behavior, you must know what normal behavior looks like. Behavioral analytics tools automatically discern activities that deviate from the norm. Your security team can then better identify indicators of compromise that pose a potential problem and quickly remediate threats.

Data loss prevention

Organizations must make sure that their staff does not send sensitive information outside the network. Data loss prevention, or DLP, technologies can stop people from uploading, forwarding, or even printing critical information in an unsafe manner.

Email Security

Email gateways are the number one threat vector for a security breach. Attackers use personal information and social engineering tactics to build sophisticated phishing campaigns to deceive recipients and send them to sites serving up malware. An email security application blocks incoming attacks and controls outbound messages to prevent the loss of sensitive data.

Firewalls

Firewalls put up a barrier between your trusted internal network and untrusted outside networks, such as the Internet. They use a set of defined rules to allow or block traffic. A firewall can be hardware, software, or both.

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Intrusion prevention systems

An intrusion prevention system (IPS) scans network traffic to actively block attacks. Cyberoam appliances do this by correlating huge amounts of global threat intelligence to not only block malicious activity but also track the progression of suspect files and malware across the network to prevent the spread of outbreaks and reinfection.

Mobile device security

Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting mobile devices and apps. Within the next 3 years, 90 percent of IT organizations may support corporate applications on personal mobile devices. Of course, you need to control which devices can access your network. You will also need to configure their connections to keep network traffic private.

Network segmentation

Software-defined segmentation puts network traffic into different classifications and makes enforcing security policies easier. Ideally, the classifications are based on endpoint identity, not mere IP addresses. You can assign access rights based on role, location, and more so that the right level of access is given to the right people and suspicious devices are contained and remediated.

Security information and event management

SIEM products pull together the information that your security staff needs to identify and respond to threats. These products come in various forms, including physical and virtual appliances and server software.

VPN

A virtual private network encrypts the connection from an endpoint to a network, often over the Internet. Typically, a remote-access VPN uses IPsec or Secure Sockets Layer to authenticate the communication between device and network.

Web security

A web security solution will control your staff’s web use, block web-based threats, and deny access to malicious websites. It will protect your web gateway on site or in the cloud. “Web security” also refers to the steps you take to protect your own website.

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Wireless security

Wireless networks are not as secure as wired ones. Without stringent security measures, installing a wireless LAN can be like putting Ethernet ports everywhere, including the parking lot. To prevent an exploit from taking hold, you need products specifically designed to protect a wireless network.

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Emeka Ogbuka

Emeka Ogbuka is an IT specialist in technology, application, web development, cyber-security, virtualization, cloud computing, backup, computer networking, and digital marketing.He has worked in the information technology, manufacturing and hospitality sector

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