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It’s no secret that modern organizations are increasingly using networked devices to exchange information. Unfortunately, networks can be vulnerable to those with malicious intentions. Today, cyber attacks are a commonplace occurrence. Malicious attempts to breach a network may result in all kinds of losses for an organization. According to Cisco, the number of cyberattacks actually quadrupled between 2016 and 2017. Stats like this help to emphasize the importance of adequate network security.

How Does Network Security Work?

Network security works with the help of multiple defense layers in the network. Imagine walking through a forbidden cave, encountering obstacles and puzzles along the way. Each network layer of security enforces controls and policies. Only authorized users can access network resources. This protocol creates a system that prevents ill-intentioned actors from carrying out cyberattacks.

Benefits of Network Security

Information digitization has transformed the way we do business and otherwise operate. All modern organizations should have network protection in place. Network security also helps you protect trade secrets and other proprietary information. It’s a reliable way to safeguards the reputation of your organization.

Network Security Measures

Network security consists of multiple measures. These include:

Antivirus and anti-malware: viruses and malware (short for “malicious software”) can infect a network, yet still go undetected initially. The best defense is to install reliable antivirus software like that available from Trend Micro. An antivirus will detect viruses and malware and rid them from the network.
Firewall: A firewall serves as a barrier between your network and untrusted outside networks. It uses a set of defined rules to establish how and when external networks grant access. Use a reliable, comprehensive firewall like those offered by Palo Alto or Meraki from Cisco.
Access Control: It’s wise to limit access to your network to trusted team members. Access control enables you to enforce this limited access. If users access the network using their own devices, you can block or limit access for non-compliant endpoint devices. This process is called Network Access Control. (NAC)
Network monitoring: Proactive network monitoring is essential for full network security. When you actively monitor your network, you can spot suspicious activity or any network failings before they become bigger issues. Some reliable choices for network monitoring tools include Cacti and Nagios.
Network segmentation: This software enforces role-based access to network resources. For example, you can set a group policy so that only members of the human resources department have access to certain employee information. You can use your own physical hardware to enforce security policies. This is achievable with managed network switches. We recommend Aruba Switches – and built upon with Aruba Clearpass Policy Manager.
Data Loss Prevention: Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software prevents network users from uploading, forwarding, or even printing sensitive information. Having this software prevents sensitive information from leaving the network.
Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN provides encrypted access to the Internet and other networks. It typically uses IPsec or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to authenticate the connection between the network and devices. You can use a VPN to access the Internet without revealing your IP address and potentially exposing your network to attack.

Any organization that works with networked data and systems must make the security of their network a high priority. It protects company assets and maintains data integrity. You can also better manage network traffic, optimize network performance, and secure data sharing across the network. There are many excellent tools available to secure your network against cyberattacks, so there’s really no reason not to safeguard your organization. A managed services provider can make recommendations for tools that can best meet your individual network security needs.