This chapter defines network security and the various processes associated with it. It also looks at the different types of cyberattacks that can affect your business and sheds light on how important it is to secure your network if you want to prevent a catastrophic loss.
Network Security Network security is an umbrella term covering a variety of processes, technologies, and devices. Network security is the configuration of rules and policies in both hardware and software of any web application or tool to secure the integrity, accessibility, and confidentiality of computer data. This is closely associated with network infrastructure.
Computer data and networks are vulnerable to numerous cyberattacks, and some of these were looked at earlier in the book. Therefore, every business, irrespective of its size, infrastructure, or industry, needs to have network security measures in place.
The network architecture is evolving and becoming more complex every day. The threat environment is also constantly changing with attackers trying to find newer methods to exploit security vulnerabilities in the system. Abilities exist in various assets of network infrastructure such as data, devices, applications, and users. Given this, there are individual tools available to se- cure these assets. You can also use these tools to test the applications to ensure the business meets with the regular compliance terms. Network security is of the utmost importance as even a few minutes of downtime can damage the organization’s reputation and finances.
How Does the Network Security Function?
Network security across an organization has multiple layers. An attacker can target any layer in the network security model. Therefore, businesses need to define network security models for both hardware and software to tackle the vulnerable areas. There are three aspects to network security: physical, technical, and administrative.
Physical Network Security
This aspect deals with different types of physical access to network-related devices such as cables, modems, switches, and routers. An organization must ensure only authorized employees, especially those who are a part of the IT or network team, have access to these components. Some common ways in which the business can authorize access is through biometrics, security locks, etc.
Technical Network Security
This aspect deals with the protection of data stored on a network or in transit via the network. The business must include twofold protection to protect data and its associated systems from unauthorized access. Care should also be taken to protect data against malicious activities from internal employees. Internal employees may not do it intentionally, but actions such as using a personal USB drive on company property can be a threat.
Administrative Network Security
This aspect deals with processes and security policies to keep user or in control. This includes the authentication of users and the level of access based on the role and designation of the user in the organization. For example, a management bank user does not need technical access to a server or network device.