Cybercrimes are increasing at an alarming rate, and recent statistics have shown that internet users worldwide witnessed around 15 million data breaches. Network security protocols can help businesses secure their online applications, systems, and cloud-based infrastructures.
However, before implementing these protocols, organizations need a thorough understanding of network security and how it functions. Gaining insights about these security measures will help businesses identify and implement network security protocols that are suitable to their requirements.
According to the network security definition, it is a strategic approach that requires hardware and software solutions to implement security protocols. These protocols are generally centered around accessibility, network usage, and threat protection and can be divided into three categories.
Physical security refers to restrictions placed on unauthorized individuals to prevent them from gaining access to network components. Whereas technical security refers to protocols implemented to secure data at rest and when it’s being transferred from one device to another. Administrative security refers to various authorization measures implemented in network access control.
Network security protocols use various measures to identify and restrict connections that are seen as potential threats. In addition, it also uses authentication protocols to restrict access for unauthorized individuals. Some of these security protocols include firewalls, Transport Layer Security (TLS), and access control solutions.
Firewalls allow organizations to implement traffic filters that block or allow access to an internal network. Whereas TLS allows them to secure network traffic between browsers and servers. Using access control solutions helps organizations limit access to internal resources and company assets, therefore reducing exposure to potential threats.
Hackers often use various techniques such as phishing, trojans, key logging, and more to exploit an organization’s network vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities, when exploited, can lead to data breaches that cause significant financial and reputational damage. However, some of the ways an organization can use for protection against the most common cybersecurity threats include:
MFA solutions allow businesses to use multiple authentication factors to verify a user’s identity. These factors are generally categorized based on knowledge, possession, and inherence. Knowledge-based authentication factors include various things such as a password, pin code, or predefined security questions.
Possession-based factors include hardware cryptographic security keys and tokens required for verification and are often difficult to replicate. Whereas inheritance-based factors use various physical features such as biometrics and facial recognition for verification and are the most difficult to replicate.
Wireless connections are often the most common vulnerability of an organization’s network and can be exploited to gain access. Hackers often use sniffing programs to monitor and capture organizational data and passwords transferred over a wireless connection. To avoid this, businesses can implement data encryption, MAC filtering, and firewalls.
Encryption helps ensure that organizational data is scrambled and can only be decrypted by authorized users. MAC filtering allows businesses to assign unique identifiers to devices connected to a network and therefore helps identify a malicious device. Businesses can also implement firewalls for malware protection and restriction of unauthorized traffic.
Another essential component of network security is updating operating systems and web browsers used for organizational operations. Most operating systems and browser providers are continuously developing new security protocols to tackle any cyber threats posed by hackers.
These updates allow vendors to minimize any vulnerabilities within their offerings. Therefore, organizations must ensure that they are actively monitoring and installing any operating system or browser updates available. Being reluctant to do so leads to using an outdated version that can be exploited by cybercriminals.
Antivirus software allows organizations to protect themselves from various techniques that hackers use. Some of these techniques include spyware, malware, trojans, and phishing attacks. Antivirus softwares allows organizations to detect any viruses or malicious activity within their systems.
When an antivirus software detects such activity, it removes the virus from an organization’s system. In addition, these softwares also help ensure protection against any potential viruses that may be used for an attack in the future. To gain the maximum results from such softwares, organizations must use and update them regularly.
Disaster recovery (DR) planning is another protection measure that organizations can use to protect themselves against cyberattacks. A DR plan is an essential component of business continuity after a data breach or cyber attack. In addition, it allows businesses to protect organizational and consumer data and minimize downtime.
When developing a DR plan, organizations must identify operations critical to business continuity and evaluate recovery objectives and priorities. Businesses also need to allocate DR responsibility to certain employees and departments. In addition, they must define the monitoring and controlling protocols for potential attacks or intrusions.
The alarming rate of increase in cybercrimes is necessitating the need for network security for businesses worldwide. Organizations must thoroughly understand how network security is categorized when implementing network security protocols. Doing so will allow them to identify and implement appropriate security measures at all levels of network security.