How much do you know about network security? Do you have a high-level understanding of how it works?
Do you know the top priorities your business should address in terms of network security?
If not, don’t worry; this guide to network security will help you to understand it in no time.
From understanding the principles behind cybersecurity to implementing the most effective anti-malware defenses, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about staying safe on the internet, including your home network and your company network.
Every day, cybercriminals devising new ways to break into our networks and steal our most important information. In order to stay safe, you must be vigilant about security both at home and at work.
Whether you’re a business owner looking for a deep dive into advanced tactics or an average internet user hoping to protect your family from a hacker, we have a few tips for making your network as secure as possible. Let’s take a look!
What is Network Security?
Although most people don’t realize it, network security can be directly linked with almost everything we do on a daily basis. From browsing websites to using online banking, everything goes through networks which must be able to withstand threats. So what exactly is network security?
It is all about stopping hackers and other malicious parties from accessing your data or exploiting your hardware. To help you fully understand what network security entails, we will break down every component of it in order for you to comprehend just how important it really is.
Furthermore, at its core there are five main elements that compose network security: firewalls, IDS/IPS systems, cryptography (encryption), DMZs (demilitarized zones) and virtual private networks (VPNs).
The Benefits of Network Security
Talking about network security before six years ago, a study from Bitglass revealed that 60% of businesses had been impacted by a cyber breach in 2015. Given how much is at stake, you can understand why many companies are investing in cutting-edge network security solutions.
There are a number of benefits associated with implementing a comprehensive network security system. One of them is that it can improve your overall profitability and help you gain a competitive edge over other businesses in your field.
Whether you have a physical location or a purely online presence, it’s important to ensure that everyone from your employees to your customers can access your offerings without fear of cybercriminals compromising their information. But beyond helping you make money, network security can also keep you from losing business altogether.
In 2015, companies across many industries lost an estimated $400 billion due to cybercrime—the costs were especially high for small businesses since small firms usually don’t have large IT teams dedicated solely to protecting their information. I will let you to imagine how much companies lost in 2021, and remind you that numbers are not on our side.
Common Threats & Vulnerabilities
Hackers are always finding new ways to threaten networks and computers. When assessing your network’s security, you should look at common threats and vulnerabilities.
Some of these include: malware, bots, distributed denial of service (DDoS), ransomware, backdoors, phishing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, malicious sites/apps/etc., software vulnerabilities (think Heartbleed), social engineering/spear phishing attacks…and that list goes on!
These are some basic areas to get familiar with when trying to get a handle on your network’s security, especially if we are talking about small businesses and their very short budgets on network security.
Best Practices For Securing Networks
Starting from server, it is only as secure as its network, and once your business is connected to a network (or even multiple networks), there’s no turning back.
Fortunately, understanding how malicious attacks take place and what you can do about them is easier than ever with resources like Google’s Project Zero. Its staff of talented hackers systematically find security holes in some of today’s most popular programs, then report their findings to developers.
A number of these vulnerabilities are ranked according to severity on Project Zero’s Hall of Shame, allowing businesses across industries—including yours—to quickly learn about security risks without dealing with each individually.
To help make sure your corporate or personal network is as secure as possible, here are some key steps you can take:
- Check for open ports on any new hardware; there’s a chance that hackers could use those open ports as entry points into your network (and even encrypt malware through those ports).
- Always run all available updates and upgrades on your hardware and software; hackers commonly target unpatched systems.
- Make sure all devices have their latest firmware installed; at least 90% of security breaches happen due to outdated firmware on routers and other devices.