Today’s cybercrime is not the same as it was before. There will always be new forms of cybercrime techniques emerging. Criminals may penetrate your systems or networks unnoticed and undetected or even lock you out of your system. Even more so today that people on the internet massively increases.
According to a Cisco survey, by 2023, there will be three times as many networked computers on the planet as humans. Every day, approximately one million more people connect to the internet. We anticipate that by 2022, there will be 6 billion people connecting to the internet and communicating with data, up from 5 billion in 2020 — and more than 7.5 billion internet users by 2030. This means more and more people and companies are becoming susceptible to cybercrime.
With these facts, we need a security form that acts as a gatekeeper to our data, preventing unauthorized access, misuse, or modification to your computer network while being connected to the internet
Read on as this article discusses everything about network security and why you need it.
What is Network Security, and How Does It Help Your Business?
In our previous articles, we have discussed how having and applying the right cybersecurity strategy can help protect your company from any cyber-crimes. But as we progress toward business growth, it is also equally critical to protect any information and confidential data in your business from data loss.
But how do we this? That is where network security comes to play.
Network security is the combination of measures taken by an organization or enterprise to prevent malicious use or accidental damage to the network’s private data, its users, or their devices. The goal of network security is to keep the network running and safe for all legitimate users to ensure confidentiality and accessibility of the entire network and data structures.
Network Security is designed to perform preventive measures to protect your data from any suspicious activities from both software and hardware technologies. It is focused on preventing various threats from entering and spreading through your system.
What does network security protect against?
There is a range of ways that cybercriminals could gain access to your network and compromise valuable data. This makes small businesses a tempting and easy target for cybercriminals. These are some of the most common cyberattacks:
1. Malware / Ransomware
It’s a harmful program that attempts to encrypt your data as well can harm a computer user. Malware can come in the form of computer viruses, or worms. These malicious programs are capable of stealing, encrypting, or deleting sensitive data, as well as modifying or hijacking, and then demands a ransom in exchange for a key to unlock it.
Phishing is an attempt to obtain sensitive information while posing as a reliable contact, such as a bank or an online transaction. Phishing is a highly targeted attempt to obtain personal information from a person. Phishing emails can appear completely legitimate, with flawless wording and genuine logos.
A man-in-the-middle attack (MITM attack) is a cyber-attack where an attacker relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are communicating directly. This allows the attacker to relay communication, listen in, and even modify what each party is saying.
Man-in-the-middle attacks enable eavesdropping between people, clients, and servers. This can include HTTPS connections to websites, other SSL/TLS connections, Wi-Fi network connections, and more.
4. DoS and DDoS attacks (Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service)
These attacks use network traffic to trigger anomalous behavior in network services or applications. Servers are often targeted and overwhelmed with data, causing them to become unreachable. Core network equipment may be disabled, preventing regular traffic from entering the network. Since attacks are launched from multiple sources, distributed denial of service attacks is riskier.
5. Structured Query Language (SQL) injection
SQL injection is a code injection technique, used to attack data-driven applications, in which malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution. SQL injection must exploit a security vulnerability in an application’s software, for example, when user input is either incorrectly filtered for string literal escape characters embedded in SQL statements or user input is not strongly typed and unexpectedly executed.
6. A Brute Force Attack
is the simplest method to gain access to a site or server (or anything that is password protected). It tries various combinations of usernames and passwords again and again until it gets in. This repetitive action is like an army attacking a fort.
Through knowing and becoming aware of these types of attacks, you will reduce the risk and minimize the consequences of this malicious attack but how exactly does network security prevent this?
Common Types of Network Security
Any company that wants to provide the high-quality services that their customers and employees expect should safeguard their network. Network protection tools protect your confidential information from attack and your credibility. By placing countermeasures in place to secure the network and data stored on it, you can keep the network protected from cyber-attacks, hacking attempts, and employee negligence. There are numerous networking security resources that you can incorporate into your service offering.
The list of security resources that follows includes:
1. Access Control
Allowing someone access to your system could make it more vulnerable to cybercrime. You can, however, avoid such incidents by strengthening your system’s protection and restricting your users’ access, such as blocking unauthorized staff and devices from connecting to your network.
A firewall is intended to serve as a gatekeeper for your network, protecting it from unauthorized access that might infect the system. It is the one that tracks incoming and outgoing network traffic, identifying untrusted and trustworthy networks.
3. Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) redirects your device’s internet connection to a private server rather than your current ISP. It serves as a gateway to the internet by masking your IP address. A VPN encrypts the connection between an endpoint and a network, usually over the Internet and it authenticates communication between a device and a protected network in this manner, creating a safe, encrypted “tunnel” through the open internet.
4. Behavioral Analytics
It is a form of cybersecurity in which suspicious network behavior is detected. It makes use of machine learning, algorithms, and anomaly detection to identify potential threats to the system.
5. Wireless Security
It primarily protects a wireless network from unauthorized and malicious access. It essentially encrypts and secures all wireless devices by default. Wireless network protection consists of Wired Equivalent Policy (WEP) and Wireless Protected Access (WPA).
6. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
DLP systems prohibit employees from exchanging important company information and it helps to deter activities that could expose data outside the network, whether unintentionally or maliciously.
7. Email Security
When implementing networking security software, email security is particularly important to remember. Scams, phishing, ransomware, and suspicious links are just some of the threats that can be attached to emails. Since so many of these threats can often use personal details to seem more credible. It can also be programmed to prevent some types of data from being shared in outgoing messages and to screen out incoming threats.
8. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM(security information and event management) is a monitoring system that combines real-time network traffic monitoring with historical data log file scanning to analyze and detect malicious behavior on your network. It will catch and alert the user if it detects something malicious in the network.
9. Distributed Denial of Service Security
Websites and online applications are targeted by distributed denial-of-service attacks. The aim is to flood them with traffic that exceeds the server’s or network’s capacity and to make the website or service inoperable. A DDoS protection system monitors incoming traffic to prevent unwanted access that could compromise your network and filters it out until it hits your firewalls.
10. Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software
Malware, also known as “malicious software,” is a type of cyber-attack that can easily remove files or corrupt data, while others can lay dormant for long periods and quietly give hackers a back door into your systems. The best antivirus software should detect malware in network traffic in real-time, search activity log files for signs of unusual actions, and provide threat remediation capabilities.
Each of these types of Network Security helps you reduce overhead expenses and safeguard your business from costly losses from data breaches and other security incidents. An effective network security tool that you need for your business can stop the wide range of cyber-attacks, and it can also prevent spreading throughout the network in case of a data breach.
How can my small business benefit from Network Security?
With all the network security types listed above, you may think it’s too much for only a small business. However, as we know how rampant cyber-attacks are at this time, it no longer becomes a question of benefit but of need. So, why do small businesses need good network security practices?
Simply put, you’ll be less prone to attacks while being able to meet your compliance requirements and avoid related reputational damage. This also means you’ll be able to focus your energy and money on your core business than fees and damages a cyber-attack could cost.
1. Protect your network from external threats
About 70% of data breaches over the year were caused by people outside the business. Implementing comprehensive device security practices and the right cybersecurity software is vital to minimizing external threats. Setting up admin approval for all new devices trying to access your network is a great first step, as you automatically get notified if an unknown device is trying to access your systems.
2. Secured data collaboration.
For a more effective and profitable workflow, data collaboration is becoming increasingly common. It is, however, vulnerable to a variety of external attacks. Network Security should be seen as a protective measure to secure shared data. It can be used on various computers with different restrictions depending on the type of data or information required.
3. Ensure your business is compliant
Government compliance regulations usually require you to take reasonable precautions to protect your organization and the data you hold from attackers. If you don’t, you might need to pay hefty regulatory fines and fees.
A range of industries is quickly stepping up their game when it comes to data protection. Many regulatory bodies now require you to take reasonable precautions to protect your organization and the data you hold from attackers. If you don’t, you could face hefty fines or limits on trading.
The value of defending your company from cyber-attacks should not be overlooked. Keep in mind that any company is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The consequences can be disastrous, and they are happening at an unprecedented pace around the world.
As we continue to adapt to the modern world, anything can happen, threats evolve exponentially. By making network security a top priority for your company, it can protect assets and data integrity from external threats, handle network traffic more effectively, and increase network efficiency by securing data sharing between employees and data sources in businesses of all sizes. Network Security offers levels of protection to completely secure your data and eliminates latency and downtimes from monitoring your device for any suspicious transactions. Investing in network security technologies today should not only be an option but a necessity if you want your company to operate smoothly and safely.
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