Top Network Security Tools and Techniques to Know14 Jul, 20234 mins
Network security is fast becoming one of the most important things for businesses to think a...
Network security is fast becoming one of the most important things for businesses to think about. There are tools and tactics designed to monitor potential threats or intrusions to ensure important data is protected at all times. Network security includes hardware and software technologies and is designed to respond to a full range of threats.
There are several network security tools and techniques that are essential in ensuring the security of a network. Here we explore the key ones:
A firewall is a network security tool that is designed to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic, focusing on blocking malware. It can help to prevent unauthorised access to a network quickly and seamlessly to combat attacks and reduce risks.
It is a complex tool with several different iterations, but the four key types of firewalls include:
- Next generation: This combines traditional technology with additional checks such as the inspection of encrypted traffic, intrusion prevention and anti-virus. Generally, firewalls only look at packet headers which divide data into smaller segments, but the more advanced systems include deep packet inspection which enables users to identify malicious patterns.
- Proxy: Helps to filter network traffic at the application level. Proxy firewalls work as a barrier between the two end systems. If a user detects suspicious activity, they can send a request to the firewall and carry out an evaluation to assess the network against the set of security rules, and action can be taken to block the network intruder.
- Network address translation: This allows a number of devices with independent network addresses to connect to the internet using a singular IP address whilst hiding its identity. This blocks attackers from scanning the network and finding the IP address, therefore avoiding the chance of them capturing specific details. These are similar to proxy firewalls as they act as a barrier between groups of devices.
- Stateful multilayer inspection (STMI): Much like next generation firewalls, STMI examines the entire network and analyses each layer. This ensures all networks are trusted.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
VPNs are encrypted network connections that allow users to create a secure connection to a network over the internet. This can help to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorised access. VPNs are especially useful in the hybrid working era as it’s important to guarantee the security of data in a business. This type of tool provides an extra layer of defence, ensuring confidence for the user.
Encryption is the process of encoding data to prevent unauthorised access and it is an essential tool for protecting sensitive information transmitted over a network. It converts readable plaintext to ciphertext – in simpler terms, it takes data and alters it to appear random.
Two-factor authentication is a security technique that requires users to provide two forms of authentication, such as a password and a security token, to access a network. With many of us being glued to our laptops and mobile devices, they are a key target for cyber criminals, and we must put measures in place to protect our data, reducing the chance of malicious attacks.
Two-factor authentication is an easy tool to implement in any business and it gives that added layer of security.
Network segmentation involves dividing a network into smaller segments to improve security and control the flow of traffic. This can help to prevent and limit the impact of security breaches.
The goal of incident responses involves planning and preparing for security incidents, as well as responding quickly and effectively when they occur, to halt them. This can help to minimise the impact of security breaches and restore normal operations as quickly as possible.
Each tool has its own benefits in protecting your network, and as with all security – it can never be a one-size-fits-all approach. Different businesses will have their own priorities and weaknesses which will impact which tool(s) will best suit their needs.
Searching for your next career step in network engineering or to expand your businesses’ network security protection? Get in touch with our team today.