Why your business should hire a network security engineer

8 min

 A government survey revealed that 39% of UK businesses detected being vulnerable to a ...

 A government survey revealed that 39% of UK businesses detected being vulnerable to a cyber attack in the last 12 months. With that said, companies are increasingly reliant on technology and connectivity, and the role of a network security engineer has never been more vital to protect organisations from cyber threats. But why is network security important, and why should your business hire a network security engineer?

We will explore this question in more detail, delving into the fundamentals of network security, the types of network security approaches available, the responsibilities of these professionals, and most importantly, why their expertise is so important for safeguarding your organisation's sensitive data, countering cyber threats, saving costs, ensuring compliance, and protecting your brand's reputation. 

By the end of this guide, you will know that in an age of relentless cyber threats, the decision to bring a network security engineer on board is a strategic move that can fortify your business against the ever-evolving digital risks. 

In this guide, we will explore:

  • What is network security engineering?
  • What are the different types of network security?
  • What is a network security engineer?
  • Why is network security important for your business?

What is network security engineering?

Network security engineering is defined by the processes deployed to protect the performance of and the data within computer networks. Whether it’s defending computer networks and IT infrastructure from unauthorised access, disruption, destruction and various other forms of cyber attacks, network security plays a significant part in the daily operations of a business.

Computer devices, networks and servers, online documents, files and private information are used in companies of all industries and sizes. Moreover, with cyber attacks occurring every 39 seconds, all these aspects of an IT infrastructure can be vulnerable to online threats. As a result, all businesses with some form of online presence and IT network are at risk of being hacked. 

Be it financially or reputationally, these vulnerabilities can be detrimental to your organisation and, in some cases, cause irreversible harm. That’s where network security engineering comes in. Network security engineering helps protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of network resources, sheltering businesses from the often costly and highly disruptive damage caused by the above-mentioned risks of cyber threats.

Later in this guide, we’ll explore the job of a network security engineer and delve into the importance of the role. But first, let’s look at the different types of network security software and tools available to engineers and businesses looking to protect their networks.

What are the different types of network security?

Within the network security space, there are various approaches to protecting an organisation's networks from various cyber threats and data vulnerabilities. When dealing with network security, companies often adopt what is referred to as defence in depth or layered security. This means using multiple types of network security to give the business the maximum security controls possible.

So, what are some of the key approaches organisations take? We've outlined the different types of network security software and tools you and your network security engineers can use to ensure your network remains secure all year round. 

  • Firewalls: Firewalls control and monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic. As one of the most commonly used network security tools, they can block malicious traffic and protect your network from cyber-attacks.
  • Network segmentation: Network segmentation involves dividing your network into smaller segments and is typically done by organisations with more extensive networks with substantial traffic. This approach can give businesses greater visibility and control over their segmented networks. It also helps to contain the damage caused if a security breach occurs, making it easier to prevent it from spreading to the rest of your network.
  • Access Control: This approach to network security provides limited access to network applications and systems to an exclusive group of users and devices. Access control prevents unwanted and unknown users and devices from accessing your network. 
  • Behavioural analytics: Another method of network security engineering is to adopt behavioural analytics. This software analyses user behaviour and identifies anomalies and indicators that suggest a cyber threat or security breach is occurring or could occur.
  • Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IPS): IPS systems oversee network traffic and monitor for suspicious activity. It detects and blocks cyber attacks before they cause damage to your network.
  • Web security: Web security solutions protect your network from web-based threats, including blocking malicious sites that could constrain harmful malware and phishing attacks.
  • Wireless Security: This type of security is used to secure wireless networks like local area networks (LAN) from cyber threats.
  • Email security: As the number of email users is set to reach over 4 billion globally in 2023, hackers are gaining more scope to implement their threats. With your employees using their email to communicate internally and externally on a daily basis, they are increasing their chances of being exposed to email-based threats, such as phishing, malware and spam. Email security can detect and block these threats from spreading across your network. 
  • Antivirus and anti-malware software: This network security approach identifies and removes malware and viruses from harming the network.
  • Sandboxing: Sandboxing is a security practice of isolating software, a file or code from the rest of the system to check for malware. This approach can be done by running the software, file or code in an isolated environment, preventing it from making system changes or accessing other network resources.
  • Data loss prevention (DLP): DLP solutions prevent sensitive data from being lost or stolen. It monitors and controls the movement and sharing of data within your network and blocks anything from being sent outside your network without authorisation.
  • Cloud security: As more companies transition to the cloud due to its ease of use, cost-effectiveness and ability to support remote working, it’s essential to have security in place in scenarios where cloud-based data is breached. Cloud security solutions protect your data and applications from being hacked in the cloud by encrypting files and only allowing specific users access to data.
  • Endpoint security: Endpoint security solutions protect individual devices, including mobile devices, desktops, and laptops, from cyber attacks.
  • Multifactor Authentication (MFA): MFA is a type of security used to authenticate users attempting to gain access to network data. This approach uses multiple factors, such as passwords, memorable information, face recognition and fingerprints, to verify a user's identity and eligibility to access specific information.
  • Application security: Application security focuses on securing applications and software, whether internally built or externally used within a business, from cyber threats.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN): Finally, VPNs are a type of network security used to create a secure connection between two networks over the internet. For example, a VPN allows your staff to access your network remotely if you have hybrid employees.

As you can see, there are many approaches to network security. Each approach has its own uniqueness and purpose, and when combined with other methods, it can establish a robust security posture within a business. 

Of course, regarding the talent who can bring these various software and tools into your organisation, we’re referring to network security engineers. But what is a network security engineer, and what do they actually do? We’ll answer this question in our next section. 

What is a network security engineer?

A network security engineer is a cyber security expert responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining the security of an organisation's network infrastructure. Their role includes protecting the network from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, destruction and other types of cyber attacks.

Network security engineers use a variety of software, tools and technologies to protect networks. These include some of the types of network security tools mentioned in our previous section, from IPS, firewalls and access controls. They also develop and implement security procedures and policies whilst conducting regular security assessments to identify and remediate vulnerabilities in a network.

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, network security engineers must stay up-to-date on the latest network engineering industry trends and technologies. They ultimately play a vital role in protecting businesses from cyber attacks and network vulnerabilities. 

Here are some of the specific responsibilities of a network security engineer:

  • Design, implement, and maintain network security infrastructure
  • Develop and implement security policies and procedures
  • Conduct regular security assessments and vulnerability testing
  • Monitor network traffic for suspicious activity
  • Respond to cyber security incidents and breaches
  • Educate staff on cyber security best practices

Now you know what a network security engineer is and the role they play, scroll to our next section to learn more about the importance of network security and why hiring talent within this space is a sensible move.

Why is network security important for your business?

Similar to how you can take different types of network security approaches to protect your organisation from cyber attacks and data breaches, there are also several reasons why network security is important for your business. These reasons include keeping your sensitive data secure and countering cyber threats, helping you save money, ensuring you stay compliant, and ultimately protecting your brand's reputation.  

A network security engineer is at the forefront of installing these factors of importance into your business. So, whether you’re considering hiring permanent or contract network security engineers, knowing the importance of network security is essential if you’re serious about protecting your business from the rise of cyber threats. 

1. A network security engineer keeps your sensitive data secure

As we answer the question of ‘why is network security important for your business?’ our first point surrounds how a network security engineer can keep your sensitive data secure. This data could be sensitive and highly valuable to your organisation, from intellectual property and financial information to client and customer data. Regardless of your industry, you have a duty of care to ensure this data is kept secure and free from breaches and unauthorised access.

Hiring a network security engineer will give you an added layer of assurance and security in knowing your sensitive data is kept secure. Network security engineers can implement tools such as encryption and firewalls to protect and block your network from outside threats, external attacks and unauthorised access. 

Regarding encryption, a network security engineer can scramble your data in the eyes of unwanted users so unauthorised individuals cannot read it. They can also implement access controls, setting up user accounts and permissions so that only authorised users can access your sensitive data. 

The level of protection a network security engineer can bring to keeping your sensitive data secure is unmatched and a key incentive as to why you should consider talent within this niche as part of your network recruitment strategy.

2. Network security engineering can counter cyber threats

In 2023 alone, the average business takes 49 days to detect a cyber attack. Imagine the level of damage that could be caused during this time as the threat is left unidentified. This statistic clearly indicates the importance of network security engineers and how hiring professionals within this area of expertise can counter cyber threats and reduce the average time to identify a threat.

We pointed out how cyber attacks happen every 39 seconds, and to add to this, in 2022, the daily occurrence of attacks was estimated to be around 2,200. As the world continues to expand its technological presence, with the rise of 5G and continuous growth of networks, cybercriminals have more avenues to cause severe harm to your networks and IT infrastructure. 

Whether it’s phishing, malware or other data breaches, hiring a network security engineer is a smart move if you want to give your business the best protection against these various threats. They can be onboarded into your organisation and implement some of the types of network security tools and software, from firewalls, DLP, antivirus and anti-malware, to detect and counter any cyber threats posed on your company. 

3. Hiring a network security engineer can save your business money 

According to IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, the average cost of data breach costs globally is $4.45 million - an increase of 15% over the last three years. This financial deficit could leave many companies in a challenging situation. In fact, various sources have stated that 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months as a result of a cyber attack. 

With that said, next on our factors surrounding the importance of network security engineers is how they can save your business money. Talent within this field can come into your business and put measures in place to reduce your organisation's chances of experiencing a data breach that leaves you financially in the red.

Of course, you will have to invest some of your budget into acquiring a network security engineer, whether on a contract or permanent basis. However, these initial costs are worth investing in if you want to take genuine steps to improve your security posture. Moreover, the cost of hiring a network engineer will appear minimal in the long run when you realise the potential financial losses they've protected you from.  

4. Network security engineering helps your business stay compliant

Today, organisations are increasingly expected to adhere to various rules and regulations depending on the size of their business and the industry they operate in. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in hefty penalties, such as legal issues and fines. In addition to ensuring your sensitive data is kept secure to avoid cyber threats, you must also demonstrate your company is diligent in protecting its data to avoid breaching any data compliance regulations.

Therefore, another reason your business should understand the importance of network security engineers is that they can support you in ensuring your business remains compliant. They can introduce many types of network security measures, like network segmentation and behavioural analytics, that we’ve outlined in our previous sections. 

Additionally, they can help educate your wider business on how to remain compliant when working on your networks, giving you and your employees the confidence to work without the fear of unintentionally violating any data and network-related regulations. 

5. A network security engineer protects your reputation

Our final point on the importance of network security engineers focuses on how they can help protect your reputation. Data breaches, where you lose intellectual property, finances or data, can cause serious damage to your reputation. As a result, this can lead to losing clients and customers, revenue, and even legal action against your company. 

Network security engineers can help prevent data breaches by implementing and maintaining security systems and procedures. They will work to detect and respond to cyber attacks quickly, which can help to minimise the damage to your reputation if a breach does occur. Following our previous point, they can also help protect your business's reputation by ensuring it complies with industry regulations to avoid costly fines and penalties that could damage your reputation.

Again, as mentioned, network security engineers can also educate your wider teams and external users about the security best practices when working on your networks. For example, they can teach users how to create strong passwords, what to look for in phishing emails, how to identify malware attacks and how to detect and avoid other common security threats. Doing so can reduce the risk of human error, a common cause of security breaches. 

Additionally, if people, whether customers, clients, business partners or new hires, know you have a network security engineer in-house or on a contract deal, they will be more inclined to partner with you. Whether working with or for you, they will see you as a trustworthy organisation that ensures their data and personal information will be secured from cyber threats and regulation breaches. 

So, ultimately, a network security engineer can help protect your reputation to the point where you attract and retain business and talent. Speaking of attraction and retention, discover more about the topic of network recruitment by reading our guide on how to attract and retain talent in the network engineering space.

Rounding up the importance of network security engineers

As we round everything up, the importance of hiring a network security engineer for your business cannot be overstated. In an era of constant cyber threats and data vulnerabilities, network security is critical to safeguarding sensitive data, countering cyber threats, saving money, ensuring compliance, and protecting your brand's reputation. 

These professionals are pivotal in designing, implementing, and maintaining your network infrastructure's security, using various tools and technologies to fortify your defences. By keeping your sensitive data secure, countering cyber threats, and helping your business stay compliant, network security engineers offer multi-layered protection against the evolving cyber threat landscape. 

The expertise of a network security engineer safeguards your assets and helps you maintain a trustworthy reputation, attracting and retaining clients, customers, partners, and talent. Therefore, investing in network security engineers is a wise and essential move to ensure your business's long-term success and resilience in the face of ever-present cyber security challenges.

Power your future with the best network security engineers 

Having the right partner is essential when building a team of network security engineers to protect your business from rising cyber threats and drive your brand to new heights. That's where we step in. Our expertise lies in bridging the talent gap, linking you with top-tier network security engineers who bring cutting-edge skills to the table. We excel at sourcing both contract and permanent talent, ensuring your organisation is equipped for success.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with one of our network recruitment experts and shape the future of your brand with us by your side.