Skip links

Network Security 101 Your Guide to Securing Your Networks

Network Security Problems Solving

In today’s digital landscape, network security remains a critical concern for businesses of any size. With the average cost of a data breach reaching an all-time high of $4.45 million in 2023, the potential financial implications of network threats remain astronomical.  

The issue of network security has grown as the number of firms using internet-based products and services such as cloud apps, IoT and AI assistants continues to rise.  

Networks connected to the internet remain a key breach point for cyberattacks – and for that reason, using network security tools and practices is vital. By understanding these principles and investing in good network security practices, you’ll be able to ensure that your organisation’s network stays secure. 

In this article, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of network security, including the basics and the best practices. We’ll also take a look at how you can get started with your network security journey today!

Network Security Basics

Network security is vital to any modern organisation. It keeps your organisation safe from any attacks and vulnerabilities that come part and parcel with being connected to a network, and so making sure that you know everything there is to know about network security will help you ensure that your organisation is safe in the long run.

Components of Network Security

The first step to understanding network security is understanding what network security is built upon. This will give you an idea of what tools are at your disposal to secure your organisation, as they are the building blocks of your network security strategy.

  • Firewalls: Firewalls are essentially barriers that control network traffic that enters and leaves your organisation’s network. This will let you block specific traffic that doesn’t meet a set rule or policy.
  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS): IDPS will monitor your organisation’s network to detect and respond to any malicious activity.
  • Access Control: Access control tools let you restrict and manage access to your network to allow for authentication and other important security processes and measures.
  • Antivirus: Antivirus and other antimalware tools will ensure your network isn’t infected with malicious software such as a virus, trojan, worm, or anything else that could wreak havoc on your business.
  • Encryption: Encryption turns your information into a cypher, making it inaccessible to anyone without the authentication key to decrypt it. Most modern websites use encryption through HTTPS.

Layers of Network Security

There are also a few different layers of network security to consider, as using a layered approach — commonly known as defence-in-depth — will let you deploy multiple layers of security to protect against a variety of attacks.

  • Perimeter Security: This secures your external boundary, using firewalls and other prevention systems.
  • Endpoint Security: Endpoint security protects specific devices rather than the network.
  • Wireless Security: This is where you secure your wireless networks using encryption (WPA2/WPA3) and implement high-level authentication.
  • Network Segmentation: Here, you divide your network into zones to control the flow of your network.
  • Monitoring and Logging: Monitoring your network and logging activity will help you keep track of all activity and analyse everything, both to look for anomalies and to learn from in the future.

Network Security Best Practices

There are a few different things to keep in mind when it comes to your network security. These good practices will help you ensure that you can be fully secured and will further empower your organisation with effective network security.

Firewalls

  • Regularly Update Firewall Rules: By doing so, you ensure that your firewall rules are up to date and that unnecessary rules are removed. Make sure that only essential ports and services are open.
  • Take Advantage of Default-Deny: Default-deny rules mean that any traffic that isn’t marked as allowed is blocked by default. This means that you automatically deny any new connection, protecting you from any unknown networks.
  • Next-Generation Firewalls: Next-generation firewalls are worth looking into, as they have lots of advanced features that standard firewalls don’t — such as intrusion detection and prevention, application-layer filtering, and deep packet inspection.

Encryption

  • Encrypt Sensitive Data: Encrypting your most sensitive data will ensure that anyone who breaches your organisation won’t be able to get ahold of said data — it’ll be encrypted and, therefore inaccessible to anyone without the key.
  • Use the Industry Standard: Encryption uses algorithms to encrypt your data — therefore, using more complex algorithms will result in a higher level of security.
  • Secure Key Management: Ensuring that your keys are stored securely will keep your encryption safe, and so securing the keys and managing them properly is vital.

Authentication

  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is vital for any organisation — it makes user accounts far more secure and stops hackers from stealing a single password to gain access.
  • Password Hygiene: Having good password hygiene and ensuring that your passwords are updated regularly will ensure that any possible data breach won’t result in a stolen password wreaking havoc on your organisation.

Monitoring and Detection

  • Review Security Logs: By reviewing your security logs, you can easily look for patterns and events that look unusual, meaning that you can identify threats before they become a larger problem than otherwise.
  • Use Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems: IDPS will be able to easily monitor for threats and prevent them, so not using these systems puts you at a massive disadvantage.
  • Conduct Security Awareness Training: Creating a security-aware culture in your organisation will help you ensure everyone is on the same page about your organisation’s security needs and how they can do their part.

How We Can Help

By ensuring that your organisation’s network security posture is strong, you tighten your defences and ensure that your network isn’t open to any nasty attacks or breaches. These practices are the best ways to ensure that your network security strategy is all-encapsulating, without any oversights or vulnerabilities.

If you’re looking to get started with protecting your organisation, reach out to us today. Our experts are here to help you with whatever you need, and to help you get started protecting your organisation’s network. We’re by your side the whole way.

Get in touch with us now and see how we can help.