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Network security architecture

Network security architecture definition

Network security architecture is the design and implementation of all the strategies, technologies, and practices used by a particular organization to protect its computer networks from cyber threats. A good network security architecture is essential for safeguarding the organization's critical assets and data.

See also: computer network defense, network access control, network detection and response, network encryption, network intrusion protection system, network security protocols, intrusion detection system, VPN gateway, antivirus, anti-malware, network segment, security policy, access control system

Common network security architecture components

  • Firewalls filter network traffic based on predefined rules, acting as a barrier between an organization's internal network and the external world.
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious activity, alerting the cybersecurity team when they identify a threat.
  • Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), like IDS, also monitor network traffic — but instead of just identifying threats, IPS can take automated actions to prevent or mitigate them.
  • Virtual private networks (VPNs) secure connections with encryption to allow users safe remote access to network resources.
  • Antivirus and anti-malware solutions detect and remove malicious software from network devices.
  • Access control systems (such as authentication protocols) control what parts of the network a user can access.
  • Network segmentation helps contain potential security breaches to carefully managed zones and limits lateral movement by attackers.
  • Security policies and procedures (such as user training and awareness programs) ensure that the organization’s staff know what to do when confronted with a threat.