Network security is a cybersecurity discipline covering software, hardware, policies, and training designed to prevent unauthorized access to computer networks.
Network security is important because it’s your first line of defense against attacks from the outside. By implementing effective network security measures, you can prevent malicious actors from mapping your infrastructure, disrupting your communications, carrying out denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, or reaching critical apps and devices.
Beyond its role in cybersecurity, a good network security policy will also improve the network’s performance. Regulating the types of traffic, processes, and applications that are permitted on the network will keep it running smoothly even during the busiest periods.
Network security is built upon the information security triad — confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA). Put simply, the data should not be seen by unauthorized users, be protected from tampering, and be available to those who have the right to see it.
Because the same person can come in contact with the same network in a different environment and under a different online identity (such as a guest account) effective security solutions must implement measures at all levels of network access.
Tools and processes to prevent unauthorized people from physically reaching the network. The most common physical network security measure is requiring an access card to enter the premises.
Policies and privileges governing what specific users can do on the network, such as prohibiting non-IT staff from making infrastructure changes. Administrative network security also includes training in cybersecurity.
All software and hardware that monitor network processes for signs of intruders, quarantine identified threats, and stop unauthorized traffic from going in or out the network. This category includes virtual private networks, firewalls, and antiviruses.
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