It’s safe to say network security is more important now than ever before. This holds true across the board for individuals in their homes, small businesses, mid-sized organizations, and enterprise-level businesses.
A report published by the Identity Theft Resource Center indicated between 2016 and 2017 there were nearly 1,600 reported data breaches, which was a 44 percent increase from the prior year.
These numbers are likely only going to continue getting higher, particularly with new developments such as a widespread integration of the Internet of Things.
More than half of all cyberattacks also target private businesses, meaning that businesses of all sizes have to be aware of the threats that exist, and always be proactively working to reduce or eliminate them.
From DNS security to antivirus protection, the following are some key things to know to improve network security.
What Is Network Security?
First, the basics. What is network security and what does it entail?
In very general terms network security is what a business (or even an individual) does to protect the IT infrastructure or the network that’s foundational to their organization. A network or infrastructure includes data, applications, software, hardware, programs, and everything similarly managed by your business.
When a business invests the necessary time and resources into thorough network security, it helps to protect their intellectual property and their clients, as well as their reputation and data, and it reduces inefficiency and lost productivity. Read this article to know more about security measures that every small and mid-sized business should implement.
What Are the Different Types of Network Security?
Various types of network security can be put in place at different levels of a network. Some of the types of network security that can be implemented include.
- Access Control: This is a fundamental aspect of any type of network management and security. Access control, simply put, dictates who has access to what on a network. Having a clear outline of access control levels can help organizations more readily recognize if someone is attempting to access their network or if there are non-compliant devices that should be blocked. This can be accomplished by implementing user access reviews to audit all user access changes and permissions.
- Antivirus Software: Another foundational and fairly straightforward part of network security is antivirus or anti-malware protection.
- Application Security: Streamlined application security is becoming a bigger priority for many organizations as they’re increasing the number of software and application platforms they use to manage their business. Any application can have vulnerabilities that leave you exposed to a potential cyber attack, so this is a big one to focus on.
- Email Security: Email is one of the top ways cybercriminals gain access, but protection against email threats can be a bit different than other forms of network security, particularly since phishing attacks can be so difficult to identify.
An important area of focus for many businesses should be on domain name system security or DNS security. DNS attacks are becoming very common, and this is one of the biggest points of vulnerability for organizations.
An estimated 77% of companies have encountered DNS attacks, and the effects have been devastating for many include loss of business and intellectual property theft.
Having an in-depth solution in place for DNS security is important. Some of the benefits of a DNS security solution include.
- Business continuity.
- Protected data and intellectual property.
- Ensuring retained customer trust.
- Strong ROI.
Mobile Device Security
Another component of network security deserving of discussion on its own is mobile device security. Many organizations are becoming increasingly lenient with their device policies, even allowing many employees to bring their own devices. There are other mobile issues at play as well, such as the growing use of corporate applications on personal mobile devices.
A big priority in businesses’ network security strategy should be how to control network access from these devices.
General Tips for Improving Network Security
Beyond the more technical considerations, the following are some general tips for an organization of any size that wants to improve network security.
- Make security part of your business culture,so employees know the importance. Make everyone part of network security so that they feel involved and in-the-loop.
- Have a defined policy in place regarding network security and how it’s to be carried out by individual employees. Train employees thoroughly, and regularly retrain them.
- Keep in-the-know. Threats and issues surrounding network security change quickly, and it’s important to remain ahead of these changes the evolving landscape.
Finally, if you’re a small business, you might want to outsource your data storage to a third-party, which can then help you recover more quickly if a breach does occur.