These days, network security is more important than ever. Cybersecurity threats are continuously developing and exploiting businesses more critically. Cybercriminals tailor their attacks according to current developments in security and attacks are getting even more complex and frequent to be able to breach into networks. So, companies must be aware of security threats – both online and offline – and prevent them with various security solutions. If not, businesses can face severe consequences as these malicious actors aim to steal sensitive information. Assessing and determining vulnerabilities of networks is the first step in ensuring network security. This way, companies can deploy specific security solutions and practices to protect their network against cybersecurity attacks.
The most common security threats include malware, zero-day attacks, ransomware, malvertising, pharming, SQL injection attacks, MITM attacks, phishing, social engineering, and many more. According to Statista, the top 3 of the most concerning cyber threats in 2021 were malware, credential abuse attacks, and ransomware in order. Understanding network security threats and solutions is crucial to businesses, especially the most concerning ones. For this reason, let’s look at the best practices for ensuring network security.
1. Training Your Employees
First and foremost, personnel forms the most significant part of a business network. So, training your personnel about potential security risks and prevention methods is crucial to protect overall network security. Educate your employees on different types of malicious attacks, and how to identify and prevent them. This will avert undesirable data breaches mostly due to phishing and social engineering attacks. Cybercriminals aim to trick employees into clicking embedded links or file attachments filled with malicious content. If successful, they will gain access to the corporate network and steal confidential data. So, training employees regularly is required to keep them aware and vigilant all the time. For effective network security, educating every single person using your network is an essential practice.
2. Security Maintenance System
Building effective network security also passes through maintaining it. A proper security maintenance system should include updating software, network names, and passwords, backing up regularly, running activity reports periodically, and communicating changes in security policies. Updating software and operating systems regularly is a great method to prevent Zero-day attacks since they target the vulnerabilities in out-of-date software. Maintaining the integrity of software and configuration, appropriate file system and boot management is also crucial. Additionally, backing up regularly can save you the trouble of losing all valuable information and sensitive data. In case a data breach occurs, corporations should have a recovery plan. This method will minimize downtime and costs. Overall, maintenance is a proactive process. Businesses continuously make sure systems are working properly and communicate changes in security policies.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) ensures your credentials are verified through multiple layers of verification. MFA requires passwords and unique identifiers like a code, PIN, fingerprint, etc. Access management is essential to control who can reach specific information and confidential data. In this process, the identity of individuals should be verified thoroughly. For instance, mobile banking implements multifactor authentication and asks you to verify your login by sending your phone a confirmation code after entering your password. It essentially prevents unauthorized access in the case of stolen passwords.
With multifactor authentication, businesses can also determine if an intruder has gained access to their network and restrict intruders’ actions. Implementing multifactor authentication is an essential practice for organizations with hybrid or remote workforces to ensure network security.
4. Using Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Tools
Anti-virus and anti-malware tools act as the first defense barrier for protecting network security perimeter against malicious cybersecurity threats. Anti-virus and anti-malware software should be installed on every device connected to your corporate network. Because they are designed to detect malicious files and codes and eliminate them. Anti-virus and anti-malware software actively scan for viruses and malware within network devices.
In addition to anti-virus and anti-malware tools, spam filters can be deployed. Spam filters block out malicious traffic with the use of global threat dictionaries. Businesses implement these tools usually for email gateways to prevent phishing attacks. Also, regular updates enable anti-virus and anti-malware software to eliminate tons of new cyber threats.
5. SDP (Software Defined Perimeter) Tools For Deep Security Protection
Since network infrastructures have shifted to a cloud environment, cyber threats have increased just as much. Also, remote and hybrid workforces increase the attack surface of the network. So, network perimeters should be reinforced for secure connections. Traditional network perimeter security methods work less efficiently due to recent developments. That’s why cloud-based security tools should be integrated for better protection. Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) tool is a cloud-based security solution that encrypts every user’s activity on every point of the network, especially when using third-party software, on-premise servers, and remote devices. Individuals only have access to resources with pre-defined privileges and permissions. Strict authorization and network segmentation restrict lateral movement within the network. SDP tools enable businesses to reduce the attack surface significantly around the network perimeter. Software Defined Perimeter tools protect corporate networks while making threat detection easier.
Effective network security is only possible when incorporating identity management, perimeter security, data privacy, security monitoring, and policy management. If one of these key elements is lacking, network security can falter and leave an open door to millions of cyber threats — which might result in severe consequences if confidential data is breached. So, businesses should ensure continuous efforts for upgrading network security while implementing must-have security practices.
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