In this digital age, businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on networked devices. From IoT sensors to desktop computers and mobile devices, employees are now able to access company data from anywhere at any time. This represents an exciting opportunity for businesses – by making their services available 24/7, companies can streamline their processes and increase operational efficiency. Such connectivity can also create numerous security risks for businesses.
In a business-only network, unauthorized users could gain access to sensitive information or initiate malicious code without detection. In addition, without the right safeguards in place, cybercriminals could intercept sensitive data or hack internal systems. Misconfigured IoT devices could have disastrous implications for your company’s reputation. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to maintain network security while introducing new connected devices into your business.
Network Security Basics
There are two major types of network security:
- Physical Security: This refers to physical devices, facilities, and access controls. This includes preventing malicious software, unauthorized access, or misconfigured settings from impacting network devices.
- Logical Security: This refers to the use of encryption to protect data in transit or at rest. This includes preventing malicious software, unauthorized access, or misconfigured settings from impacting network devices. Network security is inherently risk-based – meaning that all organizations have a unique set of risks and vulnerabilities associated with their networks, devices, and data. As such, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to network security. Depending on your organization’s specific risks and requirements, you may need to use a combination of physical and logical security tools to effectively mitigate risks and prevent data breaches.
Network Access Control
Network access control (or NAC) refers to the use of policies and security tools to ensure that only authorized devices can access your network. This can include the use of a network firewall, IDS/IPS, or VPN. A network firewall can be used to identify network devices, check for malicious activity, and block unauthorized access attempts. An IDS/IPS can be used to monitor network traffic for malicious activity and may be integrated with other security tools to automatically block malicious attempts. A VPN can be used to encrypt communications to protect sensitive data and authenticate devices to access your network.
Network Device Security
As with any other device, it is essential to secure network devices against malicious software and unauthorized access. This can be done through the use of network controls consulting services including patch management, vulnerability management, and network segmentation. Patch management refers to the process of identifying and installing software patches to address system vulnerabilities. Network vulnerability management refers to the process of identifying and prioritizing network vulnerabilities. Network segmentation refers to the process of isolating network devices and data to prevent malicious activities from spreading across your network.
Network Protection Tools
Network protection tools can be used to block malicious software from accessing your network. This can be done through the use of antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and firewalls. Antivirus software can be used to identify and block malicious software from accessing your network. An IDS/IPS can be used to monitor network traffic for malicious activity and may be integrated with other security tools to automatically block malicious attempts. A firewall can be used to identify and block malicious software from accessing your network.
As the Internet of Things continues to create new opportunities and streamline business processes, it is important to maintain network security and protect sensitive data. This can be done through the use of network security tools, such as patch management and network segmentation. These tools can be used to address system vulnerabilities, block malicious software, and ensure only authorized devices can access your network.