What Is Network Security?
Network security is any activity designed to protect the usability and integrity of your network and data.
- It includes both hardware and software technologies
- It targets a variety of threats
- It stops them from entering or spreading on your network
- Effective network security manages access to the network
How does network security work?
Network security combines multiple layers of defenses at the edge and in the network. Each network security layer implements policies and controls. Authorized users gain access to network resources, but malicious actors are blocked from carrying out exploits and threats.
How do I benefit from network security?
Digitization has transformed our world. How we live, work, play, and learn have all changed. Every organization that wants to deliver the services that customers and employees demand must protect its network. Network security also helps you protect proprietary information from attack. Ultimately it protects your reputation.
Types of network security
Firewalls put up a barrier between your trusted internal network and untrusted outside networks, such as the Internet. They use a set of defined rules to allow or block traffic. A firewall can be hardware, software, or both.
Email gateways are the number one threat vector for a security breach. Attackers use personal information and social engineering tactics to build sophisticated phishing campaigns to deceive recipients and send them to sites serving up malware. An email security application blocks incoming attacks and controls outbound messages to prevent the loss of sensitive data.
Anti-virus and anti-malware software
“Malware,” short for “malicious software,” includes viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Sometimes malware will infect a network but lie dormant for days or even weeks. The best antimalware programs not only scan for malware upon entry, but also continuously track files afterward to find anomalies, remove malware, and fix damage.
Software-defined segmentation puts network traffic into different classifications and makes enforcing security policies easier. Ideally, the classifications are based on endpoint identity, not mere IP addresses. You can assign access rights based on role, location, and more so that the right level of access is given to the right people and suspicious devices are contained and remediated.
Not every user should have access to your network. To keep out potential attackers, you need to recognize each user and each device. Then you can enforce your security policies. You can block noncompliant endpoint devices or give them only limited access. This process is network access control (NAC).
Any software you use to run your business needs to be protected, whether your IT staff builds it or whether you buy it. Unfortunately, any application may contain holes, or vulnerabilities, that attackers can use to infiltrate your network. Application security encompasses the hardware, software, and processes you use to close those holes.
To detect abnormal network behavior, you must know what normal behavior looks like. Behavioral analytics tools automatically discern activities that deviate from the norm. Your security team can then better identify indicators of compromise that pose a potential problem and quickly remediate threats.
Data loss prevention
Organizations must make sure that their staff does not send sensitive information outside the network. Data loss prevention, or DLP, technologies can stop people from uploading, forwarding, or even printing critical information in an unsafe manner.
Intrusion prevention systems
An intrusion prevention system (IPS) scans network traffic to actively block attacks. Cisco Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) appliances do this by correlating huge amounts of global threat intelligence to not only block malicious activity but also track the progression of suspect files and malware across the network to prevent the spread of outbreaks and reinfection.
Mobile device security
Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile devices and apps. Within the next 3 years, 90 percent of IT organizations may support corporate applications on personal mobile devices. Of course, you need to control which devices can access your network. You will also need to configure their connections to keep network traffic private.
Security information and event management
SIEM products pull together the information that your security staff needs to identify and respond to threats. These products come in various forms, including physical and virtual appliances and server software.
A virtual private network encrypts the connection from an endpoint to a network, often over the Internet. Typically, a remote-access VPN uses IPsec or Secure Sockets Layer to authenticate the communication between device and network.
A web security solution will control your staff’s web use, block web-based threats, and deny access to malicious websites. It will protect your web gateway on site or in the cloud. “Web security” also refers to the steps you take to protect your own website.
Wireless networks are not as secure as wired ones. Without stringent security measures, installing a wireless LAN can be like putting Ethernet ports everywhere, including the parking lot. To prevent an exploit from taking hold, you need products specifically designed to protect a wireless network.
About Security Licences
Class 1 licences are classified into subclasses. The subclasses are:
- Class 1A Unarmed Guard authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard any property while unarmed (and whether while static or mobile)
- Class 1B Bodyguard authorises the licensee to act as a bodyguard or to act in a similar capacity
- Class 1C Crowd Controller authorises the licensee to act as a crowd controller or to act in a similar capacity
- Class 1D Guard Dog Handler authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard any property with a dog
- Class 1E Monitoring Centre Operator authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard any property while carrying on monitoring centre operations
- Class 1F Armed Guard authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard approved classes of property while armed (but only under the authority of a licence or permit to use or possess firearms under the Firearms Act 1996).
Important: A Class 1A, 1B, 1C, 1E or 1F licence does not authorise the licensee to carry on a security activity with a dog.
All holders of Operative licences must be employed by a Master licensee.
Class 2 licences are classified into subclasses. The subclasses are:
- Class 2A Security Consultant authorises the licensee:
o to sell security methods or principles, and
o to act as a consultant by identifying and analysing security risks and providing solutions and management strategies to minimise those security risks
- Class 2B Security Seller authorises the licensee:
o to sell, and provide advice in relation to, security equipment, and
o to sell the services of persons to carry on any security activity, and
o to act as an agent for, or otherwise obtain contracts for, the supply of persons to carry on any security activity, the supply of any security equipment or the supply of any security activity, and
o to broker any security activity by acting as an intermediary to negotiate and obtain any such activity for a person in return for a commission or financial benefit
- Class 2C Security Equipment Specialist authorises the licensee to sell, install, maintain, repair and service, and provide advice in relation to, security equipment (including electronic security equipment and barrier equipment) and to act as a locksmith
- Class 2D Security Trainer authorises the licensee to provide training, assessment or instruction in relation to any security activity.
Important: The authority conferred by a Class 2D licence does not extend to training or instruction in the use of firearms.
Trainers and instructors of security guards and security personnel who use firearms in their employment are approved by the Commissioner under the Firearms Regulation 2006 and are required to be licensed under the Firearms Act 1996.
All holders of operative licences must be employed by a Master licensee.
Master (business) Licences
Master licences are classified into subclasses. The subclasses are:
- Class MA authorises the holder (who is self-employed and who holds a class 1 or class 2 licence, or both) to provide his or her services to carry on security activities
- Class MB authorises the holder to provide no more than 3 persons on any one day to carry on security activities, each of whom must be the holder of a class 1 or class 2 licence
- Class MC authorises the holder to provide no more than 14 persons on any one day to carry on security activities, each of whom must be the holder of a class 1 or class 2 licence
- Class MD authorises the holder to provide no more than 49 persons on any one day to carry on security activities, each of whom must be the holder of a class 1 or class 2 licence
- Class ME authorises the holder to provide an unlimited number of persons on any one day to carry on security activities, each of whom must be the holder of a class 1 or class 2 licence.
A Master licence does not authorise the licensee to enter into any arrangement, by contract, franchise or otherwise, with another person for the purpose of providing persons to carry on security activities unless the other person is the holder of a Master licence or is a corporation holding a visitor permit authorising its holder to carry on security activities of a kind authorised by a Master licence.