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What are the Ways to Improve Network Security?

According to Deloitte research conducted late last year, half of the respondents claimed that the Covid-19 outbreak will cause them to boost their wireless networking spending. Improving network security and meeting the increased bandwidth needs of distant workers were also at the top of the list.

The modern corporation must be able to connect to the "anywhere perimeter," which is a growing ecosystem of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, global workforces, and mobile devices. While 5G networks deliver on their promise of providing corporations with more speed and capacity, the everywhere perimeter continues to thwart businesses' efforts to safely and quickly connect users to the resources they require.

Because of the challenges of securing this new landscape, IT leaders are looking for a network security solution that will enable them to deploy consistent security policy enforcement at the network edge.

Network security is critical. Securing your network will help to secure the integrity of your company's data and will help to ensure that your systems are not breached. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to strengthen your network security and lower the danger of an attack on your company. Here, we give seven tactics that you may do right away to keep your business functioning. Protections range from improving passwords to collaborating with suppliers on network monitoring services.

1. Train Your Employees

Firstly, people, are the foundation of every solid cybersecurity plan. The majority of your non-IT personnel probably believe that network security has nothing to do with them, which is incorrect. Finally, everyone in your company is to some part responsible for data security. And education is the most effective strategy to encourage the appropriate amount of involvement and sensible behaviors.

Everyone in your company should be aware of their roles and responsibilities in terms of network security, not just in terms of how they utilize technology and devices to do their duties, but also in terms of how they may alter their behaviors to assist lower the risks of intrusion. Inform your employees about the overall dangers and consequences of data breaches. Provide clear and helpful content on topics such as the most prevalent phishing warning flags and how to enhance and safeguard passwords.

We urge that you train your employees, both old and new, on the role they can play in protecting your company's data on a regular basis. Depending on your preferences, this can take place in person or online. If you're looking for a vendor to help you with network security monitoring or data backup, seek one that specializes in high-quality, customized, and effective training and education tailored to your company's specific needs.

2. Keep an Eye on Software Vulnerabilities

One of the most important activities you can take to strengthen the overall cybersecurity posture of your home and office networks and systems is to perform regular software upgrades. Software updates frequently include essential patches and security fixes for newly found threats and vulnerabilities, in addition to new features and capabilities. Most current software programs will check for freshly published updates automatically. If automated updates are not accessible, consider acquiring a software tool that discovers and maintains all installed software updates centrally.

Almost every business now employs a number of software products from various providers. Some of these programs are compatible with both the workplace network and the Internet. As software upgrades and vulnerabilities are introduced, network administrators must keep an eye on them.

3. Be Careful Responding to Emails

The recent Google attack employed a traditional email technique known as phishing. Employees in this fraud are sent an email claiming to be from their bank, social networking site, or another well-known website. Employees click on it because the emails appear plausible, and they arrive at a site that looks like their bank or another site, where they are prompted to submit a login, password, and other essential information. According to the New York Times, spear-phishing is a more malevolent kind. In this situation, consumers get an email attachment that looks to be from a specific acquaintance or even a colleague at the same organization. Employees must thus use caution while reading and replying to emails, even from reputable sources.

Phishing attacks continue to be one of the most serious cybersecurity risks this year. It is beneficial to train personnel on how to detect phishing efforts. To assist staff in identifying phishing efforts, several firms employed the following tips:

  • Showing phishing email samples
  • Recognizing red flags in these emails
  • Reminding them to always check the sender's email address and not to open email attachments from unfamiliar sources
  • Conducting a real-world test to evaluate whether the workforce can still detect phishing emails.
  • Give them extra instruction till they understand.

4. Physically Protect Your Network

According to myth, the most secure computer is one that is behind in a closed room. It has to be turned off. Obviously, this is not a computing setup that will work for the majority of enterprises, but the overall premise that separating computers promotes security holds true. The most fundamental action you can take to improve network security is to protect your hardware so that unauthorized persons cannot access it.

Securing hardware is critical because if a person has physical access to a device, there is nearly always a means for them to take control of it or extract data from it.

Your network is most susceptible at the hardware level, at the very bottom of the networking hierarchy. A misplaced laptop, an exposed USB connection, or a simple network tap may all serve as a conduit for rapid and catastrophic data loss that no firewall can protect.

However, by prohibiting physical access to networking equipment, you may build up the most effective network security. From basic port locks to complex remote monitoring systems, there are several ways to protect the physical security of your network. They all have one thing in common: they restrict network hardware access to prevent illegal network device modification or data theft.

Network security is frequently based on the well-known OSI model, which divides networking into seven levels. When information travels from one network node to another, control is handed from one layer to the next, beginning at Layer 7 at the transmitting node, moving down to Layer 1, across to the next node, and then returning to Layer 7 at the receiving node.

A comprehensive network security strategy tackles security at all OSI levels, beginning with hardware security and progressing through the layers to include password protection, encryption, VPNs, virus scanning, and firewalls.

A security barrier at each Layer protects the network from all types of cyber-attacks and ensures total network security.

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Layer 1 (Physical Layer): Defines the electrical and mechanical properties of networking equipment such as voltage levels, signal timing, data rate, maximum transmission length, transmission media, network topology, and physical connections.

Layer 1 security may be roughly characterized as physical security keeping people physically away from hardware that contains unlawful data and safeguarding that hardware from intentional or unintentional harm.

Network security begins at Layer 1 and works its way up. You must first manage physical access to a network before you can worry about data security. Expensive and complicated software solutions won't help you if your network hardware isn't adequately protected, to begin with. Your critical data might be strolling out the door in someone's pocket the week after you buy that sophisticated firewall.

5. Use VLAN

Before looking into what a VLAN entails, it's a good idea to first grasp a local area network (LAN). A LAN is simply a set of computers that are all connected inside a specific geographical region (such as an office).

A VLAN is similar to a LAN, except it allows various computers and devices to be virtually linked to one other as if they were in a LAN sharing a single broadcast domain. In certain ways, a VLAN functions as a mini-separate network within a LAN. A VLAN is useful for business use since it can be used to divide a larger network into smaller portions. Distinct VLANs can be used for different groups of users, departments, functions, and so on, as indicated in the image below, without requiring to be in the same geographical region.

Network segmentation improves a network's security, stability, and efficiency. A VLAN may be used in a variety of ways to meet the demands of an organization. One common application for a VLAN is to isolate guest traffic from staff traffic by segmenting the network. This enables visitor users to connect to the internet while not being on the same network as workers. VLANs can also be used to restrict user access to certain network segments, allowing only authorized users to access networks containing extremely sensitive information. The example of the guest/staff suits this circumstance, but another example would be to segregate finance personnel from HR employees. This segmentation not only isolates user traffic but also improves safety and usability.

6. Improve Your Password

Because it is difficult to remember different passwords, most people use similar, if not identical, passwords for all of their accounts. One of the many issues with this practice is that an attacker only needs to guess one password to gain access to all of your accounts. To circumvent this, use a secure password generator to generate difficult and unique passwords for each account, then use a password management tool like LastPass to keep track of them.

Use reasonably difficult passwords and update them at least once every 90 days. Simple passwords such as "Password01" or "Admin1" should never be used. You can alter the recommended password procedures with a Microsoft-based network Active Directory. (This function may have been disabled if you are not forced to update your password every quarter.)

Here are some more password-strengthening tips:

  • Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers to make it at least eight characters long. A typical rule of thumb is that the longer you are, the stronger you are. Even better if you can design a password with 12 to 15 characters.
  • Use a password that does not occur in a dictionary.
  • Use of your home phone number, address, name, social security number, or any other identifying or potentially public information should be avoided.
  • Passwords should not be reused across several accounts. Bad actors can access several accounts if your password is compromised.
  • Use a password manager, such as 1Password or LastPass, to assist you in creating strong, one-of-a-kind passwords.
  • Allowing your browser to remember your password is not a good idea. While it is convenient, it is not the safest method.
  • Don't reveal your password to anyone, in person or online. Phishing emails, for example, will frequently try to obtain this information from you; many are clever enough to appear legitimate.

7. Encrypt the Entire Network

Encrypting an entire network is also possible. IPsec is one option. A Windows Server can function as the IPsec server, while Windows also supports the client capabilities natively. However, the encryption process can be a significant overhead strain on the network, resulting in significant drops in effective throughput rates. There are additional proprietary network encryption solutions available from network providers, many of which use a Layer 2 method rather than a Layer 3 technique like IPsec to reduce latency and overhead.

VPNs, or virtual private networks, are mostly used to increase online privacy. VPNs encrypt your data, making it impossible for a hacker to determine what you are doing online or where you are situated. The VPN's security flows through the router, so even if the router's encryption is hacked, you still have the VPN encryption to make your data unreadable.

A VPN can help you protect your IP address if you're wondering how to secure your IP address. A VPN changes your IP address, making it look as though you are using your device from somewhere other than your home address. VPNs may be used on desktop computers, laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets.

How to Improve Wired Network Security?

Because Wi-Fi has no physical boundaries, we sometimes focus more on the wireless side of the network when it comes to security. After all, when sitting in the parking lot, a war driver can identify your SSID and begin an attack.

However, in a world of insider threats, targeted assaults from the outside, and hackers who employ social engineering to obtain physical access to corporate networks, the security of the network's wired section should be a high priority.

So, whether you're a small corporation or a major organization, here are some fundamental security steps you may take for the network's wired side.

  1. Conduct auditing and mapping.

  2. Keep the network up to date.

  3. Make the network physically secure.

  4. Think about MAC address filtering.

  5. Use VLANs to separate traffic

  6. Authenticate with 802.1X

  7. Use VPNs to encrypt certain computers or servers.

  8. Ensure that the entire network is encrypted.

How is Pentesting Used to Improve Network Security?

Penetration testing, often known as pen-testing (or ethical hacking), is a way of doing security testing on a network system used by a business or other organization. Pen tests use a variety of approaches to explore a network in order to uncover possible vulnerabilities and test them to guarantee they are real.

When penetration testing is done correctly, the results allow network specialists to provide suggestions for resolving problems uncovered during the pen test. The primary goal of the pen test is to strengthen network security and safeguard the whole network and associated devices from future attacks.

Penetration testing is one of the most critical methods for not only identifying but also prioritizing security flaws in your network. Continue reading to learn the top ten reasons why you should be pen-testing.

  1. Real-world Experience: Pen-tests provide you with real-world experience dealing with an assault. Penetration testing should be conducted without informing the personnel in order to determine if the security safeguards in place are effective. Consider it a security drill. In this manner, you may test your security systems without the risk of a data breach.
  1. Risk Prioritization: Pen-testing allows you to prioritize your risks. Scanner data is quite useful for determining whether vulnerabilities exist in your network. However, without any priority, how does your team determine which of these vulnerabilities to fix first? With penetration testing, you can determine which vulnerabilities will have the most impact on your network and allocate your time and resources appropriately.
  1. Provide Developer Training: The findings of a penetration test may be used to teach developers to make fewer mistakes. A penetration test detects backdoors, misconfigurations, and other vulnerabilities in your network. By using this knowledge to instruct your engineers, you can avoid making these mistakes in the future and increase your security.
  1. Discover Vulnerabilities: One of the most apparent reasons to pen-test is to find weaknesses in your network. Penetration testing assaults your network in the manner of a hacker, doing everything necessary to penetrate it. This is a fantastic incentive to have a third party do a penetration test on your network, even if it's only once or twice a year.
  1. Determine the Attack Vector's Feasibility: Determine the viability of attack vectors. We believe you understand how attackers would get access to your system; but, the findings of a penetration test can provide you with clarity in your judgments or the knowledge needed to focus your resources on a riskier attack vector.
  1. Evidence-based Investing: Provide evidence to promote higher security investment or to demonstrate the benefit of your present security technologies. We all know that time, money, and resources are three things that we will never have enough of. However, demonstrating the value of these solutions to your leadership team may help justify your need for more resources or illustrate the value of your current team and solutions.
  1. Ensure Compliance: In the payment card sector, PCI-DSS requirements require both yearly and continuous penetration testing (after any system changes).

  2. Post-Incident Analysis: After an organization has been infiltrated, your business must discover the attack vectors utilized to obtain access to your system. Penetration testing, in conjunction with forensic analysis by your security team, may re-create the attack chain in order to validate new security measures to avoid a similar attack in the future.

  1. Increase Security Response Time: Penetration testing is a real-world hack on your system, and your security team should perceive it as such. Penetration testing not only tells you how long it will take an attacker to penetrate your system but also tells you how equipped your security team is to deal with the danger.
  1. Comprehend Lateral Movement: Bridge the gap with security operations to comprehend lateral movement. As we previously stated, attackers are targeting your system in whatever way they can. Penetration testing can show you the lateral movement to enable your team and your security operations team to work collaboratively to stop those channels.

How Does a Firewall Improve Network Security?

A firewall is a hardware or piece of software that regulates what data may travel through it. A firewall in a network can be used to:

  • Separate an unsafe network segment from the secure area where your most sensitive data is controlled.
  • Keep all wireless data traffic distinct from your wired network. However, unless you have technical understanding, you may find it impossible to set up a firewall in this manner without the assistance of an IT specialist. If you already have an internet connection, you most likely have a firewall in place. However, don't think that you can utilize this to defend your WLAN. Depending on the configuration of your network, you may require an extra device. Unless you have in-house IT security expertise, you should obtain guidance from an experienced consultant to help you construct your network. It's critical to remember that no one solution can guarantee security against current network vulnerabilities. In most circumstances, the easiest approach to secure your wireless network is to do the following:
    • Set up and manage the network and the devices connected to it proper use of necessary safety measures
    • Educate your employees on appropriate usage and networking best practices

Installing a firewall on your home network will safeguard it from potential dangers. It will block harmful communications and prevent unwanted access attempts. Most routers include built-in firewalls. Some network security features include distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, web filtering, and access control.

In the workplace. People expect to be flexible at work and to get things done quickly. Advanced Firewall (Zenarmor) allows you to create restrictions at a more detailed level.

Why is Network Security Important?

Network security is critical for both household and commercial networks. Most houses with high-speed internet connections have one or more wireless routers, which may be hacked if they are not adequately protected. A strong network security system lowers the danger of data loss, theft, and sabotage.

Governments, organizations, and individuals who own computers all require adequate network security. What precisely is it? It's a precautionary approach to protect your network and data against viruses, unauthorized users, and other risks. The procedure necessitates the use of several physical devices and technologies, such as routers, firewalls, and anti-malware software. Network security is critical for large enterprises and governments, but everyone deserves a safe and secure network. Here are twelve of them:

  1. It is a critical component of cybersecurity.

  2. Network security safeguards your data.

  3. Network security safeguards client data.

  4. Network security is essential.

  5. Network security boosts network performance.

  6. Ransomware is protected by network security.

  7. The number of cyberattacks is increasing.

  8. The cost of not having protection is monetary.

  9. Network security is a profitable industry.

  10. The world is reliant on technology.

What is Network Security Tools?

Network security technologies, which can be software or hardware-based, assist security teams in protecting their organization's networks, key infrastructure, and sensitive data against cyber assaults. Depending on the exact job that security teams are attempting to perform, a variety of technologies can be employed.

"Network security" and "security tools" relate to a wide range of equipment, techniques, and procedures. In its most basic form, it is a collection of tactics used to defend the system, accessibility, applications, confidentiality, data, and network against cyber-attacks. Network security is a must-have ability for preventing unauthorized data access, identifying theft, and staying safe from cyber-attacks. There are just a few different sorts of network security, including information security, application security, cybersecurity, operational security, disaster recovery, and so on.

This part will provide a list of the Best Network Security Tools that any business or person may use to safeguard their networks.

  1. Syxsense Manage

  2. SolarWinds Security Event Manager

  3. ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

  4. Argus

  5. Splunk

  6. Aircrack

  7. Wireshark

  8. Tcpdump

  9. Nagios

  10. Snort

  11. Teramind DLP

  12. Burp Suite

  13. Nmap

  14. KisMAC