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Network security: The different types of network protection

By Academy Xi

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A set of technologies and processes that are used to protect the integrity of a company IT infrastructure from potential cyber threats is known as network security. Let’s explore the different protections available on today’s market.

It’s no secret that major corporations are being plagued by cyber attacks on a regular basis, with ongoing media reports covering the breaches. However, many breaches are occurring that the general public may not be privy to.

While the Australian government is taking an honest look at its cybersecurity frameworks and policies, companies cannot rely on these initiatives alone. 

What is certain is that network security should be a top priority for all businesses, particularly those who hold significant quantities of personal data for their clients, customers and staff, or any other sensitive information that might be attractive to a hacker.

In this article we will take a look at the following:

  • What is a network security key?
  • Benefits of network security
  • Types of network security protections
  • How to get into Cyber Security

What is a network security key?

What is a network security key

To access a local area network, a code or password is required. The most common everyday use for this form of protection are personal Wi-fi network keys, used to access your home internet connection. The goal of having a network security key is to create a secure connection which is only accessible for authorised users.

Benefits of network security

While there are many benefits to having quality network security in place for any business or organisation, some of the biggest pluses are as follows:

  • Risk mitigation

Network security will ensure your business is compliant with any regulations and support your organisation if a breach does take place.

  • Modernises workplace IT

Many businesses who didn’t have network security in place pre-pandemic quickly became well versed on the topic when they were pushed to implement it for remote teams. Network security allows colleagues to collaborate from afar without risk to company systems and data.  

  • Information protection 

No surprises here, but one of the key benefits of network security is minimising risk of unlawful data access. Clients, customers, staff and any other stakeholders need to know that businesses are doing what they can to protect their data.

Types of network security protections

Thankfully, there are a range of network security protections available these days. However, as hackers devise more sophisticated breach techniques, all options need to be regularly tested and updated with the latest versions to stay on top of emerging threats.

  • Firewalls

A network’s first line of defence, firewalls are set to monitor potential incoming threats and are measured against a set of rules established by network administrators. Think of a firewall like a bouncer for your network. 

  • Email security

Deemed as being the most common network security threat, email security applications essentially work to block any incoming threats. These threats most frequently appear in the form of links, which if clicked, download malware, or ignite a phishing attack.

  • Data loss prevention (DLP)

If you’ve ever found yourself unable to upload, download, forward or share a file while working within an organisation, this could be data loss prevention technology (DLP) in action. DLP intentionally disables individuals from being able to share information, particularly if it is classified, with anyone outside of the network.

  • Behavioural analytics

Network administrators use analytics tools to gain a picture of how users typically behave within the system. These tools also enable any unusual activity to be identified, as it could be the beginnings of a possible security threat. By identifying unusual behaviour early on, administrators are able to mitigate issues before they become a larger threat.

  • Application security

Every time a new application or third-party system is integrated into a network, it is vital that it is vetted to avoid the possibility of infiltration from another unknown and potentially unlawful network. This vetting process is the essential aspect of application security. 

  • Antivirus and anti-malware software

You’re likely familiar with some of the anti-virus and anti-malware software on the market. The role they play in network security is to continuously scan and monitor the network it is installed in, spotting any suspicious activity. This in turn adds a level of protection against potential cyber threats.

  • Access control

While many users may need to be able to access a network, not everyone will need the same level of access. Users need to be classified into groups, with each having predetermined levels of access to relevant sections of the network. This will apply to the individual user, as well as to the devices connected to the network.

  • Cloud network security 

Increased efficiencies and productivity are the drawcard for businesses moving to the cloud, but this shift also presents data risks. Cloud computing security needs to be integrated and often includes encryption-based measures. 

How to get into Cyber Security

Whether you’re looking to upskill or reskill, practical, hands-on training is the fastest way to get into Cyber Security

We offer flexible training options to suit your lifestyle, with our Cyber Security Engineering: Transform course seeing you graduate job-ready in only 10 months.

Training with Academy Xi will enable you to develop a full suite of must-have skills for the world of Cyber Security, giving you the chance to:

  • Develop Cyber Security technical and critical thinking skills
  • Perform risk assessments and implement countermeasures
  • Deliver security reports to stakeholders
  • Access industry-experienced mentor sessions
  • Present your project to an expert panel at an industry showcase
  • Prepare for the CompTIA security+ exam
  • Access 24 weeks of guidance from a Career Support Program that helps 97% of graduates straight into industry roles

Want to discuss your training options? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first steps in your Cyber Security journey.