Network security tools help businesses protect sensitive information besides ensuring their credibility. Every company needs network security tools to assess network risks.
Before delving into the importance of network security tools, let’s first understand what network security is and why it is crucial for businesses.
Network security refers to a set of technologies, policies, and practices implemented to safeguard the integrity and usability of an organisation’s infrastructure by preventing outside threats from entering the network.
Moreover, it involves identifying unauthorised access to computer resources, misuse of those resources, or modifications to those resources, and denying access to them.
The increasing number of malicious hackers seeking to attack computers and other internet-enabled devices emphasises the need for cyber security.
Cybercrimes in India are increasing at an alarming rate, like many other countries.
There were 2,08,456 cyber-related crimes reported in the country in 2018. Moreover, 2,12,485 cases were reported in the first two months of 2022 alone, surpassing the total number of cases reported in 2018.
The proliferation of cyber threats requires every organisation, regardless of size, to implement effective network security solutions.
As today’s network architecture has become more complex, attackers are constantly tracking vulnerabilities and looking for new ways to exploit them.
Such vulnerabilities can exist across various areas, including data, devices, applications, locations, and users. Several network security tools are available today to address this issue.
Network security tools protect networks, sensitive data, and critical infrastructure for business. Such tools are of two types–software-based and hardware-based. They help address individual threats, exploits, and non-compliant regulatory issues.
IT Security teams of an organisation use various network security tools depending on the specific security issue they are looking to resolve. For example, perimeter network security tools help prevent network-based threats from entering the environment.
Tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and network-based antivirus programs fall under this category. Likewise, advanced network security tools like packet analysers and network mappers are usually used to detect potential vulnerabilities in DDoS and spear phishing attacks.
The multifaceted nature of cyber attacks and their extended execution period have created weaknesses in traditional threat prevention methods.
Therefore, malware detection and response tools have become increasingly critical to detect and prevent malicious activity on the network resulting from non-malware attacks.
Considering the intensity of phishing attacks and email scams witnessed over the last few years, it is evident that businesses need more than a perimeter-focused security approach to manage their exposure to risks.
Here are a few benefits of network security tools:
Here are some critical network security tools that every organisation must use:
Network Security strongly depends on Firewalls, especially Next-Gen Firewalls, which focus on blocking malware and application-layer attacks.
They analyse each message and block those that violate the specified security parameters; hence, firewalls are essential to daily computing. Besides controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic, firewalls also prevent malicious traffic from entering the network.
There are several ways to implement a firewall, including software, hardware, or a combination of both.
Nevertheless, firewalls have certain limitations, as skilled hackers can easily replicate firewalls. Despite this limitation, firewalls effectively protect less complicated cyber attacks on network systems.
IDS (Intrusion Detection System)/IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) are network security tools that offer protocol analysis.
These tools are installed behind firewalls and provide protocol analysis for compliance audit against the protocol’s publicly declared specifications. These network security tools can also match signatures on different parts of a data packet.
A sandbox is similar to an IDS/IPS but doesn’t need signatures to function. By emulating an end-system environment, a sandbox can determine whether malware objects are trying to perform port scans.
It is designed to identify, prevent, and eliminate viruses such as Trojan, worms, spyware, rootkits, adware, ransomware, keyloggers, or other malware threats on a PC, IT systems, or network.
The auto-update feature in an antivirus program enables it to detect viruses and new cyber threats regularly. Antivirus software programs can also scan emails to ensure they are free from malicious attachments and web links.
Also known as PKI, this network security tool helps users and computers to exchange data securely over the internet.
It also verifies the authenticity of the other party. Besides encrypting server communication, PKI controls the distribution and detection of public encryption keys.
It can solve myriad cybersecurity problems and, therefore, is a must-have network security tool for an organisation’s network security.
Cyber Criminals and hackers use sophisticated software to attack an organisation’s security. Thus, businesses must stay vigilant and equip themselves with more robust cybersecurity tools.
Managed detection and response helps with security monitoring, incident response, incident analysis, threat intelligence, and threat hunting. The tool is ideal for organisations with limited resources that want to improve their ability to detect and respond to threats.
It plays a crucial role in the age of cloud computing. Using a load balancer’s offloading functionality, an organisation can defend itself against distributed denial-of-service attacks.
A public cloud provider transfers attack traffic from the corporate server to the public cloud.
Network security tools have their own share of disadvantages as well. For instance, password authentication takes a lot of time.
To ensure security, such tools often require dual authentication using two different passwords for accessing any document. Additionally, the tool often directs users to type in several sample passwords before finalising one, which takes a lot of time.
Also, network security systems can be costly to install. Especially for smaller networks, purchasing network security tools and installing them can be expensive as network security involves the protection of a network of computers storing vast volumes of data. Therefore, a high level of security is definitely going to cost more.
Furthermore, managing large networks requires proficient technicians capable of tackling security issues. Thus, businesses must hire a skilled network administrator to ensure the network’s seamless functioning. Also, they must be trained to upgrade their skills.
In a world plagued by cyber threats, network security tools, despite their disadvantages, are a boon for businesses. As a result, the advantages of such tools outweigh their disadvantages.
Network security should be a priority for any organisation that uses networks and systems. Besides safeguarding an organisation’s data and assets from being misused, network security tools also control network traffic effectively.
Further, such tools enhance the performance of networks and ensure the maintenance of security across company staff, while also enhancing security when sharing data.
Are you looking for further advice on improving security in your organisation? Please reach out to us, our team would be happy to assist you.