A strong network security framework is important for protecting your small- to mid-sized business (SMB) from various cyberthreats. There are several different tools and devices that you can use to build your framework, with each one playing an important role in fortifying your network defenses. The following are some of the most essential network security solutions that your SMB should consider deploying.
Related reading: Network security threats SMBs should look out for
A firewall is a device or software application that sits between your internal network and the public internet and helps protect your systems and data from unauthorized access and attacks. It can be used to block incoming traffic from known malicious sources, as well as outgoing traffic to prevent data leaks. It works by inspecting each network packet and determining whether it should be allowed through or not based on a set of predefined rules. These rules can be customized based on the source, destination, and contents of the packet.
Intrusion prevention system
An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a type of security appliance or software that monitors network traffic for signs of malicious activity, such as port scans, malware infections, and attempted intrusions. If suspicious activity is detected, the IPS can take action to block the traffic or isolate the affected systems to prevent further damage. Unlike a firewall that sits on the perimeter of your network, an IPS works from inside your network and can provide an extra layer of protection against known and sophisticated attacks.
Antivirus and anti-malware software
Malware, or malicious software, is a type of software designed to damage or disable computers and systems. It comes in many different forms, with some variations immediately encrypting files and rendering systems inoperable, while others quietly collect data and send it back to attackers without your knowledge. A virus, in particular, is a type of malware that can self-replicate and spread to other systems, making it a major threat to businesses. Antivirus and anti-malware software can help detect and remove malware and infections from your systems before it does any damage.
Advanced threat protection
Advanced threat protection (ATP) uses a combination of techniques, such as sandboxing and machine learning, to detect and block sophisticated attacks that traditional security solutions may not be able to detect. Once it identifies a threat, an ATP solution can take action to quarantine the affected system and prevent the malware from spreading, as well as update threat intelligence databases to make detection easier for future investigations.
Network access control
Network access control (NAC) is a type of security solution that helps you manage and secure the devices that are allowed to connect to your network. It does so by requiring devices to meet certain security criteria, such as having the latest security updates installed and being free of malware, before they’re allowed access. NAC can also be used to restrict access to certain parts of your network based on the type of device, its location, or the user who’s trying to access it.
Email and web filters
There are numerous email and web-based threats that can put your systems and data at risk, such as spam messages, phishing attacks, and dangerous websites like fake app stores and peer-to-peer file sharing sites. Deploying email and web filters can help you protect your systems from these threats by scanning email messages and website content for malicious code or links, and then blocking them before they can reach your users.
Security information and event management
Security information and event management (SIEM) is a type of security solution that collects and analyzes security-related data from across your network. These include log files from firewalls and IPSes, network traffic data, and event logs from systems and applications. SIEM tools then use this data to generate reports that can help you detect and investigate security incidents, as well as track down the source of attacks. Using SIEM can help you get a better understanding of what’s happening on your network so you can take action to improve your security posture and monitor your compliance with industry policies and regulations.
These tools and devices are just a few of the essential components of a strong network security framework. By using a combination of these solutions, you can help keep your systems and data safe from the ever-growing number of threats.
Related reading: 7 Steps to effectively secure your business network
When it comes to network security, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important to tailor your security strategy to fit your SMB’s specific needs. For more information on how to do this, get in touch with one of our experts at outsourceIT today.