Types of Network Security

The 8 Major Types of Network Security

Sebastian AbbinantiPerspectives

Cybercrime is the fastest-growing form of criminal activity. As of 2022, the cybercrime industry is worth more than all of the world’s illegal drug trafficking trades combined.

Now more than ever, companies must do everything possible to protect their sensitive data. Luckily, network security is advancing just as quickly as cybercrime, so businesses have a lot of options.

In this article, we’ll examine the eight different types of network security. We will explain how these network security types work and what they can do to protect your business.

8 Important Network Security Types You Need to Know About

1. Network Segmentation

One of the best ways to protect your data is to set boundaries between your internal network and the internet. Without this precaution, it is easy for hackers to gain unauthorized access to your systems.

Most companies segment their networks further. It is best practice to divide your internal network into smaller networks called subnets. Subnets will give you more control over your network traffic and prevent employees from seeing confidential information.

Additionally, segmented networks perform better. Traffic flows faster when each subnet has less of it. If there is a technical issue or cyber attack, it remains isolated and will not compromise your whole computer system.

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2. Email Security

According to a report by Verizon, 94% of malicious software is downloaded from email attachments. The reason why email attacks are so effective is because they usually target people with limited cybersecurity training. 

Training your employees to protect your network is incredibly important. Everyone on your team needs to understand what a malicious email looks like and how to recognize social engineering tactics.

You can also protect your company with an email screening tool. These tools will stop malicious emails from entering your corporate inboxes. They also mitigate internal threats by preventing employees from sending sensitive information over email.

3. Encryption

There are two major types of encryption in network security. AES requires the receiver to have a specific access key, and RSA encodes data with a public key. Both encryption methods are highly secure. The main difference between them is their usage.

AES is recommended for sharing data between parties with close contact and RSA is better for transferring data between parties with little to no contact. All encryption methods take text and encode it into an unreadable format called cipher text.

During transmission, malicious interceptors will only be able to see the cipher text. This will prevent a security breach because even if a hacker accesses the file, the information is unusable. 

4. Access Control

Access control is a bare minimum requirement for secure networks. Basic access controls include username and password authentication and single sign-on (SSO). Without it, any user can easily gain network access. 

However, it is best practice to go beyond this basic level of control. Most organizations implement two-factor authentication (2FA) requirements. 2FA authentication means that a user must verify their identity through a secondary means, such as an SMS message.

Research shows that 81% of breaches are caused by a stolen password, which highlights the importance of two-factor authentication. A malicious actor can use a stolen password to cause a data breach, but they are not likely to have both the password and the 2FA method. 

Network Security Types

5. Network Scanning

Regular scanning is an effective way to detect threats and vulnerabilities before they affect your system. There are a few different types of scanning in network security that you should consider. 

  • Network scans to detect devices that are connected to your network.
  • Wireless scans to detect suspicious Wi-Fi connections.
  • Rogue port scans to check unfamiliar ports, such as USBs and personal devices.
  • Host-base scans to detect vulnerabilities in your servers and workstations.
  • Database scans to check your database or databases for weak points.
  • Application scans to screen software applications for security threats.

In all types of scans, an automated scanning tool screens the item and its associated assets. From there, it will provide you with a report that lists your system’s potential weaknesses so you can make informed decisions about patching them.

6. Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)

IPS includes any number of software and hardware tools that detect threats before they reach other security layers. An IPS is your first layer of security and functions by reducing the workload on other security tools.

Typically, IPS tools run automatically. They can usually patch any detected vulnerabilities instead of just reporting them. This feature helps save your cybersecurity team a lot of time on neutralizing uncomplex threats.

Most companies program their IPS to block suspicious IP addresses. They can also add IP addresses to your denylist if the user behaves unusually. For example, an IPS may block a certain IP if it has multiple unsuccessful login attempts.

An intrusion prevention system is particularly effective against denial of service (DoS) attacks. This is because DoS attackers target system bugs and exploit them to force a system crash. An IPS can detect and patch these bugs before a DoS actor finds them.

7. Application Security

Software applications are easy entry points for criminals. Outdated applications are full of vulnerabilities and many malicious actors program malware into downloadable apps. 

Additionally, hackers can access your network through connected devices. This means that if one of your employees has a compromised app on their phone, the hacker can use that phone’s Wi-Fi connection to enter your network.

Furthermore, your devices may have applications on them that you don’t know about. It is difficult to screen or keep these applications up-to-date if your team isn’t aware they exist. 

It is important to regularly screen your network for all assets, even if they don’t explicitly seem like a threat. 

8. Wireless Security

Wireless internet access is expected at most professional organizations. However, having a large wireless network increases your company’s attack surface. This doesn't mean you should shrink your network. Instead, it means that you need effective Wi-Fi security.

There are three major types of wireless security: 

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) uses simple data encryption to hide information from unauthorized viewers.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) uses a more advanced form of data encryption and requires user authentication.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) is the second iteration of WPA that implements a higher level of security in its encryption and authentication protocols.

Alongside wireless protection, you should have standards on which Wi-Fi networks your employees can use for work. Attackers will sometimes use fake Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas to invade devices. Encourage your team to avoid public Wi-Fi networks.

Protect Your Business With Multiple Types of Network Security

Now that you have a good understanding of the different types of network security, it’s time to determine which of them represents the best possible fit for your business’s needs.

The Isidore Group understands types of network protocols. Our experts will consult your IT team about the best types of network security for your organization. We would be happy to discuss your current standards and offer advice on how you can enhance them.

Contact us today to learn more about our simplified IT solution that keeps your network scalable and secure.