Network Security: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Network security is the collection of technology and practices a business uses in order to safeguard the integrity and usability of its IT infrastructure. This includes all the applications, data, web networks, programs, software, and hardware technologies utilized by the business.

Effective network security prevents threats and unauthorized access to the network. However, threats such as hackers, malware and viruses continuously evolve, so your network security should evolve with them. Regular network security testing can help ensure the integrity of your network.

Common Network Security Attacks

The most common types of network security attacks you might encounter as a business owner are the following:

  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Denial of service (DoS) attack
  • Brute force attacks
  • Session hijacking

Importance of Network Security

The most obvious advantage of effective network security is the prevention of data breaches. However, there are also other several advantages that you can benefit from.

Many businesses that suffer from a form of network security attack tend to shut down because of the repercussions and magnitude of the data loss. Some of them could even face legal charges if the data stored in their system gets leaked. The cost of getting the system back up is also no joke after an attack.

Taking a more proactive stance when it comes to the network security of your business might actually save it if you ever face such an attack. Additionally, a safer and more streamlined network is far more efficient and easier to manage.

Different Types of Testing Network Security blue and grey corded electronic device on top of network

Security threats evolve and become more sophisticated every day. If you neglect to maintain your network security, you are opening up your network to new and maybe catastrophic attacks. This is why it’s a good idea to have your network security tested regularly.

Listed below are some of the most common techniques used for testing network security.

  • Vulnerability scanning. Vulnerability scanning helps provide information regarding security weakness and loopholes that you must improve in your system.
  • Network scanning. This testing technique ensures that all the ports are configured to only allow secured network services.
  • Password cracking. This method identifies weak passwords. It can also help enhance the password criteria of your network.
  • Ethical hacking. This aims to check if your network or system is vulnerable to malicious attacks or unauthorized access.
  • Penetration testing. Penetration testing, also known as pentest, is a simulated attack on the system to find as many security flaws as possible. The endpoints, servers, wireless devices, web applications and network devices are all tested for vulnerability under this testing approach.

Data breaches are more common than you think and have forced many businesses to shut down. Data loss, along with fines and other legal ramifications, can leave your business damaged beyond repair.

An attack on your network or system is not the only way a data breach can occur. Some hackers could also use more covert tactics in getting important information such as usernames and passwords.

Fortunately, strong network security can prevent hackers or malicious software from entering and wreaking havoc on your system or network. So, the best way to combat this is to stop it from happening in the first place.

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