Network Delivered Threats & Protection - A Brief Guide

By Haseeb Awan

What is Network Security?

The rules, practices, and techniques businesses use to safeguard their networks, and any network traffic or connections fall under the umbrella of network security, a subfield of cybersecurity. Regardless of industry or size, all businesses must be ready for dangers, including network-based attacks, unauthorized access, and data loss.

Network security is essential for safeguarding assets and equipment essential to corporate operations, reducing the attack vector, and stopping sophisticated attacks. Networks are protected both externally and internally using multilayer security methods. There are weaknesses in various places, including end-point hardware, users, software, and data channels.

Networks and organizations have altered recently. Due to the development of the internet of things, cloud computing, edge computing, and the current IT environment are spread (IoT). There are now more security issues due to the widespread shift to remote employment. Network security must move far beyond conventional network boundaries to implement a zero-trust security strategy in 2020.

Common Network Delivered Threats

Phishing

This internet scamming method aims to get personal information like login credentials and credit card numbers. Phishing attacks use fake email communications that impersonate a trustworthy website, banking institution, or personal contact to appear authentic. It deceives the person into responding to the email with credentials and financial data or visiting a malicious Website.

Cyberattacks

Cyberattacks are cybercriminals' actions to harm one or more computing devices or networks. Cyberattacks can carry out nefarious deeds, including taking control of computers, stealing sensitive data, or utilizing compromised machines as a launching pad for other attacks. Attackers utilize a variety of ways to carry out cyberattacks, such as phishing, denial of service (DoS), brute force methods, and the injection of ransomware or malware.

Misconfiguration Exploits

Any risky or improper setting of security measures that exposes the system to jeopardy refers to as a security misconfiguration. Misconfiguration can cause by poor organizational techniques, such as improper documentation of change requests, dependence on defaults, and technical problems impacting end-point modules.

Due to the complexity and continual change of today's network architecture, setup errors can happen for various reasons. Adequate security settings, such as specific network default settings, should be addressed by companies.

Companies must routinely review security measures and configurations to spot drift. More than securing end-point settings is required. Misconfigurations frequently happen from updating and upgrading systems or introducing additional devices to the network.

Malware

A malicious program refers to as malware. Attackers typically utilize it to seize access to the target device, steal important information, or covertly install unwanted apps on the targeted device. Trojan horses, Worms, and Spyware can transmit through infected files, pop-up advertisements, phishing emails, or phoney websites.

Denial-of-Service (DoS)

DoS attacks restrict authorized users from using a particular website's services or data. When a hostile attacker floods the website with unwanted traffic, they happen.

DDoS attacks are comparable to DoS attacks but more challenging to defend. Cybercriminals use a global network of infected systems to perform DDoS attacks.

Rogue Security Software

Spyware deceives users into thinking that their security settings are out-of-date or that malware is on their machines. It requests money for the application or installation and then pushes the user to upgrade security controls or deploy a security enhancement. Users unknowingly download actual malware onto their devices when they attempt to uninstall the presumed virus.

Ransomware

Malicious hackers use ransomware, a type of software, to freeze the target machine and demand money for its restoration. It transmits phishing emails and malicious programs and stops users from encrypting files or running applications; in certain circumstances, it permanently freezes the device.

Network Security Layers

Various layers of defence are necessary for successful network security:

Physical

Companies deploy physical security measures to prevent unauthorized people from physically exploiting their linked devices or network infrastructure. Many businesses also use physical barriers to secure their assets in complement to firewalls and routers, and they employ authorization technologies like ID verification and biometric authentication.

Technical

Companies implement technical security measures to regulate the devices and data on their network. Technical security seeks to thwart hostile activity that could impact data at rest, enterprise systems, and data in transit.

Administrative

Administrative security relates to the rules dictating how users should behave and upholding legal compliance. Procedures for privilege control, user authentication, infrastructure changes, and role assignment are part of this layer.

What is a Network Security Policy?

Network security policies provide compliance procedures and describe the procedures governing access to a computer network. The policy should also describe the infrastructure for implementing security controls across the network in a network security strategy.

In a network security strategy, companies outline their security measures. These measures intend to detect and stop dangerous and destructive conduct within the company (also known as insider threats) while preventing unauthorized individuals from accessing the network.

Understanding what data and services exist in the network, who may access them, what security controls are currently in place, and the possible effects of vulnerability are crucial when developing a network security policy. An efficient policy focuses on essential data, uses already installed security measures (like firewalls), and encourages network segmentation.

A tier of authorized access should be established by security policies, with each user only being allowed access to the appropriate assets. Companies must apply these measures in their IT architecture, such as firewall configurations and network control, in addition, to including them in their official policies.

The organization should consider the following aspects of security policies:

  • The purpose and type of the data
  • The target audience
  • User Conduct
  • Security awareness
  • Access Restrictions
  • User obligations and privileges
  • Additional IT security goals

Automating Network Security Policies in a Modern IT Environment

Previously, the organization used network management solutions to manually establish dynamic network security measures. It was suitable for an on-premise, conventional IT system where modifications were seldom. However, there is a requirement for a central, systematic way to implement security standards in a contemporary network architecture that includes on-premise data centres and numerous public clouds.

The security teams and network administration assists by new technologies, built on the zero trust security model, in effectively defining security measures and enforcing them in hybrid settings. Zero trust access solutions can recognize persons, gadgets, and other entities. Then, they can apply detailed security protocols to decide what should be accessible to them and when.

IT Compliance Policies for Networks

Corporate and Government organizations have implemented standards and laws controlling IT security procedures in response to the growing quantity and intensity of cybersecurity risks aimed against network resources. All companies operating in a related industry must follow these requirements, and Organizations must implement procedures to guarantee compliance.

Given the high costs and legal repercussions of noncompliance, network security compliance is a top issue for administrators.

Thanks to IT compliance policies, organizations can guarantee the proper application of IT security procedures based on recognized industry standards. The proper compliance strategy aids businesses in managing their compliance needs to safeguard confidential information and reduce operational concerns.

Network Security Solutions and Technologies

Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)

IPS is a network edge-deployed dynamic security system that can identify and stop attacks as they are taking place. Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, Brute force attacks, and exploitation of security flaws can all discover by an IPS. It can recognize these negative traffic trends and stop them before it hits the network's critical assets.

Firewall/NGFW

Firewalls can filter data transmission both outbound and inbound. Network operators can configure firewalls using rules that specify what traffic to accept or reject. A firewall is often installed at the network's edge to create a barrier that prevents intruders from accessing network services.

Conventional firewalls operate at layers 3 and 4 of the OSI network model and conduct monitoring. To decide whether to block or allow data packets, they can examine their destination, source IP addresses, and the port and protocol they utilize.

Next-generation firewalls (NGFW), which operate at layer 7 of the network structure (the access layer) and have the capacity to do deep packet analysis, are the mainstay of contemporary network protection (DPI). NGFWs can block and detect malicious app traffic by filtering packets based on the app they design.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP is a cybersecurity tool that locates and stops sensitive data from being altered, erased, or transmitted outside a company's network.

For cybercriminals, critical information is frequently the most precious resource on a network. Insider and external vulnerabilities can exfiltrate data in various ways, such as moving files, transferring them on portable storage, printing them, or transmitting them through messaging applications or email. Each of these techniques can recognize by DLP, which can then be blocked to stop data loss and leaking.

DDoS Protection

DDoS attacks are harmful attempts to temporarily disable access to internet services for users, generally through interfering with the host server's operations. To strengthen defences against DDoS, enterprises must deploy strong, aggressive measures in addition to mitigation mechanisms.

DDoS attacks are becoming more severe, and criminals employ cutting-edge strategies, including simulating application layer traffic. Several DDoS service providers have thus improved their mitigation products to shield organizations from more extensive, sophisticated, and diverse botnet deployments and attacks.

Log Management

Most organizations produce significant amounts of log data from various networks, systems, users, and applications, necessitating an organized procedure for storing and keeping track of the varied data in log files. Log management is the continuous practice of gathering and centrally analyzing, storing, sharing, and filtering data to give actionable info to boost performance, enable troubleshooting, and keep track of security events.

Organizations require an integrated system to gather, store and organize vast quantities of log data rapidly and effectively. Organizations may quickly detect and fix problems by installing a comprehensive management system with sophisticated features and an easy-to-use user interface.

Secure Network Connectivity

Network Access Control (NAC)

NAC is a framework for enterprise-wide network management that aims to regulate which devices may and cannot join the network. It recognizes devices based on their physical (MAC) addresses or by employing sophisticated authentication like certificates. It only permits authorized devices to receive IP addresses and access the company's network.

When authorized devices reach a network from a physical office location in a controlled IT environment, NAC can be a useful security measure. But in a contemporary IT setting, when remote access, BYOD, and application transition to the cloud are commonplace, NAC cannot offer a comprehensive access control system.

Remote Access VPN

Remote users who want to join a network from a mobile device or their home can do so with the help of virtual private networks (VPNs). The network must install a VPN server and configure devices requiring network access with VPN clients. To avoid man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, VPN provides an encrypted, secure communication route.

The main issue with VPNs is that the network implicitly trusts users after users get authorized. It raises several security issues:

  • VPNs often provide access to the entire network. They don't connect with network segmentation technologies and do not have flexible security controls. It enables any intruder who steals user credentials to access every network resource.
  • Password-based verification, which is what VPNs commonly utilize, is highly vulnerable to attack.
  • Because VPNs cannot verify user devices, if a computer is infected, the malware can propagate to the system over the VPN network.
  • SaaS apps and other systems not under the corporation's control cannot be secure using VPNs.

VPN is usually insufficient to safeguard a company's network due to the shift to a remote workforce, giving rise to innovative solutions like ZTNA.

Want Guaranteed Protection Against SIM Swap? Reach Out to Us.