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Definition of Network security

What is network infrastructure security

Network infrastructure security, typically used in business tech environments, is a set of measures designed to protect the core networking infrastructure. These measures aim to prevent unauthorized access, modifications, deletions, and theft of resources and data.

The security methods involve controls over access, application security, firewalls, virtual private networks (VPN), behavioral analytics, intrusion prevention systems, and wireless security. Each of these systems serves as a potential vulnerability for hackers seeking to introduce malicious software into target networks. Here are the major risks: 

  • Gateway risk. Unauthorized access to a gateway router provides hackers with the ability to surveil, alter, and obstruct traffic entering and leaving the network. 
  • Infiltration risk. By gaining increased control over internal routing and switching devices, hackers can monitor, alter, and block traffic between crucial hosts within the network. By exploiting the trusted relationships among internal hosts, they can later move on to other hosts. 

How network infrastructure security works 

Network infrastructure security functions as a layered defense mechanism, employing strategies to fortify different elements of the network. There are 5 layers: 

Physical security 

Physical safeguards, such as access control systems, surveillance cameras, and secure data centers, restrict physical access to network components, preventing unauthorized tampering or theft. 

Access control 

Related to mechanisms, such as firewalls, authentication protocols, and the Zero Trust security model, it regulates access to network resources and ensures only authorized users and devices can connect to the network or access sensitive data. 

Network monitoring 

Continuous network monitoring tools analyze network traffic patterns and identify anomalies that may indicate suspicious activity or potential attacks. 

Vulnerability management 

Regular vulnerability scanning and patching processes identify and address network device and software weaknesses, reducing the attack surface. 

Incident response 

There are incident response plans that outline procedures for detecting, investigating, and remediating security breaches, minimizing damage, and restoring normal operations. 

Types of network infrastructure security

Network infrastructure security encompasses various security domains: 

Endpoint security. Protects devices like laptops, desktops, and mobile phones that connect to the network, employing antivirus, anti-malware, and endpoint firewalls. 

Perimeter security. Secures the network's edge, where external networks connect, using firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to filter and block unauthorized traffic. 

Data security. Safeguards data at rest and in transit, employing encryption techniques, data loss prevention (DLP) tools, and access control mechanisms. 

Wireless security. Protects wireless networks from unauthorized access and eavesdropping using strong encryption protocols, network segmentation, and access control lists. 

Cloud security. Secures cloud-based infrastructure and applications, utilizing cloud access security brokers (CASBs), cloud-native security tools, and data encryption. 

A comprehensive network infrastructure security strategy is crucial for protecting organizations from evolving cyber threats. By combining physical, logical, and data security measures, organizations can build a resilient network that safeguards their valuable assets and maintains business continuity.

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