Along with the continuous advancements in networking, new security threats are seemingly on the rise day by day. The dynamic nature of attacks demands dynamic multipoint security solutions.
Network management systems, with their monitoring capabilities and unified views of infrastructure dynamics, provide IT organizations with a powerful weapon in the fight against cyber threats. To secure today’s distributed networks, IT teams must also develop defense-in-depth strategies that combine network-applied security technologies with best practices.
The following products should be part of every IT organization’s network security toolset:
1. Intrusion detection and prevention systems
IDS and IPS tools help IT personnel identify and protect their wired and wireless networks against several types of security threats. These technologies, like several other categories of network security tools, are being deployed with increasing frequency as networks increase in size and complexity. IPS’ annual revenue is expected to more than double between 2012 and 2017 (from $1.21 billion to $2.44 billion) according to estimates by research and analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.
IDS and IPS solutions detect threat activity in the form of malware, spyware, viruses, worms and other types of attacks, as well as threats posed by policy violations. IDS tools passively monitor and detect suspicious activity; IPS tools perform active online monitoring and can prevent attacks from known and unknown sources. Both types of tools can identify and classify types of attacks.
Network anti-malware tools help administrators identify, block, and remove malware. They allow IT to tailor its anti-malware policies to identify known and unknown malware sources, for example, or monitor specific users and groups.
Malware is always on the lookout for network vulnerabilities – in security defenses, operating systems, browsers, applications and popular targets such as Adobe Flash, Acrobat and Reader – that they can exploit. to fully access a victim’s network. Best practices call for a multi-pronged defense which could also include IP address blacklists, data loss prevention (DLP) tools, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, web browsing policies, a outbound filtering and outbound traffic proxies.
3. Mobile Device Management
MDM software enhances network security by remotely monitoring and controlling security configurations, enforcing policies, and pushing patches to mobile devices. Additionally, these systems can remotely lock lost, stolen, or compromised mobile devices and, if necessary, erase all stored data.
4. Network Access Control
NAC products enforce security policy by granting only policy-compliant devices access to network assets. They manage authentication and access authorization functions and can even control what data specific users access, based on their ability to recognize users, their devices and their roles on the network.
5. Next Generation Firewall
This technology extends traditional stateful inspection to deliver next-generation network security services, including application visibility and control and web security essentials. Next-generation firewalls also enhance standard firewall capabilities with application-aware features.
6. Authentication and Authorization
Traditional directory services, such as Active Directory, authenticate users and grant access based on authorization rules. New identity-based security technologies manage authentication and authorization through methods such as digital certificates and public key infrastructure solutions. Additional security is provided by the SNMP protocol itself. The most recent version, SNMPv3, provides authentication, authorization, and encryption capabilities not found in the previous two versions.