What is network security?

What is network security?
Network security is the practice of preventing and protecting against unauthorized intrusion into corporate networks

Network security is the practice of preventing and protecting against unauthorized intrusion into corporate networks
Network security is the practice of preventing and protecting against unauthorized intrusion into corporate networks. As a philosophy, it complements endpoint security, which focuses on individual devices; network security instead focuses on how those devices interact, and on the connective tissue between them.
The venerable SANS Institute takes the definition of network security a bit farther:
Network security is the process of taking physical and software preventative measures to protect the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse, malfunction, modification, destruction, or improper disclosure, thereby creating a secure platform for computers, users, and programs to perform their permitted critical functions within a secure environment.
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But the overall thrust is the same: network security is implemented by the tasks and tools you use to prevent unauthorized people or programs from accessing your networks and the devices connected to them. In essence, your computer can't be hacked if hackers can't get to it over the network.
Network security basics
Definitions are fine as top-level statements of intent. But how do you lay out a plan for implementing that vision? Stephen Northcutt wrote a primer on the basics of network security for CSOonline over a decade ago, but we feel strongly that his vision of the three phases of network security is still relevant and should be the underlying framework for your strategy. In his telling, network security consists of:
•    Protection: You should configure your systems and networks as correctly as possible
•    Detection: You must be able to identify when the configuration has changed or when some network traffic indicates a problem
•    Reaction: After identifying problems quickly, you must respond to them and return to a safe state as rapidly as possible
This, in short, is a defense in depth strategy. If there's one common theme among security experts, it's that relying on one single line of defense is dangerous, because any single defensive tool can be defeated by a determined adversary. Your network isn't a line or a point: it's a territory, and even if an attacker has invaded part of it, you still have the resources to regroup and expel them, if you've organized your defense properly.

Jul 4, 2018 05:49

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