Different Types of Network Security

Understand the importance of network security in Phoenix, AZ, and learn which types of network security tools and resources you need.

Network security services come in several forms, many of which go hand-in-hand. This blog outlines the essential services all small businesses should consider.

If it appears as though cyberattacks are constantly happening to small businesses, it's because they are happening at a high rate. Over 55% of small business owners in the country say they aren't worried about a hack in the next year, according to a CNBC small business survey. However, criminals target small businesses the most, and the group accounted for over 40% of all data breaches in 2019.

So, what can you do as a small business owner to protect your Arizona-based enterprise? Network security in Phoenix is the best way to safeguard your company's network and computer systems against threats, data breaches, and invaders. Network security services include hardware, software, and best practices that work together to create a near-impenetrable network system.

Network security in Phoenix involves everything from firewalls to network analytics. It helps keep sensitive data away from unauthorized people while ensuring necessary data is available to those who should have access. It also operates on the principle of integrity by helping prevent accidental or intentional changes to the network to keep a company's data accurate and credible.

Why Network Security Is Important

Network security in Phoenix is crucial for protecting consumer data and business operations. A data breach can ruin a small business's reputation and credibility. If consumers feel they cannot trust a company, the enterprise will lose most of its business, making it difficult to overcome the breach and succeed.

Proper network security makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to infiltrate spaces. The protection helps prevent hacks and data loss while immediately implementing a recovery plan if someone exploits a network vulnerability successfully. For a small business, network security solutions can reduce financial losses due to data breaches and keep the company's reputation intact.

Types of Network Security Services

Many companies take a multilayered network security approach to protect their systems. Since hackers are incredibly tech-savvy, it's necessary to have multiple safeguards to keep them out of a network and identify those who infiltrate it immediately. Here are some network security tools and applications that protect business operations, sensitive data, and customers.

1. Email Security

Company emails are a primary target for phishing. Phishing is a sneaky cyberattack that attempts to get people to click malicious links or give up sensitive data by posing as a legitimate email from an authentic institution or person. Email security helps protect email accounts and company information against phishing attacks and other malicious communication.

Arizona businesses can protect themselves against harmful emails by using a set of procedures and techniques. For instance, companies can encrypt outgoing messages containing sensitive data if the email recipients are out of the network.

2. Network Access Control (NAC)

As a small business owner, you might allow your team to use their own devices for work. Unfortunately, unmonitored and unsecured devices are vulnerable to hacks and data breaches. However, you can boost your network security infrastructure with access control, which ensures that only authenticated and trusted endpoint devices can access a network's resources.

With NAC, a Simple Network Management protocol will deny unauthorized and non-compliant devices access to the network's infrastructure. Instead, the device will remain quarantined with limited computing abilities to prevent it from becoming an access point for cybercriminals. The NAC will also keep guest users isolated from the internal network.

3. Network Penetration Testing

With network penetration testing, IT security providers will try to exploit their clients' IT infrastructure to measure their exploitable vulnerabilities and determine the effectiveness of their network security. Vulnerabilities can be anything from employee behaviors to unpatched software flaws. However, network penetration testing allows the IT team to see how a hacker could infiltrate the network in real time.  

The only way to understand the actual effectiveness of network security in Phoenix is through testing. The process ensures that all network security services work together to keep unauthorized persons out of the company's network, endpoints, and servers.

4. Web Security

As a small business, you likely rely on the internet to attract customers to your website to sell goods and services. Some of your network and computing software may also use the internet for updates and essential functions. Unfortunately, hackers can also exploit vulnerabilities over the web.

Web security protects web applications with internet exposure by providing tools that detect, prevent, and respond to potential hacks. The web tools and strategies help deter malicious attacks by strengthening web security. They include websites that support SSL or TLS protocols, enable secure coding techniques, and scan for network vulnerabilities.

5. Network Security Policies

The standardized procedures and practices that govern the rules for accessing a company's network and its architecture is a network security policy. Small businesses need network security policies because they teach employees safe computing standards and how to protect the company's assets inside the network infrastructure.

Business assets can include servers, documents, and login details. A network security policy will tell employees how the organization will maintain and enforce its standards to minimize the risk of data loss and cyberattacks.

6. Data Loss Prevention

Small businesses can collect a surprising amount of data during their daily operations. A data breach can jeopardize the business by showing the public that the company's security is faulty and cannot protect its customers' information, including names, addresses, and credit card numbers. Hackers could also alter or delete critical files, causing the business's operations to cease.

Data loss prevention helps prevent data breaches by detecting unauthorized personnel and transmissions through monitoring, detection, and blocking. The strategy applies to endpoint actions, network transmissions, and data storage. Data loss protection reduces sensitive information transfers, whether accidental or malicious.

7. Wireless Security

Many companies embrace wireless technology for convenience, but it poses a potential network security risk. Hackers can gain access to networks over WiFi.

Wireless security implements several protocols like WPA2 to strengthen WiFi security. That way, hackers will have a harder time exploiting the network's wireless systems while employees can continue working remotely.

8. Vulnerability Patch Management

Vulnerability patch management is a way for companies to identify, catalog, remediate, mitigate, and report on their systems' vulnerabilities. Since cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to exploit network vulnerabilities online, including old, unpatched vulnerabilities, businesses should continuously discover, categorize, and report the assets on their networks to improve their security.

9. Application Security

Most applications have at least one exploitable security flaw that can allow unauthorized users to access network systems and modify them. However, by using application security practices, businesses can reduce the risk of a data breach due to those vulnerabilities.

Application security is the development and testing of security features to use with applications and shield them from unauthorized access. It's necessary for businesses to routinely test application security to locate and mitigate its discovered flaws.  

10. Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software

Many people understand the importance of installing antivirus software onto their computer systems to keep viruses at bay. However, antivirus and anti-malware software are integral to network security in Phoenix because they are among the most common types of cyberattacks on small businesses.

While viruses infect networks, malware, or malicious software, can do many things, such as granting hackers backdoor access to a company's operating system, corrupting a network's data, or deleting files. Antivirus and anti-malware software can monitor network systems in real-time and look for suspicious behavior and long-term patterns that could indicate a threat.

11. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

EDR solutions continuously record system activities and events occurring on endpoints, such as desktop computers and company cell phones. It helps businesses and their IT providers have enough visibility to identify movements across endpoints that would otherwise be unnoticeable. EDR will show how a hacker infiltrates a network and the actions they take after gaining access.

Some malicious activity EDR solutions can identify on endpoints include malware-free attacks and persistent threats.

12. Network Segmentation

Network segmentation divides and sorts network traffic according to specific classifications. The process makes it easier for IT teams to accept or deny employee authorization credentials, preventing unauthorized personnel from accessing sensitive data. The segmentation also helps isolate compromised activity or devices.

13. Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)

IPS solutions will prevent and detect threats to a network, including Denial of Service attacks and vulnerability exploits. Vulnerabilities can include anything within a software system with a weak point that allows a cybercriminal the opportunity to access the network and get control of the system.

Since technology is ever-evolving, all software regularly needs updates to patch known vulnerabilities. When hackers learn about vulnerabilities, they tend to strike quickly before IT teams can apply the security patch. However, IPS technology can block people from exploiting those vulnerabilities or leveraging other attacks.

14. Sandboxing

The term "sandboxing" refers to opening files or running code in isolated network environments on a device mimicking an end-user operating environment. In other words, sandboxing lets you safely work in a safe digital environment.

The technology observes everything as you open files or code to look for malicious threats. Because you're operating in an isolated environment, the risk of unintentionally allowing a threat to infiltrate the network is reduced. Sandboxing can detect and block possible threats like malware.

15. Behavioral Analytics

Abnormal behavior in a computer network can mean several things, including unusual data downloads, access to the network from a new location, and computers engaging in unusual communication. The behavior change can point to a network security problem, but you'll need a baseline of behaviors to determine what's within a normal range.

Behavior analytics help establish that baseline. It considers behaviors within the network, customer users, and applications. The software identifies abnormal behavior indicators, which help IT teams locate and handle threats more quickly.

How to Protect Your Business With Network Security

Network security in Phoenix comes in many forms, so knowing which network security services are best for a small business can be challenging. However, you can take basic steps to protect your business's network and data.

For instance, every business should have antivirus and anti-malware software for their operating systems. Without this essential protection, viruses, adware, and malware can easily get inside a network and cause havoc. You should install the software and update your system's firmware to the latest version as soon as it's available to close security holes.

The risk of infection increases when employees practice unsafe computing habits. A 2021 Insider Data Breach Survey revealed that over 70% of organizations fell victim to phishing attacks that target employees, and over 80% of companies experience insider security issues due to a worker's mistake. For that reason, employee training on IT security best practices is vital to a business's network security in Phoenix.

Unfortunately, data breaches and losses happen even with the best network security services in place. However, data backups and recovery plans can prevent your company from permanently losing information that could harm its reputation and keep your enterprise from continuing operations.

Considering the time, knowledge, and costs of managing your IT on-site as a small business owner, it may be best to outsource your IT. A third-party IT provider can remotely handle your IT needs and network security to detect and prevent cyber threats 24/7 and respond to emergencies immediately.

In Conclusion

Being a small business owner requires you to consider the many ways you can help your business succeed. However, in today's technology landscape, you must also be aware of how vulnerable computer systems can be and what you can do to secure your company's network. Cybercriminals often target small businesses, so you can't assume a data breach will never happen to you.

The best way to ensure your Arizona-based company has sufficient technological protections is through network security in Phoenix. Third-party IT companies help small businesses succeed by monitoring and detecting signs of trouble before they get out of hand. With their help, you can be confident your business is using the proper network security services to avoid a career-damaging hack.