Network Security Measures

Understanding Network Security Measures

Your network refers to the connected devices centering around your business or household. Unfortunately for the modern computer user, there are infinite amounts of ever-evolving security threats that just may be trying to infiltrate that network. But thankfully there are also infinite amounts of resources and methods to prevent that from happening. 

In today’s blog, we’ll be taking a look at all of the methods and things to be aware of to protect your network. Some of the methods discussed today were also touched on in previous blogs, having to do with antiviruses and cybersecurity, but today’s methods will focus more on various security settings, software, and services as opposed to general awareness and a deep dive into the software itself.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at a list of security measures that can be put in place to prevent network breaches.  


Firewalls are the first line of defense for network security. They act as a firewall between a reliable internal network and doubtful external networks. Firewalls monitor network traffic entering and leaving the system and controls it in accordance with pre-established security policies. Proxy firewalls, stateful inspection firewalls, and packet filtering firewalls are just a few of the several types. 

There are both hardware and software firewalls. Hardware firewalls are the network’s first line of defense, they’re physical and do not take up resources on individual devices. They also defend the entire network.

Software firewalls are different, they are installed on the computer and protect only the individual device with the installation. Both can be used in conjunction for added security.

Antivirus and Antimalware Software

An antivirus differs from a firewall in that, a firewall serves to prevent harmful traffic from coming through, whereas an antivirus can detect and remove any malware.

In order to protect a network against dangers like viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, and other malware, it is required to employ these software tools. Antivirus and antimalware programs check software and files for dangerous code, which is subsequently deleted or quarantined. It’s essential to maintain these software programs updated in order to combat new threats.

If you’re curious about to learn more about how antivirus works, check out our log on the topic.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

VPNs create a secure connection between a device and a network over the Internet. Data entering and leaving the network is encrypted to make it impossible for unauthorized parties to simply intercept data. Even when using free Wi-Fi, VPNs are especially important for protecting critical data exchanged over open networks.

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

Network traffic is monitored by intrusion detection systems for suspicious activity, which is recognized and alarms are sent. Host-based (HIDS) and network-based (NIDS) are the two main subcategories of IDS. While HIDS keeps an eye on every device, NIDS scans the entire network for unusual traffic.

This differs from firewalls because a firewall has predetermined parameters for letting traffic through to a network. An IDS monitors that through-traffic to detect any suspicious patterns present, and alert the user to the issue. The IDS also only serves to warn about potentially suspicious activity but does not actually prevent or block the things it’s warning against.

Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)

In contrast to IDS, IPSs go one step further by actively detecting and stopping harmful traffic. They can be an important tool for defending against zero-day attacks and are particularly effective at blocking known threats.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

The goal of DLP is to stop the loss or leak of sensitive data. Employers can prevent employees from sending sensitive information outside the network by using DLP solutions. Data in use, data in motion, and data at rest can all be identified, monitored for, and protected using DLP technologies.

For further data storage solutions check out our previous blog.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) Encryption

The SSL and TLS protocols are used to encrypt data as it travels between two systems. The security of sensitive data, such as login passwords, credit card information, or personal information, is ensured by the regular usage of these protocols to protect data transfers.

While it may sound unfamiliar, you’re likely used to encountering examples of it all over the place. Have you ever noticed the http or https in the search bar while visiting a website? The addition of the s is this security encryption, it means that while your device is communicating with the host of the website, the data being transferred is encrypted and cannot be accessed by outside parties. 

Frequently browser will flag web addresses without the s as a security risk, and block access to the site without your additional consent to proceed.

Email Security

Email is one of the most widely used tools in cyberattacks. Email security solutions offer defense against spam, phishing schemes, malware, and other email-borne dangers. This can all be helped by filters, encryption, and other security features.

Being aware of phishing schemes is also important in preventing their attacks. Check out our previous blog on types and attacks from phishing schemes.

Network Segmentation

By splitting a network into several segments, each with its own access and security rules, network segmentation is accomplished. Because compromised systems might not have access to the full network, this can limit the scope of an attack.

Access Control

Implementing strict access control policies is crucial. This ensures that only authorized users have access to the network and its resources. Techniques such as user authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) are used.

Regular Patching and Updates

Keeping software and systems updated is one of the simplest and most effective security measures. Regular patching fixes known vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

Security Awareness Training

Lastly, humans are often the weakest link in security. Regular security awareness training for employees and users is vital to ensure that they are aware of the potential threats and best practices in cybersecurity.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-Factor Authentication adds an additional layer of security by requiring users to provide two forms of authentication before accessing a network or system. Typically, this involves something they know (like a password) and something they have (like a mobile device to receive a code).

Network Monitoring and Analytics

Continuous monitoring of network traffic and behavior is critical. Network monitoring solutions can help detect anomalies that may indicate a security incident. Network analytics involves collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data from the network to identify and respond to threats proactively.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM solutions collect and aggregate data from various network devices and systems. They provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated by the network hardware and applications. SIEM is used for event correlation, alerting, and in-depth analysis.

Web Application Firewalls (WAF)

WAFs are specifically designed to protect web applications by monitoring and filtering HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. They can protect web applications from various attacks such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and more.

Incident Response Plan

Having an incident response plan in place is critical for minimizing the damage from a security incident. It involves a set of instructions that help IT staff detect, respond to, and recover from network security incidents.

DNS Filtering

DNS filtering involves preventing users from accessing certain websites or content. It can be used to block access to harmful websites, lowering the possibility of virus downloads or phishing assaults.

DNS is sort of like a map, it establishes what sites lead to what location. So you can be assured that should a dangerous site change their domain name, DNS filtering will still prevent users from accessing that content.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Having a system to track and manage mobile devices is crucial given the rise in the use of them for work. Data security is ensured by MDM, which enables control of security features on mobile devices and can enforce security regulations.

Managed Service Provider- Is It Better Left to The Professionals?

Navigating online security can be tricky; ever-evolving online threats reinforce the need for businesses, particularly those with sensitive information, to keep on their toes. For someone already managing a business, the addition of ensuring network security often proves too time consuming. In these instances, it can cost less time and money to hire a Managed Service Provider.

An experienced Managed Service Provider can couple their knowledge and experience to prevent security risks, before they happen. However, should they occur, they’re there for damage control and clean up when you need them.


The coupled practices discussed here leave few holes for malware to slip through. Understanding the types of malware that exist, and the ways in which they try to steal your information, ready’s you to identify potential threats. 

Once you’re aware of that, you have the tools necessary to learn about and implement safe browsing habits that lower your risk of encountering these types of threats. If you’ve read those previous blogs you’re off to a good start. 

But, once you couple a good antivirus with some of the security measures listed here, you can truly begin to implement a solid network security plan. Remember that the best way  to secure your network is to hire experienced and knowledgeable professionals to help. Feel free to contact Stonebridge MSP to hear about the professionals’ cybersecurity services we provide.

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