Cybercriminals, former employees, and some careless users can bring down any computer network security and compromise sensitive data within seconds. In fact, on October 11, 2018, the internet provider Pocket iNet left an AWS S3 server exposed. Upguard, a cyber-risk team, later reported that this incident left nearly 73 GB of downloadable data, including sensitive files, diagrams, pictures, and passwords vulnerable. This exposed data was called pinapp2.
What Is Network Security?
Network security is protecting the integrity and usability of network data, including both software and hardware technologies. Effective network security provides access to the network, targets and neutralizes a variety of threats, and prevents them from spreading.
Some of the most common threats to our network and computer systems are:
- Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS)
- Malware threats
- computer worms
- Trojan horses
These common threats often target unsecured wireless networks, weak password-protected accounts, and unsecured websites.
Network security comprises software, hardware, and procedures that are designed to enhance network defense against external and internal threats to an organization’s computer systems. There are multiple layers of software and hardware that prevent numerous threats from penetrating, damaging, and spreading through the network.
Network security has become crucial to today’s organizations as the exponential increase of criminal hackers could increase global losses to cybercrime to $2.1 trillion by 2019. 
To avoid financial and reputational loss, it is important that organizations are focused on network security. Here are the four basic elements of network security to keep in mind:
1. Network Access Control (NAC)
NAC basically allows the admin to understand and control who can and cannot access the
network. NAC identifies what users and devices are allowed on the network. This helps the admin to remain aware of which devices are blocked. Behavioral analytic tools to identify abnormal behavior on a network are a modern tool that can help network administrators monitor their networks for anomalous traffic. Once the behavioral analytic tool is applied, it then sends notifications to the user as soon any abnormal activity is found.
According to Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, the global NAC Market is expected to develop significantly in the next five to six years. Rising from a market size of $997.3 million in 2017 to $5.37 billion by 2023. 
2. Firewall Security
A firewall is a network security device that monitors outgoing and incoming network traffic, forming a type of barrier between an untrusted and trusted network. Firewall security decides whether to block or allow specific traffic in the network or not. It is one of the first lines of defense. There are different types of firewall security such as stateful firewall, application-aware firewall, packet filtering firewall, deep packet inspection firewall, and proxy firewall.
According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Network Security Firewall Market value was $3.15 billion in the year 2017. Whereas, it is expected to rise to $9.41 billion by the year 2026 at a growing CAGR of 12.9%. The increasing demand for firewall security, the rapid developments in a digital transformation in the telecommunication sector, and the vulnerability growth in SS7 also contribute to the overall market growth. 
3. Intrusion Prevention System or IPS
IPS or Intrusion Prevention System is a threat prevention technology that examines, identifies, and prevents unusual network traffic from exploiting vulnerabilities, such as malicious inputs, target supplication or service to gain control or interrupt a machine or application. The Intrusion Prevention System is positioned right behind the firewall security which provides a complementary layer of analysis. This acts as a direct communication path between the destination and the source. IPS actively analyzes and takes automated actions on all the traffic flows which enter the network. Such actions include:
- Resetting the overall connection
- Blocking unscrupulous traffic from the source address
4. SIEM or Security Information and Event Management
SIEM is an approach towards security management which combines Security Event Management and Security Information Management into one composite security management system. SIEM gathers the relevant and required data from multiple sources to help identify deviations and take appropriate actions.
For example, when a potential issue or threat is detected, SIEM directly logs all additional information and generates an alert so that the security controls stop the activity’s progress on an immediate basis.
Learn More About Network Security!
EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender program is a vendor-neutral, hands-on, instructor-led comprehensive network security program. It is a skills-based, lab intensive program based on a job-task analysis and cybersecurity education framework presented by the National Initiative Cybersecurity Education (NICE). The course has also been mapped to global job roles and responsibilities and the Department of Defense (DoD) job roles for system/network administrators.
For more information, visit https://www.eccouncil.org/programs/certified-network-defender-cnd/