The cybercrime scene is continuously evolving, and with attackers having a broad range of options to choose from, network security monitoring is getting trickier every day. While traditional approaches rely on checking the packet content from a pre-approved strategy, smarter tools utilize artificial intelligence (AI) techniques which monitor the regular activities within a network and identify potential anomalies. With such advanced cybersecurity solutions, there is no need to continually update your security tools, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus solely on your business goals.
But before we get to the best network security tools and types on the market, let’s get to know what network security really is and what type of protection and benefits it offers its users.
What is Network Security?
Network security is an imperative necessity for any modern business or individual. It is the process of proactively monitoring, preventing and responding to unwanted access to your digital assets and network traffic. This means employing various hardware and software technologies such as up-to-date firewalls, encryption tools, antivirus tools, IP whitelists, analysis techniques, intrusion detection systems and many more. These countermeasures are essential in order to prevent compromising your networks from potential threats such as frauds, scams, viruses, or malware attacks coming from both known and unknown sources.
In addition, specialized security personnel such as security analysts and hunters greatly help tackle the intricate challenges associated with fine-tuning your network’s defences on a daily basis. To sum it up, network security refers to a collection of tactics that are designed to protect one’s digital resources against constant threats plaguing the digital world today.
The Benefits of Network Security
Numerous network security tools and resources are there to assist a business in safeguarding its confidential data, improving efficiency and credibility, and bolstering overall business capacity. Check out the following key advantages of network security:
Safeguarding against unauthorized access to your network is crucial, especially with sensitive customer data at risk. Implementing network security ensures protection against hacking and keeps your valuable information hidden from prying eyes. Protect your network and preserve the safety of your customers’ data with reliable network security.
Prevention of Cyber Threats
Cyber threats have become a daunting problem in today’s day and age. Hackers are always on the prowl, inventing new methods to attack and deploy malware. If your network security happens to be weak, the flow of information over the net may be tampered with. Thankfully, network security tools can help protect both your systems and networks.
Unlike desktop security software, network security software is controlled by a network administrator. Viral attacks pose a significant threat to the network, making it more vulnerable. However, centralized control ensures that the network remains hack-proof.
Types of Network Security Tools and Techniques
Before you decide on the network and cyber security tool you will be using in your fight against data breaches and all kinds of cyber threats, you must first familiarize yourself with the different categories and types of network security tools and techniques out there and what each of them can offer you. This way, you can make an informed choice of the right type of tool that can guarantee you the level of protection your network needs.
To help you make this decision, here is an overview of the main types of network security tools:
A firewall is your digital fortress, the first (and many would say the most important) line of defence against malware, viruses, and other threats. It works tirelessly to scrutinize and filter both incoming and outgoing data to keep your system safe. And if that’s not enough, you can even customize rules and policies to fit your individual needs. So, you easily create exceptions and let specific apps pass through your network’s digital barricade without triggering any false alarms. Your cyber security is fully in your hands.
2. Antivirus Software
Antivirus software works by scanning files from any source and detecting any potential threats. When it identifies something shady or scary, it can remove or isolate the affected file. While antivirus software isn’t foolproof, it plays a critical role in cyber security. With so many options to choose from, ranging from free to hundreds of dollars, you’ll want to find the right one to safeguard your system. Remember, even though zero-day threats can still be an issue, installing antivirus should be part of your cybersecurity baseline.
3. Anti-Spyware Software
Spyware is a notorious cyber threat that operates covertly to monitor users’ online activities and intercept personal information, including passwords and confidential data. However, anti-spyware software serves as a powerful combatant, ideally safeguarding against malicious apps like key loggers and password recorders.
4. Access Control
By granting or limiting access to your network, you can greatly reduce the potential damage that cybercriminals can inflict. Remember, it’s not just the dodgy outsiders who pose a threat: even authorized users can accidentally or maliciously harm your system. Access control helps you take back the reins by permitting individual users access only to network areas that are crucial to their role, allowing you to bolster security while maintaining operational efficiency.
5. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Virtual Private Network (VPN) security tools validate communication between a secure network and endpoint devices. Encrypted, remote access VPNs typically utilize IPsec or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to authenticate and prevent eavesdropping. Don’t let cyberstalkers or hackers penetrate your network; beef up your online defences with a VPN.
6. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
The human element is often the weakest link in network security. As a matter of fact, staff and other users may inadvertently compromise sensitive data or leak it out of the network. This is where DLP technologies and policies come in to protect you from such data mishaps.
7. Email Security
Similar to protecting against DLP vulnerabilities, email security aims to mitigate human-related security weaknesses. By employing complex phishing strategies, attackers dupe email recipients into sharing sensitive information via desktop or mobile devices or unwittingly downloading malware into target networks. Besides detecting hazardous emails, email security can prevent attacks and stop the sharing of critical data. With email security, you can guarantee that you won’t fall for sneaky tactics used by malicious actors on the web.
8. Security information and Event Management (SIEM)
Aggregating relevant data from diverse tools and resources can often be a formidable task, particularly with time constraints. However, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools provide responders with a comprehensive overview of data, resulting in quick and effective action.
9. Anomaly Detection Engines (ADE)
One of the most common yet frustrating challenges in network security is identifying anomalies without a baseline knowledge of how the network operates. However, Network Anomaly Detection Engines (ADEs) come to the rescue by providing a comprehensive analysis of your network’s performance. The best part is that when security breaches occur, ADEs send quick alerts to help you respond swiftly and strengthen your system.
10. Endpoint Security
Catering to the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the business world, the distinction between personal and business computer gadgets is blurring. While accessing business networks via personal devices can make them more vulnerable targets, endpoint security provides an additional security layer to protect your business networks from any unwanted interference originating from remote devices.
11. Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)
IPS technology plays a vital role in safeguarding networks from potential security threats. With the ability to detect and prevent brute force attacks, vulnerability exploits, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, IPS ensures secure networking. Vulnerabilities are weak spots within software systems, which can lead to exploitation through these security breaches. Attackers exploit these vulnerabilities by taking advantage of the patching delay window that occurs after exploits are announced. By employing an Intrusion Prevention System, network security is enhanced, blocking these attacks efficiently and effectively.
12. Cloud Network Security
As technology advances, the traditional data centre approach is steadily fading away. Rather, hosting applications and workloads in the cloud is at the forefront. However, the challenge of keeping up with the migration of application workloads requires innovative solutions. Enter; Software-defined Networking (SDN) and Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions. Integrating these technologies offers the much-needed flexibility to protect the modern data centre since they support network security in private, public, hybrid, and cloud-hosted Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) deployments.
The Best Network Security Tools on the Market
Now that you know how crucial network security is for your protection and peace of mind. It is time to choose the best network security tool and software for your needs, budget, and, most importantly, optimum safety.
So here is a list of the best ten network security tools and software currently on the market:
Snort is a state-of-the-art intrusion detection system specifically engineered to identify and prevent a wide array of network security threats. It’s an open-source tool that comprehensively supports various operating systems and hardware types. Its remarkable capabilities comprise content assembly, protocol examination, and vulnerability detection. Snort’s superiority lies in its raw packet analysis, versatile rules, and simplicity of setup.
Argus is a power-packed open-source tool that grants IT experts thorough user analysis across networks. The curious heads who understand code can customize program data by downloading their editions of the software. Tailor Argus to improve efficiency within company settings or tweak software parameters to fit specific company needs.
Looking for reliable internet security software for your mobile device? Look no further than Aircrack, a suite of WEP and WPA cracking tools that are perfect for keeping your data safe. Alongside Aircrack’s powerful algorithm-cracking tools, there’s Airdecap for WEP/WPA file decryption and airplay for packet injection. But that’s not all; this suite is packed with other tools designed to keep your data and devices secure. With Aircrack, all your wireless security needs are covered.
Wireshark is an excellent multi-platform, open-source network protocol analyzer. It’s your go-to tool for sniffing out live network data or the contents of a file and gives you an interactive window to browse anywhere into a network packet. Wireshark’s further bells and whistles extend to its vast functionality and rich display filter capabilities, allowing for interactive TCP session viewing and support for hundreds of protocols and media types. It’s a must-have for an informed and uncompromised network analysis experience.
5. SolarWinds Security Event Manager
SolarWinds Security Event Manager is an SIEM system that meticulously scans network events. It implores a live threat intelligence feed to watch out for anomalies. All devices connected to the network fall under the umbrella of this network security tool. It collects and manages log messages, creating a uniform format that’s filed and analyzed by the tool. No more battling security threats single-handedly; SolarWinds Security Event Manager has your back.
Splunk provides a host of features, including real-time analysis and historical data analysis, all in a single unified interface. What’s more, even with outdated editions of Windows, a simple and streamlined coding process ensures the tool is accessible to businesses of all sizes. With a free base program in place, IT members can train interns or non-experts in the field with ease. Plus, with the option to buy additional tools, users can unlock even more powerful functionalities.
7. Paros Proxy
Paros Proxy, a Java-based security testing software, equips IT experts with an arsenal of web trackers, usage recorders, and vulnerability scanners to better counteract threats. With tools to detect firewall intrusions, SQL attacks, and cross-site scripting dangers, Paros Proxy ensures your system remains impenetrable. Additionally, the HTTPS Java coding options enable quick customization of a more intuitive user interface or more streamlined activation systems – making Paros Proxy the perfect addition to your organization’s toolkit.
NordVPN offers a versatile virtual private network solution that protects your online identity from prying eyes. By benefiting from the military-grade network encryption features, you can trust that your data is kept secure. Plus, NordVPN’s DNS leak protection ensures that you remain anonymous while browsing the web.
In 2004, the security landscape was revolutionized by the arrival of Metasploit. Leveraging an open-source platform, the tool paved the way for novel exploits and allowed for effective testing and development of the same. By integrating payloads, encoders, no-op generators, and exploits under one extensible model, Metasploit implemented a framework for cutting-edge exploitation research. Boasting an impressive list of exploits and accompanied by Metasploitable, an intentionally insecure Linux virtual machine, this tool not only simplifies exploit writing but also ensures security testing without affecting live servers.
10. Cain and Abel
Cain and Abel is an outstanding password recovery software that specializes in recovering forgotten Windows passwords. This versatile tool enables you to easily examine routing protocols and decipher encrypted passwords or cached passwords. Furthermore, with its crypto and brute-force cryptanalysis technology, along with other advanced features, it can help you unlock password boxes with ease!
11. Perimeter 81
Perimeter 81 has earned its spot among the top network security tools for a good reason: its incredible simplicity and comprehensive network security stack. The tool boasts a single management panel, which is a primary draw for organizations everywhere. This network security software allows you to have access to all your endpoints, connect to your network infrastructure, deploy regional gateways, and effortlessly formulate and access management policies, all from one convenient panel.
But that’s not all. Perimeter 81 stands out as a premium network security tool thanks to its full VPN encryption. With encryption constantly active, no device will be able to access your company’s valuable resources without connection through Perimeter 81, leaving you to rest assured that all your precious assets are under ironclad protection.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection is an advanced endpoint security software that utilizes predictive analytics, cloud computing, and machine learning to effectively prevent security vulnerabilities on the network. Because the tool employs real-time threat detection, there’s no need for manual security definition updates, ensuring you’re always up to date on the latest threats. This powerful software solution is the key to securing your business network with confidence.
Effective network security involves all aspects of protecting a company’s systems, networks, and data. To achieve high-level security, organizations can make use of intelligent tools designed to help implement policies and processes. Staying up-to-date on global threats and safeguarding networks from hackers and coordinated attacks is a crucial aspect of network security. It may seem a daunting task, but maintaining effective network security is essential to protect your business and its reputation.
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