What is Network Security?
A well-designed network has to be secured from top to bottom. This is where network security comes into action. In general, the term “network security” refers to all activities associated with protecting the viability of a network and its underlying data. This means any solution in sync with the software and/or hardware of the network is under this umbrella. When done right, network security features are supposed to ward external and internal threats. This also includes a reliable access solution for using the network.
Whether the threat is trying to enter or looking to spread, network security looks to manage and eliminate the problem. Please note, network security isn’t a single layer that attempts to ward away security threats. In fact, it is designed to be a cutting-edge combination of multi-layered solutions that can work together to remove security issues. The layers work in unison to verify, control, and manage different security policies/controls. This includes maintaining a verifiable access point with authorized users.
Features of Network Security
1) Safe File Transfers
In general, it begins with safe file transfers since large amounts of data get moved. It’s important to have an integral feature that is able to securely transition files from one place to another. The network security is able to integrate this particular process into its core features making sure everything is streamlined.
The way this feature is carried out will vary depending on the system but it’s generally designed to maintain a direct line between two points.
2) DHCP Snooping
DHCP snooping is an integral feature when it pertains to external threats. A lot of the times, hackers will aim to break down a network with the help of DHCP snooping. In essence, this means the network is bombarded with a variety of common DHCP attacks, which can get to the network’s foundation in one shot.
This can include the use of repeated address requests and/or address spoofing depending on the type of threat that’s conducted. Network security should pick it up immediately and ward off the threat.
3) Dynamic IP Lockdown
Another issue that can pop up involves IP addresses and how the network becomes prone to attacks depending on its network security. This features aims to manage the IP address by remaining dynamic (i.e. constant switching) and ensuring any external threat is locked down immediately. This ensures no one is able to spoof an IP source address for the port or VLAN.
4) BPDU Filtering and BPDU Protection
Continuing with the theme of spoofing, which is a grave concern with networks. This feature aims to look at finding out specific BPDUs that try to get through undetected. In general, when this happens, there are a set of attacks that happen together (i.e. denial of service attacks). This is when BPDUs are spoofed and this starts to impact BPDO frames.
In some cases, you will also notice changes in traffic that are coming in through a port. There can be certain blockages that pop up due to the spoofing.
5) STP Root Guard
The STP root bridge is a vulnerable part of a network and has to be guarded with care. A good network security setup is going to have specialized solutions in place to make sure this part of the network is kept as safe as possible.
To do this, there is a specialized STP root guard put in place that is able to thwart malicious attacks on the STP root bridge in seconds. This also can include potential configuration errors that arise from time to time.
7) Instrumentation Monitor
What is the best way to prepare for a potential attack that is happening or about to happen?
The instrumentation monitor is the answer because it acts as an alarm while the attack is imminent. There are various malicious attacks that can occur and it’s difficult to pinpoint what is happening during the moment. To make sure quick identification processes are built into the system, the instrumentation monitor is a key feature. It helps pinpoint what is going on and will note down any outliers in the system with the help of alerts.
8) Port Security
Each switch port has a specific set of MAC addresses associated with its setup. This is normal in how networks are configured in the modern age. However, these MAC addresses are authorized to work with a specific port and those can become “weak points” in a network if left unnoticed. With a good solution, anything that is coming through the individual ports will be detected and logged. IN fact, it can also be prevented with the help of appropriate built-in security solutions.
Anyone that is unauthorized will be detected immediately with this feature. It’s also important to note some hackers will attempt to simply eavesdrop on the network to find weak points. In this case, port security is a feature that’s able to notice those attempts as well!
9) MAC Lockout
If a deviant MAC address appears to make an attempt at accessing the network, it will be stopped in its tracks. This means any and all traffic to/from the address will be halted immediately. This makes sure only authorized addresses are able to get through an individual port at any given time.
10) Traffic/Security Filters
There are several traffic filters that are put in place to make sure specific addresses are getting through. These filters vary from setup to setup but in general, the goal is to keep the network’s foundation safe from external threats. These filters can be changed based on what the authorized users want.
With network security features from Path, each setup is going to vary based on what the goal is and how large the network is. However, modern solutions are becoming airtight when it comes to how the software and/or hardware responds to a threat. When things are moving at a good pace and all of the features are in place, the network will run without a hitch.