Network security threats have become a much bigger issue today. With the expansion of Internet services and the increasing remote work culture, network vulnerabilities will only grow by leaps and bounds.
Whether it’s a home or business network, security from unauthorized intrusions is of utmost importance to protect your sensitive information from damage and theft.
So, how can organizations detect and mitigate the threats to network security? This article attempts to explain network security threats, their importance, network security threat types, and how one can identify them.
What Are Network Security Threats?
Network security threats are illegal intrusions into your organization’s network, resulting in a ransomware attack in the absence of robust security protocols. Cybercriminals exploit network vulnerabilities for personal gain or to disrupt operations. All facets of our lives are digitalized, and with the heavy reliance on Internet, damage from a computer virus is one of the most common security threats that we need to mitigate. DoS (Denial of Service) and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, Trojan Horse, spyware etc., are other dangerous forms of network threats that can affect your organization. We shall learn of such types of network security threats later in this article.
Given the unprecedented rise in cyberattacks arising out of network security loopholes, one cannot undermine the need for robust network security tools and experts, which leads us to the next section of this article.
Importance of Network Security
In the wake of the recent cyberattacks, organizations need to take robust security measures to protect their online data from theft and damage.
Network security ensures the safety of your businesses’ shared resources and client data using the appropriate tools and techniques.
However, for implementing the appropriate security testing techniques, one needs to have the right skill set. Therefore, the need for Certified Network Defenders in organizations is growing steadily.
An ordinary person with limited knowledge of systems security may not know how to detect anomalies and nip them in the bud. Businesses need to have a skilled and Certified Network Defender who can measure the risks and evaluate them accordingly. Without a skilled resource, a company’s chances of falling prey to cyberattacks are quite high. Network defenders need to understand the different types of network attacks so that they can differentiate them from other types of network security threats.
Next, we shall learn of the distinct types of network security threats and how you can identify network flaws.
What Are the Four Main Types of Network Security Threats?
1. Structured threats
Structured threats are a direct form of attack intended for a specific target chosen through some random search. They are a part of organized attacks that a malicious hacker or a group of hackers execute to disrupt a network or system security. Racial and political motives, personal espionage, international terrorism etc., are just a few of the reasons which lead to direct attacks. The hackers are skilled professionals who know the system and network flaws and work around them to launch their attack—all such types of cybercrime or attacks which are not tied to the hacker comprise the structured threats.
2. Unstructured threats
Unstructured threats fall under the category of indirect attacks that amateurs carry out with minimal knowledge. So, these disorganized threats are vague and ambiguous. While the intent of these attacks may not always be malicious, the result could have a rippling effect. Most amateurs execute these attacks simply out of curiosity or for showing off.
3. External threats
Attacks that stem from outside the targeted organization without any authorized access to the network are external threats. The perpetrators who compromise the security from outside the organization use dial-up access, malicious software, phishing techniques etc, to further their objectives.
4. Internal threats
Internal threats are the attacks that originate from within the targeted organization to disrupt network security. They could be current or former associates who have authorized access to data files, systems, networks etc. Such threats can incur huge losses to the organizations if left unidentified.
Network security vulnerabilities are detrimental to an organization’s reputation and operation. So, how can one detect the loopholes in network security before the hackers do? Let’s find out.
How Can You Identify Network Security Threats?
To defend your network security, you need to have a skilled Network defender who can secure your network and identify the network threats before cybercriminals do. Next, we shall understand four different ways to detect network flaws.
1. Ensure network visibility
Most people miss out on the first major step to monitor their network for any loopholes or system flaws. Therefore, network visibility is important. Your organization’s network defender should think like the black hats to identify the potential vulnerabilities and prevent intrusions. Consider it this way: if you need to defend yourself from outside forces, you’ll first put security measures in place inside your home. You’ll cover all the bases and imagine yourself in the shoes of your adversary, envisioning how they might harm you. You must be aware of your territory to do so. Similarly, to protect your organization’s network from hackers, you must ensure that your network is visible, set up security protocols, and mitigate the risks.
2. Set up computer and network access
Given the number of security breaches and intrusions, a network defender should ensure that not everyone is allowed a significant level of access to the company’s system and networks. One can never eliminate internal threats. Therefore, preventive measures are essential to protect an organization’s digital assets. Setting up controls for computer and network access is one such step. Therefore, drafting and executing corrective network security measures are essential to identify potential risks and lay out a recovery plan if the need arises.
3. Firewall configuration
Configuring your system with a network firewall can block unauthorized or unwanted network traffic or intrusions. Another effective way to identify threats is configuring firewalls to detect suspicious activities, malware, or anomalies by scanning incoming traffic and block them.
4. Penetration Testing
One of the best ways to ensure that your network defense is robust is to conduct pen tests. A penetrating test helps businesses identify their network vulnerabilities and take corrective measures to rectify them.
So, it goes without saying that the role of network defenders is paramount. Without a certified network defender to patch your network flaws and mitigate the vulnerabilities before cybercriminals do, your business can take a massive hit.
However, mapping your workforce to the appropriate skill set that can help prevent network security threats is also crucial. EC Council’s Certified Network Defender (C|ND) program is designed to help aspirants with the skills required to detect network threats and devise security measures.
Why Should You Pursue Certified Network Defender Program?
EC Council’s Certified Network Defender program aims to train IT professionals and equip them with the skills they would need to defend and mitigate network security attacks. The program modules are framed by industry experts and include hands-on lab training, updated tools, and resources to tackle real-world scenarios. C|ND focuses on comprehensive network training and defense training to churn out efficient Network Defenders. This certification teaches participants to use threat intelligence to predict cyberthreats before they occur.
So, if you are ready to manifest your IT and networking skills to the best of your knowledge and increase your network defense skills, the C|ND program is just right for you.
Recognized and Accredited by DoD 8570 & ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024
Get your Network Security Certification at EC-Council
- What are some threats to your network security?
The five common security threats that businesses and organizations face are phishing attacks, ransomware, malware attacks, data breaches and insider threats.
- How can you mitigate network security threats?
With cybercrimes rapidly evolving and increasing at light speed, organizations can take some robust measures to defend their networks. Using network protection measures like installing a firewall, using a virtual private network (VPN) etc., you can protect your network traffic. Other measures include monitoring your access control and keeping your software updated from time-to-time.