Introduction to Network Security for Businesses

Originally posted on May 8, 2021 @ 5:24 am

Network Security for Businesses

Introduction to Network Security for Businesses

Robust and comprehensive network security can be an overwhelming and difficult process to just dive into without the necessary background. For over 30 years, our customers trust us every day for better security, intelligent automation, and dependable service. We protect what matters most. You can read more about our security services or contact us with any questions. Here, we’ll give you the introduction to how network security technologies work, and how they keep your business data safe.


Business Network Security Infographic


Network Security Technology Infrastructure

The first thing to think about is your network security infrastructure, which is comprehensive in that it includes both the hardware and software that make up the network. Infrastructure also covers the protection of the network as well. Below are the biggest issues that we typically encounter, and they are essential to think about as you’re growing your business. 

Antivirus & Anti-Malware

Installing antivirus software on all devices to protect from malware corrupting a network and stealing data is an essential part of maintaining the security of your company. Nothing can be more dangerous than a large number of company-owned devices with no security solution in place. This can quickly expose sensitive client and company information. Worse still, you could even become exposed to a ransomware hacker group, and get stuck with a massive bill, or lose your data. A best-case scenario is that devices become unusable, but more commonly you might find that your business suffers financial damage and long term reputation issues. 


Firewalls are a barrier that monitors and filters traffic to prevent suspicious or malicious entities from entering the network. Ensuring that your company has a properly set up firewall can ensure that you’re protected from any incoming and outgoing network traffic that could also result in the costly loss of private data, exposing employee information, or even losing trade secrets. While your business is hopefully immune from these high profile threats, it’s important to understand that hacking by domestic and foreign groups, and even foreign governments is a very real threat. Even if these risks don’t pose a significant threat to your business, understanding them can help you understand possible risks that do apply and prevent them.

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

Intrusion Prevention Systems actively detect and block network security threats attempting to access the network. Coupled with your firewall, IPS ensures that your network is protected from external issues. An IPS sits directly behind your firewall and adds an extra layer of analysis that can help flag threats and dangerous actions. Better still, this builds on older intrusion detection systems, and actively analyzes your network traffic flow to highlight issues. 

Email Filters 

Email filters prevent more than just annoying spam from cluttering your inbox, it prevents spam with potential threats from entering your email. It’s important to set specific rules for what a filter does and does not allow it into the network for effective security. There are a number of services that provide email filtering, and it’s also important to train employees on recognizing threats in email. In the event that an email with a phishing scam or virus does manage to slip through security, employees should be trained to be able to recognize the threat and address it accordingly to prevent it from happening again. 

Security Software

Security software is used to protect specific platforms against threats targeting them. Devices and applications can have specific vulnerabilities. Specific security software is designed to address those vulnerabilities without interfering with other operations. This security software is a layer of security in a specific area, in addition to blanket security measures.  



Network Security Processes

Network security processes are the actions that users take to prevent unauthorized access to a network and data. It’s like preventing strangers from entering your home by remembering to lock the door every time you walk through it. A lock on a door is useless if it’s not locked, much the same way security technology would be useless without processes. Establishing processes and sticking to them is what makes network security effective. 

Audit Network Security

Auditing the components of your network and network security is a good way to gain insight to the current status of network security and identifying ways it can be improved. It’s important to consistently audit a network to identify potential threats, vulnerabilities, and improvements to make. 

List Network Components

Lists make it easy to keep track of network components. This makes it easier to maintain a network for basic operations as well as network security, as well as identify any components that are unfamiliar or out of place. 

Monitoring the Network

Monitor ingoing and outgoing network traffic and devices to anticipate threats and vulnerabilities. Monitoring traffic allows you to recognize patterns and notice suspicious activity. This means that you can be ready to act at the first sign that anything is amiss. This kind of proactive monitoring is what makes a network more secure. 

Update & Patch 

In addition to installing antivirus and security software on all devices, it’s important to keep them up to date and functioning properly to reduce vulnerabilities. Updates and patches are fixes for bugs or improperly functioning features of an application, operating system, or software. If these fixes are not applied, then there are weak spots in the network that become a target for security threats. 

Network Configuration

Network configurations  how hardware and software are set up to form the network infrastructure. How a network is configured directly affects its performance and its security. The network should be consistently configured according to standard protocols for easy operation, as well as segmented  to be able compartmentalize threats and have greater control over protocols and operations.

Backup & Restore Data for System Restoration 

In the event of losses or damages, it’s important to have data backed up and tested for viability with monthly restore tests. Backed up data is only useful if it’s able to be recovered and deployed. Copy and store all files, user account information, software, and applications separately from the network to be able to recover it in the event of a network security event. 



User Account Management & Access Control

Users are an important factor in the equation when implementing network security. Access control and user account management is the security practice consisting of technology and processes that control what a user is able to access and alter in the network.

Assigning Unique Accounts & Permissions

Accounts are profiles that act as a means to assign permissions to specific users and recognize their activity on a network. By assigning permissions to specific accounts and credentials, you can limit access to authorized individuals, compartmentalize threats, and track activity to prevent and reduce losses and damages. 

Using a Strong Password Policy

Passwords are an extremely important part of any security system, because they allow specific users access to secure or sensitive data and operations. Make sure passwords are unique and changed regularly. 

Network Security Policies & Protocols

Train users on network security and IT protocols. Many network threats can be avoided by educating users on cybersecurity best practices, like how to recognize threats and knowing what information not to share with others. 
Network security is a multilevel process. With the correct technology and processes to equip users, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of cyberattacks. For more information on what businesses need for network security, read our Network Security Checklist for Businesses. At Interwest, we can provide support to manage a network and network security. Get in touch with us to start learning about our customizable plans and 24/7 technical support.