is network security an application

SASE Guide: Is Network Security an Application?

Insight on ways to protect networks and computers from threats. Is network security an application?

Is Network Security an Application?

Network Security is not an application. Network Security is a practice that encompasses many tools and techniques. These tools, which include firewalls, IDS and IPS, anti-virus products, and anti-spyware utilities provide network security.

This includes encryption and authentication products. The security community is always looking for the “next big thing” in network security. There is no such thing as the “next big thing” in network security. 

The security community needs to understand that network security is a practice. A practice is a way of doing something that encompasses a set of tools and techniques. For example, a practice for learning how to drive an automobile would include reading the driver’s manual.

Then learning how to shift gears, steer and stop and so on. But not all of these tools are applicable in every situation. Driving in heavy traffic requires different skills than driving on a country road at night.

The driver must know how to adjust his or her driving practices to the situation at hand. Hence, the same holds for network security.

Network Security All-encompassing Practices

Network security is an all-encompassing practice that must be adapted to fit the needs of each organization. This is based on their computing needs and their level of risk tolerance. Network security cannot be practiced using a “one-size-fits-all” approach no matter what the marketing hype might suggest.

Part of adapting network security to your needs includes understanding what you have at your disposal and how you can best use it. The problem with this approach is that many organizations do not know what they have at their disposal. Also, how these products interact with each other or other products they have purchased from other vendors.

Many organizations think they have firewalls, IDS/IPS, anti-virus, and anti-spyware products. But in reality, they may only have two or three of these products installed on their network. When they need four or five different products if not more depending on the size and scope of their network.

Machine Learning-Cloud Computing Environment

Some vendors try to sell more than just one product by bundling more than one product into a single package. Thus, making it easier for organizations to purchase multiple products from a single source. But this does not necessarily provide you with the best protection for your computing environment.

The problem with bundling multiple products into one package is that you never know which product(s) from one vendor will work well together. Also, which ones will not work well together thereby causing interoperability issues that can result in a lack of protection against threats. But worse yet cause other problems within your computing environment that could lead to downtime or data loss.

This makes your organization look bad when it comes to managing risk thus leading to higher costs over time due to lost productivity. Data for which there is a high level of sensitivity should be handled by strict policies. This is governing access to that data.

In this situation, it may be essential that only authorized personnel have access to the data. Network traffic, passwords, and other critical information should be handled similarly, using strong encryption techniques. So, this ensures the confidentiality of the data being transmitted across the network.

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