People who studied network security or worked as IT professionals two to three decades ago would find it hard to cope with today’s modern enterprise network. There are so many new technologies, best practices, and acronyms that it’s hard to keep up. For example, containers, cloud computing, and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies were practically unheard of a few years ago, but they’re now commonplace in many organizations.
Network security and management is a complex and ever-evolving field. To stay ahead of the latest threats, you need to know the latest trends and acronyms. Here are some of the most important network security trends and acronyms.
What is Network Security?
Network security can be defined as the practice of protecting networked systems, including hardware, software, and data, from unauthorized access or theft. It includes configurations and rules to protect against attacks and physical security measures to deter and detect intruders.
Network security is essential because it helps protect sensitive information from unauthorized individuals. It also helps prevent denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, rendering a system unusable.
In today’s connected world, where technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming more prevalent, network security is more important than ever. Network administrators have to deal with a constantly evolving and sophisticated threat environment where cyber criminals are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit.
According to a report by Barracuda dubbed The state of network security in 2021, 81% of those surveyed said their company had suffered at least one security breach in the last year, while 74% of respondents said their company had suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past year.
And network attacks are no longer perpetrated by lone individuals or teams of a few people today. Instead, attacks are now conducted by governments, by companies against competitors, and by large transnational criminal networks.
Network administrators need to be aware of the latest threats and take appropriate measures to protect their systems.
Network Security Trends
Several network security trends are making headlines. Here are some of the most recent developments in network security management.
Zero trust security model
The zero trust security model is a security concept that advocates for a “zero trust” approach to security where organizations do not automatically trust any individual or entity, device, or application on the network. It is essentially an “assume breach” mentality in acknowledgment of the breakdown of the traditional security perimeter.
The zero trust model was first coined by Forrester Research in 2010 and has gained popularity in recent years as more organizations move to cloud-based and hybrid environments. Some of the world’s largest tech companies, such as Google, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and even the U.S. government, have adopted the zero trust security model.
Under the zero trust model, all users, devices, and applications on the network are untrusted until they can be authenticated and authorized. Network administrators carefully assess all risks before granting access to users, devices, or applications.
Cybersecurity education and knowledge sharing
According to a joint study by Stanford University and security company Tessian, almost 90% of all data breaches are caused by human error. So, it would be reasonable to assume that one of the best ways to combat data breaches is to educate employees on cybersecurity best practices.
Organizations are starting to realize the importance of training their employees on cybersecurity. As a result, many organizations are now making cybersecurity education a requirement for all employees. The goal is to educate employees on how to identify threats and prevent attacks and change the organization’s culture, so cybersecurity is top of mind for everyone.
A focus on incident detection and response (IDR)
Organizations are now placing a greater emphasis on incident detection and response (IDR). IDR is all about detecting security incidents as they happen and then responding in a way that minimizes the damage.
IDR requires a proactive approach to security where organizations are constantly on the lookout for suspicious activity. Once an incident is detected, it is important to have a plan to carry out the appropriate response quickly and effectively.
AI for network security
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being increasingly used in network security since it can be used for tasks such as identifying malicious traffic, malware detection, and data analysis. AI also offers many benefits for network security. For example, AI systems are trained to generate threat alerts, identify new malware types, and protect sensitive data.
Several companies offer AI-based network security tools, including some of the most well-known providers like Cisco, CrowdStrike, and Fortinet.
Combining NetOps with SecOps
NetOps and SecOps are two disciplines that are often siloed in most organizations. However, there is a growing trend of organizations combining the two disciplines into a single team.
NetOps is the practice of managing and operating a network. SecOps is the practice of securing a network. By combining the two disciplines into a single team, organizations can create a more holistic approach to network security.
A move to hybrid environments
More and more organizations are moving to hybrid environments, which involves a mix of on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure. The benefits of a hybrid environment include increased flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. However, it is important to note that hybrid environments have their own set of security challenges.
For example, data in a hybrid environment is often spread across multiple platforms, making it more difficult to secure. In addition, hybrid environments are often more complicated, leading to increased complexity in the network security stack.
The trend, therefore, is a more consolidated, security-oriented view of an application’s performance. This approach necessitates tools that offer visibility across different environments. It also requires combining cloud-based and traditional network-based monitoring methods.
4 Popular Network Security Acronyms
Below are four of the most popular network security acronyms.
BYOD: Bring your own device
BYOD is the workplace practice of allowing employees to bring their own devices (such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets) to work and use them for business purposes.
BYOD can be a security risk because it increases the number of connected devices to the network and increases the threat surface. In addition, many employees are not aware of the risks associated with using personal devices for work purposes.
To address this risk, organizations often come up with BYOD policies that stipulate the rules and guidelines for using personal devices at work. Employees that want to join an organization’s BYOD program must agree to the terms of the policy.
ZTN: Zero trust network
A zero trust network operates in accordance with the zero trust security model outlined above. This means that every device and user must be authenticated and authorized before being granted access to any resources.
SASE: Secure access service edge
The secure access service edge (SASE) is an enterprise networking category introduced by Gartner in 2019. SASE provides organizations with a way to securely connect users to applications and data regardless of location.
In the past, administrators implemented network access with siloed point solutions, which was complex and expensive. This approach hampered IT agility.
SASE allows enterprises to shorten new product development and delivery and respond quickly to changes in the business environment.
XDR: Extended detection and response
Extended detection and response (XDR) is a security solution that provides visibility into all aspects of an organization’s IT environment. XDR solutions are designed to detect, investigate, and respond to threats across the entire attack surface.
With new threats and vulnerabilities popping up every day, it can be hard to keep track of all the latest trends and acronyms. Enterprise network administrators must remain vigilant and regularly apprised of the latest trends and developments to maintain a secure network.
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