What are Network Security Attacks?

Network security attacks are unauthorized actions against private, corporate or governmental IT assets in order to destroy them, modify them or steal sensitive data. As more enterprises invite employees to access data from mobile devices, networks become vulnerable to data theft or total destruction of the data or network.

Types of attacks in network security

There are two main types of network attacks:

  • Passive: this is when sensitive information is screened and monitored, potentially compromising the security of enterprises and their customers.
  • Active: this is when information is altered by a hacker or destroyed entirely.

Why have these attacks become more common?

In recent years, there has been an upward trend towards “hacktivism” whereby hackers try to take control of organizations for political reasons or financial gain. Digital transformation in the workplace has now enabled a “bring your own device” (BYOD) model, which potentially poses risks for employees who access data with mobile devices. These can leave businesses vulnerable to threats such as wireless network attacks, as can cloud-based applications and highly interactive websites.

How to secure your network

Previously, organizations would attempt to prevent network attacks by using network security tools such as firewalls or intrusion detection systems. While these still have their place, they are no match for modern day security attacks, for example modern Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, as these attack on a much deeper level. These traditional perimeter-based solutions rely on a “castle and moat” method whereby anybody who manages to penetrate the network is automatically trusted, rather than authenticated before entering. These may introduce new threats due to improper configuration is sub-standard patching.

Enterprises may also carry out vulnerability management and penetration testing. These help to meet compliance requirements and help to address gaps in information security, but they are very resource consuming. For a fully scalable, multi-layered defense solution, companies should invest in cloud security solutions.

Why is network security important?

Unfortunately for modern enterprises, hacker knowledge, attack tools and botnet-for-hire are more readily available than ever before, helping to increase the prevalence and sophistication of internet-borne network attacks. For example, modern DDoS attacks can now attack at the deepest layer, the application layer, as opposed to years gone by when they could only penetrate the network or transport layer.

These cyber-attacks have two overarching outcomes for enterprises: firstly, they result in costly damages to IT infrastructure. Secondly, they incur further loss of revenue by diminishing brand reputation, for example, losing customers due to data breaches.

Defeating Network Attacks with Akamai Cloud Security Solutions

There is no on-premise solution that can protect against all types of network attacks, however, what companies need to effectively mitigate a variety of cyber threats is flexible, scalable, multi-layered defenses. This is why Akamai has designed and built into the Akamai Intelligent PlatformTM simple yet powerful Cloud Security Solutions that help defend your web applications and networks from attacks, keeping both customers and business owners safe.

The Akamai Intelligent Platform helps to protect using:

  • An edge-based, defense-in-depth approach to thwarts attacks upstream and employs overlapping layers of protection to detect and deflect web application and network attacks before they reach customers' data centers.
  • Cloud-based DDoS mitigation solutions for built-in scalability, absorbing DDoS traffic at the application layer while filtering out malicious DDoS traffic targeted at the network layer.
  • InfoSec and CSIRT teams, which constantly analyze new threat intelligence, adapting the platform's security to the present threat landscape, offering customers the information they need to stay vigilant and safe.
  • A reputational service offering to forewarns you of intent before exploitation.

Discover how Akamai's Cloud Security Solutions can help protect your organization from network attacks.