Network security ensures the integrity, availability and performance of an organization's network by protecting IT assets from threats like malware, ransomware, and denial-of-service attacks. An essential component of network optimization, network security solutions help prevent costly attacks and increase business productivity by keeping networks functioning properly.
The Traditional Approach to Network Security: Defending the Perimeter
Traditional network security includes the implementation and maintenance of physical controls such as data center access, as well as technical controls including firewalls, hardened routers, and intrusion detection systems. To effectively prevent unauthorized intrusion and other harmful attacks targeting the enterprise's network, information security best practices require the proper configuration across multiple solution types and frequent patching of such security tools in addition to the network devices they were designed to protect.
A robust network security program will also address data security policies, contingency and disaster recovery planning, and the need for regular vulnerability scanning and penetration testing. By simulating a real-world attack on an organization's network, network penetration testing allows the enterprise to evaluate the effectiveness of its security controls and procedures and the behavior of IT staff in response to incidents.
Traditional Network Security and Today's Threat Landscape
Even with the appropriate network security tools and policies in place, many companies still find it difficult to effectively protect their networks. The reality is that business models have changed. Traditional network security is built for the perimeter model, which protects what is inside of it. But users, devices, applications, and data are increasingly residing outside of the enterprise perimeter and in the cloud, with third-parties, and from various places around the world.
Skilled hackers are capable of bypassing perimeter defenses, and no single security solution can sufficiently shield a network from every type of attack. Confronting large, highly interconnected networks, complex computing environments, and an unpredictable threat landscape, IT departments struggle to secure the expertise and resources necessary to safeguard their networks.
A Multi-Layered Approach to Network Security: Supplementing Perimeter Defense with Cloud Security
For IT shops that want to both simplify and fortify network security—and for business managers seeking to reduce spending and boost productivity—cloud-based security services provide the solution. Akamai offers users of the global Akamai Intelligent PlatformTM a suite of cost-effective cloud security solutions, equipping your organization with multi-layered defense capabilities—defense-in-depth that stops attacks at the edges of the Internet before they reach your network. These cloud-based solutions include:
- Enterprise Application Access provides simple, secure access to applications behind the firewall, centralizing your access control and keeping all users off the network, minimizing breach potential.
- Enterprise Threat Protector delivers proactive protection against malware at one of the most commonly used attack vectors: the DNS layer.
- Prolexic Solutions provide expert mitigation against the broadest range of DDoS attacks, maintaining the availability of Internet-facing applications.
- Web Application Firewall detects potential attacks in HTTP and SSL traffic upstream, filtering out malicious traffic as close to the source as possible.