We have said it before and we will say it again, network security is the cornerstone of your IT infrastructure. The operation of most technology stems from a secure and reliable network. Without it, your systems would not function, and business operations would come to a halt.
On the other hand, an always on, reliable network could give your business the upper hand it needs to beat out the competition. Especially if your company has multiple locations. Networking is the work of linking two or more smart devices together for the purpose of sharing data. Ensuring a secure connection between multiple locations and devices is critical.
What is your current network situation? If you are looking to learn more about the fundamentals of network security, you have come to the right place. We will uncover the five major areas that make a network effective. Let’s dive in!
What is Network Security?
What makes a network secure? Well, there are a couple of factors that are at play here. Network security is the process of taking preventative actions to protect the business’s networking infrastructure from malicious access, misuse, error, modification, destruction or internal threats.
A secure network is made up of controls and policies to keep an attacker out, while keeping data and devices protected. Once a device on the same network connects to the internet, it immediately becomes vulnerable.
With the explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, communicating with each other over wired, wireless, or cellular networks, network security is an important concept. However, it is possible to safeguard your systems.
Simple steps like ensuring your software is automatically updated to the newest versions, implementing antivirus and malware protections, and educating staff on security best practices are a great start.
In addition to those steps, working with a cloud provider that has an extensive heritage in network security can take the burden off of your business.
Here are the five fundamentals that a cloud service provider could bring to your network security posture.
#1. Network Redundancy
With the help of cloud services, corporate data can be accessed from any device at any time in any place. Especially as workforces have gone remote during the COVID-19 pandemic, users are able to work outside of normal business hours.
In addition, networks are the primary point of contact for delivering products and services to your customers. If an unexpected outage occurred, not only would employee productivity plummet, but so would your customer sales.
The idea of redundant networks is simple. Without disaster recovery systems in place, all it takes is a single point of failure to take your entire network down. Network redundancy is the process of adding additional instances of network devices and lines of communication to decrease the risk of failure along the critical data path. When vetting your cloud service provider, ask them about high availability. High availability is a software-based redundant system. High availability uses clusters of servers that monitor one another and have failover protocols in place.
The Importance of Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery allows your organization to recover faster, rely on your applications, keep your data secure, and test without disruption. Disaster recovery is essential for network redundancy. Maintaining operations during an unplanned outage gives any organization the upper hand.
Disaster recovery is made up of multiple components. The most important components include preventative measures that help to reduce risk of disaster or incidents actually occurring in the first place.
It also takes steps at identifying unwanted or malicious events that are trying to breach a network. The final phase is taking corrective action to restore any lost data with minimal downtown or lasting effects. To accomplish the following, seek out a provider that ensures uninterrupted performance of IT operations and mission-critical systems in the event of a disaster.
#2 Network Reliability
The second fundamental of network security is reliability. Delivering reliable network and internet connection to customers and employees can be challenging. To get started you must first understand what a reliable network is.
What do we mean by reliable? Do you mean fast, always on, or achievable? We think it means all of those things and more. At LightEdge we intentionally designed paths in and out of our markets, both through and around carrier hotels, for always-on internet.
Our network is fast, always on, available, and achievable to all of our customers. Many times, network availability is confused with network reliability. In fact, according to Tech Target, a network can be highly available, but not reliable. A network that achieves 99.5 percent availability is actually down for nearly nine hours annually.
Network reliability is different. Network reliability showcases how well the infrastructure operates to support operational processes. A network with a lengthy mean time between failures (MTBF) or a low failure rate is likely to complete processes on a consistent basis.
#3 Network Performance
Secure network performance is incredibly important and is the most noticeable fundamental of them all.
Network performance refers to the service quality experienced by the user, and latency plays a major role here.
What is Network Latency?
Network latency is the time it takes for data or a request to go from the source to the destination. When there are latency issues, users experience slow or delayed access to the internet or their cloud services.
The lower your latency, the better your performance. The most common signs of high latency include:
- Data taking too long to send, for example with a large email attachment
- Web-based applications are slow to load or open
- Websites do not load
Finding a provider that offers low latency network performance and is always looking to evolve their network processes to run faster is important for business effectiveness, as well as simply making your workday more seamless.
When attempting to secure a network however, network performance can be affected in unfavorable ways. Many times, in an attempt to protect against evolving threats, converge networks, stay updated on compliance regulations, and keep costs low, the performance of a network can suffer.
So how do you fix this? It all starts with finding a network partner that is rooted in security, compliance, and performance. Request a networking tool that is also secure. You want both here.
LightEdge has already built extensive in-market and cross-market fiber paths with access to hundreds of diverse carriers to save you the time and investment.
According to our whitepaper on How IT Network Solutions Evolved for Cloud Connectivity, in the early days of internet and networking, users would find an IP network built on top of traditional TDM telecom transport technologies. This technology was designed for high uptime, but low speeds. Speeds were measured in kilobits per second for most end-user connections. Y1’s running at 1.5 megabits per second were considered high speed and could cost someone $2,000 a month.
Overall, internet costs on a per megabit per second basis have dropped 25 percent year over year for two decades, and that trend is expected to continue, according to our whitepaper on What to Look for In an SD-WAN Solution. The key is to simply get out and look, and in cases where you need help, find a reputable telecom consultant to help with your search. Online tools like broadbandnow.com can help you get started and broaden your search.
If you own your building or are in a long-term lease, it is recommended you take a long-term perspective on connectivity and work to bring at least three fiber-optic providers into your facility.
#5 Network Protection
The final network security fundamental is about protection. As the workforce continues to rely on the digital world, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have increased. These attacks are targeting big and small businesses alike in all different industries.
Thankfully, providers such as LightEdge take network protection one step further with global compliance standards and DDoS Protection for your mission-critical workloads.
LightEdge is Fundamental to Your Network
When asked about our differentiators, the first answer is always – our network. LightEdge designs all of our purpose-built facilities and services around connectivity first. That means unparalleled scale, redundancy, speed, and uptime for your business and the clients you serve.
We spent over two decades perfecting our network and infrastructure to be the most scalable, redundant, and secure in the US. Today, LightEdge has narrowed our focus to supporting the most highly regulated organizations with our Tier III data centers and compliant cloud offerings. Although, one thing has stayed constant – everything we do is built around our unrivaled network.
We understand your top priorities when it comes to connectivity:
- Your applications are always up.
- Your applications are always fast for end users.
Have confidence that LightEdge has built every inch of our network to deliver you just that.
DDoS attacks are continuing to grow in frequency and complexity. As the leader in connectivity, LightEdge takes a proactive stance to deliver the top network safeguards every organization should have. Our internet is inherently built to handle mission-critical, compliant workloads. On top of that includes security. We offer two tiers of DDoS Protection to upgrade your LightEdge Internet experience and protect against the rest.
With DDoS Protection, it’s recommended to have these safeguarding measures in place prior to an attack ever taking place so that we’re able to mitigate the situation right away. Interested in staying ahead of DDoS threats? Let’s Get You Setup.
We do understand that it may be too late in some instances and you may already be in emergency, reactive mode. If your company is currently under attack, LightEdge can step in to assist and work with you to figure out a solution. If you’re concerned or experiencing issues, contact us here immediately at 1.877.771.3343!
- Antivirus: Not Just By Prescription Anymore
- DDoS Attacks: Your Guide to Staying Protected
- Orchestrating Network Security Policies to Prevent a Data Breach
- Top Network Security Threats and How to Prevent Them
- Three Solutions to Protect Against Insider Threats
- Backups and Redundancy: Why Your Business Needs Both
- How to Mitigate and Respond to Data Breaches
- Proven Security Techniques for Data Protection in the Cloud
- Security for Remote Workers: A COVID-19 Crisis Planning Guide
- What is Edge Computing and How Does it Impact Me?