The Value of a Network Security Architecture

Having a robust cybersecurity tactic, with the right protocols and strategies, is incredibly complex. Why? Because it takes into account all the components of a network’s security architecture. Not just how you access the system or mainframe, not just how you input your password, but absolutely everything. That includes your network nodes, your hardware, your devices, your wiring, your communication protocols, even your internet provider. That’s why, when talking about network security architecture, you’re in fact describing your whole ecosystem — even the human factor, your employees.

What is Network Security Architecture?

Network Security Architecture, in a nutshell, is basically everything that has to do with your business’ digital, technological, and communication needs. It’s a detailed, comprehensive blueprint of ALL your framework. Every organizational structure, standard, policy, and functional behavior employed for communication and/or accessing your data and mainframe. 

A well-organized and efficient Network Security Architecture takes into account every cyber or computer system within your framework — how it’s set up, how it’s synched, how it’s integrated, how it communicates with one another, how it’s accessed. This plan is used to guide the design of a product and system, taking into account the security features said the system will have to display. 

Anti-viruses, VPNs, antimalware, Multi-Factor Authentication, hardware, operating systems, the network security architecture is the sum of all of that plus the processes and people that define your organizations. Its main purpose is to investigate different threats, mitigate attacks, create SOP policies (Standard Operating Procedures) and include all the tactics that may ultimately instruct engineers on how to build a security heavy platform. 

Components of Network Security Architecture

The components of a Network Security Architecture blueprint consisted of much much more than just taking into account firewalls and antivirus programs — it’s about threat intelligence and threat assessment. The list of what it considers is incredibly long and each security firm has its own magic recipe, its standard. The more holistic, all-encompassing it is, the more inherently strong your organization will be. Why? Well, some firms only audit account creation and management, others add on security protocols and the role of individuals in maintaining it. Other firms only review the bare essentials, disregarding the type of training your staff will need – constantly – to avoid social engineering attacks like phishing. A healthy and buff Network Security Architecture is unique to your organization, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution or a template. Nonetheless, disregarding how your organization operates or who you end up hiring to create your Network Security Architecture, here are the main components they must take into account — regardless of their “special” recipe. 

Network Elements

This takes into account the way your network is configured. 

Network Nodes

If your network is a chain, your nodes are where these links click together. It’s where all that wiring or WiFi interacts with hardware. Your nodes are your computers, your routers, your servers, your printers, your cellphones, your tablets, etc. It’s everything that has access or is interconnected by your internet provider. These are your gateways and in many cases, it’s where your main attacks – malware and virus – will focus on. 

Another network node to take into account, one that has its own special category within Network Security Architecture, is the Human Node. Most, more than 90%, of infestations to your system will be on account of their actions — whether malicious or unintentional. 

Communication Protocols

Communication protocols are the rules that govern how information is exchanged between two or more entities — in this case, between nodes within your system. That includes security protocols like HTTPS, SFTP, and SSL, as well as network management tools like SNMP and ICMP.

Connection Media

How you connect to your servers, and the World Wide Web, is critical to your overall strategy. Whether it is a secured wired server or an encryption-heavy wireless connection.

Topologies

The general layout of your business matters. The materials you used for construction, the components that line your walls, even how your desk and chairs are organized and sprinkled around in your office are important. These structural settings create blind spots, pinch points, and other topological features that can ultimately hurt your overall Network Security Architecture.

Security Elements

A good audit takes into account all your current security measures, if you have any, and analyzes the effectiveness. Amongst them:

Secure Communications Protocols

How secure is your actual communication, Do you use a Secure Socket Layer for sensitive data? How about Secure File Transfer Protocols for exchanging data? Are you employing the right communication protocols, or are you leaving blind spots that can be exploited?

Data Privacy Technology 

Authentication, authorization, data encryption, and hardware-based security are just some of the most common data privacy measures your company might employ. 

Cybersecurity Devices

Identity and access management, Data loss prevention, backups, endpoint protection, antimalware, firewalls, and dozens of other tools – both hardware as well as software – are employed to help you manage your cybersecurity needs. 

Why is Network Security Architecture Important?

Did you know that the most common security faux-pass most companies fall prey to is complacency? Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, all those tech-heavy conglomerates are incredibly diligent when it comes to the security features of their software. At least once a month they update all their apps, all their operating systems, with the latest security measures and firewalls. What they don’t take into account is their client’s infrastructure. They don’t take into account if their wiring has been compromised if their servers have been hacked if their employees have strong passwords. Want to know what the most used password in existence is? Your employee’s name followed by 12345. These companies also don’t consider whether you’re actually updating their software— if you’re downloading their new security features. In other words, they don’t consider if your staff or your policymakers cut corners because it’s easier for them. This is why Network Security Architecture is important because you are your worst enemy — and security measures have to protect you, well, from YOU.

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