Almost every single person in this world connects to the Internet every day. We scroll the social media feed, visit different websites, use web services, and so on. Still, all of us forget that we can safely enjoy all of those things thanks to the built-in security systems of the computer.
However, catching a virus or opening a security breach because of a few random clicks has been a very common thing since the early 2000s. Sometimes, the basic security tools and systems are far from enough to protect your device. Especially if you’re working with important, or even classified, information.
Many companies and different types of organizations have similar levels of network security risks because of simple negligence. Then, they get surprised when their, or worse – their customers’ data, gets stolen.
So, we asked professionals from Develux to provide us with some detailed information on what is network security, the types of cybersecurity, and the best tools for network protection. Let’s start with the basics.
What is Network Security?
Network Security is a pretty easy concept consisting of many different complex aspects. Basically, it ensures that no one, except for allowed users, can access your computer. Because there are many ways to. For example, by sending a worm to a particular PC or randomly finding devices with unsecured network ports.
There are countless ways to hack someone else’s device and much fewer options to protect your own one. Pre-installed antiviruses are somewhat good, but they can only detect the most basic viruses only after they already get into the system. To understand what particular aspects need to be protected, here’s the list of types of cybersecurity.
- Anti-Malware – these are the antiviruses we have just mentioned. Such software detects harmful programs and destroys them.
- Firewalls – think of them as tough guys near the gate entrances. They control the network ports and how every data package is checked.
- Data-loss Prevention – protects the packages from being stolen. The packages can contain very important confidential information. For example, credit card info or insight data from international conglomerates.
- Access Control – determines who can use the system and what parts of it are shown to them.
- Application Security – each application has additional levels of security that were implemented into it during the development.
- Web Security – protects you while you’re using browsers by eliminating potentially harmful elements like pop-up windows or ads.
However, keep in mind that these are only the most basic ones, as there are dozens of other important and complex types of network protection. Now, let’s get into the list of the most useful tools you can use to improve the security level and eliminate any breaches.
Best Tools for Network Security
Most of the people reading this article probably know about Tor already. If not, then you must check it out. It’s a famous browser, with a built-in VPN and some additional protocols. It’s known for being used by people that are willing to explore the darknet, as the most basic level of protection from all the dangers that live there.
That means, outside of the darknet it will protect you on a pretty decent level, as for a simple browser. The main advantage of it is that it’s easy to use and install. Just download it and you’re ready to go.
OSSEC is an intrusion detection system, which supervises all the potential entrances of cybercriminals and malware. These are all the network connection ports, the virtual ports, personal online and on-device data, and even peripherals. It’s available for free on all modern platforms, making it one of the most used protection systems today.
However, it lacks some of the features and abilities of its more advanced and paid rivals. Still, OSSEC offers a very decent level of network security, which would suffice most of the common user’s needs.
Nikto is a vulnerability management tool that utilizes its large database with more than 7,000 potential threat sources to find out whether security leaks are present. The library is constantly updating, meaning that even the most modern cyberattack techniques won’t pass it.
Overall, Nikto is like an insanely trained and huge guard dog that sometimes may lack the logic to detect well-hidden targeted attacks. Yet, it’s more than enough unless you’re working for secret governmental agencies.
Wireshark is exactly what you imagined after hearing its name. It’s a shark that swims through the data in the cables and wireless networks and eats the potentially harmful packages. It analyzes protocols to find vulnerabilities and uses complex algorithms to detect sources of danger.
Also, it gives users a very important opportunity to view and check all the TCP protocols in real-time and via reports.
Cain and Abel
This piece of code can be used either to retrieve passwords or to protect your ones from being stolen. Yes, the first part isn’t that legal, but the best thing about Cain and Abel is that it has many times more protective abilities than harmful ones. It can detect brute attempts to find the passwords, record VoIP interactions, and analyze protocols for the routing process.
Cain and Abel is kind of the ultimate password protector. No one will ever be able to steal them while these mythical characters are protecting your system.
Aircrack is somewhat similar to the previous point in our list. The main difference is that this software is mainly used to protect wireless networks. It can help to detect attacks, decryption attempts, and package thefts. It can crack algorithms itself too, meaning that any seemingly friendly packages or processes can be easily detected, opened, and annihilated.
Audit Record Generation and Utilization System, ARGUS for short, is an open-source network analysis tool. It shows you all the needed information and allows users to do deep research on every single bit of their network. Though, it may feel slightly outdated – it is not updated that often.
As the word “professional” suggests, this edition of Nessus offers top-level quality in every aspect of cybersecurity. Of course, it requires a subscription, but you get all the modern and innovative protection layers in return. It can identify and repair the found breaches and vulnerabilities.
Also, it is able to detect bugs and issues that may become easy access points for harmful software and solve them. And of course, it has an impressive database of threats. However, it was mainly designed for Linux and its distros, as a main server security system. The Windows version is available too with a WIN32 GUI client, but it may feel a little bit clunky and inconvenient.
Paros Proxy is an application that was built mainly on Java, and is essentially a toolbox. It has many useful cybersecurity tools that are focused on the web, including a traffic recorder, vulnerability scanner, and web spider.
What makes it even better is the fact that it can be easily modified even with basic web development knowledge of HTTP/HTTPS or Java.
These are some of the most commonly used examples of network security programs. Yet, don’t stop at this, find more of them and test everything yourself in a secure and controlled environment. Harmful software evolves with each day, so it’s very important to stay in touch with all the modern protection systems. Stay safe and good luck!