Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

In today’s digital age, network security has become a critical aspect of protecting sensitive information and ensuring the smooth functioning of businesses. With the increasing number of cyber-attacks, it is essential to understand the different types of network security that can help safeguard your digital assets. In this article, we will explore the three types of network security, which include network security controls, network security protocols, and network security architecture. By understanding these three types of network security, you can better protect your business from cyber threats and ensure the integrity of your data. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of network security!

Quick Answer:
Network security refers to the protection of computer networks from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. There are three main types of network security: network security controls, network security policies, and network security protocols. Network security controls are mechanisms that are designed to protect the network from unauthorized access and attacks. These controls can include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and virtual private networks (VPNs). Network security policies are guidelines that outline how to secure the network and protect sensitive information. These policies can include rules for password complexity, access controls, and data encryption. Network security protocols are sets of rules that govern the communication between devices on a network. These protocols can include SSL/TLS, SSH, and SNMP. By implementing strong network security controls, policies, and protocols, organizations can protect their networks from cyber threats and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their data.

Types of network security

Network security controls

  • Access control
  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Encryption
  • Firewalls
  • Intrusion detection and prevention

Access control

Access control is a security measure that restricts access to resources, such as data, applications, and systems, based on a user’s role, privileges, and responsibilities. Access control is essential in ensuring that only authorized users can access sensitive information and resources. It is typically implemented through a combination of policies, procedures, and technologies.

Some common access control mechanisms include:

  • Password-based authentication
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Mandatory access control (MAC)
  • Discretionary access control (DAC)


Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a user, device, or system. It is an essential component of network security, as it helps prevent unauthorized access to resources. Authentication mechanisms include:

  • Biometric authentication
  • Smart card authentication
  • Public key infrastructure (PKI)


Authorization is the process of granting access to resources based on a user’s identity and role. Once a user has been authenticated, they must be authorized to access specific resources. Authorization mechanisms include:

  • Attribute-based access control (ABAC)


Encryption is the process of converting plaintext into ciphertext to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Encryption is a critical component of network security, as it helps protect data in transit and at rest. Common encryption mechanisms include:

  • Symmetric-key encryption
  • Asymmetric-key encryption


Firewalls are network security devices that monitor and filter incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. Firewalls are an essential component of network security, as they help prevent unauthorized access to resources and protect against various network attacks. Common firewall types include:

  • Packet-filtering firewalls
  • Stateful inspection firewalls
  • Application-level gateways

Intrusion detection and prevention

Intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) systems monitor network traffic for signs of malicious activity and block malicious traffic before it reaches the network. IDP systems are critical in preventing and detecting network attacks, such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Common IDP mechanisms include:

  • Signature-based detection
  • Anomaly-based detection
  • Behavior-based detection
  • Honeypots and honeynets

Physical security

Physical security refers to the measures taken to protect the physical components of a network, such as servers, routers, switches, and cables, from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. It is a critical aspect of network security as it helps prevent malicious actors from gaining physical access to sensitive information and systems.

Physical access controls are measures that are put in place to control access to network components. This can include locks, key cards, biometric authentication, and security checkpoints. These controls help ensure that only authorized personnel have access to network components, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

Environmental controls refer to measures that are taken to protect network components from environmental hazards such as fire, floods, and extreme temperatures. This can include fire suppression systems, backup power supplies, and climate-controlled rooms. These controls help ensure that network components are protected from environmental hazards, reducing the risk of damage or downtime.

Surveillance refers to the monitoring of network components to detect and prevent unauthorized access or suspicious activity. This can include CCTV cameras, intrusion detection systems, and access logs. Surveillance helps to deter and detect unauthorized access or suspicious activity, reducing the risk of security breaches.

Overall, physical security is an essential aspect of network security as it helps to prevent unauthorized access, theft, or damage to network components. By implementing physical access controls, environmental controls, and surveillance measures, organizations can reduce the risk of security breaches and protect their sensitive information and systems.

Administrative security

Administrative security refers to the policies, procedures, and practices that are put in place to ensure the overall security of a network. It encompasses a wide range of activities, including the development and implementation of security policies, the provision of security awareness training to employees, and the creation of incident response plans.

Security policies and procedures

Security policies and procedures are the rules and guidelines that are put in place to ensure that all users of a network understand what is expected of them in terms of security. These policies and procedures may include guidelines for password management, access control, and data handling. They may also include specific protocols for responding to security incidents, such as data breaches or cyber attacks.

Security awareness training

Security awareness training is an important component of administrative security. It involves educating employees about the risks associated with network security and teaching them how to identify and respond to potential threats. This training may include information on phishing scams, social engineering attacks, and other common types of cyber attacks. It may also include information on how to use security software and tools, such as firewalls and antivirus programs.

Incident response planning

Incident response planning is the process of creating a plan for how to respond to security incidents. This plan may include specific steps to be taken in the event of a data breach or cyber attack, as well as guidelines for communicating with employees, customers, and other stakeholders. The goal of incident response planning is to minimize the impact of a security incident and to ensure that the network is quickly restored to a secure state.

Types of threats to network security

External threats

External threats refer to security risks that originate from outside the network perimeter. These threats can be caused by individuals or organizations that aim to exploit vulnerabilities in the network infrastructure or systems. Here are some of the most common external threats to network security:


Hackers are individuals who use their technical skills and knowledge to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks. They can exploit vulnerabilities in software or hardware, use social engineering tactics to manipulate users, or employ sophisticated techniques such as password cracking or social engineering to gain access to sensitive information. Hackers can also launch cyber-attacks, such as denial of service (DoS) attacks or malware attacks, to disrupt network operations or steal sensitive data.


Malware, short for malicious software, is any program or code designed to harm computer systems or networks. Malware can take many forms, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, and spyware. Once malware infects a system, it can steal sensitive data, corrupt files, or even take control of the system. Malware can be spread through various means, such as email attachments, infected websites, or social media links.


Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which attackers use fraudulent emails, texts, or websites to trick users into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Phishing attacks can be highly sophisticated, using tactics such as creating fake login pages or sending emails that appear to be from legitimate sources. Once the attackers have obtained sensitive information, they can use it for financial gain or to launch further attacks.

Denial of service attacks

Denial of service (DoS) attacks are designed to flood a network or website with traffic, making it unavailable to users. DoS attacks can be launched using botnets, which are networks of infected computers that can be controlled remotely. Once the attackers have control of the botnet, they can direct it to send a flood of traffic to a specific website or network, overwhelming it and making it unavailable to legitimate users. DoS attacks can be used for extortion, to disrupt business operations, or to steal sensitive data.

Internal threats

When it comes to network security, internal threats are one of the most significant concerns for organizations. These threats originate from within the organization and can be caused by employees, insiders, or rogue software.

  • Employees: Employees can pose a significant threat to network security, either intentionally or unintentionally. For example, an employee may accidentally download malware while browsing the internet, which can then spread throughout the network. On the other hand, an employee may intentionally steal sensitive data or compromise the network for personal gain.
  • Insiders: Insiders are individuals who have authorized access to the network, but who may use that access for malicious purposes. This can include contractors, vendors, or temporary employees who have been granted access to the network during a specific project or timeframe. Insiders may also include individuals who have been fired or otherwise terminated, but who still have access to the network.
  • Rogue software: Rogue software is any program that is designed to cause harm to a network or system. This can include malware, viruses, or other types of malicious software that are designed to infiltrate the network and cause damage. Rogue software can be introduced to the network through various means, including email attachments, infected websites, or social engineering attacks.

Overall, internal threats can be challenging to detect and prevent, as they often come from trusted sources within the organization. To mitigate the risk of internal threats, organizations should implement strict access controls, monitor network activity for unusual behavior, and provide regular training to employees on security best practices.

Types of network security

There are three main types of network security:

  1. Preventive security: This type of security focuses on preventing unauthorized access, use, and damage to a network. Examples of preventive security measures include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and access control lists.
  2. Detective security: This type of security focuses on detecting and responding to security breaches after they have occurred. Examples of detective security measures include security information and event management (SIEM) systems, log analysis, and incident response plans.
  3. Corrective security: This type of security focuses on restoring normal operations after a security breach has occurred. Examples of corrective security measures include patching software vulnerabilities, restoring from backups, and disconnecting infected devices from the network.

Each type of network security serves a specific purpose and plays a crucial role in protecting a network from different types of threats. By understanding the different types of network security, organizations can implement the appropriate measures to safeguard their networks and data.

1. Preventive security

Preventive security is the first line of defense against potential threats to network security. It involves implementing measures to prevent unauthorized access, protect against malware and viruses, and block access to unauthorized websites. Some of the key components of preventive security include:

  • Firewalls: A firewall is a security device that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It can be configured to block unauthorized access to a network and can also be used to prevent malware and viruses from spreading.
  • Antivirus software: Antivirus software is designed to detect and remove malware and viruses from a computer system. It can also be used to prevent malware and viruses from spreading to other systems.
  • Intrusion detection and prevention systems: Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) are designed to detect and prevent unauthorized access to a network. They can be configured to alert administrators to potential security breaches and can also be used to block access to unauthorized websites.
  • Access control lists: Access control lists (ACLs) are used to restrict access to certain parts of a network. They can be configured to allow only authorized users to access specific resources and can also be used to block access to unauthorized websites.

By implementing preventive security measures, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of a security breach and protect their valuable data and resources.

2. Detective security

Monitoring network activity

One of the key components of detective security is monitoring network activity. This involves constantly watching the network for any unusual or suspicious behavior. The goal is to identify any potential threats before they can cause damage. This can be done using various tools and techniques, such as intrusion detection systems (IDS) and security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

Identifying and responding to security incidents

Another important aspect of detective security is identifying and responding to security incidents. This includes detecting and analyzing any security breaches that may have occurred, as well as identifying any potential vulnerabilities in the network. The goal is to minimize the impact of the incident and prevent it from happening again in the future. This can involve implementing new security measures, such as firewalls or antivirus software, as well as educating employees on best practices for network security.

Investigating security breaches

Finally, detective security also involves investigating security breaches. This involves gathering evidence and analyzing it to determine the cause of the breach and the extent of the damage. The goal is to identify any weaknesses in the network and take steps to address them. This can involve working with law enforcement and other relevant parties to bring the perpetrators to justice.

3. Corrective security

Corrective security refers to the measures taken to address and fix security breaches or vulnerabilities in a network. These measures aim to restore the affected systems to a secure state and prevent further damage. Some common corrective security practices include:

  • Removing malware and viruses: This involves identifying and deleting any malicious software or viruses that have infiltrated the network. This can be done using anti-virus software or other security tools.
  • Patching vulnerabilities: Security patches are updates designed to fix known vulnerabilities in software or operating systems. These patches should be applied promptingly to ensure that the network is protected against potential attacks.
  • Restoring systems to a secure state: If a security breach has occurred, it may be necessary to restore affected systems to their previous secure state. This can involve rolling back to a previous backup or configuring systems to their original secure settings.


1. What are the three types of network security?

The three types of network security are:
1. Network Security: This refers to the protection of the network infrastructure itself, including hardware, software, and protocols. This type of security is concerned with preventing unauthorized access, tampering, and damage to the network.
2. Application Security: This type of security focuses on the protection of applications that run on the network. This includes securing the code, data, and interfaces of the application against attacks and vulnerabilities.
3. Data Security: This type of security is concerned with the protection of data that is stored, processed, and transmitted over the network. This includes measures to prevent unauthorized access, tampering, and theft of data.

2. What is the difference between network security and information security?

Network security and information security are related but distinct concepts. Network security is focused on the protection of the network infrastructure, while information security is focused on the protection of information assets, regardless of where they are stored or processed. In other words, network security is a subset of information security.

3. What are some examples of network security measures?

Some examples of network security measures include:
1. Firewalls: These are network devices that monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. They can be used to block unauthorized access and to prevent malicious software from spreading.
2. Intrusion detection and prevention systems: These systems monitor network traffic for signs of malicious activity and can take action to prevent attacks.
3. Virtual private networks (VPNs): These allow remote users to securely access a private network over the internet.
4. Encryption: This is the process of converting plaintext into ciphertext to prevent unauthorized access to data.
5. Access control: This is the process of regulating who is allowed to access a network or specific resources on a network.

4. What is the importance of network security?

Network security is important because it helps to protect sensitive information and critical systems from unauthorized access, tampering, and damage. This can help to prevent financial loss, reputation damage, and legal liability. In addition, network security can help to ensure the availability and reliability of network resources, which is essential for businesses and organizations of all sizes.

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