Network Security

What Is Network Security?

Network security is the protection of the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse, or theft. It involves creating a secure infrastructure for devices, applications, users, and applications to work in a secure manner.




How does network security work?

Network security combines multiple layers of defenses at the edge and in the network. Each network security layer implements policies and controls. Authorized users gain access to network resources, but malicious actors are blocked from carrying out exploits and threats.

How do I benefit from network security?

Digitization has transformed our world. How we live, work, play, and learn have all changed. Every organization that wants to deliver the services that customers and employees demand must protect its network. Network security also helps you protect proprietary information from attack. Ultimately it protects your reputation.


Types of network security


A firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Cisco offers both threat-focused firewalls and unified threat management  (UTM) devices. 

  • Explore Cisco Secure Firewall

    Intrusion prevention systems

    An intrusion prevention system (IPS) scans network traffic to actively block attacks. Secure IPS appliances do this by correlating huge amounts of global threat intelligence to not only block malicious activity but also track the progression of suspect files and malware across the network to prevent the spread of outbreaks and reinfection.

    Workload security

    Workload security protects workloads moving across different cloud and hybrid environments. These distributed workloads have larger attack surfaces, which must be secured without affecting the agility of the business.

    NetWORK security

    NetWORK security is Cisco’s vision for simplifying network, workload, and multicloud security by delivering unified security controls to dynamic environments.

    • Explore our NetWORK vision

      Application security

      Any software you use to run your business needs to be protected, whether your IT staff builds it or whether you buy it. Unfortunately, any application may contain holes, or vulnerabilities, that attackers can use to infiltrate your network. Application security encompasses the hardware, software, and processes you use to close those holes.

      Behavioral analytics

      To detect abnormal network behavior, you must know what normal behavior looks like. Behavioral analytics tools automatically discern activities that deviate from the norm. Your security team can then better identify indicators of compromise that pose a potential problem and quickly remediate threats.

      Cloud security

      Cloud security is a broad set of technologies, policies, and applications applied to defend online IP, services, applications, and other imperative data. It helps you better manage your security by shielding users against threats anywhere they access the internet and securing your data and applications in the cloud.

      Data loss prevention

      Organizations must make sure that their staff does not send sensitive information outside the network. Data loss prevention, or DLP, technologies can stop people from uploading, forwarding, or even printing critical information in an unsafe manner.

      Email security

      Email gateways are the number one threat vector for a security breach. Attackers use personal information and social engineering tactics to build sophisticated phishing campaigns to deceive recipients and send them to sites serving up malware. An email security application blocks incoming attacks and controls outbound messages to prevent the loss of sensitive data.

      Industrial network security

      As you are digitizing your industrial operations, the deeper integration between IT, cloud, and industrial networks is exposing your Industrial Control Systems (ICS) to cyberthreats. You need full visibility into your OT security posture to segment the industrial network, and feed IT security tools with rich details on OT devices and behaviors.

      Mobile device security

      Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile devices and apps. Within the next three years, 90 percent of IT organizations may support corporate applications on personal mobile devices. Of course, you need to control which devices can access your network. You will also need to configure their connections to keep network traffic private.

      Security information and event management

      SIEM products pull together the information that your security staff needs to identify and respond to threats. These products come in various forms, including physical and virtual appliances and server software.

      Web security

      A web security solution will control your staff’s web use, block web-based threats, and deny access to malicious websites. It will protect your web gateway on site or in the cloud. “Web security” also refers to the steps you take to protect your own website.

      Wireless security

      Wireless networks are not as secure as wired ones. Without stringent security measures, installing a wireless LAN can be like putting Ethernet ports everywhere, including the parking lot. To prevent an exploit from taking hold, you need products specifically designed to protect a wireless network.


      NetWORK security

      Gain unified segmentation of workloads: a single pane of glass from the workload to the network and cloud, supporting all workload types without limitations. 


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