Let’s find out what is Network Security and how you can learn it.
Why Network Security?
Most organizations today greatly rely on computer networks to share information in an efficient and productive manner within the defined network. Organizational computer networks these days are very large, assuming that each staff member has a dedicated workstation. A large-scale company would have thousands of workstations and servers on the network.
It is likely that these workstations may not be centrally managed, or would they have proper protection parameters. Organizations may have a variety of operating systems, hardware, software, and protocols with different levels of cyber awareness among users.
Imagine these thousands of workstations on company networks are directly connected to the Internet. This sort of unsecured Network becomes a target for an attack that holds sensitive information and valuable data. Network Security helps to resolve such issues.
What is Network Security?
Network security consists of policies and practices adopted to prevent and monitor unauthorized access, misuse modification, or denial of a computer network and access network resources.
The authorization of data access in a network is taken care of by network security, which is controlled by the network administrator or network security engineer.
Network security covers transactions and communications among businesses, government agencies, and individuals too. Networks can be private such as within the company, or it might be open to public access, and security is involved in both layers.
It secures the network as well as protects and oversees the operations being done over the network.
Below are some of the different types of Network Security:
- Email Security
- Network Segmentation
- Access Control
- Application Security
- Data Loss Prevention
- Intrusion Prevention Detection
- Wireless Security
- Web Security
- Wireless Security
Network Security in the Cloud Era
Earlier, organizations used to store their data on-premise. They used to have their own storage facility. Now, the majority of the organizations are moving to Cloud.
Cloud computing is transforming the way we do business, making IT more efficient and cost-effective. But it is also opening companies up to new types of cyber threats. If a hacker can access the networks over the cloud, there can be serious damage to the organizations.
It is a threat that is getting only bigger. Even the risk of hackers stealing data has grown exponentially.
Hence, Cloud security is very crucial, and network security is a part of it.
What Network Security Engineer does?
As you can guess, the Network Security engineer plays a very crucial role in the organization. They plan and execute the programs and other measures, including the installation of software for data encryption, firewalls, VPN, etc.
Additionally, they are responsible for designing and executing plans for methods of recovery of data and systems falling under cyber-attacks. They should always be aware of the latest trend of cyber threats and networking technologies to prevent them.
Is it worth learning?
In the United States, a Network Security engineer earns an average salary of 115,000$ per annum.
This salary differs depending on your years of experience. Let’s take the example of having ten years of IT experience; then, you can even earn more than 150,000$ per annum. You can get an idea about the salary on Glassdoor.
Where to learn Network Security?
There are plenty of online resources to learn network security at your convenience, and the good news is it doesn’t cost a fortune.
A specialization program to learn the basics, get familiar with various tools, and understand the concept of cloud security. This course is offered by IBM on Coursera.
Coursera is an online learning marketplace, so you may explore more courses and take what suits you. If you already know the basics, you may want to try this network security and database vulnerability program.
Complete Cyber Security
A good blend of network security practical courses. This is available on Udemy and aims to teach you everything you should know as a cybersecurity specialist with solid network security understanding.
Udemy is a marketplace, similar to Coursera. And, you can find plenty of other network security courses.
Udemy courses are accessible from any device, including Mobile, which means you can learn on the go.
edX is very popular, and it provides online courses from over 140 institutions, including Harvard, MIT, NYU. At the time of writing, there are six relevant courses.
Pick the one that suits you the most.
Network Penetration Testing
A free way to learn network penetration testing for the beginner.
This video talks about many things, including the following.
- Passive OSINT
- Scanning Tools
- Credential Stuffing
- Building an AD Lab
- LLMNR Poisoning
- NTLMv2 Cracking with Hashcat
- NTLM Relay
- Token Impersonation
- Pass the Hash
freeCodeCamp is a popular non-profitable YouTube channel for techies with 2M+ subscribers. It is an open-source community with a lot of free resources.
CBT Nuggets got plenty of free videos on their YouTube channel. Their videos are informative, meaningful, and engaging. There are two playlists I would recommend.
Intro to Networking
Intro to Cybersecurity
Fancy a book?
Defensive Security Handbook is one of the highly recommended books for Network Security. This book provides step-by-step instructions for dealing with a specific issue, which includes network infrastructure and password management, breaches and disasters, compliance, vulnerability scanning.
CompTIA Network +
CompTIA Network+ by Mike Meyers is one of the core books which makes you learn network security in-depth and helps you clear the CompTIA Network+ exam in the first attempt.
This book has clear instructions and real-world examples with hundreds of practice questions prepared by bestselling author Mike Meyers along with several training experts.
For blog reading lover, security blogs by CISCO have plenty to offer. Many influencers and security experts share their knowledge so you can keep your knowledge up-to-date.
Cybrary is an online training and career development portal for Cybersecurity. You can get it started with the following two courses.
Cyber Network Security – covering core knowledge, necessary network applications, network design, protection components, firewall, etc.
Network Security – for beginner covering the basics of TCP/IP, port scanning, sniffing, firewall, honeypot, network design, etc.
Cisco CCNP ENCOR (350-401): 2 Network Management, Security, and Automation by Kevin Wallace are one of the popular network security courses offered on Lynda.
This course is offered on Edureka. They provide live instructor-led training with 24×7 tech support.
There Cybersecurity Certification Course will help you in establishing a strong foundation towards your journey in the Cybersecurity domain. Below are the modules covered in this course:
- Security essentials
- Computer networks and security
- Application security
- Data and endpoint security
- Identity and access management
- Cloud security
- Cyber attach phases
- Security process
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification course offered by Simplilearn covers all areas of IT security so you can become a strong information security professional.
You are expected to learn the following.
- Security and risk management
- Asset security
- Security operation & engineering
- Security testing
- Network &web security
- Software development security
Network security skills are on-demand, and learning will help you to upgrade your skills for a better salary. In addition to the above, you may also explore Web Security by Stanford and Network Defender by EC Council.