Network security platforms are designed to protect networks from incursion by external sources. The features of network security platforms include protection against viruses, exploits (e.g. sniffers, keyloggers, buffer overflows, browser hijack objects), and protocol/shell hacks. Network security management is a critical part of an organization’s information technology (IT) structure.
A number of separate network security programs working in tandem with one another comprise a total network security solution. Each network security program is designed to address a category labeled by security specialists as a “vulnerability area”. Examples include local network security, wireless network security, and Internet network security. One of the most common applications in network security platforms is firewall software, which is designed to protect unauthorized connections to any applications behind the firewall (inbound connections), prevent applications from connecting outside that network that have no logical reason to do so (outbound connections), or both. Designers and programmers of such applications insure software compliance with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.1 standards for network devices such as routers, hubs, switches, and network interface cards (NIC). Antivirus software is another critical application part of network security platforms. Typically, these applications typically protect networks against macro viruses, worms, file viruses, Trojan horses, backdoor Trojans, boot sector viruses, page hijackers, and malware. Antivirus applications may also be configured to retrieve regular data updates (i.e. “virus definitions”) to provide continuous protection against the proliferation of new viruses that would otherwise be undetectable. In some cases, an antivirus firewall is necessary. In other cases, a network security tool is a front-end application designed to handle some specialized area of network security. It does not comprise an entire network security platform.
Guidelines and Cost
Suppliers of network security platforms usually operate within the parameters and guidelines defined by highly-trained specialists trained in security networks. It is common for companies to recommend analysis by such specialists before providing a specific solution to their customers. Costs for network security platforms vary in terms of number of factors, including the size and type of network being secured, number of network users, and the various network tools required to protect the data, business applications, and utility applications commonly found in network commerce.