Evolution of Network Security

Suresh Kumar Vijayen

Evolution of Network Security

Rewind to the year 1950, and people started to realize that data had intrinsic value, which led to the invention of network security.

Digital storage was first made possible in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Those data were stored on room-sized mainframes, and access to those was granted by plugging into the mainframe itself or gaining access to its data from an internal terminal. Those who adopted digital storage technology early were not concerned about protecting sensitive company information because it required a trip inside the building to get to it.

Data has a value that includes a large volume of personally identifiable information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, profit and loss statements, personal details, and demographic data on large populations. Over the next couple of decades, as more and more data was stored, there was a paradigm shift. Since then, data has become essential and valuable.

There is a massive risk that sensitive information could get into the wrong hands due to the rapid proliferation of digital data. This risk was also accelerated by introducing online access and the Internet. Furthermore, corporations had accumulated large amounts of personal information on employees and customers. They decided to share, market, sell, and repackage that data, introducing even greater security and risk concerns. As data became a highly valued commodity, companies now had to face the new reality that their sensitive information needed to be kept safe from cybercriminals or attackers.

The data revolution continues to drive changes in security strategies and the future of network security. Consider that our collective data worldwide will reach 175 zettabytes just five years from now. There will be enormous quantities of digital data in databases, videos, photos, all types of applications, and more. Today, every organization and business prioritize improving network security compliance and standard accordingly. To prevent cybercriminals from breaching network security defenses, the standards are nearly 100% dependent on a technology stack such as:

  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) to scan and alert when unauthorized access or threats have been detected.
  • Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) check for malicious traffic that has made it behind the firewall.
  • Endpoint protection products such as antivirus or email protection software deliver a frontline defense for devices connecting to the network and incoming or outgoing communications.
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools allow IT, administrators, to increase visibility by configuring specific alerts attached to particular actions.
  • Network Access Control tools enhance an IT administrator’s visibility with policy governance, user governance, and automated reactions to common intrusion attempts.
  • Cloud Security tools to remotely manage devices, data, and networks from a centralized location
  • Physical and Digital Access Control Tools to allow only authorized people or devices access to company property, networks, or information.