Building a Robust Defense: Key Components of Enterprise Network Security

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Building a comprehensive defensive strategy for an enterprise network is one of the most essential jobs for the IT professional. Key components of network security include implementing an array of technologies, practices, and employee policies to protect against all kinds of potential threats.

Preventing a cyber security breach and potential malware or ransomware attack is imperative to keep companies out of the news and in compliance with current guidelines and standards for businesses to adhere to.


A firewall essentially acts as the first line of defense and barrier between the enterprise’s internal network and any external threat. The firewall monitors and controls both inbound and outbound network traffic, and the firewall protection level is set on a value of predetermined security rules.

By enforcing the set of predetermined rules, the firewall prevents unauthorized access, cyber-attacks, and possible data breaches.

In the continually evolving landscape of defensive network security practices, a robust and well-maintained firewall is imperative for identifying and avoiding malicious access to the network.

Essentially, a firewall safeguards the integrity of business-critical information, ensures the continuity of regular business operations, and maintains the trust of employees, customers, and clients.

Trust from valued stakeholders is essential for businesses, and often, when data breaches occur, customers can become disillusioned with businesses’ abilities to keep their data safe.

This distrustfulness can lead to a competitive edge for firms doing more to protect their network and ultimately win new business.

Password Management

Password management at the enterprise level is more complicated than managing personal account passwords. Whether you’re a smaller startup or a larger corporation, you need a way to safely share passwords for various business-related accounts without risking a shared spreadsheet with all the company’s important passwords getting into the wrong hands.

An enterprise password manager keeps all your business passwords secure in one place so you can safely share log-in information with anyone on the team. A good enterprise password manager will also support security audits and allow admins to control who has access to what easily.

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an essential additional layer of security for enterprise networks – this technique adds another layer beyond simple passwords. MFAs require network users to provide another form of identification in conjunction with their password. This additional identification can include a physical token or mobile device.

MFAs are recognized as significantly strengthening network access controls and mitigating this chance of unauthorized access. This is important as passwords are often easily compromised – especially if users are re-using passwords across multiple platforms and not following good password practices.

It is estimated that 81% of data breaches in large enterprises are due to poor password management by employees. This staggering statistic also drives home the fact that employees need regular training in strong data management and cyber practice to keep data safe.

MFAs are a critical measure for enterprise businesses to enhance the security level of their networks and provide a robust buffer against credential compromises and malicious unauthorized access efforts.

IPS: Intrusion Prevention Systems

An IPS works cohesively and in conjunction with a robust firewall to actively identify and block possible malicious activities, such as cyber-attacks and foreign access, in real-time.

As outlined, firewalls act as that imperative first line of defense, acting upon predetermined rules set by IT security; IPS, on the other hand, actively identifies and thwarts possible cyber threats in real-time.

IPS has the sophisticated capabilities to critically analyze system and network activities while detecting malicious behaviors and patterns. A strong IPS can then immediately mitigate and block potential network threats.

VPN: Virtual Private Network

Woman holding phone with VPN app on screen

A VPN provides secure and encrypted communication over the internet; the VPN allows remote workers (or separate remote office branches) to connect to the internal business network safely. It is imperative for workers to access information stored on the internal files but, in doing so, do not compromise sensitive data while in transit.

VPNs provide secure, encrypted communication over the internet, allowing remote users or branch offices to connect to the enterprise network securely. This is crucial for protecting data in transit. VPNs establish a secure communication channel by encrypting the sensitive data transmitted between the end user and the secure network.

This encryption process is enabled by employing advanced cryptographic protocols, which transform data into a secure and unreadable format throughout transmission, which renders it unreadable and ensures that confidentiality and integrity are not breached throughout transmission.

VPNs are essential good cyber security practices and are recognized as an industry standard to ensure that sensitive client and internal data is secure.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

EDR, or endpoint detection and threat response (EDTR), continuously monitors end-user devices to detect and respond to threats like malware or ransomware. It works by recording and storing behaviors and analyzing them to detect anything specious.

These systems also provide information, block malicious activity, and suggest ways to restore anything that’s been affected.

This type of security solution can monitor any external or local addresses connected to the host and all logged-in user accounts, then provide a summary of changes, uses, and all other network activity.

EDR solutions give security teams the information they need to uncover threats that would otherwise likely remain invisible, and they do it in real time.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM is a centralized and comprehensive enterprise network security solution for monitoring, analyzing, and responding to security events. The platform collates essential security data from various sources, such as network end devices, applications, and user activity logs.

This data allows network security to respond to incidents in real time. This level of security is typically reserved for clients with high-value data, like banks, hospitals, and government organizations. It can be quite costly, but AI-managed systems may be an option for smaller organizations.

The pattern data analysis allows network architects to identify and aggregate anomalies, making identifying weaknesses and potential threats easier.

Again, SIEM is considered an industry standard and plays an important role in compliance with threat detection and incident response.

Woman using laptop

Network Segmentation

Network segmentation is exactly what it sounds like – physically dividing the network into isolated segments, which create additional barriers between the network segments. This approach is widely recognized for making lateral movement of malware much more challenging through enterprise networks.

This approach ensures that network security issues are mitigated quickly, and malicious activity can easily be isolated. Segmented networks greatly reduce the risk of fast-spreading compromise.

Helpfully, each segment of the enterprise system can have a tailored security level, which is perfect for industries that have employees operating at different clearance levels.

Network segmentation enhances the resilience of the overall network security and minimizes the attack surface, making it an essential element of a robust enterprise network.  


Schedule a call today with one of our many resident experts on robust enterprise security and ensure that your network is up to date and up to speed!