Are network security and cyber security different from each other? I believe they are. I also believe that if we can define them differently, then we may be able to improve our organization’s overall security posture. Using the right terminology when differentiating between network security and cyber security will help us stay focused when discussing and trying to solve important security questions such as, for example, how we are going to electronically protect intellectual property from cyber hacking.

Think about the different areas within your own IT security group. What about password security, desktop security, data security, Internet security? I feel like a lyricist for the next viral security music video. In this post, my intentions are to emphasize how companies should look to improve Network Security which is a superset of Cyber Security, password security, and an assortment of other protection responsibilities. 

Computer security is the umbrella term used for most of these terms and when combined with the considerations of a corporation’s legal department we can create an even larger focus area called information security. And this is what we are ultimately concerned about. Who has access to our stuff?  What are they doing with it?  We want to know who is on our network who shouldn’t be, how they got there and how to prevent it from happening again. To meet these objectives we should all be on the same page when it comes to certain industry terms.

What is Network Security?

Network Security is the protection of all data that leaves or enters the local PC or local server from the network.  For the purposes of this post, it includes Cyber Security. 

What is Password Security?

When I think of Password Security I think of being prompted for a user name and password to access my PC and anything outside of my local hard disk, i.e. on the network. Password security means things like 802.1x, single sign on, proxy server authentication, wireless access keys, etcetera. These are all mechanisms that can be put in place to authenticate a user and in some cases a computer before access is granted to the local network and the resources attached to it.  

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security requires greater situational awareness. Cyber Security is not about the password I used to authenticate against something like a firewall. Cyber security is more about monitoring behaviors and our cyber monitoring efforts need to be of a similar instinctive nature. 

Cyber Security includes not only access control lists, firewalls, intrusion protection systems, flow throttling, deep packet inspection, signatures, and similar terms but also security event correlation, application traffic flow analytics, and intrusion detection. Cyber Security specializes in the area of network behavior analysis. As of late, all companies need to consider their position on Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI).

Cyber Threat Intelligence

Cyber Threat Intelligence requires accurate, timely and detailed information to continuously monitor new and evolving attacks. CTI strives to uncover methods to exploit this information in furtherance of an improved defensive cyber posture. How do we get it?

CTI requires a collaboration of efforts from security appliance vendors, threat detection experts, and corporate end-users. We have to create a routine similar to the lather, rinse, repeat analogy.  Security appliance vendors need expert advice on how to detect the threats and customers who implement the network threat detection solutions ideally provide feedback to the threat detection experts regarding what worked, what didn’t work, and why. 

With all these terms behind us, how to we leverage them to improve Today’s Cyber Protection Strategy? Read Part 2.

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