What is a Network Security device? The Different Types of network security

What is the need for securing a network? The main objective is to protect from malicious hackers and to protect the system by employing various security solutions. Despite network security, utilizing the proper devices and solutions can assist you in protecting your network.

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In this blog, we shall discuss network security devices, types of network security, and components of network security that will help you protect the network from external cyber-attacks.

What are the types of devices?

  • Hub
  • SwitchRouter
  • Bridge
  • Gateway
  • Modem
  • Repeater
  • Access Point

Now, we shall discuss the types of network security and components of network security in detail.

Types of network security


A firewall is the first essential step to securing the network. It is the primary action for defencing because it sequesters one network from another. But incorporated with the other infrastructure devices like routers or servers, or it is a standalone system.

Firewall solutions come in hardware and software types; some firewalls are offered as appliances that act as the main barrier separating two networks.

The main purpose of the firewall is to control traffic going in and out of the organization system. The firewall may entirely block some traffic or all traffic, provide validation on some or all of the traffic, or do a verification depending on the organization's firewall policy. There are two types of firewall policies that are frequently used:

  • Whitelisting — This policy will not accept all connections except the connection that we intended to receive or that we listed.
  • Blacklisting — This type of firewall receives all the connections except the list we need not accept.

 Firewalls can be categorized into four types

  • Packet-filtering firewalls
  • Stateful packet-filtering firewalls
  • Proxy firewalls
  • Web application firewalls.

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Packet-filtering firewall

A packet-filtering is a type of network security firewall. It has filters that assess incoming and outgoing packets against a predetermined set of guidelines before deciding whether to permit them to flow through. The ruleset, also known as an access list, is frequently predefined based on several metrics.

 Rules that include

  • Source Internet Protocol addresses, 
  • Destination port numbers 
  • Protocols used. 

In the OSI model, layer 3 and layer 4 are where packet filtering occurs. The typical filtering choices are as follows:

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  • The source Internet Protocol address of the incoming packets - Internet Protocol packets signify where they originated. So, you can accept or reject traffic by its source IP address. But many unauthorized websites are generally blocked based on the IP addresses. 
  • The destination IP addresses - The destination IP address of a packet at the receiving end of transmission indicates where it is intended to go. Unicast is the packet with a single destination internet protocol address typically designed for a single machine. 
  • Multicast or broadcast packets typically include a wide range of network nodes as their desired targets and contain various IP addresses. 
  •  Rulesets are created to limit communication to a specific IP address on the network to reduce the burden on the target system.
  • These precautions can also be applied to internal networks' highly confidential machines to prevent unauthorized users from accessing them.
  • The type of Internet protocols the packet contains - In Layer 2 and Layer 3 packets, a header field identifies the type of protocol being used. These could be included in any of the following types of packets:
  • Any of the following packet varieties may be used
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • Address resolution packet (ARP)
  • Normal data-carrying IP packet
  • Boot-up Protocol (BOOTP)
  • Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP)
  • Message control packet (ICMP) 

Filtering can be done based on packets' protocol data, allowing you to stop traffic sent using a specific protocol.

The primary objective of the packet-filtering firewall is the acceleration at which the firewall processes are performed. Most of the operation occurs at the layer, so deep knowledge of the application is not required at this level of function. 

Firewalls with packet-filtering capabilities are frequently used on the edge of an organization's security networks. For instance, packet-filtering firewalls offer excellent defence against denial-of-service (DoS) assaults designed to bring down sensitive systems on internal networks.

They do, however, also have some drawbacks. Packet-filtering firewalls cannot analyze application-level data since they only operate at Open Systems Interconnection Layer 3 or lower.

As a result, critical internal networks are easily accessible to application-specific assaults. Firewall filters are inefficient at screening this Layer 3 data when an attacker forges network IP addresses.

Many packet-filtering firewalls cannot detect spoofed IP or Address Resolution protocols. Instead of protecting against targeted assaults, the major goal of implementing packet-filtering firewalls is to prevent the most widespread denial-of-service attacks.

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Stateful packet-filtering firewall

While employing an advanced methodology, stateful packet-filtering approaches maintain the fundamental features of packet-filtering firewalls. The most crucial thing is that they operate at Layer 4, and connection pairs typically have these four elements:

  • The source address/ source port
  • The destination address/destination port

State tables for incoming and existing connections are kept in dynamic memory by stateful detection methods.

At any instance, the external host requests a link to your internal host, but the link parameters are written to the state tables. So, with packet-filtering firewalls, you can build rules to explain whether specific packets can pass through. For example, a firewall policy can need dropping packets with port numbers higher than 1023, as most servers respond on standard ports from zero to 1023.

Though utilizing a packet filtering firewall provides various benefits, they merely lack flexibility and robustnesses compared to the common packet-filtering firewalls. 

The firewall's design becomes more complex when a dynamic state table and other features are added, which directly slows down the operation. Users perceive this as a slowdown in network performance. Stateful packet filtering firewalls can't entirely access higher-layer protocols and application services for inspection.

The security of network services depends on the firewall that we utilize for our network. The significant difference between stateful packet-filtering firewalls the simple packet-filtering firewalls is that they can monitor the complete interaction.

Moreover, to provide additional security, Stateful examines all phases of the network and particularly in connection-less protocols, such as UDP and ICMP.

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Proxy firewall

Proxy firewalls aim to operate at the OSI model's application layer. Such proxies are set up between a remote user and the dedicated server. The remote user doesn't know the name of the server he is connecting with because all he learns is the proxy. 

Similarly, the server finds the proxy and is unaware of the real user. A proxy firewall can successfully protect and filter traffic between unprotected internal or private networks and those that are. These firewalls are especially effective for sensitive applications since applications are protected by the proxy, and actions happen at the application level.

Authentication procedures like passwords and biometrics are configured to access the proxies, which helps in strengthening security mechanisms. Using this proxy system, you can configure a firewall to allow or deny packets based on IP, port information, and user data. For example, you may configure the firewall to block all incoming packets from EXE files, which are frequently infested with worms and viruses. 

Proxy firewalls typically maintain extensive logs that provide details about the data components of packets.

Speed is the biggest drawback of employing application proxy firewalls. Application proxies are limited by speed and cost because these firewall activities occur at the application level and need significant data processing. However, among all firewall systems, application proxies provide the strongest security.

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Web application firewall (WAF)

By applying a set of restrictions to an HTTP communication, web app firewalls are designed to protect web applications. Applications must maintain specific ports open to the internet since they are online. As a result, specialized website attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection can be employed against the application and the related database.

Proxy firewalls often protect clients, whereas WAFs typically protect servers. Other significant benefits of WAFs include traffic retention, source identification, and early detection of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Now that you have understood the four main types of network security, network security devices, and the purpose of security of network services. So, to learn more about networking and firewall management, you can join CCNA Course in Bangalore, which will help you understand IP addressing, network modules, and networking connection like WAN, etc.

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