Network security is probably one of the most crucial aspects of protecting your important business data and information, but it’s also a little tricky to figure out by yourself. There are all kinds of tools out there, free and otherwise, and the technical lingo can be pretty difficult to decipher. So, we’ve put together a list of the top 7 network security tools that could work well for you and your business, and that will help you ensure that your important information is safe and secure.

What is Network Security?

Network security is a set of technologies that protects the usability and integrity of a company’s infrastructure by preventing the entry or proliferation within a network of a wide variety of potential threats.

A network security architecture is composed of tools that protect the network itself and the applications that run over it. Effective network security strategies employ multiple lines of defense that are scalable and automated. Each defensive layer enforces a set of security policies determined by the administrator.

network security tool

Benefits of Network Security

Network Security is vital in protecting client data and information, keeping shared data secure, and ensuring reliable access and network performance as well as protection from cyber threats. A well-designed network security solution reduces overhead expenses and safeguards organizations from costly losses that occur from a data breach or other security incident. Ensuring legitimate access to systems, applications and data enable business operations and delivery of services and products to customers.

Top 7 Network Security Tools

Wireshark

Wireshark debuted under the label Ethereal. The console-driven tool is a great protocol analyzer, modeled mainly after Tcpdump. Wireshark provides an overview of the real-time network. It allows users to view TCP session rebuilt streams. For security and device resource reasons, many prefer Tcpdump, though Wireshark remains the most common packet sniffer. Daily updates are obtained for the device to suit its robust packet-sniffing capability.

Metasploit Framework 

Available in both free and premium versions, Metasploit Framework is a penetration testing software.  Metasploit is a great tool because as a framework, it allows the user much more versatility. Users can create tools that are specific to the security testing tasks they need to complete, which means that you’re ensured exactly the kind of network security testing you or your business requires.

Nessus

For all the times that your organization may have improperly configured security settings or put in the wrong patch, this software corrects mistakes and improves the integrity of your networks.

Nessus identifies and repairs detected vulnerabilities, including missing or incomplete patches; software bugs; or other general misconfigurations throughout applications, devices, and operating systems.

Along with the Pro version, admins/security experts can consider a free open source scanner that looks for possible exploits. One advantage of the Nessus service is daily database updates. Current information about threats and patches is always available. It also just doesn’t check to see if version numbers match, but programs are doing what they’re supposed to. Users can access a variety of security plug-ins as well as develop their own and scan individual computers as well as networks.

network security tool

Aircrack

A collection of cracking tools for WEP and WPA, Aircrack provides the ideal solutions for mobile device protection on the internet. For cracking algorithms, Aircrack is robust software. Airdecap for the decryption of the WEP/WPA file and airplay for packet injection is also included in the suite. There are many other tools included in this suite to create a robust collection of Information Security applications. Aircrack is an all-in-one solution for several wireless safety tasks.

Splunk

Designed for both real-time analysis and historical data searches. Splunk is a fast and versatile network monitoring tool. One of the more user-friendly programs with a unified interface. Splunk’s strong search function makes application monitoring easy. Splunk is a paid app with free versions available. The free version is limited. This is an excellent tool to put on the list for those who have a budget to work with. Independent contractors tend to be careful about the premium tools they buy. Splunk is well worth the cost. Any information security professional with a strong enough client base should invest in Splunk.

Snort 

Snort is a comprehensive Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that essentially functions to detect and alert users of suspicious traffic. Snort is a reactive IDS, which means that it can take actions to prevent the threat, generally by blocking any more information from the suspicious URL. Another freely available tool, Snort functions on many platforms, including Linux and Windows.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux offers a security auditing operating system and toolkit with more than 300 techniques to ensure your sites and Linux servers stay safe from attack. Funded and maintained by Offensive Security, which also operates and moderates an active user community and an extensive database of threats and exploits. Part of this knowledge base includes certification in pen tests and a free online course called Metasploit Unleashed. The toolkit is designed for all security skill levels to use, not just advanced IT pros.

Conclusion

Good network security describes everything that potentially could impact your company’s systems and everything that helps keep those threats away.

Network security tools focus on hardware, software, even policies, and procedures to encourage everyone in an organization to practice smart approaches to keeping data safe. Network security also can include keeping up with global threats and making sure systems stay safe from everyone from individual hackers to larger organized breach attempts.