Network security types for secure data management

| By:
Sajal Sahay

In today’s information age, data has become our “currency.” It’s among the most important assets modern businesses possess, and as such, requires a level of protection and management that matches its immense value. 

Unfortunately, many businesses see their network security and data management as secondary concerns—if they’re considering them at all. To provide your clients with complete risk-based vulnerability management, you must focus on more detailed layers of protection like these and not just general cybersecurity. While a more general approach may help protect you from major breaches or hacking attempts, it leaves gaps in your protection when it comes to data management. Penetration tests serve as a great option as well to help find vulnerabilities in real-time.

Proper data management is essential since most businesses today are dealing with some level of customer data. This is especially true if your clients are in industries like healthcare or finance that require strict regulatory compliance because of the highly sensitive nature of patient and customer data.

In this guide, we will dig deeper than traditional cybersecurity protection and discuss the different network security types. Read on and learn how to confidently select the type of network security that best suits each of your clients. 

Why network security is essential for your clients

Hackers are persistent and innovative in the methods they craft to infiltrate corporate systems. Network security acts as your clients’ protection against these digital threat actors. The one common goal of all types within internet security is to keep these cybercriminals out.

A key factor of robust network security is data management, the practice of ensuring the efficient collection storage, and implementation of an organization’s data. Since your clients’ internal and customer data is most of what’s hosted on their networks, keeping their data secure will, in turn, keep their networks secure. 

Network security types

There are several aspects of your clients’ networks that require protection, and, as a result, there are different types under the network security umbrella to cover each. Let’s take a deeper look at each in the section below. 

Access control

Work-from-home (WFH) and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments have become the norm for many companies across the board. While this has become the new normal, it doesn’t change the fact that this setup can make network security and access control a nightmare for IT professionals.

Access control protocols use MAC address or IP address signatures to identify devices as they try to gain access to the network. Only devices that are verified and compliant with company standards are granted access. Any device that seems unsafe or suspicious can be quarantined, denied access altogether, or granted very limited access to the network. 


Anti-virus and anti-malware are third-party software apps designed to protect against viruses or malware. Some instances of viruses and malware can be particularly damaging, so protecting endpoint computers against these malicious files will ultimately strengthen your network security. 

Cybercriminals typically use these attack methods to infiltrate a system, but that’s not the hacker’s main goal. Once inside, they will look to gain access to sensitive company files, customer data, or other data that could potentially result in significant financial loss to your clients. Stopping them at the endpoint level, before they can even get in, helps keep company data secure. One thing to note above anti-virus is that while it’s a good starting point, you need more to truly be protected against modern threats. Consider focusing on endpoint detection and response over anti-virus for a more comprehensive method. If you want added support in this area, have expert professionals take on EDR for you with a managed detection and response (MDR) solution.

To stay ahead of client threats and your competitors, you’ll need to be on top of the latest trends and threats in the MSP landscape. Learn more about malware, trojans, and this year’s other timely cyber threats in our 2023 MSP Threat Report

Application control

Application control is used to protect mobile and third-party app networks. Whether it’s a third-party application or one your client has created internally, apps can be another high-profile target for nefarious actors. This is because open-source code and the virtual containers where some apps are created can be easily infiltrated by malware attacks. 

Behavioral analytics

This example of network security involves analyzing the behavior of users and devices on the network. MSPs or IT managers can learn to spot trends or suspicious activity over time and catch a potential threat before it starts. 

With the help of software tools, security professionals can identify markers of unusual behavior within the system. You’ll also need to establish a baseline of “normal behavior” within your client’s system. Then, you can quickly spot any abnormal markers or trends and respond rapidly to potential threats.

Cloud security

Modern businesses can no longer survive relying only on legacy, on-premises IT infrastructure. Cloud technology is a necessity to survive in today’s marketplace, but it also creates significantly more opportunities for hackers to exploit. 

Cloud security uses network security concepts like software-defined networking and software-defined wide area networks (WANs) to protect cloud connections and your most important data in cloud environments. 

Data loss prevention

As a strategy, data loss prevention (DLP) is a collection of practices organizations use to prevent the misuse, loss, or unauthorized access of sensitive company data. The technology and tools prevent internal team members from sharing sensitive company data. Your clients’ employees constantly upload, download, and share files from various endpoints. By providing them with DLP, they don’t have to worry about those actions causing mission-critical company information to fall into the hands of cybercriminals. Protecting your clients’ digital assets with DLP will give them an inherent boost in their data management practices.

Email security

Email security is a set of practices used to protect organizational email networks from hacking attempts. Email provides several opportunities for digital threat actors to infiltrate your client’s network. Social engineering attacks like phishing are some of the most popular attack methods used by hackers and rely heavily on email. Once employees open a malicious email, click a suspicious link, or download an infected file, the damage is done.

Cybercriminals will even use personal information or pose as authority figures to make their emails more convincing. Because it can be challenging to spot threatening emails and files, email security revolves around training your clients and their teams. You can rely on some email software to filter out threats and prevent certain types of data sharing, but as emails get increasingly sophisticated and clever, your client’s workforce will be their first line of defense. Train and educate them well. 


Think of a firewall as the “security guard” or “bouncer” between your client’s network and the rest of the internet. This network filter evaluates outgoing and incoming data traffic against rules and parameters you can pre-set within the platform. Any data packets that violate the rules set within the firewall software are filtered out and denied access to the network, protecting against potential threats. There are also multiple options for firewalls to fit client needs.

Multi-factor authentication

One of the increasingly popular network security examples is multi-factor authentication (MFA). It’s an effective practice and easy to implement for your clients using digital passkey applications or SMS authentication codes. It involves using multiple methods to verify a user’s identity before granting them access to the network. Examples of this are when software applications email or text you a code to enter after you’ve already entered your login and password, like Google Authenticator. 

Network segmentation

One of the challenges modern companies face is the size of their network. Larger networks have a significant attack surface and, as a result, become much more difficult to protect.

Network segmentation partitions a network down into smaller segments that are easier to manage (and protect). Overseeing your client’s network in smaller segments affords you greater visibility and more control over incoming and outgoing traffic. 

Some industries and organizations may need to take a slightly different approach to network segmentation. Within the broader discipline of segmentation, there’s a type of network security known as industrial network security. This practice provides the same increased control and visibility to industrial control systems (ICSes) but requires a different set of tactics and tools as these systems tend to be larger and depend heavily on the cloud, making them more vulnerable to various cyberattacks.


Sandboxing creates an isolated environment, separate from the network, where it can open incoming files and scan for anything malicious, like viruses or malware. After opening the file in the sandbox, your team can evaluate the file for any signs of suspicious or dangerous behavior.

Security information and event management (SIEM)

This type of network security uses data logs from any software and hardware within your client’s infrastructure. The SIEM system will review these logs and analyze the data for any signs of suspicious activity. As soon as it detects anything abnormal, the SIEM platform will alert you and your team so you can spring into action for your client—making it one of the best cybersecurity risk assessment tools. For more information on how to pick the best SIEM fit for you, check out our SIEM buyer’s guide.

Web security

Web security is one of the types of internet security that protects your network from employees’ irresponsible web browsing. Web security applications will block your client’s team members from browsing certain websites based on filters and parameters you or your client can set. Using “web blockers” like this will significantly reduce your clients’ susceptibility to web-based threats and sites that may contain malicious files or malware.  

Wireless security

Wireless security is a relatively new network security example, as it deals with Wi-Fi protection. This is one of the types of network security that has become critical in recent years as remote work is now the norm. 

The safety of your client’s Wi-Fi network will depend on the protocols that are currently set. Cybercriminals can easily infiltrate a Wi-Fi network with weak protocols. Ensure your clients are protecting their network with something like WPA2 security protocols. This will help protect against cyberattacks and boost overall network security.

Zero trust network access

Zero trust network access is a security framework that grants users only the permissions they need to do their job. All other access is denied, creating a much safer environment. 

The basic philosophy of Zero trust network access is a “trust no one” mentality. Anyone who needs access to a certain platform or device within the organization needs to provide some sort of authorization that they are who they say they are before access is granted.

Limiting access in this way is some of the “lowest hanging fruit” you can implement for your clients in terms of network security. You’d be surprised how many people aren’t doing it, and your clients will be surprised at the impact it has on securing their system. That’s why over 40% of organizations worldwide are currently launching some type of zero trust policy or project for their network. 

Providing the right solutions for network security

Setting your clients up with the proper network security types is pivotal to their success and your success as well. Have conversations with them about how they conduct their business and must-have network assessment tools that will suit their operations. 

Ask them questions like:

  • What platforms do they use the most?
  • Which are their most important assets (digital and physical)?
  • Where is their most important data stored?

By understanding what platforms and data need protecting, you can provide them with network security that will fit hand-in-hand with their other general cybersecurity efforts.

ConnectWise SIEM can help you streamline client protection and protection while also being efficient and reducing costs. Get a free demo of ConnectWise SIEM today to learn more about safeguarding your clients’ network and their business. 


The different types of network security are:

  • Access control
  • Antivirus/anti-malware
  • Application control
  • Behavioral analytics
  • Cloud security
  • Data loss prevention
  • Email security
  • Firewall
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Network segmentation
  • Sandboxing
  • Security information and event management (SIEM)
  • Web security
  • Wireless security
  • Zero trust network access

Network security protects the software, hardware, stored data, and connections that make up an organization’s internal infrastructure. 

Network security is important because networks are still one of the most common attack locations for cybercriminals. General cybersecurity may protect you against larger-scale events, but exploring the various network security types can give you deeper, more robust protection.

Tools like firewalls, anti-malware, anti-spyware, and antivirus software are must-haves when it comes to preventing network security breaches. Additionally, companies can implement email and web security filters for their employees, as well as provide training on how to avoid sending, receiving, and downloading suspicious or malicious files.