Data transfer, both internally and externally, is an essential process in organizations. For the same reason, there has been far greater emphasis on networking systems today than it used to be a few years back. Technology has evolved and got more sophisticated to meet the business specific requirements, and at the same time, security challenges have also got more alarming. Attacks designed to degrade performance of networked systems and disrupt communication have taken new, hard-to-detect forms. Such a scenario calls for efficient management of configurations and vulnerabilities of Network Security Appliances to prevent exploits.
With the advent of faster Ethernet and IP networks, the demand for Network Security Appliances has gone up sharply. Today, almost every organization relies on Firewalls, Intrusion Detection & Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS) and Security Information and Event Management systems to beef up its network security. The Network Security Appliances have been divided into three categories:
- Active devices: These also keep the PCs, laptops, and other devices optimized by acting as a strong impediment in the way of attacks. Content filtering devices, firewalls, antivirus programs, etc. are some of the examples of active devices.
- Passive devices: Intrusion detection appliances are the best example of these. These first detect and then instantly report about the undesired traffic. The Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are installed to keep an eye on the networks so that malicious and harmful activities do not take place in the networks and systems.
- Preventive devices: They function by scanning the networks and detecting even the most harmful security threats. Some of the examples are vulnerability assessment appliances and penetration testing appliances.
- Unified Threat Management (UTM): These are an integration of several systems like web catching, firewalls, content filtering, etc.
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