Network Security Management (NSM) protects network infrastructure against external and internal threats. It involves perimeter security tools like firewalls, alongside security policies covering every endpoint.

Next-generation NSM adds software-defined perimeter defenses that cover physical and virtual devices. Automation tools also handle software updates, user activity, and policy management. Network management tools control network security from a single interface. This provides complete visibility at all times.

How does network security management work?

Network security management brings separate security tools together under a single canopy.

Legacy networks often rely upon individual firewalls and access management systems. Network security management tools provide a centralized solution. This renders every device visible and making updates simple.

Elements of network security management configurations vary between settings. Ingredients of an effective security management solution include:

  • Centralized administration software.
  • Network-wide detection tools to identify connected devices.
  • Firewall management tools to protect external perimeters. Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) tools may also protect virtual and cloud-based assets.
  • Automation tools allowing network administrators to deliver zero-day and general application updates.
  • Systems to store, update and distribute security policies to every device and user.
  • Access control software to authenticate users and determine access to core assets
  • Monitoring software to track user activity and deliver real-time data on suspicious behavior.
  • Reporting functions that compile historical data about alerts and network performance. Data compilation can synchronize with compliance strategies to meet specific regulatory goals.

The core function of centralized network security management tools is delivering automated protection. Automation contrasts with legacy network security setups placing heavy burdens on IT teams. It also provides solutions fit for cloud-dependent businesses.

Network security management benefits

Updating to next-generation network security management has many advantages.

1. Robust endpoint security

Network security management systems enable the smooth roll-out of Endpoint Detection Response tools. EDR tools work on every network node. They track traffic passing through endpoints, checking for malicious agents or suspicious behavior.

NSM systems also support traditional firewall defenses via automated patching. Firewalls must remain current to meet emerging threats. Deploying updates as they become available secures every endpoint.

The same update management benefits apply to malware and virus scanners. Both security functions should be present and updated for every network endpoint.

2. Cost benefits

Many core security tasks are time-consuming and expensive. Automation reduces the resources required to carry out basic tasks. This results in significant cost savings when aggregated on an enterprise-wide scale.

Administrators can propagate updates in seconds to every server or remote working laptop. They can scan devices to check for any security gaps.

Automation saves time. Reducing device and application downtime also results in cost savings. The potential cost of cyber attacks is also reduced.

3. Efficient security compliance

Network security management tools ensure compliance with sector-specific regulations and general cybersecurity guidelines.

NSM software can double-check that regulatory strategies achieve core compliance milestones. This helps companies meet risk management goals.

Reporting functions make it easier to show compliance when required. Detection tools simplify the task of plugging compliance gaps and mitigating risks.

Cost benefits also apply to security compliance management. Compliance with NIST or ISO regulations restricts data breaches and malware attacks. Companies also face a lower risk of regulatory penalties.

4. Threat monitoring and neutralization

Centralized management panels allow network administrators complete visibility. Managers can track data crossing network edges as well as internal network traffic.

Detection tools at the network edge protect against intrusions and malicious agents. Real-time traffic monitoring detects suspicious access requests. Managers can neutralize attacks before they reach a critical stage.

Enterprise-wide NSM setups represent a quantum leap relative to chaotic legacy monitoring systems. NSM handles network threats as soon as they emerge. They plug network vulnerabilities on the threat surface before hackers can exploit them.

5. Streamlined data recovery and crisis response

Data monitoring covers all network assets. This enables efficient data recovery policies when attacks occur or storage solutions malfunction. Network managers can calibrate Recovery Point Objectives for system-wide and focused data recovery. They can also easily toggle Recovery Time Objectives.

Comprehensive network traffic visibility aids disaster response teams. Data from real-time security monitoring forms an invaluable part of incident response reports. It feeds into future risk management strategies, avoiding future attacks.

6. Network simplification and performance benefits

Centrally managed network security contributes to streamlining network architecture and boosting performance.

Automated endpoint protection and threat monitoring limits the need for manual inputs. This frees IT staff to work on routing and data protection. Automated updates save time and reduce human error. This reduces downtime due to security misconfigurations.

Robust network security management also identifies redundant security processes. Security teams can remove antivirus or firewall filters where they are not required. This eliminates potential traffic bottlenecks.

Software licensing can also be a component of NSM strategies. Legacy systems often need complex license management across many vendors. Network security management systems automate software licensing, making vendor management much simpler.

7. Easy staff onboarding and security policy propagation

Security policy propagation is a core aspect of employee onboarding. All new employees must be familiar with security policies. This includes data handling, password usage, antivirus protection, and email security.

NSM avoids fragmented security training. Centralized networking security systems immediately deliver relevant security policies to new employees. They apply role-based filters appropriate to each job description.

Administrators can automate training and security updates. This ensures workforce security awareness remains consistent over the duration of employment.

NSM also helps when employees of third-party contractors stop working with companies. Tools scan for orphaned accounts and remove them as required. This removes a common attack vector for criminals to exploit.

8. More efficient IT performance

Bringing network protection tools together also benefits general IT performance. IT teams have limited resources and many responsibilities. Automating simple tasks enables IT experts to focus on strategic goals.

NSM tools liberate IT by handling critical but repetitive tasks. Automation shields technicians against avoidable human errors. The result is a leaner, more capable IT workforce.

9. Secure cloud access

Next-generation network security management systems feature cloud optimization. Many companies rely on cloud data centers and containers to hold sensitive data. They must protect this data to meet compliance goals. Data protection also minimizes the risk of a catastrophic data breach.

Traditional perimeter defenses are inadequate when protecting many cloud-based assets. Network security management solves this problem.

Specialist tools prevent lateral movement throughout networks. Access controls also ensure only privileged users can access critical assets. Zero Trust principles apply to all data centers and virtual desktops.

Now is the perfect time to invest in network security management

Network Security Management counters malware attacks, system malfunction, and catastrophic data breaches. In a world of constant cyberattacks, NSM provides a secure defense for network assets.

NSM simplifies security architecture. It brings every endpoint and network device under a single umbrella. Central consoles identify all connected devices and apply firewall updates. They track network traffic, neutralize threats, and propagate security policies.

The result is a streamlined, well-defended network covering traditional and virtual perimeters. A dynamic system meets emerging dangers as the threat environment changes.