Network security is one of the essential cybersecurity branches, and protocols play a vital role in securing the network. Because of its top-notch needs and the internet continues to evolve at a fast pace, the computer network grows faster, and along with comes the cybercrime in networks. So, it is essential to know the protocols that govern the data flow in a network. In this chapter, you will learn about the most prominent network security protocols and their uses.

What Are Network Security Protocols?

There are various categories of protocols like routing protocols, mail transferring protocols, remote communication protocols, and many more. Network security protocols are one such category that makes sure that the security and integrity of the data are preserved over a network. Various methodologies, techniques, and processes are involved in these protocols to secure the network data from any illegitimate attempt to review or extract the actual content of data.

Some Network Security Protocols

Here are the lists of some popular network security protocols that you must know to implement them as and when required:

  1. IPSec protocol is classified by the IETF IPSec Work Group, which offers authentication of data, integrity, as well as privacy between 2 entities. Manual or dynamic association of management in cryptographic keys is done with the help of an IETF-specific key managing protocol named Internet Key Exchange (IKE).
  2. SSL, i.e., Secure Sockets Layer, is a standard security mechanism used for preserving a secure internet connection by safeguarding different sensitive data which is being sent and receives between 2 systems; which also helps in averting cybercriminals from reading as well as modifying personal data, packets or details in the network.
  3. Secure Shell (SSH) was invented in 1995, a cryptographic network security protocol used to secure data communication over a network. It permits the command-line to login remotely as well as the execution of specific tasks remotely. Various functionalities of FTP are incorporated in SSH. SSH-1 and SSH-2 are the latest of its kind.
  4. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secured protocol used to secure data communication among two or more systems. It set up an encrypted link with the help of Secure Socket Layer (SSL), now known as Transport Layer Security (TLS). Since data transferred using HTTPS is in the encrypted format, it stops cybercriminals from interpretation and alteration of data throughout the transfer from browser to the webserver. Even when the cybercriminals capture the data packets, they will not be able to read them because of the strong encryption associated with the data packets.
  5. Kerberos is another network validation protocol that was intended for providing a strong authentication between client-server applications with the help of secret-key cryptography. According to the Kerberos network validation protocol, all of its services and workplaces correspond to an insecure network, making it more secure and responsible.

As a security professional, it is essential to know these protocols and where they are used. There are scenarios where HTTPS becomes HTTP (basically known as downgrading HTTP attack), or at times where your company page opened without HTTPS or SSL, you can understand that either the link is opened from a spam mail or illicit mail or anyone is trying to perform a phishing attack. Or, someone is trying to compromising the internal network by the downgrading of the HTTP attack.

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