What Is Network Security?

Network security involves certain policies and practices that are used to prevent unauthorized access to a computer network and all related resources. A network administrator controls the authorization of user access to a particular network and its data, usually through security features such as an ID or username combined with a unique password.


Network security can be used to protect both public and private computer networks. It may be used to protect all kinds of data, including low-sensitivity data from everyday jobs to high-sensitivity data from transactions among governments, businesses, and organizations. Private networks may exist, for instance within companies, while other networks may allow public access. 

Once all authorized users have been assigned a unique password and username, intrusion detection systems can be used to identify outside threats to a network.

Network Monitoring

Network monitoring is a practice that involves observing or keeping track of a computer network for internal threats, such as overloaded servers, faulty hardware, or bad connections. Many computer networks have built-in monitoring systems. A message is sent to the network administrator when a potential problem arises.

Network monitoring usually involves assessing a variety of metrics, such as uptime, response time, and availability. Consistency and reliability metrics are frequently used as well. When a connection to the network cannot be established or times out, making it impossible to retrieve a document, webpage, or message, it may cause the monitoring system to produce an action. These actions might include an alarm sent by email, SMS, or another form of messaging to the system administrator. In other cases, the monitoring system may trigger automatic failover systems, which will replace the server in question until it can be assessed or repaired.

Network Load Testing

Network load testing is the practice of subjecting a network to the upper limit of its specifications. This is usually done under controlled conditions, in order to measure the capacity of the network. There are two main types of load testing. Longevity testing assesses the network’s ability to host a moderate amount of activity for a sustained period of time, while volume testing examines the network’s ability to handle a high volume of activity for a short amount of time. 

In both cases, load testing is a type of performance testing. Tests might include running numerous applications on a server simultaneously or subjecting the server to a high volume of email traffic. These allow network administrators to understand how their server performs.

Network Performance

Measuring network performance through load testing and related methods is essential if you want to make sure that your network is performing at its best. Network performance is assessed based on several factors, including: 

  • Bandwidth. Measured in bits per second, this is the maximum amount of information that can be transferred on the network.
  • Throughput. Throughput represents the observed rate of data transfer.
  • Latency. Latency is a measure of delays between sending and receiving parties in the network. This represents how long it takes the information to travel, in addition to processing time.  
  • Error rate. The error rate is the number of corrupted bits of data. It is expressed as a percentage or fraction.