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What are the Different Types of Computer Network Security Software?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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A computer network is a connected system of computers and peripherals that may allow them to work in concert, share resources, be controlled and modified centrally, as well as allowing them to be protected or restricted as a group. Security software is, broadly speaking, any software that helps preserve a system or network from risk or danger or to keep the data itself safe. Computer network security software, then, is software that aims to protect a network and its data in a variety of ways and from a variety of threats.

One might often think of computer network security software as being standalone products or suites of products devoted solely to security. However, this kind of thinking would neglect a very important type of security software. The missing ingredient would be the security patches issued by manufacturers of operating systems. They’re aimed and security and they’re software, so even though they are updates to software that is mean to run a computer, they still count.

The products that are more likely to come to mind as computer network security software are those that begin with “anti.” These include anti-virus software, anti-malware — malware is short for “malicious software," and anti-spyware. The three names are used slightly differently by different manufacturers, but overall, the software is designed to catch and disable or prevent the encroachment of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, backdoors, rootkits, spyware, and sometimes also botnets, keystroke dialing attacks, spam, and phishing attacks.

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Broadly speaking, security includes data security, and therefore computer network security software includes software that automatically backs up data. For even greater security, backup can be done to an off-site location. Backup software can be set for the frequency of backups and the location of the drive or server to which the backup is made. Data encryption can also contribute to data security, so it is in this category as well.

In the area of protecting the system from unwanted intruders, there are at least four roles that computer network security software can play. For one thing, one might consider a properly-configured web browser as security software, because the handling of cookies, passwords, downloads, attack sites, and web forgeries contribute to the security of a system. Second, firewall software, on a computer, a router, a server, or all three, helps to prevent intrusion. One can go even further with network scanning software, intrusion detection software, or a log-in system that only grants access to the network to pre-approved individuals.

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