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Network security software is software that is made to enhance the security of a network. There are many different types of network security software that help to provide protection for data in transit, data at rest and other elements of a network setup.
Network software provider Cisco defines network security as the maintenance of "usability, reliability, integrity, and safety" for a network and its data. Within this broader category, there are a number of different components of network security that software applications address.
One overall element of network security involves the protection of key hardware devices. This includes:
All of these fit under the banner of network security software in a particular way.
Another category of network security software involves backup and recovery solutions. These types of software help to back up data in case of a threat.
Other types of network security software consist of tools to monitor a network in real time to prevent unauthorized access, data leaks or other threats. These types of tools may be focused on endpoint security, where network data is displayed on devices, or internal security, where various threats happen within the network itself.
In addition, some consider aspects of core network systems as a different kind of network security software, for example, patches and security updates for operating systems.