Network Security: How it All Works Together

Written by Todd A. Long

August 25, 2022

Over the last 3 weeks, we’ve talked individually about firewalls, network segmentation, antivirus software, and threat detection software. These are all integral pieces of system security. But let’s take a look at the bigger picture: how they actually work together.

In Charles’ blog about firewalls, he uses the analogy of a guard at a gated community being the firewall of your security system. I’m going to take his analogy and expand it to show you how all of these security tools interact with each other and work together to build a solid cybersecurity defense.


Charles explained it well: “A firewall is kind of like a guard at a gated community. That guard sees every car that drives out and stops every car coming in. The people entering the community have to meet a certain set of criteria that has been predetermined by the community. You cannot enter unless you live there, you have been invited by someone who lives there, or you work there.”


So, if a firewall is the guard at the gate, network segmentation is the actual layout of the neighborhood. The roads in this neighborhood don’t all connect. Some are dead ends, some are cul-de-sacs, and there are certain sections of the neighborhood that aren’t accessible if you come in the front gate. Maybe there’s more than one gate or there’s a gate around each house, but regardless, entrance into the gate doesn’t provide access to the entire neighborhood.

And finally, antivirus/threat detection software is the neighborhood security officer, driving around looking for irregularities and threats to the safety of the area. They identify potential problems, stop unwarranted actions, and remove problematic people from the neighborhood.

Each piece of your security has its own role that is supported and reinforced by the other security tools. Of course, there are more aspects of IT security than just these three, but firewalls, network segmentation, and antivirus software are major players in cybersecurity.

In a recent interview, Sterling noted,

“We’ve invested in tools that are essentially freeform, which makes them highly powerful but highly frustrating and requires a ton of front-end time and energy investment. Because there’s no one way to use them, and there’s no instruction booklet that tells you, ‘do it this way.’ We’ve had to painstakingly tailor each tool to our specific needs and security and systems. And all these freeform tools build on each other and are interconnected, so it really is a delicate balancing act to ensure that every piece of our technical world is doing its job for the good of our clients. And for years, we’ve been building our environment in just the right way.

Architecting that kind of environment takes a ton of time and investment, but now we’re at the point where we’ve spent the time and money and energy, and we’ve paid our dues, and we can confidently take on more clients and help more people because we know they’re in the best situation we can give them. We’re at that inflection point where we’ve done all the prep work, and now we can run with it.”


This is the hard work of IT. This is where experience and knowledge and expertise and investment come into play. Anybody can download antivirus software, and anybody can buy a firewall. It takes decades of experience and hard work and investment to make all of those advanced tools work together for the specific needs and security of your business. That’s what we’ve done, and that’s what you need. So, if your systems are not a secure neighborhood, call us. We’re ready to invest in you; reach out today.

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