Introduction

With remotely working becoming the new normal, every organization, no matter how big or small, requires cyber security experts proficient in cyber security tools and techniques. At present, no organization can escape cyber threats and security issues without a good cyber security team. Hackers are always on the move to find loopholes in security systems to put companies in distress and benefit from it. Out of the top 10 most targeted countries by cyber attackers, India ranks 3rd. Cyber security is the method of protecting networks, systems from unauthorized data access, identity theft, and other cyber-attacks, with the help of various cybers ecurity tools.

The different aspects of cyber security, including application security, information security, network security, disaster recovery, operational security, and more are necessary to provide security from multiple cyber threats that take the form of Ransomware, Malware, Phishing, and more. Thus, cyber security tools play an important role when it comes to the protection of sensitive and private data of businesses as well as individuals.

What is network security?

Network security and security tools encompass several devices, technologies, and processes. In its simplest form, it is a set of techniques used to protect the system, accessibility, applications, confidentiality, data, and network from cyber threats. Network security is a need of the hour knowledge to escape unauthorized data access, identify theft and stay safe from cyber-attacks. Information Security, App Security, Cybersecurity, Operational Security, Disaster Recovery, etc., are just a few types of network security.

What are the benefits of network security?

Network security is a growing concern in today’s digital phenomenon. Hence, it is imperative to have an authorization and authentication system in place to protect the data and system from cyber threats, identify new users, monitor traffic, approve or block unauthorized access. In addition to protecting the integrity of assets from external exploits, network security offers many other benefits as well like increasing productivity, managing network traffic, enhancing network performance, protecting customers’ confidentiality, gaining customer trust, reducing the feasibility of websites going down, and ensuring the safe data sharing between data sources and employees.

Network security covers a wide range of functions. Some of its common capabilities include:

·       Firewalls

·       Sandboxing

·       Traffic analysis

·       Malware detection

·       Endpoint security

·       Network Access Control

·       Network mapping and visibility

Therefore, every organization and industry needs to maintain a degree of network security solutions in place to protect its vulnerabilities from ever-growing cyber threats.

What are the best network security tools for 2021?

There are plenty of open-source and paid network tools available in the market you can use to reinforce your security in networking. Enlisted below are the top 35 cyber security tools for 2021.

  1. Wireshark
  2. Kali Linux
  3. John the Ripper
  4. Metasploit
  5. Cain and Abel
  6. Tcpdump
  7. Nikto
  8. Forcepoint
  9. Paros Proxy
  10. Nmap
  11. Nessus Professional
  12. Nexpose
  13. TrueCrypt
  14. Netstumbler
  15. Aircrack-ng
  16. KeyPass
  17. KisMAC
  18. Burp Suite
  19. Splunk
  20. Tor
  21. Nagios
  22. OSSEC
  23. POf
  24. Snort
  25. Acunetix
  26. Argus
  27. GFI LanGuard
  28. SolarWinds Security Event Manager
  29. Bitdefender
  30. Malwarebytes
  31. VIPRE
  32. Avira
  33. LifeLock
  34. Mimecast
  35. Webroot

Let’s describe all the above security tools briefly:

1.     Wireshark

Formerly known as Ethereal, Wireshark is open-source network software that can efficiently analyze network protocols and enhance security in real-time. Since it is a console-based password auditing and packet sniffer tool, you can use this security software to sniff the network and monitor your network traffic in real-time. Security professionals use this efficient software to capture data packets and inspect the features that particular data packets exhibit, which further helps to identify the weaknesses in network security.

 2.     Kali Linux

It is one of the most excellent penetration testing tools used by organizations to scan their IT systems and networks for vulnerabilities. This cybersecurity tool contains around 300 different software used for security auditing. Most of these tools are executable, which simply means that the users can monitor and maintain their network security systems with a single click. The most common characteristic of Kali Linux is that all types of users, from experienced to newbies, can use it to reinforce their security in networking. It does not need any specific set of expertise or degree to function. 

3.     John the Ripper

Professionals use John the Ripper for testing password strength. This tool can quickly look for complex ciphers, encrypted logins, hash-type passwords and identify weak passwords, which can be a big threat to a protected system. The software can efficiently work with Windows, DOS, OpenVMS systems, and in Unix environments.

 4.     Metasploit

Metasploit is one of the best security software that contains various tools for executing penetration testing services. Professionals use this tool to attain varying security goals such as discovering vulnerabilities in the system, strengthening computer system security, weaving cyber defense strategies, and maintaining complete security assessments. These penetration testing tools can examine the different security systems, including web-based apps, servers, networks, and so on. Metasploit can instantly identify all the new security vulnerabilities as soon as they occur, thus maintaining top-notch security all the time.

5.     Cain and Abel

It is a password auditing and packet sniffer network security tool used to discover weaknesses in Windows Operating systems. IT experts rely on this software to strengthen security in networking and identify vulnerabilities in the Windows security password. You can use this free tool to discover password flaws and recover them accordingly. ‘Cain and Abel’ contains lots of functionalities such as recording VoIP communications, analyzing routing protocols, decoding scrambled passwords, cracking encrypted passwords, and so on. Also, this software is highly effective in cryptanalysis. You can consider using this security tool as a good start for all kinds of packet sniffing exercises.

 6.     Tcpdump

Tcpdump is one of the most efficient packet sniffer security tools used to monitor and log TCP/IP traffic connected via a network. Since it is a command-based tool, it can efficiently define network security and the packet contents of system traffic.  

7.     Nikto

Nikto is an open-source security software used to detect web vulnerabilities and take appropriate actions accordingly. The software contains a database that includes around 6400 different threats. Security professionals keep updating this database so that the users may easily identify the new vulnerabilities.

8.  Forcepoint

Forcepoint is a customizable security tool primarily designed for cloud users. The tool is used to define network security, restrict users from accessing particular content, and block various intrusion attempts. The security admins can customize Forcepoint’s SD-Wan to monitor and detect dubious acts in a network quickly and rapidly implement appropriate action. The tool adds an extra level of protection for more critical threats.

 9.  Paros Proxy

Paros Proxy is a Java-based security tool that contains a variety of other tools like vulnerability scanners, traffic recorder, web spider, etc. Professionals use these tools to scan security tests for identifying web vulnerabilities and maintaining network activities in real-time.

 10.     Nmap

Also known as Network Mapper, Nmap is a free network discovery and security auditing tool used by professionals to scan single hosts as well as large networks. Its key features include detecting unidentified devices and identifying network issues for testing security vulnerabilities.

11.  Nessus Professional

Nessus Professional is a highly useful network software used to define network security, rectify system security errors and improve network integrity. The tool can easily detect vulnerabilities like incorrect patches and software bugs, general security misconfigurations in software applications, IT devices, and operating systems and manage them appropriately.

12.     Nexpose

Nexpose is one of the most convenient network security software that provides real-time characteristics for detecting vulnerabilities and reducing feasible weak points on a network. Nexpose further permits the users to allot a risk score to the detected vulnerabilities so that they may be prioritized as per the severity levels.

 13.  TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt is one of the most widely used computer system security software used for on-the-fly encryption. Since it is an encryption tool, it can easily encrypt a partition or the complete storage device and build virtual encrypted disks. The tool permits professionals to encrypt layered content. This is why TrueCrypt has been one of the most popular encryption tools for several years, even without being updated.

 14.  Netstumbler

Netstumbler is the free network software that allows IT experts to identify network vulnerabilities, detect open ports on a network, and for wardriving purposes. The software is designed for the Windows operating system; thus, there is no facility for source codes.

 15.  Aircrack-ng

Aircrack-ng is an all-rounded network security software suitable for enhancing overall network security. The tool contains a comprehensive set of functionalities to analyze Wi-Fi weaknesses. Aircrack-ng enables users to capture data packets connected via a network for constant monitoring. Also, it allows capture and injection, which is vital in assessing network cards and the performance of network cards. Besides, IT experts can use it to test the reliability of WPA-PSK and WEP keys.

 16.  KeyPass

KeePass is another efficient encryption tool used for identity management. It enables users to explore all the linked accounts using a single password. Since this tool combines security with convenience, it is a cut above the other identity management software. KeePass permits system users to make a master password to access and attach different accounts. KeePass is a highly applicable software in office settings as the users can use it to discover potential risks created by human resources.

17.  KisMAC

KisMAC is another popular network defense tool designed for wireless security running on the MAC OS X operating system. The software encompasses a wide range of functionalities such as brute force attacks, exploiting flaws, etc., to crack the WPA and WEP keys. Its features are geared towards skilled IT professionals; thus, it might not be an amicable option for newbies.

 18.  Burp Suite

Burp Suite is a robust computer network security software used for scanning networks, detecting critical weaknesses, and enhance network security. Burp Suite comes in three versions: Enterprise, Community, and Professional. The “Community” is a free edition, whereas “Enterprise” and “Professional” are paid versions. Burp Suite is good security software for businesses but can cost dear to small businesses.

 19.  Splunk

Splunk is an all-rounded computer system security software used for monitoring network security. The tool is used for both conducting real-time network analysis and historical searches for threat data. This is a user-friendly tool that contains a united user interface to catch, index, and assemble data and generate alerts, reports, dashboards, and graphs in real-time.

 20.  Tor

Tor is an extremely useful computer system security tool that ensures that the user is undetectable. It gives privacy to users while using the internet. This is why it is difficult to trace their information or explore their identity on the internet. Even if Tor is efficient in preventing cybersecurity threats, it is more useful in safeguarding information security.

 21.  Nagios

Nagios is another widely used network monitoring tool that allows security experts to monitor hosts connected to a system and network in real-time. The software alerts its users about any security intrusions occurring in a network. ICMP, POP3, SMTP, NNTP, and HTTP are a few of the network services that Nagios monitors efficiently.

22.  OSSEC

OSSEC is an open-source network software used to discover network problems and give real-time analytics. The tool is compatible with various platforms such as Linux, Mac, Windows, VMWare ESX, BSD, and so on; hence, it is highly useful for users.

 23.  POf

POf is one of the most widely adopted network monitoring tools used for scanning networks and detecting the hosts of operating systems connected to a network. Also, you can use it to make assorted queries, name lookups, probes, and so on. This streamlined security software is highly useful for advanced IT professionals. However, newbies can experience a little hardship in learning how to use it.

24.  Snort

Snort is an open-source computer network security software used for scanning networks and preventing network intrusion. Security experts use it to conduct network traffic analysis to discover the signs of attempted intrusions. The tool alerts the users about the possible signs of intrusions and prevents the same by blocking malicious traffic. Besides, you can use Snort to perform protocol analysis, detect frequent attacks to a system, look for data captured from traffic, and so on. 

25.  Acunetix

Businesses often fear that hackers may attack their computer network security via internal threat/social engineering or directly through the firewall. They pay less attention to security risks that lie in web-based apps like login pages, shopping carts, online forms, etc. This is where Acunetix can help businesses. The tool enables organizations to define defenses against more than 4,500 cybersecurity attacks unique to the apps and sites. The software repeatedly moves through the system and executes convectional hacks to test the efficacy of your security defense.

26.  Argus

ARGUS (Audit Record Generation and Utilization System) is an open-source computer network security software designed for network traffic analysis. Professionals use Argus to conduct in-depth data analysis done over a network. The tool is equipped with powerful features for providing quick and comprehensive reporting.

27.  GFI LanGuard

GFI LanGuard is another popular network security tool used for continuously monitoring network services, detecting network intrusions, identifying vulnerabilities, and applying patches wherever needed. The software provides network auditing to discover vulnerabilities in computers and mobiles linked to a network. The software is compatible with various operating systems like Mac, Windows, and Linux.

28.  SolarWinds Security Event Manager

SolarWinds is a cloud-based network tool, which helps to improve computer security by detecting threats, monitoring security plans, and protecting the network. This cybersecurity tool has an inbuilt integrity monitoring, an intuitive user interface and dashboard, and a centralization log collection, helping the users discover and respond to threats quickly.

29.  Bitdefender

Bitdefender is a cloud-based antivirus network tool that helps to keep your system safe from various cyber threats. The tool is equipped with new-age security techniques and technologies needed to protect one’s personal information and online privacy. Also, the software comes with Anti-Phishing and Anti-Theft features for complete real-time data protection, online privacy, and advanced threat defence.

30.  Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is the top network security tool used to protect your system against malicious websites, malware, ransomware, and other online threats. The threats that can’t be detected through the antivirus, Malwarebytes can easily detect and block them. On average, this cybersecurity tool detects and blocks more than 8,000, 000 threats every day. Malwarebytes adds multi-layered protection to your system, making it one of the best security tools for homes and offices.

31.  VIPRE

VIPRE is one of the most widely used cyber security tools used to protect your home and business from malicious attacks, malware, and spam messages with no hassle. It helps you to stay safe against new cyber threats and crimes.

32.  Avira

Avira is one of the best security tools for network protection, scheduling the scan, and traffic filtering. The tool comes with multitudes of solutions like Antivirus, VPN, System speedup. Hence, it offers a variety of security, privacy, and real-time protection during web browsing, video chat, voice calls, etc.

33.  LifeLock

LifeLock offers all-in-one protection to your devices, personal information, identity, and online privacy. Professionals use this tool to monitor for identity theft and threats as well as to detect, alert and block cybercrimes.

34.  Mimecast

Mimecast is a cloud-based security software used for email security and cyber resilience. IT experts use this tool for multiple purposes like Email security, Web security, information protection, cloud archiving, etc.

35.  Webroot

Webroot is a cloud-based security tool that helps to protect Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms from malicious cyber threats. The tool is highly useful for homes and businesses.

 Conclusion

These are the top 35 network security tools for 2021 that will help you keep your data safe, mitigate the rates of data breaches, evade cyberattacks, and secure your IT infrastructure. Whether you want to keep your home and business safe from cyber threats or want to build your career in cybersecurity, the tools mentioned here will give you a good glimpse of the network security world. To gain more knowledge about the security tools and get a certificate program, visit our website.Don’t forget to keep upgrading these cyber security tools to ensure having top-notch security round the clock.

These are the 35 top cyber security tools in 2021 that every cyber security enthusiast and professional must know about. If you want to build a career in Cyber security, you can browse through our Master Certificate in Cyber Security” Red Team and Blue team Specialization programs by HackerU and Jigsaw Academy!

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