Network security starts from authenticating the user, commonly with a username and a password. Since this requires just one thing besides the user name, i.e. the password which is something you 'know', this is sometimes termed one factor authentication. With two factor authentication something you 'have' is also used (e.g. asecurity token or 'dongle', an ATM card, or your mobile phone), or with three factor authentication something you 'are' is also used (e.g. a fingerprint or retinal scan).
Once authenticated, a firewall enforces access policies such as what services are allowed to be accessed by the network users. Though effective to prevent unauthorized access, this component may fail to check potentially harmful content such as computer worms or Trojans being transmitted over the network. Anti-virus software or an intrusion prevention system (IPS) help detect and inhibit the action of such malware. An anomaly-based intrusion detection system may also monitor the network and traffic for unexpected (i.e. suspicious) content or behaviour and other anomalies to protect resources, e.g. from denial of service attacks or an employee accessing files at strange times. Individual events occurring on the network may be logged for audit purposes and for later high level analysis.
Communication between two hosts using the network could be encrypted to maintain privacy.
Honeypots, essentially decoy network-accessible resources, could be deployed in a network as surveillance and early-warning tools. Techniques used by the attackers that attempt to compromise these decoy resources are studied during and after an attack to keep an eye on new exploitation techniques. Such analysis could be used to further tighten security of the actual network being protected by the honeypot