As the old adage goes, a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. In flat networks, all devices on the network communicate with each other, giving attackers multiple pathways into your network. Your network is then only as secure as the most vulnerable device, and let me tell you, they can be extremely vulnerable.
One example that comes to mind is a restaurant that contacted us to assess their network security. They had recently purchased some surveillance equipment and decided to connect the cameras to their network on their own – Plug and Play at its finest. Unfortunately, their flat network structure gave hackers an easy avenue to compromise the cameras, giving the criminals complete control of the surveillance system. They could look through all the cameras, move them back and forth at will, and even send audio through the camera speakers; completely compromised. Eventually, they went as far as harassing restaurant employees by speaking directly to them through the cameras. That’s not the kind of safety you want from your so-called “security” system!
The point is that the surveillance system was infiltrated because hackers compromised another less secure system on the network. With network segmentation, this business could have contained the attack to the less critical system and implemented stronger security protocols for their new security cameras.
With no organizational structure in place, you lose the ability to see what’s going on inside your network. Without being able to restrict what can be done on a device-by-device basis, you lose control of your bandwidth, you open your network up to attack, and you severely limit your ability to troubleshoot.
Organizing your network and segmenting your devices from a centralized point solves these issues, giving you added controls to help manage your network.
Without a network plan, you can’t limit bandwidth based on device and can overload your network, stealing bandwidth from business-critical systems/apps. Nothing gets prioritized, no matter how important the device may be. Without a plan, your network treats traffic from all sources equally, meaning your back-office wireless printer is being given the same priority as your point-of-sale credit card reader. That’s NOT efficient. Security cameras can also eat up a lot of bandwidth if left unmanaged.
When you’re talking about bandwidth, chances are that your first instinct is to reach out to your ISP. They’ll be extremely happy to sell you more bandwidth, but that won’t solve your efficiency problem. That’s where a managed network provider comes in; we make sure you get the most out of your bandwidth and your network.