What Makes a Security Plan?

      Hello, and welcome back to my blog. This week, I would like to quickly discuss the levels that go into making a security plan. These types of plans are an important tool for IT departments and Cybersecurity Administrators to design a plan that will help protect or slow down an attack on the network.     Of course, security plans can vary from company to company; however, their purpose remains the same, with threats looming every day. With IT managers adjusting in response to the ever-changing threats, the created security plan must be designed to stop or slow down any attempt to breach network defenses. Below we will look at the principal components of a security plan and what they entail.    Separate Networks              As the name suggests, having more than one network can protect company assists from hackers and the like. The reason being is that having every computer on one network would lead to issues if that subsequent work were to fail, which would stop operati

The Differences between Hubs, Bridges, and Switches, and which one I would recommend using in your home or office

      There are many challenges that a network engineer will face when creating a network for a business. Even a homeowner may wish to design their network layout in the hopes that it will connect every room in their home. But what happens when you have multiple devices on a network and more than one device in a room? This can pose a problem if the tools available are not entirely understood by the one that is designing or implementing the network.

This week, I will go into what a hub, a bridge, and a switch and their differences to help those looking for the differences and assist them in making the best choice for their home and business.

What is a Hub?

 Hubs provide a dedicated physical connection for each device that is connected to it. This can help reduce the possibility of one computer were to fail; it would not affect the other computers connected lose connectivity. The downside of a hub is that it shares bandwidth with other attached devices, limiting it to half-duplex. Another issue is the possibility of collision as hubs do not help improve the network's performance.

In essence, hubs are multiport repeaters, and they will ignore the content of an Ethernet frame and resend every frame out of the interface on the hub. The challenge is that the Ethernet frames will show up at every device attached to a hub, instead of just the intended destination (a security gap). Inbound frames often collide with outbound frames (a performance issue).

Also, Hubs operate at the Layer 1 of the OSI model.

What is a Bridge?

Bridges connect two physical network segments and keep track of MAC addresses on the network attached to each of its interfaces. A way to look at bridges in the technological world is the same as you look at actual bridges in the real world. They connect two roads over a river or railroad tracks. In this case, it links together two networks. So, in this case, when network traffic arrives at the bridge and its destination is located on that side of the bridge, the bridge will filter the Ethernet frame so that it stays on its side of the bridge only.

However, if the bridge cannot find the target address on its side, it will then forward the frame across the bridge to find its destination on the other network.

Sometimes there can be multiple bridges to cross, which can be a challenge if there is broadcast and multicast traffic that are being forwarded across each bridge. In this scenario, if a network manager builds many redundant circuits, this can result in a flood of broadcast or multicast traffic that can prevent unicast traffic flow.

A Bridge work with MAC addresses on the Layer 2 of the OSI model.

 What is a Switch?

Compared to Hubs, Switches significantly improve network performance by providing dedicated bandwidth to each device connected to it. They also support full-duplex connection, make forwarding decisions on MAC address tables, and utilize ASICs and CAM tables to increase the rate at which can processed frames.

      Switches can also keep track of the MAC addresses in each interface and rapidly send traffic only to the frame’s target. Also, Spanning Trees Protocol (STP) can allow for broadcasts and multicasts to run without causing issues. 

     Switches use the best of hubs and bridges while adding more abilities. Therefore, I would recommend using them over the other two to bring more to the table and flexibility to a network. 

 Here are the benefits of using a Switch:

  • Switches are plug-and-play devices. They begin learning the interface or port to reach the desired address as soon as the first packet arrives.
  • Switches improve security by sending traffic only to the addressed device.
  • Switches provide an easy way to connect segments that run at different speeds, such as 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1 Gigabit, and 10 Gigabit networks.
  • Switches use special chips to make their decisions in hardware causing low processing delays and faster performance.
  • Switches are replacing routers inside networks because they are more than ten times faster at forwarding frames on Ethernet networks.

 

  I currently use a switch for my two computers in my studio/office, and I found it very easy to implement and have had no issue thus far. All I had to do was plug my computers into the ports and then plug the switch into the wall socket (depending on which one you choose may require outlet power) and the other end to the router located in another part of the house. Worked right out of the box with no need to download support drivers or other setups requirements. 

If one is looking to connect multiple computers in their office or home, a switch might be the best option. However, I think it comes down to what you have and the environment the network will build into to determine its layout.

Do you have any experience working with the devices mentioned? If so, have you had any issues implementing them for your home or office setting? Please leave a comment below; I love to hear from you! 

Until next time!

Reference       

Global Knowledge. (2020, December 17). What’s the difference between hubs, switches & bridges? Worldwide IT Training. https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/resources/resource-library/articles/what-s-the-difference-between-hubs-switches-bridges/#gref

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