If your business has many sections & departments, many of which may not need to interact with each other, then looking into segregated networks may be of benefit. A segregated network helps separate data and internet traffic between different areas of your business. For example, you probably wouldn’t want visitors accessing the same network that all your business data sits on (e.g. an S: Drive). So, giving them their own fenced off network where they can connect to the internet to their hearts content without interfering with your work is probably a good idea. You can also set up segregated networks for peripherals, or devices that are able to work by themselves. Think of printers & CCTV networks for example. In the case of the latter, again, it’s probably got sensitive data on it that not every employee needs to see. Because of this, keeping it in its own secure bubble is a good idea.
But why do I need this, won’t it complicate things?
Far from it. A segregated network is ideal for reducing the complexity of a growing business. Having one network for everything is messy and leaves you open to risks, such as data breaches, and poor quality of service. Segregated networks help to control communications and access between different sections of your business. They also help to make your business more security. Each of these “bubbles” can be setup to use firewalls and other security equipment to have their own protection. Instead of one big bubble where everything is shoved in together and you only have one layer of protection, a segregated network lets you split up the one big bubble into many smaller ones, each with their own protections in place.
How do they work?
If you already have IT security software & hardware in play, then it’s a relatively similar endeavour. Many contemporary IT manufacturers give their hardware the ability to handle many types of tasks simultaneously. This allows you to worry less about the security of your business. There are a few items that work well together to provide a smooth experience. They are as follows…
Virtual Local Area Networks are specific networks created on a software level. For example, in a home environment, you probably have a single router that provides internet for your household. You find the name of your internet, put the password in & connect. If you wanted to have another network for your house, you could get another physical router and repeat the previous process. You’d end up with multiple routers knocking about but technically this would work! In an incredibly oversimplified analogy, a VLAN basically does the same thing, albeit virtually (no extra hardware required), the existing setup you already have.
These can also be either software or hardware, but a firewall will monitor the traffic on all your segregated networks and patrol them to make sure nothing untoward is going on. It will block viruses and anything nasty you don’t want on your network. They are vitally important in keeping your network safe against cyberattacks, as they help to quickly identify threats.
Routing traffic to the relevant physical areas of your business is handled by the switch. Once you’ve setup your segregated networks, the switch will be the piece of kit that steers your internet traffic to the right place. It’s like a virtual traffic warden guiding vehicles in the correct direction. With many VLANs in place, a switch is great device to have to make sure things run smoothly.
Segregated Networks are key to ensuring your business is secure and organised. Having many networks all with robust security and using reliable protocols, you will find things a lot easier in terms of handling data and keeping access to systems as they should be. You will also benefit from a performance boost in terms of quality of connection and speed. Rather than having any and all devices fighting for priority on the network, by splitting them up, they’ll all have their own networks to flourish in, without any interference. Think of a flock of farm animals all mixed together. It would be chaos trying to feed and look after all the animals in one pen. Instead, by splitting them up and giving them all their own pens, they’re much happier and it’s easier for you to manage.
BCS are expertly skilled in setting up network topologies such as these. If you’re not sure on how to organise your network, give us a call on 01843 572 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to provide assistance.