By now we all know about the importance of multi-factor authentication and identification. The more steps you have to take to access your network, the more secure that network will be. However, along with complicated authentication processes, there is an additional way that you can protect your network from hackers and malware. Using Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) you can break up your network into virtual segments making it even more difficult for the bad guys to break in.
What is a VLAN
A VLAN is a subnetwork operating under your main network. The more VLANs you create, the more you can segregate your network. Segregating your network into VLANs will allow you more control over who gets access to what. Separating certain data and placing them in a virtual segment of your main network provides added security from viruses, ransomware, and hackers.
Another important aspect of a VLAN is that you can protect yourself from your end users. If your network security is too tight for hackers, they will sometimes try to piggyback into your network using one of your customers. By having multiple virtual sub-networks, you can make sure that even if someone does access your network through an end user, they will only get to the lobby, and not to any of the sensitive and proprietary data that you have on your network.
Having a guest wi-fi is a great example of how VLANs can improve security. Having free wi-fi is a huge draw for guests, but who knows where their devices have been. Of course, you don’t want to let your guests know that you don’t trust them or their phones, so you discretely direct them to a VLAN dedicated to guests where they can surf the web but aren’t a threat to your network.
VLANs improve productivity
The added security you’ll get by breaking up your network into sub-networks will also improve performance and security. VLANs can give a little relief to a busy network. Reroute some of your traffic to other networks to handle the traffic more efficiently.
Control network access
You have complete control over how you direct traffic to your network, and who has access to what. The more control you have, the more productive your network will be, and the more secure. You can separate internal departments like accounting and HR, and you can limit Wi-Fi access to the corporate network, or other VLANs dedicated to more sensitive information and communication. How you structure your VLANs will improve your overall performance within the company and from a user perspective.