Network Switching

Network Switching & Bridging: The Difference


Ethernet is a family of computer network technologies standardized by IEEE 802.3. The standard defines two types of media access control (MAC): Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), and Binary Exponential Backoff (BEB).

WiFi operates on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN) protocol suite. It uses the CSMA/CA MAC and the Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) to provide contention-free transmission services.

Switching vs Bridging: What’s the Difference?

A switch connects multiple devices to a single physical point. Network switches are used to connect computers or other networked devices. A switch will have one or more ports where you plug in cables that lead to each device. If you want to add another device, you simply need to plug it into another port.

A bridge connects multiple networks at Layer 2. Bridges allow communication between different LANs, but they don’t route traffic across them. Instead, bridges act as gateways allowing data to be sent from one LAN to another.

IT Infrastructure: Securing Existing Control Networks

The IT infrastructure includes all the hardware and software necessary to support an organization’s computing needs. This includes servers, routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, and many other networking components. While most organizations use their existing IT infrastructure, there are some instances when replacing or upgrading equipment may be required. For example, if an organization has outdated operating systems or applications, then new versions must be installed. In addition, if an organization experiences a major outage, then it may require the replacement of critical equipment.

The following sections discuss common issues with existing IT infrastructures and solutions available to help secure these environments.

Server Security Issues

Servers store information, process requests, and perform tasks for users. However, server security is a concern because hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in the code running on the system to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

To address this issue, organizations should implement a patch management program that updates vulnerable software on their servers.

Router Security Issues

Router devices are typically located near the edge of the internal network and are connected directly to the public Internet. Because routers are so central to an organization’s connectivity, they’re often targeted by malicious attackers looking to intercept confidential data traveling through the network.

One way to prevent router hacking is to deploy a firewall. Firewalls are designed to block incoming connections from outside the network while permitting authorized communications inside the network. Some firewalls include intrusion prevention capabilities that monitor the activity of both inside and outside hosts.

Another method for protecting routers is to configure them using only strong default passwords. Strong passwords contain letters, numbers, and special characters. Passwords should never be reused and should change frequently.

Also Read: Ethernet vs Wi-fi

Switching Security Issues

Switches are used to connect individual devices within a local area network (LAN). A switch allows computers and other devices to communicate with each other without having to go through a router. However, switches have their own set of security risks. To mitigate the risk of hacking, organizations should install a managed switch that provides built-in security features such as encryption and authentication.

Firewall Security Issues

A firewall acts as a gatekeeper between the internal network and the external world. It controls which types of traffic enter the network and prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing resources. An effective firewall protects against viruses, worms, spyware, and other threats that could damage computer systems.

A firewall can be configured to allow specific types of traffic based on user permissions. For example, you might want to permit all web browsing but restrict file sharing. You can also use a firewall to limit access to certain applications or services. This helps reduce the attack surface area of the network.

An additional layer of protection is provided by a proxy server. Proxy servers act as intermediaries between clients and the Internet. Clients request content from websites via the proxy server instead of directly contacting the website. The proxy server then relays the request to the appropriate destination. Proxy servers help prevent users from being exposed to malicious sites and provide anonymity when browsing the Web.

Four Critical Components to Create your Secure Business Network:

  1. Network Devices – Routers, Switches, Firewalls
  2. Data Encryption – VPNs, SSL, TLS
  3. Authentication – User Accounts, 2FA, Password Changes
  4. Authorization – Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

How to Protect your Network from Attacks by Hackers?

  1. Install a Managed Switch in All Locations
  2. Configure it as per your requirements
  3. Use Strong Default Passwords
  4. Change Passwords Regularly
  5. Enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
  6. Disable Unnecessary Ports
  7. Update Software regularly
  8. Keep Your System Up-to-Date
  9. Do not share sensitive information over unsecured networks
  10. Restrict File Sharing
  11. Ensure that all workstations are updated with the latest patches
  12. Avoid downloading unknown files
  13. Always keep Anti-Virus software up-to-date
  14. Don’t click on links sent in emails
  15. Never open attachments received from strangers
  16. Be careful about what you download from the internet
  17. Use an Antivirus program
  18. Use a password manager to store your passwords securely
  19. Set up a good password policy
  20. Only give out your details to trusted people

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