Why Should You Have Remote Teams Use Network Segmentation?

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Why Should You Have Remote Teams Use Network Segmentation?

A majority of businesses in the San Fernando Valley area, LA, and around the country have more employees working from home today than they did a year ago.

The pandemic completely changed how we live and work, and even though businesses have been reopening this fall, many companies plan to keep some workers remote permanently even after the threat has passed.

77% of surveyed organizations say that after the pandemic is over, they’ll have more employees working 3+ days per week from home.

Thanks to cloud solutions and on demand IT services, like video conferencing and team collaboration apps, many companies can operate from anywhere these days. But, when you have teams working from multiple locations, it increases the risk of a cybersecurity breach.

Here’s why:

  • Home routers are typically less secure than business-grade routers
  • Home networks may contain less secure devices (IoT devices, kids’ devices, etc.)
  • Devices being used from home may not have the same managed IT support or monitored security

When identifying ways to strengthen remote team wireless security, one of the layers of protection used should be network segmentation.

What is Network Segmentation?

Network segmentation can be done on any wireless network, home or office. It involves creating a separate network on a router in order to separate the device traffic.

On home routers, this is done by setting up a “guest” network. Once that network is set up, there are two Wi-Fi options the router has for devices to connect to. The goal is to put more secure devices on one network and more risky devices on the other.

For example, you may put all devices used for work or that contain personal information (banking details, tax records, etc.) on one wireless network and then put less secure devices on the other “guest” network.

Less secure devices would include things like:

  • IoT devices
  • A teen’s tablet or smartphone
  • Gaming consoles
  • Firestick or other type of streaming device

You’re basically separating all your internet traffic by relegating each type (secure and less secure) to a designated network.

How to Set Up Network Segmentation:

  • Log into your router settings
  • Add a “guest” network
  • Change the password of your current network
  • All devices should now be disconnected from Wi-Fi
  • Reconnect secure devices to the existing network with the new password
  • Connect all other devices to the new guest network

What are the Benefits of Network Segmentation?

Limits the Scope of Damage from a Cyberattack

One of the first things that ransomware does when it infects a device is to look for network connections to other devices so it can infect those as well.

Hackers will often use network discovery and sharing features to quickly breach any device sharing the same Wi-Fi connection.

By separating the less secure devices from those that hold sensitive data, you put up a barrier of protection. If a hacker infiltrates a doorbell camera that’s on the “guest” network, they will not be able to get to your computer that’s on a completely different network.

Can Improve Network Performance

Another benefit of segmenting your network is that you can ensure important work-related activities, such as a company Zoom meeting, don’t have bandwidth taken away from them from something less vital, like a computer game or large file download.

Segmenting reduces bandwidth congestion by keeping different devices “in their own lane.” You can further improve bandwidth consistency and speed for certain activities by setting up Quality of Service rules on your router for each Wi-Fi network.

Can Protect Vulnerable Devices

98% of IoT device traffic is unencrypted. This means if a hacker gains access to a network, they can conduct a “man-in-the-middle” attack to gain access to that data.

If you have a vulnerable device that doesn’t have as much internal protection as others, but still transmits important data, putting it on a network with your other sensitive devices and away from more vulnerable devices can keep it protected.

One example would be a wireless printer that you’re sending sensitive company documents to. It may not have the ability to have any type of anti-virus installed, so you can make it less vulnerable to attack by putting it on the network with the other more secure devices.

Improved Data Compliance

Data privacy compliance can also benefit from using network segmentation. By separating risky home devices from work devices, the risk of data compromise is reduced.

Certain data compliance penalties are higher if it’s found that a business did not make an effort to put proper security protocols in place before a breach happened. Network segmentation for remote workers shows a good faith effort to keep information secure.

Get Help with Network Security & Performance

Don’t leave remote network security to chance. Neuron Computers can help your San Fernando Valley area business with smart remote strategies for security and performance.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 1-833-4-NEURON or reach us online.