DATA CENTER NETWORKING
Article | August 10, 2022
In the United States, private networks saw the sun for the first time in the early 1970s by AT&T. The networks were majorly operated over telecommunication networks. In the 1990s, with the evolution of Internet technology, a new type of network known as virtual private networks emerged. This type of network was built on public infrastructure, and the data was encrypted to protect it from eavesdroppers.
Nowadays, networks developed by businesses are called Enterprise Private Networks (EPN) when privacy is maintained via security processes and tunneling protocols such as Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol.
The objective of an EPN is to provide high-speed internet access and data sharing within an organization. Businesses can utilize Wi-Fi in their workplaces to share internet access and resources. This type of private network also employs routers, switches, fiber optics, virtual devices, and modems. Security is also a significant factor while developing an enterprise network. Different firewalls are set at access points to ensure safe data transfer between systems.
Enterprise private networks can be built in various ways, including:
Virtual private network (VPN)
Local area network (LAN)
Wide area network (WAN)
Let’s dive deeper into EPN.
Enterprise Private Network: Reasons to Deploy It Today!
Giving its intended objective, enterprise private networks can be considered to provide a variety of conceivable benefits to an organization.
Enhancing Network Security
A company must adhere to strict procedures to safeguard its security. Networks are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and some business data contains sensitive information that might be lost or acquired by the wrong people. However, data circulation is critical to long-term business operations, which is why incorporating an enterprise private network is a wonderful way to keep security issues at bay even while allowing the organization to more easily manage its critical operations. This is a key reason why most businesses do not hesitate to use EPN, regardless of how difficult it is to set up or the upfront costs associated with it.
Keeping overheads to a minimum is critical for achieving a convincing ROI at the end of the day. Most businesses take stringent steps to ensure that they remain profitable. Cutting major expenditures is a helpful technique to do this, and the deployment of EPN is a perfect example. Because important business data can be exchanged over the network where key stakeholders can access it, the expense of physically transferring data and resources from one place to another is reduced. Moreover, a significant amount of valuable time is saved since any type of data and resources can be uploaded across the network in a matter of minutes.
Another important element that is essential to an organization's success is business continuity. Different departments of an organization are interconnected to one another through an enterprise private network and can effortlessly share resources with one another. As earlier stated, it enables time efficiency and allows companies to keep progressing toward gradually achieving their day-to-day demands.
Enterprise Private Network: A Catalyst to 5G Digital Transformation
Businesses now depend on technology that has undergone significant transformation in recent years. Organizations are increasingly relying on feature-rich apps to operate their operations and drive innovation. Connectivity is at the heart of keeping everything operating smoothly and effectively, and 5G is expected to provide even more pace and potential. 5G is enticing because its infrastructure differs from prior generations of cellular networks. The 3G and 4G networks were designed with hardware-based network operations in mind. 5G, on the other hand, is 'cloud-native,' with network functions stored in software as a Virtual Network Function (VNF) or Cloud-native Network Function (CNF). 5G has the ability to drive digital transformation for companies and organizations by providing faster connection speeds, reduced latency, higher capacity, and better security. Organizations can obtain significant business advantages in automation, security, and safety when 5G is used in combination with a private cellular network.
The Importance of 5G on Private Networks
5G provides better bandwidth than 4G LTE networks, which is critical for data-intensive applications.
Robotics, manufacturing, remotely operated systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications all need low latency.
The 5G network core offers network slicing, allowing network operators to virtualize network traffic, often in a cloud-based flexible environment.
Increased Connection Density
5G will ultimately support 100 times more connected devices per square kilometer, up to one million devices.
Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC)
5G Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) moves computational power closer to the network edge, reducing the time required to send data to a centralized data center.
While 5G has considerable benefits over Wi-Fi, the new Wi-Fi 6 version also has greater capacity, reduced latency, and faster speeds than its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5.
Industries Leveraging EPN to Enhance Their Capabilities
With the expanding digital transformation, business interest in private networks is growing. Enterprises can deploy such networks to explore a broad range of wireless use cases and provide access to areas that are not covered by a public network. These networks can also be customized to meet the needs of certain industries and businesses. With the arrival of 5G, private networks enabled by the technology are positioned to stimulate innovation and allow next-generation enterprise transformation across a wide range of industries. Industries leveraging 5G-enabled enterprise private networks are:
Healthcare tops the list of rapidly growing industries, requiring private networks. The unprecedented burden caused on healthcare systems worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the need for improved connectivity and modernization of infrastructure, prompting hospitals to establish private networks.
The manufacturing industry is undergoing a significant digital transformation, which is enabling various new use cases like automated manufacturing. In the industrial arena, private 5G networks play a critical role in increasing the density and efficiency of automation technologies like collaborative mobile robots, automated guided vehicles, AR predictive maintenance, and virtual reality remote devices.
By reducing the reliance on third-party wireless service providers, private 5G networks enable these establishments to build and install the infrastructure most suited to their digital transformation roadmap.
Another high-potential use case for private 5G networks is the logistics industry. With increasing global e-commerce adoption, the continuous movement of products through all logistical checkpoints—including warehouses, ports, and distribution centers—must be monitored and linked through a diverse variety of corporate mobility devices.
Another industry with significant potential for private 5G networks is mining. Mine operators want dependable wireless connections in order to leverage digital technologies, but they are often unable to introduce wireless communications to underground locations while still meeting the essential connectivity demands of machinery and mobile employees in open-pit locations. Private networks, which have fewer access points than Wi-Fi, can overcome these difficulties by providing a stable and widespread internet connection to machines, vehicles, and workers throughout a mine. This leads to improved safety, increased production, and a lower carbon footprint.
Some of the other industries are Oil and gas, Education, Ports, Smart Cities, etc.
Rising Demand for Enterprise Private Network (EPN)
As per research analyst Leo Gergs from ABI Research, there are a couple of factors that are causing the surge in demand for private networks for enterprises. These factors are:
Rise in demand for automation and enterprise digitalization in every sector of the market, including industrial manufacturing, logistics, oil and gas, etc., because of COVID-19.
The private 5G network has arrived, bringing with it irresistible features and use cases for businesses from all industries.
Private networks depend on technology from both public carrier networks and business IT, bringing together two disciplines that had previously evolved in quite distinct directions. Industry digitalization, the convergence of telecom and IT, edge migration of cloud apps, and increased spectrum availability are all combined to set the scenario for exploding demand for private 5G. A private 5G network is an enterprise-specific network that offers communication connections to people or items belonging to a single company as well as unique services required for the enterprise's operations. Enterprises across sectors are crunching the math on private 5G, from factories to farms to hospitals to hotels.
According to ABI Research, heavy industrial verticals will increase demand for private network installations. Industrial manufacturing and energy production (including mining, oil and gas, and logistics) will contribute $32.38 billion in private network revenues by 2030, accounting for half of the $64 billion in total private network revenues. The need for private 5G networks is increasing as 5G arrives, allowing compelling business use cases and favorable legislative developments on spectrum availability for corporations. TBR projected that the market for private 5G networks would reach $7.5 billion by 2025, rising from $200 million in 2020.
Carving the Future
With every new cutting-edge technology comes a leap of faith. Businesses and industries can expedite their digital journeys by using 5G private networks to offer secure connections while gathering and managing huge amounts of business-critical data. Private 5G is not simply a new paradigm for network operators; it's also an incredible opportunity for public and private organizations to unleash efficiency, exploit real-time data, and boost revenue.
How Does Enterprise Private Network Work?
An enterprise private network is a business computer network that allows business organizations with several offices to securely connect to each other through a network. The primary purpose of an enterprise private network is to share system resources.
How to Set Up Your Private 5G Network?
To build a private 5G network, businesses need to:
The first step is to get the spectrum right-to-use.
Acquire 5G equipment such as base stations, mini-towers, and small cells from network equipment or infrastructure providers.
Integrate equipment with edge devices like smartphones, routers, sensors, etc.
What Is the Cost of Building a 5G Network?
A modest tower and 5G cell site will cost between $30,000 and $50,000. If the wireless network is to function during a power failure, the cell site will also need commercial power and batteries.
Article | June 9, 2022
There was a time when network security meant having servers on-site. A firewall would protect company data whenever internet traffic entered and exited the network. But, what about today? Modern businesses do not strictly function on-premise.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people working off-site part-time or full-time increased enormously – and suddenly. This change compelled cybersecurity professionals to reconsider their security measures. Their online privacy solutions had to ensure that their most precious asset — their data — was secure regardless of where workers accessed it.
Even when restrictions are lifted, businesses continue to use remote teams. As a result, more and more of a company's critical data and services are being housed in the cloud. These two criteria indicate that the need to examine network security on a regular basis is here to stay.
The good news is that a VPN, or virtual private network, is one of the most simple and widely accessible network security solutions for remote worker internet access.
Do VPNs Provide Reliable Business Security?
A virtual private network is a kind of Internet security service that enables users to connect to the internet as if they were on a private network. VPNs utilize encryption to provide a secure connection across vulnerable Internet infrastructure.
VPNs are one method for protecting business data and controlling user access to that data. The VPNs safeguard data as users interact with applications and websites through the Internet, and they can conceal specific resources. They are typically used for access control, although alternative identity and access management (IAM) systems can also assist with user access management.
VPN Encryption Enhances Network Security
Data is encrypted so that only authorized parties can view it. Anyone who manages to intercept it, whether a hacker, a fraudster, or another bad actor, is out of luck.
Imagine an employee is working from a coffeehouse, shared workspace, hotel, or airport and has access to your company's business-grade VPN. (Please keep in mind that business-or enterprise-grade VPNs are not the same as free VPN services.) The employee can create an encrypted connection between both the user's device and your VPN by using a VPN client installed on their preferred device and a public Wi-Fi network. This device, as well as any others that connect to your VPN, will establish encryption keys on both sides of the network connection. These keys will then encrypt and decrypt the information being exchanged.
The data of the person working at the coffeehouse is secured by the VPN after they create an encrypted VPN connection by utilizing the coffeehouse's Wi-Fi as a hotspot with a VPN client. Even if cybercriminals get access to the network of that coffeehouse, your employees and their data are secure within the VPN tunnel.
Network security requires a VPN service from a trustworthy VPN provider. Our next-generation VPN enables enterprises to fully protect their assets in a dynamic, cost-effective, and scalable manner. A VPN solution enables you to connect private networks, devices, and servers quickly and simply to create a secure, virtualized, modern internet.
Article | June 7, 2022
Network as a Service (NaaS) is gaining ground due to shrinking network boundaries and fast technological evolution in response to changing market demands. NaaS brings with it networks, operations, and business architecture that are more agile and based on open standards.
Rather than the conventional upfront cost, Network as a Service technology delivers networking gear, software, and operational and maintenance services as an operational expenditure. NaaS, like other cloud services, is maintained by the service provider and offered for a set cost.
Why Do Businesses Today, Need Network as a Service (NaaS)?
Businesses have recognized the advantages of the cloud in moving away from conventional on-premises networks. The corporate network boundary has practically vanished, and NaaS is becoming a popular technology.
Offers Flexibility to Businesses
Businesses can obtain a better return and save money by employing utility models instead of large expenditures on hardware and network equipment.
Time for Innovations
NaaS provides innovations by staying up to date with updated software versions via license upgrades and can fulfill corporate demands to introduce new goods and services more quickly.
Minimizes Operational Risk
NaaS will reduce operational risk associated with artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning (ML); businesses will be able to implement the most recent product features and services.
Top 3 Benefits of Network as a Service (NaaS)
Access from Anywhere
Depending on how a cloud-based network is setup, users should be able to access it from anywhere and on any device without employing a VPN, though this creates the need for strict access control.
A user should ideally just need a connection to the internet and login details.
Bundled with Security
NaaS enables a single supplier to provide both networking and security services such as firewalls. As an outcome, the network and network security are more deeply integrated.
Purchasing cloud services rather than developing one's own services generally leads to cost savings: cloud users do not have to purchase and maintain equipment, and the vendor already has the servers necessary to provide the service.
Article | June 28, 2022
Wi-Fi and the Internet have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Because of the importance and convenience of a business Wi-Fi network, it is now a must-have service for most businesses. Unfortunately, numerous small-to-medium-sized businesses lack the resources and cyber skills required to appropriately secure their networks. This can be a major issue because an unsecured network exposes the company to attacks from hackers looking to steal valuable company information or customer data.
How Can Businesses and IT Leaders Strengthen Their Wi-Fi Security?
A data breach can cripple your business. It not only undermines consumer trust, but data breaches cost an average of $4.24 million. Fortunately, improving your Wi-Fi security is not difficult. To safeguard your company's wireless Internet connection, follow the steps outlined below.
Use Up-To-Date Wi-Fi Encryption
You should upgrade your hardware if it can only support WEP or WPA encryption. The Wi-Fi Alliance strongly encourages the widespread use of WPA2. Cutting-edge encryption has been demonstrated to be protected against even the most persistent attackers when correctly implemented. If you run an enterprise environment, you should take advantage of the extra security provided by specific digital certificates.
Encrypt Wi-Fi Router Administration Pages
Taking your Wi-Fi security a step further needs the use of a Wi-Fi digital certificate to secure your admin login pages. Self-signed certificates that come pre-installed on a few routers are untrusted, easy to copy, and prone to Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks. TLS certificates from reputable certificate authorities can ensure that all of your Wi-Fi connectivity is safe and confidential. If your router's quick start guide does not contain digital certificates, you can obtain information on the manufacturer's support page.
Consider Restricting MAC addresses
Smaller network managers can lock down MAC addresses for more control. Wireless routers and access points use MAC (Media Access Control) address filtering to block attacks. Every WiFi-enabled device has a unique MAC or physical address and a list of connected devices. You can manually enter addresses to define network access, but hackers can fake MAC addresses.
Use Always-On SSL
You must utilize HTTPS across your website and apply it to Wi-Fi. Accessing an account on an encrypted page and subsequently interacting with the site through unencrypted pages exposes the user to session-side jacking.
Create a Guest AP with Tighter Security
Not all businesses must enable guests or customers to connect to their networks, but some companies do offer guests access by providing them with guest login credentials. If your company falls into this category, set up a dedicated guest AP that is isolated from the rest of the company network.
You can set up a second AP on your router and utilize a firewall to limit access from that AP to certain services that you want your visitors to be able to access.
Nowadays, having an internet connection is critical for organizations, as is keeping it secure from hackers. Moreover, when conducting business, it is crucial to keep critical information and customer data secure.
Otherwise, you risk compromising your company's image. So, if you want to maintain your Wi-Fi network security and keep your business working effectively, you must adhere to a few fundamental principles.
Finally, you are on the path to make your Wi-Fi network safer and more robust by following all of these techniques at once or step by step.