Three interns are discussing the enterprise headquarters offices and the network topology redesign. The headquarters consists of three large buildings separated by a centralized parking lot and a fourth administrative building down the street. The three buildings are interconnected by switches and routers and the fourth admin building via a site-to-site VPN through a business broadband. The admin building has a wireless access point as part of its network. One intern insists that the headquarters buildings consist of a large LAN, the second that it is a MAN, and the third that it is a WAN. Let’s assign roles again based on your birth month: (June) Discuss the customer’s network security design with your team. Title your thread with the network you were assigned. Make sure to support your thoughts with resources, citing them in APA style. When responding to others, choose someone who has a different network assignment.  Compare and contrast your ideas with theirs. Make sure to go back into your own thread and respond to those that replied to you.

Title: Network Security Design for a LAN

Introduction

In this discussion, we will explore the network security design for a Large Area Network (LAN) at the enterprise headquarters offices. A LAN typically refers to a local network confined within a small area, such as a single building or a campus. The LAN in question connects three large buildings within the headquarters, while a fourth administrative building is connected via a site-to-site VPN. Our objective will be to analyze the network security considerations specifically relevant to this LAN architecture.

Network Security Considerations for a LAN

A LAN offers several advantages in terms of network security. With a limited geographic scope and a controlled environment, it becomes easier to implement security measures and monitor network traffic. However, this does not mean that security should be taken for granted. Several important considerations must be taken into account to safeguard the network and the data it transmits.

1. Secure Access Controls

Access controls are crucial in maintaining security within a LAN. The network should be segmented into different zones based on the level of access required by users and devices. Implementing VLANs (Virtual LANs) enables the isolation of network resources, ensuring that unauthorized users cannot access sensitive data or compromise network devices. Additionally, implementing role-based access controls (RBAC) further enhances security by granting privileges based on user roles and responsibilities.

2. Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems

To protect the LAN from potential attack vectors, it is essential to deploy Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS). IDPS monitors network traffic and detects any abnormal or potentially malicious activities. It can block or mitigate these threats in real-time, reducing the risk of a successful attack. IDPS should be regularly updated with the latest threat intelligence to effectively counter emerging threats.

3. Network Segmentation and Firewalls

Network segmentation involves dividing the LAN into smaller subnets using firewalls or virtual firewalls. This helps to contain potential breaches and restrict lateral movement within the network. By implementing granular firewall rules, traffic can be controlled based on protocols, source/destination IPs, and port numbers. Additionally, network address translation (NAT) can be utilized to hide the internal network structure from external entities.

4. Data Encryption

To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data transmitted over the LAN, encryption protocols should be implemented. Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) protocols can be utilized to encrypt data between network devices, ensuring that data remains secure during transmission. Virtual private network (VPN) technologies can be employed for secure remote access, encrypting traffic between remote users or external entities and LAN resources.

Comparison with Other Networks

Now let us contrast the network security design for a LAN with that of other networks, specifically a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) and a Wide Area Network (WAN).

A MAN covers a larger geographic area than a LAN, typically spanning across a city or metropolitan region. With greater geographical dispersion, a MAN requires additional focus on securing connections, especially over longer distances. Nevertheless, the basic principles of access controls, intrusion detection, network segmentation, and encryption remain relevant to secure a MAN.

On the other hand, a WAN covers a much larger area, often involving connections between geographically dispersed locations. Securing a WAN involves added complexities, such as securing connections over public networks and implementing strong authentication mechanisms. It may necessitate using dedicated private lines or virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure secure communication.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the network security design for a LAN at the enterprise headquarters offices should encompass secure access controls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, network segmentation, and data encryption. While a LAN offers a controlled environment, it is essential to implement robust security measures to protect against potential threats. Comparatively, a LAN’s security considerations differ from those of a MAN or a WAN due to their respective geographic scales and connectivity challenges. Understanding these distinctions is crucial in devising an effective network security strategy.

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