When you purchase a private network from a carrier you are purchasing security–after all, it’s built in, right? Not so fast. In order to make sure your managed network is safe, you’ll need to know these important things to ensure privacy on your network.
Someone Has to Manage Your Managed Networks
Carriers have provided networks (frame relay, IP-sec, MPLS) for years now. Networks can take a lot of resources to design, implement, and maintain. For most enterprises, it makes sense to hire a carrier to establish the network; however, it can only be as secure as the people who have access to it. You must keep this fact in mind. All of the technicians, NOC managers, and other support personnel can see your packets as they traverse your network. Ultimately, you need to trust the people that handle your vital information. But even if you do, that doesn’t mean you can’t take additional precautions.
Your Telecom Data May Travel Next to Other Traffic
One great reason you’ll want to choose an experienced carrier and team in creating your private telecom networks is that mistakes can happen. Choose your carrier wisely and consider the fact that in order to manage all their clients’ traffic efficiently, at some point, the carrier has to send all traffic over common routers. As long as each client’s data streams are tagged correctly (with each client’s unique information) the packets should get to the proper endpoints. However, if any information is not coded properly, you may get someone else’s traffic on your LAN or vice versa. This isn’t a common occurrence, but it happens from time to time. If you already use a managed network and have ever seen any kind of connection failure or dropped packets it may have been due to a misconfigured router. What happened to your packets? And more importantly, what can you do to protect yourself in the event that something like this does happen?
Encrypting Your Telecom Network
You can consider encrypting your packets. Encrypting your information before it hits the managed network ensures there’s an extra layer of security in the event of unknown people handling your data or a traffic mistake takes place. This takes additional configuration and gear to accomplish, but will help you take advantage of the QoS architecture in your MPLS network that properly handles your encrypted data stream. If there is any particular data you don’t want anyone to see, assign those to your encrypted stream on your routers and to the network routers. You will need to test the performance with your carrier as part of your network implementation, but this step will help you rest easy knowing your information is safe.
Benefits of Managed Network Encryption
You will spend a little more money and time establishing your own encryption. However, the gain in security is worth the extra work. When your data is encrypted, you’ll know that even if there’s any compromise on the carrier network, your vital information is secure. Despite every carrier’s best intention, no one will care for your information as much as you do, so its best to be proactive regarding security.