Routing and Switching Basics for Cyber and Network Security

Cyber and network security is one of the most fascinating as well as significant aspect of information technology field. It is for the most part driven by two essential components such as, routers and switches because together these endpoints serve as lynchpin between core internal systems and networks in the interconnected environment. 

The main purpose of routing and switching is to facilitate the interrelation of many different segments within the network infrastructure.

According to CCIE routing and switching training program; to master cybersecurity with an intention of pursing a professional career, you need to acquire an in-depth knowledge of switches and routers’ functionality and position in a network security environment. 

Cybersecurity professionals are tasked with great number of responsibilities for employer organizations. For instance, guarding company’s data, monitoring day-to-day activity for a trace of infiltration, developing security plans, installing firewalls etc., come under cyber security expert but the core of cybersecurity professionals’ or information security analysts’ jobs is to build and implement impenetrable strategies to secure organizational networks against external as well as internal attacks. 

Switching Basics in Cybersecurity

Network switches, in an integrated network environment that houses various computer mechanisms e.g., routers, LAN cards, switches, cables, monitors, wireless routers etc., are used to connect all such devices to form a single network.

Switches basically allow the smooth communication among interconnected devices present in any specific network. Simply put, network switches facilitate inter-system connectivity through data packets switching which receive, process, and dispatch information among all the computers. The data flow regulation and resource allocation between connected systems through switching fosters increased business productivity and efficiency.

Routing Basics in Cybersecurity

Routers, as you see in the house, office, or pretty much anywhere let your network get connected to the World Wide Web (WWW). Where switches are used to connect computer to form a joint network, routers in the network environment serve as an endpoint to connect network resources e.g., web. Due to switches’ lack of any connectivity to the internet, routers become the primary contact point which perform on way larger scale to communicate data packets within a network. 

Routers link computers by the internet that lets data packets safely travel among different networking systems. Information acquired, analyzed, and sent from one network to other is abetted by routers in a vast network infrastructure.

Network Security Basics

Now that you know that routers and switches are two critical components of a system that derives data flow among different computers and networks. It begs the question of their role in overall network security. Considering the crucial functionality of routers and switches, they become extremely vulnerable as the first target of attack from cybercriminal striving to gain unauthorized access into the system as well as its various resources.

The fundamental utility of routers and switches make the entire network susceptible to hacking that leads to the compromise of confidential information. Therefore, in order to protect network security, it is imperative to guard routers and switches against cyberattacks. Because hackers are conscious that a successful attack on these two components can grant them absolute control over entire network with additional space to expand the offence.

There are many viable ways to protect routers and switches in the network environment. Yet, they are no match to the proper security training program like that of Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert CCIE security certification – a series of technical expertise certified courses to develop, implement, and troubleshoot the complex enterprise networking infrastructures – to learn the best methodologies in order to keep your routers and switches safe.

Main Concerns of Router and Switch Security

The overall security of networking components like router and switch is increasingly improving by directing the focus on the following security concerns:

User Authentication

User authentication – measures reserved to ensure user’s identity within a computer or a network – can end up being the weakest link of the whole security chain due to the rampant identity theft recorded cases. Never make the grave mistake of ignoring pre-defined system setup of secured user’s identity. Vulnerabilities surrounding routers and switches can effectively be preempted if the authentications are strongly encrypted.  

Policy Powered Firewalls

Today, in open defiance to conventional firewalls there seems to be an emergence of highly sophisticated next-gen firewalls that are open to customized configuration in coordination with network’s specific requirement. They integrate different networking components and filtering devices to form thicker security layer by conducting number of security checks against virus intrusion or third party assimilation.

Tracking & Preventing Intrusion 

In case of any malicious activity or network intrusion, the security professionals usually do not have sufficient time to effectively respond in a bid to contain security threat. In such instances, routers and switches can be leveraged as network security tool if used as an alarming-data collecting mechanism to monitor network traffic. Because they can be programmed to instantly halt data flow within a network.  

The reason behind having an effective intrusion detection & prevention system in place is that, if a security threat is detected, the problem tracking and preventing software should immediately take preemptive measures like auto-shutdown of communication lines to limit the potential damage without human intervention. This security mechanism plays an active role to neutralize as much security threat as possible before it has a chance to develop roots. 


Year as back as mere 2019 has witnessed an unprecedented increase of 300% in attack traffic that resulted in 7.9 billion cases of data breach. Most of the cybercriminals’ targets were the seemingly impermeable systems of high profile organizations like governments, hospitals, businesses etc. 

We are living in alarming times when it comes to cyber and network security. To accommodate the high demands, there are many routers and switches manufacturers available today, but a service as optimal as CCIE routing and switching range is wholly recommended. 

Most all IT based organizations are using various CCIE security products, it is essential that you train your networking professionals through one of many CCIE security online training programs in order to make the best use of its products.

Guest article written by: Sitwat Maroof, Technical Writer

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