L2 network topology
Coming soon to a movie theatre near you: NETWORK SECURITY….THE MOVIE. It’s going to be a real blockbuster: full of action, thrills, daredevil maneuvers by network engineers who try to save everything at the last minute, and, of course, hackers.

Ok. Maybe we’ll have to wait a bit on the movie, but who needs the movies when we have real-life? Network security (and the lack thereof) has been back in the news again. You know the drill by now: another company gets hacked and data is spilled out like a broken water main. The one ray of light?

“Hey, you can watch Netflix on our high speed network without any slowness!”

The bad news?

“Oh that? You don’t really have to worry about it, but yeah…we just got 1TB worth of data pulled from our servers by unknown sources.”

Do you manage a smaller network? You may have held off on protecting the network for a variety of reasons: not enough manpower to tackle what looks like a huge project, it seems like an unnecessary expense that won’t directly contribute to business growth, or maybe you just don’t see why your network would be worth a hacker’s time. While it’s true that smaller networks are easier to manage than large networks, but they’re certainly not immune to attacks.

Believe it or not, network security is a major problem for small-to-medium sized networks. Data shows that small-to-medium sized businesses account for 50% of data hacks.

If You Can Answer These Questions, Maybe Your Network is Secure…

In order to properly secure the network, you’ve got to know what you have, where it is, and how its all connected.

  • Do you know how many core network devices you’ve got that are facing the outside world?
  • Do you know what version of software those devices are running?
  • How about VPN connection points? Or even links and or failover connections?

You may answer with, “we have a network monitoring tool or an asset management system.” Great, but these don’t give you a picture of exactly what you have and where it is.

If you can’t answer the above questions, it’s time to document the network. Solid network security requires a lot of moving pieces and one of those is network documentation.

If You Couldn’t Answer Those Questions, Do This:


You can document the network however the heck you want to. Back of a napkin? Excel spreadsheet? Visio? Whatever floats your boat as long as you keep it up to date and accurate.

How you handle your documentation is up to you. There are many good ways and many ways not to document…but doing nothing is not something I’d want to admit if I were managing your network.

Why? Because saying, “here is a network doc we found…it’s 1 year old and it’s sorta, almost, kinda accurate.” Yeah, sorta, almost, kinda like your network security.

About Jason Sherman

As Graphical Networks’ Sales Engineering and Support Services Manager, Jason Sherman leads the pre and post sales cycle with the entire Graphical Networks software portfolio, and ensures current customers are able to use the software to its fullest potential.