Users exploit LAN switch security features

Wednesday, 19 March 2003, 3:28 PM EST

While some hurdles exist, deploying intelligent Ethernet gear at the LAN edge is becoming popular as users seek to tap multilayer switching features to boost security and application bandwidth control.

Several barriers have stalled widespread adoption of LAN edge security, some users say. But as features such as access control lists (ACL) and 802.1x become standard in many vendors' products, some users are starting to turn them on as an added layer of infrastructure security.

Layer 2 Ethernet is the king of LAN access in most businesses and other organizations, but vendors of Layer 2 switches are increasing the intelligence in these boxes with features that let switches look up data in IP address (Layer 3) and TCP/IP layers (Layer 4) of packets. Many Layer 2 switches can manipulate packet flows based on this Layer 2 to Layer 4 data, allowing for greater quality of service, policy networking and security.

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