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I appreciate some of the most obvious advantages of security on both switches and routers are things like stopping unauthorized access and preventing any unwanted configurations.

However, I can't think of any disadvantages that are really worth considering when configuring a device, things like:

  • Strength of password determines security level.
  • Security beyond the password is based solely on confidentiality.

But these are not really points that would make anyone think twice about adding security to the devices.

Are there any others you have perhaps come across or know that may effect the network, or devices themselves? Is there even a disadvantage to adding security to a switch or router?

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    To me, it is not entirely clear what you are asking. Specifically, what you mean by security is a bit unclear. For example, are you referring to securing the device itself (i.e. the router/switch) from possible attacks or features that you can enable on the devices to secure the network? It may just be me, but I am also not tracking what your bullet points are really saying are disadvantages. – YLearn Jun 17 '17 at 4:31
  • Sorry to be unclear! Yes I simply mean, enabling password protection on routers and switches, securing the device itself. To me it seems there would be no disadvantages to doing that, my question is essentially asking if there are any. Thanks for your reply – Tipping44 Jun 17 '17 at 7:34
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Aug 15 '17 at 18:21
  • Both great answers - Will accept the first purely based on date of input. Many thanks guys. – Tipping44 Aug 17 '17 at 9:17
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What type of switch are we talking about?

Unmanaged switches will work out of the box and require no configuration. Managed switches on the other hand do. Generally unmanaged switches can't be hacked, but managed switches can with improper configuration.

You should do everything possible to ensure the switch isn't vulnerable to attack.

Now onto the router. Should it be secured? ABSOLUTELY YES! If an attacker gains access to the network, and the router isn't secured/configured correctly, you've just given the attacker an open door.

Ensure both are secured. Trust nothing.

  • Thank you, sorry should have been clearer, I meant managed switches. When configuring, would there be any downside at all by securing it. It sounds like an obvious answer to me, as stated in my question, it doesn't seem likely there are any! Thank you! – Tipping44 Jun 17 '17 at 7:38
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The disadvantages of securing anything is ease of use. Forgotten password, locked out ports, etc. Is it worth creating good passwords? That's up to your situation. I personally think it's not worth the possibilities of hacking to not secure a device. Lock it up!

But, when you talk about switch security there is so much more than a login. Port security, DHCP Gaurd, vlans, ACLs, etc.

Basically, when securing anything there is a balance of ease of use and ability to support and monitor that security feature.

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