April 27, 2022 by Tom Schroer

Is Network Security a Concern? Here Are 4 Design Best Practices for Network Peace of Mind


Tom Schroer

Senior Director Services Marketing, Calix 



Network and subscriber security are at the top of every broadband service provider’s mind, as cybercrime continues to rise at an unprecedented rate and cyberattacks by foreign actors become a very real prospect in today’s geopolitical environment. In fact, 38 percent of broadband service provider (BSP) executives surveyed in a Calix and Heavy Reading study ranked security infrastructure among their top three investment priorities. Ensuring network security is paramount but it is just one of several concerns, along with survivability, reliability, and availability, that are important to your subscribers—and your operations team’s peace of mind.

Here are four essential network design best practices that can help you not only secure your subscribers, but also optimize network and services performance, accelerate your time to market, and meet your operational objectives.

  1. Simplify and secure your network through segmentation. Flat networks may be well suited for smaller implementations, but as your subscriber base grows and your network expands, segmenting your network will offer better performance and survivability. Segmentation will alleviate the adverse effects of broadcast and multicast traffic on your network. Establishing virtual LANs (VLANs) will also help protect against broadcast storms and effectively segment and secure the traffic to your subscribers.
  2. Use fewer network components to eliminate complexity. Consolidating network functions into fewer network elements helps directly reduce the capital expense (CAPEX) required to build the network, as well as decrease the operational expense (OPEX) needed to manage and maintain it. Aggregating services and eliminating standalone servers for policy and allocation of IP addresses can help drive efficiencies and improve performance. And by moving network functions closer to the subscriber in the access network, you’ll be able to optimize your network and increase efficiency even further.
  3. Increase reliability by deploying Layer 3 deeper Into the access network. A well-designed and highly reliable network extends Layer 3 as close as possible to subscribers in the access network. By deploying Layer 3 in the access, you can avoid frustrating and costly Layer 2 loop problems, increase network resiliency, improve subscriber bandwidth, and take advantage of better traffic prioritization options.
  4. Make network and subscriber security an essential part of your network planning. Network and subscriber security is a major area of concern for BSPs, as the number and severity of online threats continue to grow. In a recent survey of top BSP priorities and challenges, most respondents identified the subscriber premises as the biggest source of network security threats, with 66 percent citing customer and IoT wireless devices as being the most vulnerable part of the network. Make sure that you factor subscriber and network security capabilities into your network planning.

Want to uncover more ways to improve performance and reduce risk? Download the white paper “Want a Better Network? Here Are 7 Design Best Practices” on the Calix Services webpage.