A router is much more secure than a hub, especially from network sniffing. This is because a router intelligently routes packets based on IP destination, where a hub broadcasts the data to all nodes. If one system that is connected to that hub places their network adapter in promiscuous mode, they are able to receive and view all broadcasts, including passwords, POP3 traffic and web traffic.
It is important then to make sure that physical access to your networking equipment is secure to prevent the placement of sniffing equipment, such as an unauthorized laptop, on the local subnet.
Fortifying router security
Step 1: Change the default password!
Step 2: Disable IP directed broadcasts
Step 3: Disable HTTP configuration for the router, if possible
Step 4: Block ICMP ping requests
Step 5: Disable IP source routing
Step 6: Determine your packet filtering needs
Step 7: Establish Ingress and Egress address filtering policies
Step 8: Maintain physical security of the router
Step 9: Take the time to review the security logs
About the author
Chris Cox is a network administrator for the United States Army, based in Fort Irwin, California.
This tip originally appeared on SearchNetworking.com.
This was first published in January 2007