Tech QOTD – Topic: Interconnecting Office Networks (Network+)


Answer the multiple choice question shown in the figure. Click the figure to enlarge. Text version below.


A small office has set up an addition in a nearby office space just 20 feet away within the same building. The network administrator is assigned to provide connectivity between the existing office and the new office. Which of the following solutions provides the most security from third-party tampering?

A. VPN between routers located in each office space

B. Cat 5e connection between offices via the patch panel located in the buildings communication closet

C. A WEP encrypted wireless bridge with directional antennas between offices

D. Cat 5e cable run through the ceiling in the public space between the offices

(see answer below and video response.)

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Answer: A.

Explanation. The best answer listed is to set up a VPN between each router located in each office space. Even though the offices are close to each other, they are not directly next to each other, and so a secure connection such as an encrypted VPN becomes an excellent solution to avoid eavesdropping. This VPN connection could be through the cloud or a direct connection between offices. The latter would require additional connectivity with shielded Cat 5e, Cat 6, or Cat 6a recommended. There are other solutions as well of course that are not listed in the possible answers. Use your noggin to develop other solutions based on your needs!

Incorrect Answers. Running category 5e cable might make for a faster connection, but there is no inherent security, and the cable is easily tapped by would-be attackers. It is not wise to place a patch panel in a building’s communication closet, unless that closet is within the organization’s office space. Similarly, it is not wise to run the cables in the ceiling in the public space between the offices. If each office’s network is properly secured, cabling might be a good option, but that would rely on a secure VPN or other similar technology. An encrypted wireless bridge is another possible solution. However, WEP is deprecated and is not recommended for use. In addition, there will be multiple walls separating the two office spaces, some of which may be firewalls (meaning actual physical walls filled with installation or other material meant to stop fires), which will severely weaken the wireless signal.

Video Solution:

(Answer at 1:25)