Data communications equipment definition
Data communications equipment (DCE) are devices that send and receive digital data in communication systems. They serve as intermediaries that ensure a smooth and reliable flow of digital information between networks.
Examples of data communications equipment
- Modems convert digital data from computers into analog signals for transmission over phone lines and vice versa.
- Routers manage data traffic between different networks or sub-networks.
- Bridges connect and filter traffic between two or more network segments, making them function as a single segment.
- Switches connect devices within a local network and use MAC addresses to forward data to the appropriate destination.
- Hubs connect multiple devices in a LAN, broadcasting data to all connected devices.
- Digital signal processors (DSPs) handle real-time signals like phone audio or radar visuals.
Risks related to data communications equipment
- Unauthorized access. Without proper safeguards, unauthorized users can gain access to DCE like routers or modems. For example, they may manipulate network traffic or reroute data.
- Device firmware vulnerabilities. Many DCE devices run on firmware that can have vulnerabilities. If devices are not regularly updated, attackers can exploit these security holes.
- Denial of service (DoS) attacks. Attackers can flood network equipment like routers or switches with excessive traffic. That would render them unresponsive and disrupt services for legitimate users.
- Default configuration risks. Many devices have default usernames and passwords, which are easy to guess or find online. If these are not changed, they pose a significant security risk.