In one of the buildings I work in, there are lawyers and accountants, web developers and marketers, and numerous other small businesses. Everyone's (shared) internet is routed through the same server room (which doubles as a broom closet), which is left unlocked and could be accessed by the public during working hours.

This seems to me to be a ridiculous security risk, but I don't know exactly how to quantify that to the building owner and/or the businesses at risk.

Exactly what sorts of risks are we facing and what danger are we in?

2 Answers 2

  1. I can just walk in, plug something similar to this into your network and read the unencrypted network traffic of the entire building.

  2. I can snip a few cables and cause a denial-of-service for multiple businesses. This will be pretty hard to diagnose if the building does not have a network admin on hand to deal with such issues.

  3. I can steal all the networking equipment.

There is a whole bunch of things I can think of but it would be pointless to list them all. Locking the server room isn't that difficult..

  • The first thing there is what I was thinking most of. Law firms and accounting offices are sharing lots of private stuff.
    – Dan Gayle
    Commented Jun 14, 2013 at 4:24
  • 2
    "Steal all the networking equipment" is a good reason to tell the building owner if they also own the server equipment. :)
    – apnorton
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 1:12

All of Terry Chia's points are exactly the concerns. On how to quantify the risk to your management; you could try to convince your management to hire a pentester. I'm surprised that the legal folk don't have a problem with leaving a port hole to their sensitive legal data open.

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