Layer 2 data networks offer valuable technical and business advantages; such as simplicity, scalability and efficiency. When secure encrypted data transmission is required, these benefits are increased.

The demand for Layer 2 networks (Ethernet, Fibre Channel etc.) is growing as high-speed / high-volume data transmission increases and performance-intensive technologies such as Cloud Computing and Data Centre services grow.

layer 2 data network

Layer 2 networks provide the performance necessary for intensive computing tasks with lower latency and greater flexibility than Layer 3 networks. The business case for Layer 2 is strengthened further by transmission efficiency, bandwidth costs and economies of scale.

However, it is when sensitive data is encrypted that the real benefits become apparent. When encrypted, Layer 2 networks maintain their performance, whereas Layer 3 networks lose 50% to 70% of their bandwidth and speed performance.

Whilst both Layer 2 and Layer 3 data networks may be used in complex network architectures, Layer 1 (physical layer) data networks restrict network architectures (topologies) to simple point-to-point data links.

Making the most of Layer 2 – security by design

When it comes to cyber-security and the use of encryption to protect sensitive data from eavesdropping, theft and tampering, the business case for Layer 2 networks is even stronger.

Senetas high-assurance encryptors take full advantage of Layer 2 network efficiencies and enable the most robust, certified data encryption solutions – without compromising application or network performance.

layer 2 network encryption

  • Full line-rate performance
  • Near-zero latency and data overheads
  • Scalability to meet changing network needs
  • ‘Set and forget’ simplicity of deployment and management
  • 100% encryptor interoperability
  • Outstanding 99.999% uptime reliability
  • Maximum data throughput, with no bandwidth wastage
  • Zero impact on other network assets


Watch Risk to Data In Transit video

The business case for encrypting at Layer 2

Protecting high-speed data, personal and metadata transmission without compromising network performance

Layer 2 data networks provide high bandwidth and data transmission speed capabilities that Layer 3 networks cannot match. They also enable the use of all network architectures, something not possible at Layer 1. This is why major organisations and government agencies prefer Layer 2 networks for their mission-critical, high data-volume WAN and MAN operations.
layer 2 encryption business case

Simply put, Layer 2 networks deliver reduced complexity; significantly lower data latency; reduced management overheads; greater flexibility and improved scalability. They also eliminate data traffic priority difficulties.

When organisations implement mission-critical technologies to optimise business efficiencies, including real-time data transmission, Layer 2 network characteristics enhance the performance of those technologies; whatever the key technologies deployed:

Cloud Computing – software and infrastructure-as-a-service
Data Centre Services – remote storage, back-up and disaster recovery
Big Data Applications – processing and sharing information-rich data
SCADA Networks – critical infrastructure and industrial control systems
CCTV and Multi-Media – video, voice and data streaming
Microwave Networks – overcoming physical environment limitations