There are a few major differences between the setups of your home and business networks, and the devices which they manage. On your home network, your PC’s and devices are part of a “workgroup”, while small business networks are usually setup on a “domain” configuration. The main difference between workgroups and domains is how network resources are managed.
Workgroup Configurations (Home Networks)
- All devices and PC’s are equal members of the network. No device is capable of network management.
- Each PC has its own set of user accounts, and user accounts are not shared over the network.
- Settings on user accounts, such as Windows Update Settings and User Account Control, are set by the users and not managed or reportable.
- There are typically no more than a few devices connected on the network.
Domain Configurations (Business Networks)
- There is at least one server on the network.
- A server is set up to allow Network Administrators to set permissions for all of the computers and users on the network. This makes changes to PC settings easy, and enforces policies such as User Password Compliance, and Data Transfer Compliance.
- A user account is made on the Domain Server, and not on the individual PC. This means that a user can log into any PC on the network with the same credentials.
- Logging of user activity is possible across the entire domain. Additionally, data storage can be centralized on the server to create transparency and reportability.
- Group Policy enforcement ensures that settings for PC’s are enforced, such as Windows Security Updates and User Account Control.
- The requirements of user logging and breach notification set by HIPAA are enforceable only in a Domain environment.
For help in setting up your network as a secure, compliant system, contact us and ask about Network Security from dmi Networking, in Santa Rosa, CA.