small business wireless security

Whether small or big, most businesses need a Wi-Fi network for the smooth running of the organization. However, some of them may lack the necessary cyber skills required to secure their networks effectively.

Note that insufficient Wi-Fi security leaves the organization vulnerable to hacking attacks. Although Wi-Fi is convenient, it can also expose the internal network.

Common corporate Wi-Fi network security threats

Unauthorized Access

It’s possible for an unauthorized member of the public to access corporate Wi-Fi. This usually happens when the person is a few meters from the facility and if proper security precautions are not implemented. A person can access the servers as well as the applications which reside on that specific network.

Older Wi-Fi routers may have unsecured default configurations which make it possible for anyone to access the internal network. Luckily most newer devices will ship with better default security setting, but double checking the router configuration is a must.

Guest Network

In most companies, employees and guests use different networks. Although this may appear to be an effective security measure, there are still some loopholes. For instance, if the guest network is not properly configured, the visitor can access vital components of the corporate’s infrastructure.

Password Mining

Unfortunately, not all businesses use complex passwords for their networks. Only a few of them restrict the Wi-Fi signal’s strength to limit network access outside the corporate’s physical address. In addition to that, very few of them refrain from broadcasting the name of the network. So, if an attacker is within a close range of your organization, they will have easier access to the Wi-Fi network.

Man-in-the-Middle Attack

The best way to improve the security of the Wireless network is by using authentication techniques. In addition to that, encryption is also necessary. A hacker can place a rogue access point between the user and the network. The attacker then relays communication between the two parties. In some instances, they may alter the conversation. If the hacker has the right tools, they can easily record sensitive information.

how to secure wifi

How to Improve the Security of Corporate Wi-Fi Network

To reduce the security threat of corporate Wi-Fi Network:

Set a Long Complex Password

To prevent password mining, use long, unique, and complex passwords. Most corporates tend to use the default password/username combo i.e. “admin”. Unless the hacker has time, complex passwords make the hacking process difficult and time-consuming. By the time the hacker makes any move, you will quickly detect them. A strong password should have at least 12 characters.

Secure the Physical Location of the Router

A network security threat can be as simple as pressing the reset button of the router or simply plugin with an ethernet cable. So, it’s essential to secure the physical location of the router. Ensure that there is restricted access, i.e., place it in a locked cabinet that’s in a locked office. You can also add a video surveillance system to ensure that the IT closet is monitored 24/7.

Activate the Built-In Firewall or Install Firewall Software

Most routers come with in-built firewalls. This helps to prevent external attacks aimed towards the internal network. The first line of defense is Network Address Translation (NAT) or Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), but other advanced filtering techniques could secure the network even further. Make sure these layers are activated and configured correctly in your router’s settings.

Double up on firewall protection

You can also double up on firewall protection. If you are using a corporate Wi-Fi network, you need to make sure that your software in your computer does not send any information over the internet or to the network without your approval. Although Windows 8 and 10 come with default firewall, you can add additional firewall software on your device.

Other security measures that you can implement include:

• Using a unique and non-obvious network name.
• Restricting the strength of the Wi-Fi to prevent external connection.
• Ensuring that the access point and Wi-Fi Router firmware is always up to date.
• Deploying an effective Wireless Intrusion Prevention System and Wireless Intrusion Detection System for every Wi-Fi network.
• Using a Service Set Identifier to set up the public (guest) network and private (employee) network. The public network should not be able to access the private resources of the corporate.
• Eliminating any rogue access point and unnecessary devices from the network

Don’t wait for an unauthorized person to compromise your business’s network. Contact your local IT vendor to ensure your system is adequately secured.

How do you secure your Wi-Fi network? Let us know in the comments below.

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