Keeping Your Company’s WiFi Network Secure
WiFi is a necessity pretty much anywhere you go. Cafe’s and coffee shops are almost required to have them if they want any business. Most businesses also set up WiFi within their office for several reasons. First, it allows employees to use their mobile devices on a faster internet speed than they likely can get with their mobile network. Second, many high-end laptops no longer have a network port, which requires the computer to use a wireless connection. Lastly, when visitors come to the office to make a presentation or meet with executives, they may require WiFi to access or display their presentation. While having a WiFi network is a necessity, there are many security risks associated with it as well. In light of last week’s discovery of the Krack vulnerability, it’s a good idea to revisit some best practices you can implement to keep your company’s WiFi network protected and secure.
Update Your Devices
As we learned from the Krack vulnerability, keeping your devices up to date is essential to keeping your WiFi, and your company’s network in general, secured. Patches are regularly released that will plug security holes within the devices. If the devices that access your WiFi network are not updated, you could leave the entire network open to attacks. EVERY device on your network should be updated on a regular schedule, including any IoT devices like security cameras, smart lighting, and locks. Especially as updates are released that fixes the Krack issue, you will want to get those updated right away.
Create a Guest Network
A great way to protect your business from rogue devices on your network is to create a guest network. The guest network allows guests at your office to utilize the internet but gives them no access to your business network. Most WiFi routers allow for the easy creation of a guest network. You can’t be sure if a guest has updated their devices, or whether or not their device has malware or a virus that can infect the rest of your network. Limiting guests to this protected environment can keep your company’s sensitive data safe. When creating the guest network, feel free to make the password something easy to remember, while the password to your real WiFi network is more complicated and secure. This will let your guests connect to the internet quickly and easily.
Change the Default Settings
Most WiFi routers come with default passwords and settings. The first thing we do when we set one up for our clients is change most of the default settings. When your router is using the default settings, anyone that is within range can access your settings and change them if they know how. While some of the settings aren’t as important as others to change, the password to access the router definitely should be changed.
Turn on Firewall Settings
Most businesses should have a separate firewall altogether, but there are a few ways to add an extra layer of protection to your network. A port is a number that certain technologies communicate with each other through. Most internet traffic uses port 80 to communicate, so if you were to block port 80 at your WiFi router, no one on the network would be able to open web pages on their computer. You can open specific ports on your router, and block all others to make sure that only the ports that you allow will be accessible.
Keeping your WiFi network secure will help keep your company’s data safe and secure from attacks. Nothing is completely safe with technology, however, so continue to layer on levels of security for your network to help give you the best shot at preventing a security breach. If you need help setting up or changing any of the above mentioned items, definitely call a managed IT support provider like us!
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.