How to Secure Your Business Wireless Network
Let’s be honest. It’s much more practical and convenient to run a business on a WiFi network.
Unfortunately, the lack of security protection and necessary resources leaves such networks vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
What’s more, hackers have been found to be more interested in small-to-medium businesses because they know most of them to have low-end security.
Hackers can easily and silently steal data and customer information, so the risks are real.
Let me tell you about the 5 tips you should follow if you want to secure your business’ wireless network:
1. Move your router to a secure physical location
But why? Don’t these attacks happen online?
Yes, they do.
But can you guarantee no one’s going to press the reset button on your router, thus rendering the entire sophisticated security useless? No, you can’t.
Your router will not be secure unless you make sure the router is secure. You need to place your router in a location only you have access to. Consider locking it in a safe or cabinet. And be sure that only authorized personnel can access.
While we’re talking about routers, you absolutely must change your router’s default login information. Most router hacking attacks take place precisely because these basic countermeasures aren’t followed. Routers come with default usernames and passwords, such as “admin”. The list of default login credentials for each specific router can easily be found on the internet.
A compromised router can be disastrous. Imagine logging onto your business online banking but actually being on a perfect copy of your bank’s website, set up to steal your login information, that redirects you to the authentic version as soon as you’ve entered your details so you don’t even know you’ve been attacked until it’s too late. Doing so would be disastrous.
2. Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) acts as a middle-man between your computer and the internet that everyone can access. It encrypts all the data flowing in and out of your computer and routes it through a secure server operated by the VPN company. This means that your ISP can’t monitor your internet usage and your data is kept private.
Most quality VPNs offer advanced protection and protocols for Wi-Fi networks, so it’s worth getting a premium subscription rather than trying to cheap out, and make sure your business’ network isn’t breached.
Pro tip – a VPN has many other uses and can help with researching your competitors. You can check what products they’re selling overseas, their prices, or even find out what keywords are working for a certain country.
3. Update your firmware and software
Always keep your router and any other network devices’ firmware up-to-date with the latest security patches. Tech companies and IT experts are working day and night to come up with fixes for any security vulnerability they come across.
Since Wi-Fi networks are some of the most targeted by cyber-attacks, they are also a prime focus in this sense. These fixes will solve certain specific weaknesses that would otherwise be a death sentence if any hacker finds out about them. Consider a privacy-focused router firmware such as Sabai OS.
4. Change your network name
Keeping the default Wi-Fi network name can bring unwanted attention to your network as the default network name usually gives away the model of your router, meaning an attacker gets an advantage from the start.
You need to change the service set identifier (SSID) of your Wi-Fi network to something that is still accessible to people, but at the same time, make sure you don’t inadvertently expose any network vulnerabilities yourself.
Regarding the SSID, you should also set up different networks for private and public access. Separating the traffic so that there are two separate points of access, one for your employees, and one for your customers will increase your overall security as a whole.
5. Make sure your router’s firewall is turned on
Most routers have their own security protocols and firewalls that will protect your Wi-Fi network against outside attacks. However, they might not be activated by default, so you need to double-check just to be sure.
Look for SPI (stateful packet inspection) or NAT (network address translation). These security procedures are there specifically to prevent attacks and protect your business from any hacking attempts.
Moreover, you should also make sure that your software doesn’t send anything over the network without your express permission. This includes data packets, information exchanges, and so on. To avoid this, you can install specific firewall software for your PC. Most of the times, there’s a default firewall that comes with an operating system like Windows 8 or Windows 10.
How will you secure your business wireless network?
Are you keeping your business protected online? Which of these tips will you implement to have greater internet security? Please share in the comment box below.
Bogdan Patru is a cybersecurity news analyst at VPNTeacher. He has a passion for international data policy and how it affects citizens’ privacy. See more of Bogdan’s work at www.vpnteacher.com.