Your wireless network is the infrastructure that handles all types information, from sensitive emails to credentials being passed to your cloud-based accounting or CRM application.
Often, it’s easy to take your Wi-Fi network for granted. As long as it’s working, most of us just connect without giving much thought to the security, we just expect it to be protecting all that data.
But, unless you’ve taken steps to properly protect your wireless network, it may not be as secure as you assume.
83% of Wi-Fi routers in US offices and homes leave users at risk of cyberattacks.
The WPA2 security protocol that’s currently used in wireless routers unfortunately has a history of being exploited by hackers. Technical Evolutions’ IT Security Team provides expert network security services in the Chicagoland area to ensure routers and wireless networks are as secure as possible and protecting the millions of bytes of data being transmitted daily.
Tips for Ensuring Your Wi-Fi Network is Secure
If you’re thinking that your business is too small for the hackers to worry about, you’d be wrong. Often cyberattacks target small businesses because they typically will have less defenses than a larger enterprise corporation.
43% of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses and 60% of those businesses that have a data breach go out of business within six months. So, ensuring the security of your network is key to ensuring the ongoing health of your company.
Here are ways to safeguard your wireless network and keep your business protected from breaches.
Change the Default Login Credentials
You’d be surprised how many offices install a new wireless router and don’t change the username and password from the default settings. Hackers know those defaults and are always looking for routers that have them.
One of the first things you want to do when setting up any Wi-Fi router is to change those login credentials from the default. Be sure to use a strong password that includes:
- A combination of letters, symbols, and numbers
- At least 10 or more characters
- Upper and lowercase characters
Set Up a Guest Wi-Fi
When you have clients, vendors, or temporary employees at your office, it’s not a good idea to start handing out your Wi-Fi password. Instead, set up a guest Wi-Fi network.
This allows you to have guests log in to a connection that isn’t the same one that’s handling all your sensitive internet communications. Nearly all routers have a guest network feature and setting this up means you can give Wi-Fi access to guests while keeping your main network private.
Regularly Update Router Firmware and Software
Just like your computer operating system gets updated regularly, including critical security patches, the same is true for your router. Make sure you’re checking for any firmware or software updates regularly and applying them so your router will have any fixes created to solve documented vulnerabilities.
Most wireless routers have a firewall that can be activated. You’ll want to ensure this is enabled in your router settings.
Additionally, it’s a good rule of thumb to use device-based firewalls as well for your server or PCs to make sure that any suspect traffic is identified and blocked right away.
Change Your Network Name
Your wireless router comes with a service set identifier (SSID), otherwise known as the network name. It’s that name that pops up when you’re trying to connect your device to the Wi-Fi.
Many of these will default to the brand like “Lynksis AC1000” and that is information that you don’t want to give to a hacker. Change the SSID to either your company name or something that doesn’t identify the router brand, model, or your internet provider to be more secure.
Keep Your Network Monitored 24/7
With so much riding on keeping your data secure, it’s a safe bet to sign up for a managed IT plan that includes network monitoring, maintenance, and proactive support. We have several managed IT options for businesses of all sizes, like our TE Elite (Enterprise).
Besides ensuring someone is watching your network at all times for any security issues, you also get enterprise-level network and cloud support to keep your technology infrastructure running efficiently.
Budget an Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 (WPA3)
Getting ready to come out by the end of 2019, is a big security upgrade to wireless networks. The new Wi-Fi 6 with WPA3 security protocol has enhancements that make wireless connections more secure (even on public Wi-Fi) and make it more difficult for hackers to breach your network.
While there is no exact release date yet, you’ll want to keep Wi-Fi 6 on your radar and budget for a router upgrade when it becomes available.
Need Help with Wireless Network Security?
Our Technical Evolutions team will be happy to assist you with an assessment of your Wi-Fi security. We can help you address any vulnerabilities, ensure you’re completely secure, and even upgrade your router when Wi-Fi 6 is available.
Schedule your security appointment today by calling 708-540-6201 or reaching out online.