At Wolf Technology Group, we can help your business with everything from network design to remote monitoring. While we can’t determine what websites you visit, how you protect your internal server closet, or maintain total control over your outgoing wireless network, we can suggest some ways you can maintain IT security by protecting your wireless network.
#1) Encryption is Mandatory
The first and most important form of wireless network security is encryption via the WPA2 networking protocol. WPA2, Wi-Fi Protected Access, is the wireless security protocol which allows only certain parties to have access to your network. WPA2 governs the most basic, yet most necessary wireless security elements: user IDs, passwords, and IP management. Without WPA2, your wireless network security can, and probably will, be compromised by anything, everything, anyone, and everyone.
#2) Speaking of Passwords…
Every networking device – routers, modems, switches – comes with a factory installed password. The factory installed password is intended to be a placeholder, meaning you need to be sure that it is changed once you’ve got it up and running because they’re far too easy to guess leaving you deeply vulnerable. To change the factory installed password, you’ll have to access the admin controls of the device to change the Service Set Identifier (SSIDs), the admin account security settings, and the guest account credentials.
#3) SSID Account Names
The next time you go to coffee shop, an airport, or any public place with free wi-fi, count how many SSIDs are factory installed names. We can’t tell you how many times we login into a public network only to see numerous users functioning via SSIDs like “NETGEAR112” or “LINKSYS343”. A factory installed SSID should be changed to protect against outsiders attempting to guess the make of your router and compromising the unchanged original passwords.
#4) Remove Guest Networking
The next time you purchase a new router, take a look at the default guest networking security settings. If the router has the guest networking security settings switched on, turn them off. The guest network settings within a router allow guests to access your router (and, therefore, your wireless network) through an unsecured path. If you are going to put in the time and effort to build a high speed wireless network and build in stringent IT security, the last thing you want to do is make the simple mistake of allowing outside access to your network because you forgot to turn off guest networking.
#5) Update Your Firmware
While often forgotten, this simple step is necessary. Much like Microsoft will update Word from time to time, so too does your WiFi router provider. Companies like Linksys and Netgear periodically update the software which controls their devices. These firmware updates are meant to keep your wireless network hardware up-to-date with the most advanced security protocols and operating procedures. Check your provider’s homepage for firmware updates. They will save your high speed network from outside corruption.
While there are many security procedures you could utilize, these five are a great start. For all of your network security concerns (or for more information about IT solutions, managed IT, or project management services that we provide), Wolf Technology Group would be happy to speak with you! We can provide you with a comprehensive network assessment to ensure that any weak spots are found before your network falls into the wrong hands. We can be reached by phone at (833) 482-6435 or you can easily contact us online today.
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