Using an unsecured business Wi-Fi network is akin to leaving your tangible business assets unprotected. With Wi-Fi, you send and receive digital information over a wireless network. With an unsecured network, you allow anyone within range of that signal to interfere with or hijack valuable business data such as your confidential emails, bank account information and passwords.
An annual Wi-Fi Security Report by Wandera offered some insight on corporate-owned mobile device usage. Of the 100,000 surveyed:
- 74% of wireless data was transferred using a Wi-Fi network
- 12% of the Wi-Fi hotspots were open and lacking encryption
- 4% of the devices had been exposed to malware through an accidental or deliberate man-in-the-middle attack.
How to secure your network:
Create a strong password
The oldest standard for security networks is WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), which might stop a casual hacker but is rather easy to break. The strongest standard of all is the recently released WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3), which offers the Wi-Fi Enhanced Open mode for increased security on unsecured networks.
You could also choose WPA3 Enterprise mode (WPA3 ENT) with a RADIUS server that requires login information for each employee. Create different passwords for your personal and business devices.
Use MAC authentication
Media access control (MAC) authentication allows only certain devices to access your wireless network. You could set up separate networks for public and private use. Your public network would be a low-security network, while your private/business network would have maximum security.
You may want to subnet your Wi-Fi into “private” and “public” modes to reduce congestion, organize your system and track activity.
Hide your service set identifier (SSID)
Another step to secure your Wi-Fi network is to change or conceal your SSID. This SSID, or your Wi-Fi network name, is listed among other local networks on your wireless-enabled device. Consider changing its name to one that deters or misleads would-be hackers.
Another option is to remove your SSID from that network list altogether. You certainly should disable that SSID in public settings when anyone with a wireless access point can pick up your signal.
One way for securing the network is by:
Setting up a Firewall
This keeps the Wi-Fi away from the rest of the network. Without a firewall, anyone who connects your organization’s Wi-Fi would be able to access your whole network. This leaves any confidential data on your network available. Installing a firewall will not only protect your organization from malignant people on your network but will go a long way toward safeguarding your network from cyber attacks in general.
Institute a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN offers added encryption to communication by creating a secure tunnel to transfer data. It not only keeps your network secure, but it grows with your business. You can connect new systems with minimal configuration. Deploying a strategic VPN reduces capital investment and is a major benefit for organizational mobility.
If you would like to learn how to utilize today’s security technology and protect your business’ important data, call our IT helpdesk and get Instant Support – IT and Remote: +44 (0)20 3371 7354