10 Simple Steps to Take Right Now to Secure Your Business WiFi Network
Conducting regular maintenance and updates are the easiest ways to secure your corporate WiFi network
- By Yotam Gutman
- Aug 05, 2019
Threats to business are increasing from every which connected way, every day.
With small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lagging behind enterprises in securing their networks, they continue to be targeted from a variety of directions, with risks often turning to cumulative losses, much of the time never to recover those losses.
Adding to this, the proliferation of mobile devices, the ever-increasing number of devices, and applications used throughout the modern office along with the IoT explosion; the time has come for SMBs to realize the urgency to address their network security issues.
More so, SMBs grapple with how to deal with these attacks in differing ways, many times not addressing the root cause, leaving the door open to another potential attack from the same nefarious actors. This is something that is so avoidable, but only you can take action.
So, you might be thinking how you can secure your business’ network without busting your IT budget (If you even have one). Read on for some easy steps you can take to secure your WiFi network today.
If you don’t know where your vulnerabilities lie, how will you protect those weak points? That’s why it’s imperative to conduct an extensive thorough audit of your business’s network.
Identify issues and assessing the situation in order to:
- Discover potential security vulnerabilities
- Grade your firewall in keeping infiltrators out
- Evaluate health of software, apps, servers
- Back up frequency
- Install anti-virus malware protection
The report returned in such an audit is critical for reviewing and is the perfect opportunity to make changes.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is imperative to protect network privacy for all your business’ users. It is a small investment and blocks your business’ activities in a number of key areas.
User data and browsing history is censored, therefore, masking your incoming and outgoing data from hackers via encryption. A VPN also hides your location by masking your IP from outsiders. A VPN also safeguards your files and other info while connected to a public WiFi network. Additionally, a VPN is a must for businesses with traveling or remote employees for protection out of the office.
The importance of a Firewall is too complex to completely encapsulate in a single post. Let’s just say that at this time, if you don’t have a firewall installed, then you shouldn’t only set up a WAF (Web Application Firewall), but you should make it a priority to install a firewall that protects all your devices as well.
Updating Antivirus and Malware
Too often SMBs buy computers that have a trial version of McAfee installed. This will only protect your organization while the trial is valid. As a small business, in order to mitigate the risks, you need to have these installed with the latest versions, ensuring security updates and bug fixes are applied to protect both individual and network computers.
Secure Router Information
Your router is your connection to the outside world. It’s how all your incoming and outgoing traffic is flowing. In the physical world, a network can be breached by just flipping the reset button on your router. Secure your router in your physical space by locking it up and by keeping the key on you or in a well-hidden place that only senior employees know where it is located.
Update Login Details
According to the Ponemon Institute, 40 percent of SMBs say their companies experienced an attack involving the compromise of employees’ passwords in the past year, with the average cost of each attack being $383,365.
This is why it is important for employees to update the login details on a consistent basis. Leaving your router with default login info such as UserName: Admin and Password: Admin is a serious opening. I know it’s easy to remember, but password security is so simple but so ignored across the IT landscape.
While much of the focus today by management and the media is on phishing attacks, ransomware and malware, internal threats are one of the leading security issues and a major challenge for any organization.
Data breaches have a business wide impact as a variety of internal actors may be disgruntled. This is particularly threatening as these internal actors have access to systems that others cannot access. To combat this issue, more businesses should consult resources on how to prevent the widespread sharing of passkeys and removing former employee access to networks immediately after they leave the company.
Find a simple password solution. Continuing in that vein regarding password security, one solution that can absolve your IT organization of any password management and employee training is the creation of a network environment where there are no shared password or consistent network credential updates.
This way, administrators will always be aware of who is using the WiFi network while eliminating the need for network security training and monitoring policies.Across your business’ network continuum, security breaches typically occur as many SMBs unfortunately do not cover the most fundamental requirements of security. This is the reason for the majority of attacks today, some of them that bring businesses to their cyber knees.
Update Your Network Names
Just as you need to enforce your login policy for your router, you will want to change your network names on a regular basis. This will keep hackers at bay, so they can ot take advantage of creating another network where they’d have access to all your sensitive information. Avoid using the default network name for your device such as “Netgear” or “Linksys,” for example. This will leave your network ripe for compromising.
Identify and Address Threats ASAP
Last but not least, your business IT department must be on track to identify any breaches and investigate ASAP. The aforementioned steps will help protect you in a solid yet basic fashion. Just know that no defense is impenetrable. This is an especially daunting task if, like many businesses, you suffer from a personnel shortage.
You need a simple process to strategize in order to spot threats and take control of your network quickly. You need products that will play well together. This is key for any IT environment, but in order to achieve seamless issue discovery, all your solutions must be integrated in as full a manner as possible.
In summary, these tips communicate key actions for you to take to maximize network security while minimizing the risks. With the sophistication of attacks and ever increasing number of the end point and attack vectors, you need to keep your employees, partners and vendors safe online. You must keep building on your infrastructure to ensure your business’ security in the long term.