Using Wi-Fi has become an important part of our daily life. Wi-Fi networks are increasingly accessible from just about everywhere including the workplace. However, businesses have a responsibility to secure their enterprise networks against hackers who could compromise sensitive information, steal data, or even install ransomware on company computers.

By protecting your network you are protecting your company’s data and its connected devices. Hackers look for networks with poor security to attack. Without the right security measures, a Wi-Fi network can be a convenient way for the wrong people to gain access.

Protecting your network follows the basic principles of network security. That is, protect your router, control access, and protect the data passing between routers and devices.


Protect your router

The router is a good starting point for improving your network’s defenses. When the default settings are used, hackers can navigate around known security issues to infiltrate a network. That’s why making these easy changes and keeping the firmware/software updated is so important.

Easy

  • Always use strong passwords
    • Make sure you change the default password!
    • Make it something complex, preferably 15+ characters long and using letters, numbers, and special characters (like @#$%).
    • Consider changing the password when an employee leaves the company.
  • Firewall or VPN
    • The more layers of defense the better. Routers often come with some sort of firewall.

Get More Involved

  • Keep it updated
    • Routers should be updated just like computers, and this provides patches for known vulnerabilities.

Control access

By controlling those who can access a network, you are limiting many simple attack vectors for hackers to use.

Easy

Get More Involved

  • Use a guest network
    • Create a Wi-Fi network for guests without access to secure information.
    • Since access to secure information would be limited on this account, it’s okay to use WPA for guest networks and SSID enabled.
  • Hide your network name SSID
    • There’s no need to draw hackers’ attention by making your Wi-Fi name public.
  • Watch for unauthorized access points
    • Look for devices on the network that shouldn’t have access.
    • You can ‘white-list’ the devices that are allowed to access your network by their MAC address (unique serial number).
  • Consider controlling signal strength
    • If your Wi-Fi signal does not reach the parking lot then hackers will have to get closer to reach the network (or use other tools to enhance the signal).

Protect your data

Stealing or compromising data is often the end goal for hackers, so protecting it is a top priority.

Easy

  • Enable network encryption
    • It is recommended to use WPA2 (Wi-Fi protected access), or better yet, WPA3 if available on your router.

Get More Involved

  • Monitor networks for suspicious activity
    • This can be done with automation.
  • Enable authentication
    • Like 2 factor authentication.

If you want more information on protecting your enterprise network, or need help after a hack, the professionals at Next Horizon are here to help.

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