Wi-Fi networks can often be an entry point for hackers. In fact, since 2017, there’s been a 539% increase in attacks targeting routers both in homes and offices.
There are many reasons that Wi-Fi routers get targeted. Businesses often don’t take proper security precautions to protect routers from being hacked. There are also more devices being added to them all the time, which means more potential payloads for a cybercriminal.
Today’s wireless business networks support not only computers, but often servers, cloud connections, mobile devices, and IoT devices. Keeping them operating securely is a vital part of any business IT solution.
Is your business Wi-Fi leaving your company at risk of a data breach?
Following, are several smart ways to ensure your router is secure and protected from hackers.
Use a Business-Grade Router
One mistake many small businesses make is using a consumer-grade router for their office network. Residential routers typically have less security, fewer features, and are not built to last as long.
There are different levels of Wi-Fi encryption, and consumer routers use one of the lowest levels. Vendors making business-grade routers will typically include higher encryption levels to support business data privacy compliance needs.
Change Your Router’s Default Login
One of the first things you should do when setting up a router is to change the username and password from the manufacturer’s default setting. Many IoT devices are attacked within 5 minutes of being set up and hackers will use an automated attack that tries all those known manufacturer logins.
Use a Firewall
Any business network should have firewall protection to help catch suspicious traffic and attempted attacks. Firewalls are an important layer of security between your internet connection and your internal devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi.
Firewalls will include things like threat monitoring to look for threats both coming in and going out through your network. In conjunction with things like email and spam protection, it can help keep most unwanted traffic out.
Use a Strong Password to Protect Your Business Wi-Fi
Today, most companies know that they need to password protect their business Wi-Fi, but they don’t always use a strong enough password. Some will use their company name or something simple that their users can remember.
Weak passwords make it very easy for a hacker to break into a company’s Wi-Fi. Instead you should make sure you’re using strong password practices and that users aren’t storing the Wi-Fi password anywhere that is insecure.
Good password practices include:
- Long passwords, about 10+ characters in length
- Using a combination of upper-case and lower-case letters
- Using a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols
Keep Router Firmware/Software Updated
Most people aren’t logged into their router admin panel very often, so they have no way to know that there may be an update waiting. It’s important to regularly check your router for any updates so you can ensure they’re installed as soon as possible to patch any potential security vulnerabilities.
Set Up a Guest Network for Less Secure Devices
One way to keep devices on a business network more secure is to separate them from unsecure devices. This can be devices of people that visit your office or employee personal devices that they don’t use specifically for work.
If you have all unsecure devices connected to your Wi-Fi’s guest network, then you put an important layer of security in place that keeps a virus on a guest’s tablet from getting into your business workstations.
Eliminate Rogue Access Points (APs)
Rogue APs are access points to your network that are unauthorized. They could’ve been created unknowingly by an employee or to facilitate a vendor’s remote connection, but never taken down.
These access points can leave your network vulnerable, so it’s important to do an access point scan regularly to ensure you don’t have a rogue AP out there that you are unaware of.
Physically Secure Your Router
If an employee accidentally hits a reset button on a router to try to “fix the Wi-Fi,” it can strip away security settings you’ve put into place.
It’s important to physically secure your router so just anyone doesn’t have access to it. This can include putting a security camera near it or mounting it high, so it’s not easily accessible.
Do Not Use an SSID that Identifies Your Equipment
The SSID is the name that your router has when it shows up on your network. This is easily seen by anyone within range just by checking nearby Wi-Fi connections.
You want to make sure the SSID doesn’t give a hacker too much information, like the router’s brand and model number. It’s best to keep the SSID as non-descript as possible.
Is Your Business Wi-Fi as Secure as it Should Be?
Pro Tech Guy can help your Framingham area business ensure that your Wi-Fi is set up securely and protected from hackers.
Contact us today for a network security consultation. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.