Four essentials to securing your wireless network
11 February 2016
The rise of the internet has created a revolution of communication, and has opened new ways to access valuable information worldwide. However, like many things, such a profound revolution has also opened a wave of new and unexpected opportunities for crime and theft. Network hackers are becoming more of a concern to businesses of all types and sizes, putting vulnerable networks at the top of their target list.
Understanding how to secure a wireless network can be complex and demanding. Despite this, by understanding and bringing awareness to the areas of vulnerability in your business, it places you in a better position to improve your network security. Are you struggling to identify these areas? Prodec Networks has put together a guide to help organisations understanding the essentials to securing a wireless network.
Prodec Networks believes that the first essential step to securing your wireless network is to get to grips with the fundamental basics. In doing so, this allows you to secure your business Wi-Fi up to a more advanced level. In simple terms, these basics involve securing wireless access points, protecting your remote and mobile employees, and covering security practices that are essential for wireless networks of all types:
Is your Wi-Fi network encrypted? It’s imperative you set up a wireless network with an encryption protocol such as WPA2, because wireless signals can be picked up from outside a business environment, meaning security algorithms such as WEP can be broken in a matter of minutes. As well as this, cyber-criminals have access to the power of cloud computing, allowing them to test millions of passwords in a surprisingly short amount of time. The best way to protect against this is to create a series of complex passwords, ensuring that they are at least 10 characters long and include special characters or numbers.
2. Guest Access
A business must be able to provide controlled access for their guests so that they can be monitored and restricted as to what assets can be accessed once connected. Uncontrolled access to wireless networks is a common security issue. Without this in place customers can be given passwords that provide perpetual access to internal networks at any time. By providing a separate guest network, guests have limited access to core IT systems for a limited amount of time, reducing the possibility of a security breach.
3. Access Point Management
Most business wireless networks have more than one access point, so when this is the case, it’s important that you’re able to manage multiple access points from one central wireless controller or network operations centre. Deploying and managing wireless access points can be time-consuming, so you need to find ways of simplifying tasks, including managing the security settings of these devices. Realistically, these platforms shouldn’t require specialised knowledge, so the work can be done by network administrators rather than wireless networking specialists.
4. Wireless Security Integration
Finally, the last important step is to integrate wireless traffic into your Network Security Infrastructure – it shouldn’t be a separate affair. Cybercriminals don’t have to target your Wi-Fi network directly in order to penetrate your network, as they can also exploit weak points such as home computers, mobile devices and BYOD policies that aren’t always connected to your business network.