WiFi is the backbone of businesses today. Employees rely on WiFi more than ever to perform their jobs and stay productive. Having the internet at your business is a basic necessity, but it comes with strings attached.
Your WiFi doesn’t end at your office walls, but instead extends 300 feet through the air making it easy for neighboring businesses or bystanders to gain access to it. Sure, having a random person mooch off your WiFi for a few hours isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but when someone has access to your wireless router they have the ability to view all the files on your computer.
CNBC found that 14 million US businesses are at risk of a hacker threat, especially small businesses. Hackers can come in many shapes and sizes, and even a password cannot stop them. These malicious masterminds will comb through your businesses’ data stealing confidential and financial information. Some come in the form of malware bots that secretly infiltrate your computer from the wireless network and conduct illegal activities. Others hold your data and files for ransom, making it important to back up your businesses’ data.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but your businesses’ WiFi password makes a big difference in who can log onto your network. Most routers come pre-set with a default password and are easy to hack into. Your WiFi password should be 20 characters long and include upper- and lower-case letters and a variety of numbers and symbols.
It is important to change your WiFi router’s password monthly, as well as anytime you have staff changes. Always write down new passwords and limit who you give them out to.
Multiple WiFi Networks
According to Forbes Magazine, businesses that offer WiFi access to visitors are seeing higher sales and customer satisfaction. Having a separate Wifi network for guests and employees can reduce the risk of cyber hackers, while boosting sales. A guest WiFi connection will allow your businesses’ visitors to use WiFi without having access to company files and accidentally introducing malware.
Network segmentation is a way to isolate devices on separate networks to achieve better sharing of throughput or bandwidth to the Internet, securing systems with more sensitive data, and separating systems from people and other systems that don't have a need to connect to them.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
When your employees connect their devices to WiFi in public places such as a coffee shop, then connect the same device to your businesses’ WiFi, they are putting your company at risk. Hackers set up fake WiFi hotspots to lure users into logging on, and once online, all of their private information is readily available. When they log back onto your businesses’ WiFi, your router could be compromised.
With a virtual private network (VPN), your WiFi router is safe. A VPN is a software that allows you to surf the web privately and securely. When using a VPN, hackers are unable to encode your data or sneak malware onto your devices.
Most routers come with built-in firewalls, but you have to manually activate it by browsing through the console settings. If your router does not have a firewall they can be easily installed.
Keeping software up-to-date
We have all clicked the “remind me later” button on a software update leaving your devices months or sometimes even years behind. When you neglect to update your router, hackers detect the flaw and can take over your network. Just like making new passwords, you need to check for router software updates monthly.
Having WiFi should not harm your business
You can not ignore cybersecurity. Keeping your business' data safe can be a lot to handle, and Auburn IT is here to take that stress away. We implement strategies to prevent unauthorized access to organizational assets such as computers, networks and data. Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact us today!