Small businesses without an IT department may be exposing their security to intrusions via their Wi-Fi network. In a rush to get things up and running, verifying the network is secure from threats can often get overlooked or ignored due to overly complex user interfaces. While a solid, easily accessible connection to the Internet is key to a business’ success, compromising that connection through negligence or lack of knowledge can be potentially devastating to a company as a whole. Here are 6 ways to beef up your small business’ Wi-Fi security and protect your valuable data.
1. Default is Death
Default usernames and passwords are a hacker’s equivalent to a house key under the welcome mat. As a basic principle, changing the default settings on your router to a custom username and password for the router login tool, the Wi-Fi SSID, and encryption password to WPA-2 PSK standard (at the minimum) should be enough to dissuade a casual or amateur hacker from further attempting to access your system.
2. Implement A Managed Switch So Wireless Is On A Separate Subnet
All networks work on what are called “subnets” of the main network. Usually, your wireless network is on the same subnet as your wired network, or LAN. This allows anyone who might gain wireless access to your network to discover a great deal about your server and other network appliances. Setting up a managed switch which allows you to set different subnets for wireless and wired mitigates this risk.
3. Enable Firewalls on Both Your Computers and the Router
Most network routers come with a built-in firewall functionality, but you can also disable them through settings. Make sure your router’s firewall is switched on and blocking unnecessary traffic.
4. Think Twice About Positioning
Simply setting up a wireless router as close to your DSL or cable connection is convenient, but could spell trouble in the future. To reduce the access range from outside the building or office, position your wireless routers and bridges along the interior of your office space to limit the distance by which someone is able to access your network. It also helps to physically place your wireless router and bridges above the devices that will connect to it, so if you simply set up your connection in as convenient a fashion as possible, it might be time to rethink some things.
5. Turn Off the Wi-Fi During Non-Work Hours
Depending upon your office environment, once you close down shop for the night, it’s a good idea to disable the wireless network until you turn the lights back on in the morning. This is one of the easiest and most practical tasks you can do to protect your data from intruders lurking nearby. Some routers have the option to set automatic turn-off times, so do some homework and choose your router carefully.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the constant pressure to maintain your network’s integrity, it might be time to leave this stuff up to the experts. CMIT Solutions of Seattle has the tools and expertise necessary to keep your network security up-to-date and out of hackers’ reach. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about our network security capabilities.
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