Business Wi-Fi Security: 10 Hacks to Stop Hackers Now!

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If you thought that enabling the "firewall" setting on your router was all you needed to secure your bussiness Wi-Fi, it's time to reconsider. 

Wireless networks are convenient and easy to set up, making them a popular choice among small and medium sized businesses. However, if not properly secured, Wi-Fi can pose a significant threat to your business network security. 


Here are 10 ways to protect your business’ WiFi network from hackers:


1. Upgrade to WPA3 & Set a Strong PasswordCloseup portrait perplexed young man looking at smart phone seeing bad news or photos with confused emotion on his face isolated on gray wall background. Human reaction, expression

Many small businesses set up their equipment (router) using the default password and admin provided for the sake of ease and speed.

However, leaving it this way makes them an instant target for hackers.

One of our top wireless security best practices is to fority your Wi-Fi using WPA3 and a strong password that is at least 12 characters long.

 
What's WPA3?

Short for "Wi-Fi Protected Access 3", is the latest router-based security standard designed to protect your Wi-Fi network and the device using it. It employs the most advanced encryption algorithm, making it the most secure option.

 

Note: WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) will do in a pinch, but we advise against using WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). It's an older encryption protocol that is easily breached.

 

2. Use a VPN

Privacy Folder

You may have heard about this one while trying to get some different shows on Netflix (don't worry... we won't tell 😀), but it's one of the best methods to keep your WiFi secure.

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a “hidden” network that allows you to conceal your internet activity from the public. Using encryption, this service hides your IP addresses to protect your business data while ensuring your online privacy is maintained. VPNs can be set up manually on your router.

Note: Not all routers can support secure VPN protocols or online via a downloadable VPN app. 

 

3. Enable All Firewalls 

firewall lock screen

A router’s firewall is your first line of defence against hackers - if it’s turned on.

Most routers come with a wireless security feature built-in, but it may not be activated, so be sure to check this in your device settings.

Note: You’ll also want to double up on network protection by installing firewall software on your PCs, laptops and other 

 

4. Update Software and Firmware Regularly

Regularly check your router for firmware updates.

Firmware is what allows your router to perform its job. Just like any other regular software update, these patches must be installed to keep your network protected from the latest cybersecurity threats. 

 

5. Change Your Name... The WiFi's Name.

Your wireless network’s "name" is called a Service Set Identifier (SSID). This name makes it easy for users to both identify and connect to your Wi-Fi.

 

Wireless internet sign on pole on the street

While you want to make it easy for employees and trusted users to jump online, it's a VERY bad idea to broadcast your router’s specific information - this presents yet another wireless security vulnerability for cybercriminals to exploit.

Instead, when configuring your router, be sure to change the manufacturer's default name (i.e. "Linksys" or "WRT54GS") to a unique name, easily remembered by employees.

 

6. Create a Separate Network For Guest Users

Handsome smiling barista with beard taking order on cell phone and using tablet in cafeteriaYour SSID also makes it possible for you to create both private and public network access.

As a business owner who wants to provide Wi-Fi access to visitors, a separate network is a must for keeping your data and devices hidden.

To prevent just anyone from connecting to your guest network, we recommend establishing a different WPA2 password.

This will both protect your visitors (and their online activity) and minimize the number of people familiar with the password itself.

 

7. Disable WPS 

Consumer-grade wireless routers (yes, including the new one you bought from Amazon or Best Buy) often include Wi-Fi Protected Setup or WPS.

This feature is designed to make device and network pairing easier – as simple as pushing a button or entering a personal identification number.

However because WPS is not without its vulnerabilities, this feature can easily be exploited by hackers looking to access your network.

For this reason, we recommend keeping this feature disabled unless necessary. 

 

8. Use MAC Address Filtering

MAC address filtering adds yet even another layer of protection to your wireless network by only granting access to devices it recognizes.

Short for Media Access Control, a MAC address refers to a unique serial number assigned to each device by an administrator.

Depending on how many devices you have, MAC authentication may prove to be time-consuming - but well worth it due to the added layer of security it provides.

 

9. Remove Rogue APs Regularly

Rogue Access Points (APs) are any wireless access point (WAP) created without the explicit permission of the network’s administrator.

Rogue APs are typically created when:

a) an employee tries to gain access to your network when there is none available

OR

b) by a hacker attempting to carry out an attack.

To prevent any Rogue AP from weakening your wireless security, perform an access point scan. This will search for and identify access points within your network... then delete/block them.

 

10. Keep Your Router Physically Secure 

Last but not least (and one of the easiest ways to protect your business Wi-Fi) is to ensure your router is stored in a secure location.

Whether locked away in your filing cabinet, or the closet office, it’s important to protect your device (and ultimately your network) from any physical mishaps.

In 2022, nearly 18 billion Wi-Fi devices were in use, and more than 4.4 billion devices were shipped that year. However, the proportion of Canadians who experienced cybersecurity incidents increased from 58% in 2020 to 70% in 2022. 

As of February 2023, a quarter of surveyed adults in the United States encountered private information compromise through public Wi-Fi in a cafe or restaurant.

Therefore, if you're a business that offers the convenience of Wi-Fi to your customers, please start putting these recommendations to use today.

 


 

Protecting your business Wi-Fi is essential for safeguarding your sensitive data and maintaining customer trust.

At GAM Tech, we specialize in comprehensive network security solutions tailored to your business needs. Don't leave your network vulnerable – contact us today to learn how we can help secure your Wi-Fi and protect your business from cyber threats.

Posted by Adrian Ghira on Nov 24, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Topics: managed it services, wifi

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