Six Ways to Make Your Business Network More Secure

photo of laptop from above with overlay of interconnected network

The vast majority of businesses today rely on business-specific WiFi network to keep work flowing. Because of this, hackers are constantly seeking to take advantage of unsecured business networks. Cybercriminals around the globe clammer to gain access to payment information and other sensitive data 24/7/365.

Every organization wants to keep their information secure; and, beyond that, they have a responsibility to protect consumer data. Issues tend to arise when business professionals fail to educate themselves about the ups and downs of network security. Millions of individuals every year go to school to learn information of that caliber-- it can be daunting to feel like you have to learn all of that same information just to keep your organization safe.

Luckily, the process of securing your business' WiFi network sounds far more complex than it is. There are a bevy of simple fixes, quick implementations, and easy processes that you can leverage to keep your company's data secure. From ensuring your router's physical security to linking up with a reliable service provider, here are six steps you can take to up security and calm fears.

Six Ways to Make Your Business WiFi Network More Secure

1. Keep Your Router in a Physically Secure Location

As you learn more about various methods that can help keep your business WiFi network secure, you'll likely realize that processes you previously thought were confusing or sophisticated are actually pretty easy-- but none of them get any easier than this.

Ensure that your business' router is kept in a secure location. If at all possible, this area should have restricted access. Even some of the most innovative and forward-thinking security precautions can come unraveled with little more than a press of a router's reset button. Consider looking into video surveillance options if you can afford them; you might be surprised by who's gutsy enough to attempt to mess with physical property. 

2. Always Alter Default Router Info    

A majority of security breaches occur not because hackers are geniuses, but because businesses get complacent. The most basic web security precaution that somebody setting up a router can take is altering the pre-assigned password that comes along with it. Educate yourself on the basics of what a strong, secure password entails and implement one as soon as your router has been set up. Continue changing it periodically.

Your wireless network will also automatically come with a name, which is known amongst those in the tech industry as the network's service set identifier (or SSID). Most vendors tend to ship out their routers with identical SSIDs. If you elect not to rename your network, it can send a signal to malicious parties that you don't know much-- if anything-- about setting up a network effectively. In the event that your password isn't up to snuff, a generic network name can be the lure that hackers need to start trying to crack that code. 

3. Keep Firmware and Software Updated  

Outdated firmware and software are a recipe for security disaster. Make sure that somebody on your staff is held responsible for keeping up with firmware updates for your router; install them as soon as you can do so without interrupting business. Firmware updates are released only when pre-identified security vulnerabilities have been solved, so if there's an update floating around, it's imperative that you download it.

4. Implement Private and Public Access

When employees and the public are operating on the same network, you may be dealing with a recipe for disaster. It's best to keep business and public traffic entirely separate from one another. If you want to offer your customers or other members of the public free WiFi access, leverage a Service Set Identifier (or SSID).

Service Set Identifiers allow you to break your network off and create two points of access. One can be utilized for private, business-grade work and be protected accordingly. The other can be constructed for public access. Some businesses opt to make their public WiFi networks easy for everybody to access-- others require customers to obtain a password before logging on.

5. Use WPA2

WPA2 stands for WiFi Protected Access 2 (and yes, there is plain old Wifi Protected Access, too-- WPA); it's an encryption protocol that virtually every modern router offers. Some older routers do not support WPA2, which is where WPA comes into play.

WPA2 is the best encryption protocol offered by routers today. Ensure that you check your network settings to determine which protocol is in place and, if it's not WPA2, switch it over. Routers so old that they offer Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) should likely be tossed and swapped out for upgraded models. WEP is incredibly hackable and outdated.

6. Team Up With a Reliable Provider

Using a reputable and reliable provider to help you with the router setup and security processes can help take a load off of your shoulders during stressful times. Even the most well-intentioned individuals can miss critical safety aspects as they work to boost security; having a helping hand along the way and input from trained and trusted professionals can make the difference between a successful security effort and a flop.

While some of these security features may take time or spare finances to implement, plenty of them can be done on short notice without any money spent. Make sure all of your staff are up-to-date on how to keep data secured and that only the proper parties have access to sensitive router and WiFi information. If you're interested in taking immediate steps to secure your business' WiFi network, consider these options:

  • Implementing separate public and private network
  • Ensure that firmware and software are completely up-to-date
  • Alter your router's default settings, configurations, and passwords
  • Physically secure your router

After you've taken independent steps to boost security, you'll be well-served by contacting a reliable provider to double-check for other safety concerns. If you're interested in leveraging expert knowledge on secure router setup and data safety, give Buckeye Broadband Business Class a call today. We offer both current and prospective clients technology-focused services designed to address a variety of cable, phone, and internet services. 

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