If you’re a business owner, how do you keep your wireless network secure from today’s most common online threats? While it may be difficult to prevent hackers from creating fake WiFi hotspots, there are steps you can take to protect your business.
If your business WiFi is not isolated from your guest WiFi, it could be used to gain access to business data and place your POS at risk of compromise. Use a router that offers multiple SSIDs – most modern routers have that functionality. These routers often have a guest SSID option or separate guest portal. Make sure it is activated when it is deployed. Alternatively, your wireless network could be compromised by an attacker who is already on the guest WiFi.
If you have a router that is not WPA2 compliant, it is time for an upgrade. WPA2 is the minimum standard for WiFi security, and while it can still be cracked, it is difficult. WPA3 has been released and an upgrade should be considered. You should also make sure that WPS is disabled.
All software and hardware have vulnerabilities. It’s important to keep them patched, so they stay safe. The good news is you can update your software or firmware on your devices, so they stay secure. Check the manufacturer’s website periodically for details of new updates, so you don’t miss out on any new updates.
Your router will have a default SSID when you set it up, but it should be changed to your business’s name or brand. This will reduce the potential for rogue access points to be confused with your own. Ensure that you use WPA2 encryption with a shared key and post this information for your customers in a prominent place where they can see it.
If your router or access point is too powerful, it could be accessed from the outside. Choose a router that allows you to adjust the signal strength and you can ensure only your employees will use your connection. Also, keep your WiFi access point open only during business hours. If your access points are left unsupervised when you’re closed, it’s a security risk.
You should never use the default username or password. It’s too easy for hackers to get in, and they’ll take advantage of it. Change the username from “admin” or any other default username. Set a strong password that includes upper and lower-case letters, at least one number, and a special character. The password must be at least 10 characters long.