Tips and Tricks For Locking Down Your Wireless Network

Tips and Tricks For Locking Down Your Wireless Network

Wireless networks are by default, insecure. Anyone with the right tools can easily access company information so it’s important for you to make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to keep uninvited guests out of your network. While some people may be accessing your network to freeload off of your internet service, more malicious may be looking to infiltrate your files. Below is a list of 8 tips and tricks that you can use to provide yourself with a more secure network.

Assess Your Options

You should be sure to choose the right Wi-Fi Security Options . There are a number of separate protocols that can provide different levels of security. These include WEP, WPA, and WPA2. WEP can be easily broken. While this may protect you from casual wi-fi users, it won’t stand a match against somebody a bit more experienced. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) comes in two different versions. WPA provides a reasonable amount of protection while WPA2 provides excellent protection. You can implement WPA in two different modes; Personal (Pre Shared Key) and Enterprise (802.1X, Radius, or EAP. Many wireless routers and APs support both modes, which you can see under the wireless settings.  The personal mode of WPA is easier to establish, but can be subject to cracking using repeated password guessing.

Remember to Change your Passwords Frequently

This should be common knowledge for network professionals. While a simple password can be easy for you to remember, it’s also easier for a hacker to guess. Just to give you a bit of motivation to put the extra into your password, I’ll let you know that there’s a database containing the most frequently used network administrators. Make sure you’re not on that list! You should make sure to change both your wi-fi password and your router administrator password. Steven Andres, CTO of Special Ops Security recommends you change your password to something completely unique (that means no pet names!) and write them on a piece of tape attached to your router.

Enable WPA2 Encryption

You should always make the effort to encrypt your network traffic using WPA2 encryption. This offers greater security than older WEP and WPA technology. If you need to choose between multiple versions of WPA2, you should always pick the setting that’s most appropriate for your network.’

Update NIC’s and Access Points with WPA (Without Being too Reliant on It)

Protected Access fixes a variety of problems associated with the original 802.11 encryption scheme called Wired Equivalent Privacy. Protected Access supports 802.1x, which was originally created as an IEEE standard for port-based authentication on wired networks. However, WPA continues to use a stream cipher to encrypt wireless traffic, instead of using block ciphers. Block ciphers are used in Triple DES and in Advanced Encryption Standard. You should make sure that the cipher scheme that you pick encrypts the packet’s payload.


 

 

Doug Atkinson
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