Top Five Best Practices for Establishing a Guest Wireless Network

Top Five Best Practices for Establishing a Guest Wireless Network

In this day and age, guest wireless networks are often seen as more of a right than a privilege. Not only are they a nice convenience to visitors and contractors, but they’re also a great safety feature in keeping your day-to-day enterprise WLAN separate from visitor access. By opening your network open to non-employees you need to make sure that you take certain precautions to protect yourself against any possible vulnerabilities. Below, we’ve pulled together some of the best tips for establishing a safe and secure guest wireless network.

What to consider….

Operational Specifications: Guest wireless access offer limited capabilities compared to the full enterprise wireless network. When establishing the guest network, you should carefully consider which network capabilities will be critical for guests. While internet is usually expected in guest access, you may want to consider restricting access to certain sites. You may want to consider changing the Quality of Service level of the network as well. the last you’ll want at your office is for the guest network to take away from the strength of the primary network.

WPA2 Keys: You may want to consider investing in third-party services that automatically assign security keys on a per user basis. In this case, passwords are administered on a single use basis. This approach allows network teams to block certain individuals.

Agree to terms of service: If you’re going to allow for guest access, you should make the terms very, very clear. The best way to do this is by to building a splash page terms of use page with an ‘Accept’ button. This list of terms should protect you if a user were to violate IT policies or local law.

Set Access Time Limits: It’s pretty easy to establish time limits for guest passes. Login credentials for each access period should expire after a defined time period; that could be after a couple hours of non-use or after a workday.

Use Identity Management: Administrators are able to use management software that collects guest credential information. Organizations are able to gather this data to analyze guest user behavior. Identity management also facilitates the creation of multiple classes of guest users and the application of different access permissions.

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Doug Atkinson

President at Solutions Review
An entrepreneur and executive with a passion for enterprise technology, Doug founded Solutions Review in 2012. He has previously served as a newspaper boy, a McDonald's grill cook, a bartender, a political consultant, a web developer, the VP of Sales for e-Dialog - a digital marketing agency - and as Special Assistant to Governor William Weld of Massachusetts.
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