For enterprises, wireless networks are a convenient way for your employees to connect to your business network. Users don’t need to make a physical connection to access the network, meaning they can utilize the network from just about any area in the enterprise. However, a wireless deployment can also open up the enterprise to cyber threats that can attack vital areas of your business infrastructure. As such, wireless network security solutions and practices should not be ignored.
Your wireless network needs to have the proper security tools and policies in place to prevent threats from harming your enterprise. You need to defend against attacks trying to access your network, but you also must address internal security to prevent your network nodes from causing problems. How do you prepare your wireless network and your enterprise to keep them safe from threats? We’ve compiled a list of four wireless network security strategies that will help you protect your business.
Network security from multiple angles
Security threats are constantly evolving to adapt to new technologies and vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity needs to evolve as well in order to combat new threats as they appear. Wireless networks need to be protected from both external and internal security threats to remain protected.
External security threats
Your enterprise needs to be prepared to deal with oncoming security threats to prevent them from accessing the network. Malware and shadow IT will enter your network through some opening in your defenses. Solutions such as endpoint security and firewalls help keep enterprise networks safe from threats trying to enter wirelessly.
Internal security threats
Often, the biggest threat to your business network is your business itself. Unprotected user devices are susceptible to malicious data, and that data could be spread through your company’s wireless network. A user’s personal devices are less likely to be protected, so your company should carefully consider personal device connectivity.
Wireless network access control
Wireless networks can be accessed by any compatible device within range. You don’t want every single device to access every bit of data in your infrastructure through your network, however. For business-critical data and applications, you can set policies to restrict wireless access to them. This way, an unsafe device connecting wirelessly won’t be able to impact your mission-critical information.
Wireless network authentication and encryption
In order to keep unknown or unsafe devices from accessing your network, your company should require all devices to authenticate with the network before they can connect. Depending on your setup, this could be through a shared WEP or WPA-2 key or through a MAC filtering access control system. You should also ensure that your wireless network devices support data encryption to prevent unauthorized users from tampering with your enterprise’s data.
Changing the default settings of your routers
When you install a new router, it will come equipped with default settings to get the hardware up and running. These settings should be changed as soon as possible because these default settings are typically well-known to hackers. Your enterprise should change your router’s default IP address and password to help prevent unauthorized access.
Looking for vendors that provide wireless hardware and software solutions? Our Wireless Networks Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top wireless network solution providers, as well as specifications on the network hardware they provide. It also includes questions you should ask potential vendors and yourself before buying.
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