The traffic on our roads isn’t all we have to worry about these days. Internet traffic is on the rise, with estimates that by 2019 63% of it will be traveling through Wi-Fi networks. With increased pressure by consumers, businesses are having to offer wireless access in public spaces - this can be beneficial at first glance but can pose behind the scenes threats to not only the wireless network provider but also to the users.
The main drivers for Wi-Fi adoptions all have something in common - convenience. From work place productivity to customer analytics, it can create a convenient base for your business to feed off.
As technology is evolving the amount of “things” needing to connect to the Internet is rapidly growing as well, so much so, the International Data Corporation estimated that the number of Internet endpoint-connected devices including cars, refrigerators, printers, along with everything in between will grow a whopping 150% from 2014 till 2020, from $655.8 billion to $1.7 trillion! This calls for a greater understanding of cyber theft and how to protect your network.
As our lives become increasingly busy, there is no room for sacrificing productivity, therefore combating threats carried out towards personal data whilst using Wi-Fi is of high importance.
There are several threats that pose crucial to Wireless Network Providers, specifically those in high demand segments such as Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare and Education. For example, many hotel chains have recently fallen victim to network data theft due to breaches in their point of sales systems, resulting in fines, lawsuits and damage to their reputation.
Below are 5 essential operations to minimise your risk of being targeted.
WPA2 is a type of encryption used to secure many Wi-Fi networks. Keeping up to date and utilising the most recent protocol will enable optimal protection to your network – but it’s not bullet proof. Incidentally WPA3 is in development and may be released soon – and it’s expected to be VERY secure.
2. Strong Password/Pass Phrase
Although it might be obvious for some, it can slip through the fingers of others - a strong password is essential when protecting your network and identity. Changing your passwords frequently is a must, and please - don’t use any default or simple passwords! And don’t use the same password across multiple sites, because getting one hacked means the rest can be hacked into as well. Passphrases are also a great option when protecting your identity, using a sequence of words or other text will allow for much better protection.
Did you know most cyber criminals simply guess a password to hack into someone’s account? If your password involves personal details, for example names, birthdays, addresses along with other simple phrases, a hacker can let themselves in without you even knowing!
3. Know Your Network
Users that fall victim to a rogue wireless access point are susceptible to a malicious code injection that can often go unnoticed by the user. Knowing your network is important, especially when holding sensitive and valuable data. Scanning for rogue access points and blocking them appropriately should be regularly performed to minimise risks – automation is key here.
4. Narrow the Wi-Fi Range
Limiting your Wi-Fi range to specific areas can reduce the chances of misuse of your network. If your wireless network signals leak into publically accessible areas, and if your security settings aren’t tight enough, it can be much easier for cyber thieves to hack into your network. This can result in data theft or the planting of malicious software.
5. Firmware Update
Last but certainly not least, keeping your device’s firmware up to date! With cyber criminals more active than ever, updating your software regularly has never been so important. Not updating your software can allow for attackers to plant unwanted malware, commonly planting a backdoor on networks allowing them to return at a later date to invade sensitive information.
So there you have it, five easy processes you can implement to manage your wireless network’s safety. Which step will you be taking first to ensure you are better securing your network?
Perhaps the first step you can take is to download our E-book on Wireless Security to find out more or contact Calvert to have your cyber safety risk assessed.
Contact Calvert Technologies today if you have any concerns regarding securing your business' data.