In our ever-evolving digital landscape, WiFi networks have emerged as the fundamental infrastructure of modern connectivity.
However, its convenience can unintentionally lead to complacency towards security.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the risks of having “simple” security on WiFi networks and the often overlooked issue of bandwidth “theft.” At Microsolve, we encourage all our clients to treat WiFi as a critical component and stress the importance of thoughtful planning and robust security measures.
The Pitfalls of “Simple” Security
Weak Passwords and Default Settings
Weak passwords or default credentials in WiFi networks are common vulnerabilities. Attackers exploit this oversight to gain unauthorised access.
Change default passwords and opt for strong, unique ones instead. Try these tips:
- Combination of upper and lower case letters
- Special characters
Implementing this measure will significantly enhance the difficulty level for potential hackers attempting unauthorised access to your systems.
Outdated Firmware and Software
Failing to maintain your WiFi firmware (software) can expose you to well-known vulnerabilities. Manufacturers consistently release updates to address security flaws, making it crucial to stay up to date to ensure your online safety. Remember to check for and install updates the manufacturer provides regularly. It's always a good idea to set up automatic updates, too.
Lack of Encryption
Not encrypting your WiFi traffic can lead to unauthorised interception of sensitive data. Information like passwords, financial details, and personal communications are vulnerable without encryption.
Ensure your WiFi network uses WPA3 encryption, the latest and most secure protocol. Avoid using outdated and less secure options like WEP.
The Dangers of Bandwidth “Theft”
Network Congestion and Sluggish Performance
When unauthorised individuals gain access to your WiFi network, they use up valuable bandwidth. Consequently, this can reduce internet speeds for legitimate users and hamper overall productivity.
To enhance network performance, implement access controls and consistently monitor connected device count. If bandwidth restrictions persist, consider upgrading your internet plan.
Increased Vulnerability to Attacks
Unmonitored users on your network can introduce malware and spyware or engage in illicit activities. This could potentially compromise your organisation’s security and reputation.
Employ a strong firewall, intrusion detection, and intrusion prevention systems. Regularly scan for suspicious activities on your network.
Treating WiFi as a Critical Component
Comprehensive Security Policies
Develop and enforce security policies for your WiFi network.
This should cover the following:
- Password policies
- Encryption standards
- Procedures for granting access
Regular Audits and Testing
Regularly evaluate the security of your WiFi network by conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Identify and address any vulnerabilities in your security infrastructure.
Employee Training and Awareness
Promote team members’ awareness regarding WiFi security, educating them on best password selection and protection practices. Cultivate a cybersecurity-conscious culture across your organisation.
In the age of paramount connectivity, securing your WiFi network is crucial. Pay attention to the risks of lax security and bandwidth theft. Safeguard your data, reputation, and operations by treating WiFi as a vital component. A strong WiFi network is the foundation for a secure and thriving digital presence.