In today's world, it's really hard to overstate the importance of security on your WiFi network. A hacker who gets into your system could potentially cause enough damage to threaten your business, yet your WiFi network is one of your most vulnerable elements. The very nature of WiFi – broadcasting a connection – makes it attractive for intruders.
You're going to be concerned over your WiFi security as long as you have a network. Just as with physical security, the state of the art is going to keep evolving as the years go on. So, what you need is a firm foundation for your network. Whatever your exact implementation, if you go into it with your eyes on the future, you'll see the way forward.
Three Keys To Building A Secure WiFi Network That Lasts
I. Have a Unified Plan That Accounts For BYOD
If you aren't already exploring the possibilities of Unified Communications, you likely will be soon. Among the many advantages of a UC-style setup is that you can have single unified control of all your security elements through one system. This allows you to create a single network security strategy that can be planned for and implemented across all areas of your business, today and tomorrow.
You should especially consider Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies. Your employees are going to want to continue being able to use their own devices – smartphones and tablets – on your business network. What solutions will you pick to give them BYOD options, while still protecting your systems from intrusion?
II. Get The Best Security You Can Reasonably Buy
A lot of sites, of course, will say to buy the best security money can buy. But you know what? You probably don't need it. And, realistically, it takes a government-sized budget.
So, go with the best you can afford. At the absolute minimum, ensure you're using WPA2-Enterprise Security, which is a step beyond what's commonly found on home routers. Each type of interface you use, and every network device, is potentially going to need its own security as well. This is another reason that having a unified plan is so important.
Businesses looking to expand quickly might also want to consider ADTRAN's Bluesocket Access Points, which are specifically designed to ease access across multiple devices, while maintaining constant security throughout your network.
III. Remember The Human Element
Security doesn't just begin and end at your router. The best WiFi Network security policies make your employees part of the process. Remember, as they once said: loose lips sink ships.
Ensure there is a single standardized security policy that all your employees are familiar with. Test and police its implementation. Keep abreast of social engineering-style attacks on other systems, and keep your employees in the loop. Make them aware of the dangers of ever leaving their passwords, or other Non-Public Information, available where they could be stolen.
Here's a practical suggestion for stronger passwords among your staff: Suggest they use a favorite phrase from a book, song, or other media source. Something like “ThereWillComeSoftRains” or “WhoIsJohnGalt” or “TheRoadGoesEverOn” is going to be extremely hard to crack through brute-force, and if it's from a favorite movie or story, they shouldn't need to write it down. That makes for a password that's secure from both computer and human attack!
To make them even more secure, look for phrases with replaceable number words. “4ScoreAnd7YearsAgo” is pretty near to uncrackable as long as it never gets written down.
Protect Your Network
The most important keys to protecting your network are diligence and planning. If you buy the right network equipment, you'll give yourself an edge – but nothing beats good old fashioned human planning and creativity. If you have a comprehensive security plan, and employees who understand how to protect it, you'll have a safe WiFi network.