It is important to realize that your WiFi Network does not end at your office walls. It is possible for the network to extend over 300 feet through the air. If your wireless access point is not properly secured, people from other businesses, offices or nearby buildings can gain access to it.
Even if your office is small, the neighboring offices and people walking on the surrounding streets are able to connect to the wireless network as well. It is vital that you take proper preventative measures in securing the device to protect your network. People who are able to connect to your wireless router or network may be able to do the following:
- View all the files on your computer or laptop and spread a virus
- Monitor all the websites that you visit, copy your log-in names and passwords, and read all your emails as they travel through the network
- Slow down your computer or laptop and the Internet connection speed
- Send spam and/or perform illegal activities using your Internet connection
Most companies and individuals go to great lengths to ensure that unauthorized users cannot access their WiFi Network. However, wireless access points can provide hackers with a few convenient ways to access it. This is because wifi signals are frequently broadcasted past the walls of the company and throughout the immediate area, enticing the hackers to get in.
A large number of companies and individuals allow or actively push their employees to connect to the wireless network utilizing their mobile devices, such as Smartphones, tablets, and laptops, as it is not exactly practical for most companies to switch off their wifi access. Below you will find tips on how to ensure that your IT network is more secure:
Use WiFi Protected Access (WPA)
There are still a number of wifi access points that offer the older Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard of security. However, it is primarily broken, which means that hackers can easily break into the WEP-protected network utilizing a hacking method such as Aircrack-ng. To avert hackers from accessing your WiFi Network, it is vital that you use some form of deviation like WiFi Protected Access (WPA) protection. Either the WPA or the recent WPA2 standard is ideal.
Utilize a Secure WPA Password
It is wise to create a randomly long password or passphrase to protect your wireless network. The randomly long password or passphrase can make it difficult for intruders to hack into your network. Take the time to test the security of the WPA protected network by using a service like CloudCracker.
In order for the test to succeed, you should not reveal your password/passphrase. Once this is done, you will be asked to provide some data/information (typically data/information that hackers could capture via a device from anywhere within the range of your WiFi Network). The service will do everything to extract your password or passphrase.
Check for Rogue WiFi Access Points
Rogue wireless access points tend to present a huge security threat. These are not your company’s authorized wireless access points, but the ones that have been brought in by employees, visitors, or possibly by intruders who have entered your office or office building and clandestinely connected to one, for instance a wired Ethernet port, and concealed it.
Make a Separate Network Available for Guests
If you have visitors and allow them to use your WiFi Network on a regular basis, it is highly recommended that you provide a separate network for the guests. This means that your guests can still connect to the Internet, but without accessing your primary internal network. This is usually practiced regularly for security purposes and to prevent their guests from unintentionally infecting their primary network with viruses or malware.
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