4 Things You’ll Be Happy to Know About Wireless Security

Most businesses today are running exclusively on wireless networks. Wireless (Wi-Fi) productivity includes the ease of switching between devices as well as updating security protocol in a click instead of requiring manual hardware updates.

Wireless networks give businesses easier access to new security protocol, but security is not optimized automatically. Therefore, business will be happy to know the following 4 things for greater security.

1. The WPA standard

The WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) standard started at the turn of the century. Wireless security was still a new concept, and the existing security protocol called WPE (Wired Equivalent Privacy) was the only protocol available at the time.

However, WEP was difficult to configure.

The Wi-Fi Alliance abandoned WEP in 2004 in favor of WPA. This was right after additional vulnerabilities were discovered in the old protocol.

By 2009, after the T.J. Maxx breach (which took place over a WEP system), the PCI Security Standards Council prohibited retailers from processing credit card transactions over WEP protocol.

This sounds like gibberish for most people outside of IT. The important thing to learn here is that WPA has been the standard for over 20 years. WPA has evolved, too. You can check the protocol on your router right now to verify whether it uses WPA, WPA2 or WPA3. The most recent—WPA3—was released in 2018 and is the gold standard of wireless security protocol.

2. Easy protection against “man in the middle”

A “man in the middle” (MITM) attack is a cyber-attach where a hacker impersonates a rogue access point and then acquires login credentials.

These attacks are extremely dangerous because they set up hardware that pretends to be a trusted Wi-Fi network.

Here’s what you’ll be happy to learn: there is an extremely secure method to protect your business from these attacks. Devices are configured with certificates and authenticated with “EAP-TLS.” This allows certificates to function as unique identifiers that can be locked onto devices and servers. Because certificates are encrypted, they stay private even if a malicious actor tries to gain access to the device.

Sound a bit technical? Call our team for assistance.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication

Speaking of passwords, your business can be further protected using multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all your devices and systems. This safeguards users, data and your business from lost, stolen or hacked credentials.

The reality is that users (i.e., your employees) will always be the weak link in wireless security. They can be duped, and they can be incredibly uncreative when generating passwords.

MFA requires a second security check at every login that a hacker would be unable to fake, such as a digital fingerprint or personal security question assigned by the user.

4. The most important changes can be made on your router right now

Every router comes with default settings. Those default settings are relatively secure, but they can be set to even more aggressive configurations.

Would you want anything less for your business?

Change these default settings now:

  • The default IP address should access the router’s setting page
  • The login password to the interface should be something personalized and secure
  • The default network name (known as the SSID) should also be personalized

This article gets into some technical jargon, but we’re here to help. Have a question or concern? Contact us today.