Chances are, your business runs with wireless internet capabilities. Small business owners have a lot on their minds, unfortunately network security isn’t always on the top of the list. An unsecured wireless network, as trivial as it may seem, can be costly to a growing business.
So what exactly is WLAN? Wireless Local Area Network is a wireless distribution method for two or more devices that use high-frequency radio waves and often include an access point to the internet.
Technically, WLAN means any wireless local area network no matter what technology is used. Both Wi-Fi and WLAN mean the same in that they can transfer data at high speeds. Both also follow the IEEE 802.11 standards, which is why they are generally classified as the same.
WLAN Security Best Practices
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to take proper security measures to protect your company’s confidential information. Below we have taken the time to note whats small business owners can do to ensure unauthorized people can’t access sensitive data or steal private information:
- ALWAYS Change Default Settings – This is an obvious starting point for anyone. Even if you’re at home, this is something you should take care of. In a business setting, if you have an IT team in place, you can bet this will be taken care of. By default, devices such as WiFi routers, switches, ports, and access points are not secure out-of-the-box. Be sure to not only set up a secure, complex password for your router, but also take the time to change your router’s default administrative passwords and SSID.
- Secure Ethernet Ports – No matter how strong encryption is, your network is still prone to attacks if you don’t secure your network peripherals physically. Securing your network is as equally essential and important as securing your wireless network. A hacker or intruder within your organization can easily access secured information by plugging into any of the network ports. Always disable unused ports, and make sure your network hardware is in a safe location.
- Keep Your Hardware/Firmware Updated – By the time an IT product starts settling in to your network, an advanced version is launched, out-dating the existing one. It is the same when it comes to security mechanisms such as encryption techniques and tools. Make sure you keep your hardware as well as firmware up to date to be on the safe side. Outdated updates are a huge vulnerability in the IT world.
- Limiting Access – In the modern workplace, shared folders make life easy by providing easy access to the relevant parties. That being said, you should always make sure that all shared resources on the network are secured by setting file permissions and determine which employees have access to which documents.
- VLAN – This is extremely important to a lot of businesses that provide a guest WiFi. Always remember to never allow non-employees to access your private wireless network. Doing so could provide an opportunity for somebody to hijack some network accounts. If your business is looking to provide visitors with guest access, you should establish a virtual LAN with a separate SSID.
When it comes to WLAN in your business, it is your responsibility to ensure your data is secured and taken care of. You must make security a TOP priority in your business. The more layers of security you use, the more secure your network and data will be.
Rappahannock IT’s security professionals are industry-certified experts in their field. It is our job to stay up-to-date on technology trends and influences that heavily impact the security and safeguarding of your data.