Some businesses take the wireless route to reduce overhead and increase collaboration. Unfortunately, a wireless network still presents security risks—particularly when businesses fail to keep up with the emergence of new threats.
Without a proper security plan, wireless networks are vulnerable to hackers stealing data and possibly infiltrating your IT infrastructure. Even if you implement the best practices for wireless network security, you’ll still face some risks. However, it’s possible to significantly reduce those risks with a few simple methods that are easy enough, even a small business could implement them with ease.
1. Use Strong Encryption Techniques
All wireless routers come with encryption features. It’s up to you to set the level of encryption and make it harder for others to capture your data, however. If your router is older, you may have only one option: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). This has been easily cracked by security experts for years, so if you’re using WEP, upgrade as soon as possible.
The best option is Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA or WPA2) encryption. It is much stronger and prevents hackers from sniffing your data packets and decoding your passwords.
2. Install a Firewall Device on Every Computer
Without a firewall, hackers can easily sneak into your network. Hackers can also use malware to gain remote control over your devices. A firewall can help prevent those threats and make it harder for intruders to access your system.
There are two main types of firewalls: Personal firewall and network firewall. A personal firewall is a software program that protects one device at a time. Personal firewalls let you decide what traffic or programs each device is allowed to receive, so you can control the traffic of each device individually.
A network firewall protects an entire network, however, letting or blocking traffic to or from the internet. It’s usually situated between the router and all other computers on your network. It secures the entire computer system by monitoring inbound and outbound traffic.
3. Update your Router Software Regularly
The strength of your network security will also depend on the strength of your router. If you don’t install updates to router software, you could open up new security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
Typically, the router manufacturer sends out regular updates, so ensure that you install them as they become available. Look for prompts on your screen or in your email account to let you know when new router updates are available. You can also check the website of the router manufacturer for updates manually if you prefer.
4. Limit Network Access
Too many people take their network security for granted and leave the network wide open to anyone. If you have team members in your office that do not need explicit access to the Network, don’t give it to them, however, if they do need access you should limit their network access so they can only access the resources they need.
Also, manage your wireless networks carefully. Take a close look at who is connecting to it and make sure usernames and passwords are secure—and always change default passwords when you set up a new device.
You can also limit access to particular devices based on their MAC address. You can use a MAC address to prevent unauthorized access to your wireless network, for example.
5. Use Anti-Virus Software
A lack of available security updates on your routers and computers could expose your company to significant risk from virus attacks. Make sure your entire computer system has at least one anti-virus software package installed, and make sure all of the updates are installed and work properly.
Cybersecurity Company in Austin
Prioritizing network security is crucial for the smooth operation of your Austin small business. By implementing the easy and effective strategies discussed in this article, such as keeping software up to date, training employees on cyber security best practices, and investing in reliable IT services in Austin TX, you can significantly enhance your network’s security. However, ensuring robust protection against cyber threats requires the expertise and support of experienced professionals. At TekRESCUE, we specialize in providing top-notch cyber security services tailored to the unique needs of Austin small businesses. Contact us today for the best IT support solutions in Austin and safeguard your business from potential vulnerabilities. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take control of your network security now.