Wi-Fi networks are of great importance at home as well as in the business environment for real-time connectivity of several entities spread across the vast web. However, the possibility of vulnerabilities and threats from malicious actors always hovers over any network like the sword of Damocles. Nevertheless, there is hope for securing your Wi-Fi system by following appropriate measures and safeguards.
Often the question of Wi-Fi network security is of enormous concern for the network administrators. Whether it is a home network or that of an organization, it cannot be free from the vulnerabilities that come with having a Wi-Fi network in place. Households and enterprises alike take extensive measures to secure networks from unauthorized users. However, the routers and Wi-Fi access points can enable malicious actors to intrude into the network system easily. We shall discuss specific tips that show you how to have a secure Wi-Fi network at home and in an organization.
Tips For Making Wi-Fi Network Secure
Every organization dreads cybercriminals that target its information assets with threats of various forms resulting in huge losses. The wireless network systems can be a crucial point of entry for malicious actors who can intrude into valuable, sensitive information assets without physically entering the building or house. The wireless networks are far more vulnerable to the infiltrators compared to wired networks. This situation warrants one to be more diligent and alert about security. Here are some essential tips to follow that can help secure home and enterprise Wi-Fi networks.
1. Keeping Network Name (SSID) Hidden
The SSID or Service Set Identifier is one of the most basic settings of any Wi-Fi network. It is the name by which someone identifies a network and connects to it. It is essential to change the default ID that is present with the device when you procure it. It is better to keep the SSID hidden so that anyone trying to access it will have to know the network name beforehand. This action can deter malicious elements to a reasonable extent.
2. Using Robust Encryption
Encryption is a highly effective measure that can help secure a Wi-Fi network. You can choose one of the various encryption types provided with your router settings, such as WEP, WPA, and WPA2. Several Wi-Fi access points still offer the older WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) standard of protection, which is older and the least secure. Malicious actors can break into it by using a hacking suite like the Aircrack-ng within a few minutes. Therefore, it is necessary to use WPA or WPA2. WPA2 is the most secure encryption and is available with the latest devices and systems.
3. Maintaining Exclusive Guest Network
In case your activities involve outsiders or guests using your network, it is prudent to provide a separate guest network independent from your internal network. Allowing guests to access the same network you use for internal operations could prove an invitation to malicious actors to infiltrate into your information system and tamper or steal valuable information assets. It also prevents your guests from inadvertently infecting your system with malware and viruses.
4. Using a Strong Firewall
It is one of the necessary protections for a Wi-Fi network, and yet many overlook it. Having an appropriate, efficient firewall in place can protect your information system from unnecessary traffic. Using stealth mode can reject unauthorized ping requests, known as ICMP Traffic, and protect your network from threat factors. Also, one must try the penetration test from time to time using one of the many software packages available to test the firewall’s strength. A range of different types of penetration tests and programs available can give you tests of varying depths to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the data stored in your information system.
5. Updating Router Firmware
Like with any digital device operating on software, the router used in the Wi-Fi network also gets outdated with regards to the firmware in a while. To keep devices secure, the internal program that operates in it is usually updated periodically with the latest version software to reinforce its security. Thus, any loopholes or vulnerability ais patched and repaired so that the device becomes inaccessible to harmful external agents and malicious actors. If the device’s configuration is such that it doesn’t update the firmware in periodic intervals, it has to be manually updated. This process will make sure no vulnerabilities are remaining for any external entity to break through.
6. Having A Strong Password
Many Wi-Fi networks, especially home networks, operate without any proper password protection. Some users are not even aware that they can include a password for their system. Make sure you do not leave your Wi-Fi network open and use a password. The password must also be a strong one. Avoid all passwords that can anyone can easily guess. Remember, humans no more do the guessing work. Computer programs that make a million guesses by the time a human tries one can break your weak password in seconds. Make sure you follow all the latest guidelines for a strong password. Avoid direct words and phrases that anyone can look up in a dictionary. Strings made up of a jumble of meaningless letters, numerals, and other characters are the best ones. Also, equally important is to change the password periodically. The password must also be changed when you suspect any unauthorized access to the network system.
Even though a Wi-Fi network seems to work silently and safely to an external spectator, the insider must take various safeguards and critical control measures to ensure that it is free from any vulnerability. There are numerous types of loopholes that can allow malicious external agents to break into the network and compromise valuable and sensitive information assets. If one can be prudent enough to learn the adequate security measures and diligently implement them, one can rest assured that the network will not fall prey to cybercriminals or unauthorized parties, thus safeguarding the sensitive and confidential information assets it contains.