Tips For Securing Your Wireless Network Did you know that approximately 6.5 million Wi-Fi devices are shipped across the nation every day? These days, having Wi-Fi is expected. But have you ever thought about how secure Wi-Fi is? If you offer public Wi-Fi at your organization, it comes with some risks. You may wonder: Is my network really safe when anyone can use the Wi-Fi? What are my risks of being hacked? Below are a few tips to incorporate as best practices for wireless network security. Don't go Public The truth is that unsecured, public Wi-Fi isn’t very safe for your organization. Allowing anyone to have unauthenticated access may be convenient, but it can also put your private data at risk and leave you vulnerable to hackers. According to Purple Wi-Fi, more than 50 percent of open Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable to attacks. It’s also dangerous for your employees to connect to public Wi-Fi wherever they go (since they could use that wireless network to access your organization’s data). In fact, a study by Harris Poll found that 66 percent of adults have used public Wi-Fi, and 39 percent said they accessed sensitive information on public Wi-Fi. However, there is a way to keep your information protected: have a private network. Keep it Private A private network allows you to access and share sensitive information without worrying about intruders intercepting it. While there is always the potential for someone to hack your infrastructure, a private network significantly reduces the probability. It’s best practice for a private network to be encrypted with a WPA2-Personal security, so that it’s not easy to access. WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access, and WPA2 provides the best protection there is for wireless networks. We encourage larger organizations to use WPA2-Enterprise security, which can efficiently handle a higher volume of users. This can be complicated and time-consuming to set up and manage, so you may want to consider using a hosted wireless network service as well. Be our Guest If your organization has frequent guests, you can allow guest access if your organization runs on a business-class firewall and wireless network. Guest networks are able to be separated from your private network, so there is minimal concern of hacking. Use a Virtual Private Network Another way to secure your wireless network is to make sure its protected wherever you go. Using a virtual private network (VPN) allows you to have a secure connection wherever you are, whether at home, a coffee shop, or in the airport. A VPN encrypts your connection, making anyone else on the same Wi-Fi network unable to intercept your traffic. A quality business grade firewall will have VPN capabilities. In addition, there are many hosted services that offer VPNs. In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and having a private wireless network can keep your organization more secure and protected. How secure is your organization’s wireless network? Jason Lamping Jason is the Manager of IT and Communication Sales for Aureon. Over the past 15 years he has worked with small to medium-sized businesses to support their technology needs in key areas such as data networking, telephony, IT infrastructure, cloud, and data security. He has worked with businesses in a variety of industries including telecommunications, senior living, healthcare, finance, legal, non-profit, and accounting. Jason is passionate about helping businesses ease their technology burdens to support growth, efficiency, and productivity.