How Managed Network Service Providers Supply Your Business with Wireless Security
You never know when a cyberattack is going to occur. With a managed network service provider giving you wireless security, your network is better protected from malicious access attempts. Wireless security is delivered through devices that encrypt and secure wireless communication. Through its intrusion detection and prevention systems, it safeguards your network by alerting your administrator of breaches. However, thanks to wireless security, even if the network is compromised, the hacker won’t be able to view the data in transit. Without it, your networking device can be accessed by anyone using a computer or mobile device within range of your router’s signal. Keep reading as we consider what managed network service providers have to offer to your business so that you can stay safe and productive.
Security Threats for Wi-Fi Users
With the proliferation of public Wi-Fi has come an open door for security issues. You could face them as both an individual and as an organization. Here are some of those threats, according to the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
- Evil Twin Attacks: An evil twin hotspot is a fake Wi-Fi access point that acts as a legitimate one, such as a coffee shop. Any information that you disclose while connected can be easily intercepted. So, you should always confirm the name of the public network you are using.
- Shoulder Surfing: As one of the simplest methods of gathering sensitive information, this involves the physical observation of someone’s internet activities. When in a public place, be mindful of your surroundings before entering passwords and keep your screen safe from view.
- Piggybacking: This is when cyber attackers tap into your unsecured wireless network. The broadcast range of your access point potentially extends up to 1,000 feet. Internet users in your area may be able to steal your information and conduct illegal activities.
- Wireless Sniffing: By using a packet sniffer, otherwise known as a network analyzer, cyber attackers can intercept and monitor your network traffic. If your credentials are obtained, they are able to gain control of your accounts and record any data transmitted.
Standards to Ensure Security
Your managed network service provider will use encryption to protect your Wi-Fi network and devices. This will conceal information by encoding data and then decoding it for the authorized recipients who have an encryption key. It is essential for maintaining the confidentiality of your data, whether it’s being stored or transmitted. Encryption also helps your organization to stay compliant with regulatory requirements, such as with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to protect student records or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect health information. Even retailers must respect the demands of the Fair Credit Practices Act (FCPA) to protect consumers.
There are many types of encryption standards in use today, including Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). Where Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) used only basic encryption, WPA strengthened security by using Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP). It was able to essentially replace the vulnerabilities of the WEP standard without making hardware changes. From there developed WPA2. It provided an even better security protocol known as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is a symmetrical block cipher algorithm. While the block size maximum is 256 bits, its key size is unlimited. WPA2 is now the worldwide standard, used by many organizations and governments to secure files and communication.
Two Ways to Integrate Wireless Networks
With the authentication method of Single Sign-On (SSO), users work with one set of credentials across websites and applications. When implementing SSO, have clear objectives in mind. Your managed network service provider should be able to answer the questions of whether the solution will be able to grow with your needs and what systems it can integrate with. Unlike password vaulting, where you have the same credentials but need to be entered each time, SSO enables you to access all company-approved websites and applications without logging in again.
As a database and set of services, Active Directory (AD) connects users with network resources. The information it contains about your IT environment includes the users and computers, and what they are allowed to do. It authenticates users by checking their ID and password, allowing them access if they are authorized. AD domain services are part of the Microsoft Windows server, so they are only for on-premises Microsoft environments. Organizations typically have multiple of them, with each one having a copy of the entire domain. Although it is separate from Azure AD, they can somewhat work together if your business has cloud IT and on-premises environments.
Separation of Public and Private Access
With the increase in reliance on internet access, people have an expectation for it 24/7. You can connect to Wi-Fi at fast-food restaurants, airports, and hotels. According to Statista, there are nearly 6.4 billion people in the world who use smartphones today. It is projected that, by 2025, there will be 7.33 billion smartphone users. This makes wireless safety for your business all the more important, especially if you are freely giving out access to the people who enter your business. Having two separate networks is the best option for your business because it allows employees to have their own space, and customers to enjoy the privileges of Wi-Fi.
If you want to set up an open hot spot access point and not allow users to get into your private local area network (LAN), you should configure your private router to be the farthest device from your wireless connection. To set up an internal, private Wi-Fi network, your router needs to be commercial-grade. The information being transmitted on the network will be encrypted so that only authorized users can access it. Separating your public and private networks will optimize the speed for both because the users on either side have their own bandwidth. You get the best of both worlds by simultaneously upping your customer satisfaction game and enhancing productivity amongst your team.
Managed network service providers operate your network’s infrastructure, software, and technical support. To minimize the risks to your wireless network, they install firewalls, encrypt your data, and restrict access. By taking extra precautions in the configuration of your devices, you, too, can mitigate the loss of sensitive information. Driven by IT best practices, Centre Technologies works with small and medium businesses to drastically improve their disaster recovery and increase their chances of business continuity. Contact us to get started with a managed network service provider today.
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