How to Secure Your Wireless Network with WatchGuard

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Think you’re protected from cyber security threats because you’ve got firewalls and antivirus software? Think again.

You must secure your wireless network, too. Staying safe in the digital age is extremely challenging because there are so many ‘gaps’ or ‘windows’ that hackers can jump through. How to secure your wireless network – and protect yourself and your business – simply comes down to finding ways to seal all of these gaps as efficiently as possible.

Keeping hackers out is a like trying to keep a New Zealand home warm in winter

Kiwi houses are notoriously difficult to heat due to a lack of insulation, double-glazed windows, or adequate ventilation systems. If you live in a cold, damp house, the challenge is to identify all the areas where heat is escaping and fix them accordingly. For example, you might need to take the following actions:

  • install insulation in the ceiling, walls and beneath the floorboards;
  • seal any gaps in the framework, including around windows and under doors;
  • invest in a heating or ventilation system, such as HRV or a heat pump;
  • put up thermal-lined curtains to keep the warmth in at night; or
  • retrofit your home with double-glazed windows.

As you can see, doing one of these things isn’t enough in isolation. If you buy a heat pump but fail to seal your windows or install insulation without curtains, then the heat will simply escape through other gaps.

While you may not be able to afford to do everything on the list, you should combine as many actions as you can for maximum energy efficiency. The same mentality can be applied to cyber security (although it’s important to keep in mind that the consequences of a hacked network tend to be more problematic than those of a cold house).

Consequences aside, the point is – you need to take a collaborative approach to cyber security. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Seal as many gaps as you can.

One gap that many businesses overlook is their wireless network

An unsecured wireless network is vulnerable to hackers, malware, and other suspicious activity.

To quote WatchGuard, “Today’s network threats aren’t tethered to the desktop. Your security can’t be, either.”

According to WatchGuard’s director of product management, Ryan Orsi, wireless threats are becoming more frequent and problematic due to the availability of public wifi networks.

“Organisations across all industries are facing increased pressure from customers, vendors, and employees to offer wireless access. Unfortunately, hackers are also constantly trying to gain a foothold into the network,”

Ryan Orsi goes on to recommend that all organisations implement improved security, in particular on wifi networks.

“Businesses that fail to properly secure their wifi networks, including guest hotspots, may expose customers, partners, and internal users to a variety of risks.”

Exposing such threats could be extremely damaging to your reputation as a business and cause your customers to look elsewhere. When viewed in this light, wireless security is as much about protecting your reputation – and giving your customers peace of mind – as it is about protecting your security.

WatchGuard offers a number of products and features to secure your wifi networks, such as the WatchGuard Firebox T30 and T50, the WatchGuard Firebox T10, and WatchGuard Access Points. For more information on cyber security download our free guide.

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